Saturday 9 July 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Infantry Regiment 11 von Below (later von Rebentisch and then von Tettenborn)

Chefs: Major General Lorenz Ludwig von Below, later Lieutenant General from 4th December 1749; Major General Johann Carl, Baron von Rebentisch from 12th September 1758; Major General Hans von Tettenborn,  later Lieutenant General from 25th July 1763 to 1776

First raised 1685-7.

In the Seven Years War this was another regiment which largely saw action against the Russians. As part of Field Marshal von Lehwaldt's Corps it first saw action on August 1st 1757. The battle of Gross-Jägersdorf was lost in the brutal forest fighting in Norkitten Wood but the retreat was fairly orderly. The grenadiers had very heavy casualties. After the Russians withdrew the regiment was sent with its grenadiers to Near Pomerania to tackle the Swedes landing there; in April 1758 they prevented an attempted Swedish landing at Peenemünde. In January and February of that year the Russians again occupied East Prussia. However, the regiment remained with the Pomeranian Corps, commanded by Count Dohna, to hold off the Swedes until the Russians arrived. It was eventually sent to Frankfurt an der Oder in late July, as the Russians had already attacked Küstrin.

At the battle of Zorndorf, 25th August 1758, a massive Russian cavalry attack on the right wing threw the regiment into a panic; it had already endured two hours of artillery bombardment. Ultimately the regiment lost 19 officers and 707 men, as well as losing the King's approval. General von Rautter and Major General von Below, the regiment's chef, were both immediately dismissed. In 1773 the King held a review of each company of the regiment at Graudenz. There he told the officers: "You know the reason why I was dissatisfied with the regiment." Major von Reibnitz replied: "Yes, Your Majesty but I was shot through the body [at Zorndorf] and many were fatally wounded!" The King said: "Yes, a few of you are still here. If you promise to lead the regiment well... I'll forget everything. Will you promise that?" They all exclaimed: "Yes, Yes, Your Majesty!" So the King replied: "Very well, I won't think about it again. I'll forget everything."

In 1759 the grenadiers were at Kay on July 23rd suffering relatively few casualties but on August 12th lost 263 men at Kunersdorf. The regiment was captured at Maxen on November 20th with Finck's Corps. It was restored with difficulty to one battalion in 1760, took part in the defence of Breslau from 31st July to August 4th and then in the siege of Schweidnitz from August 8th to October 10th, its last major operation of the war.

And this was the uniform in 1756: