Saturday, 30 August 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment I

Garrison Regiment I was raised in 1718 as a single battalion. In 1744 it was increased to 2 battalions. In 1756 it was again increased, to 4 battalions. The regiment's recruits came from East Prussia, namely the cities of Memel, Wehlau, Tapiau, Hohenstein, Nordenburg, Schirwindt and Stallupönen. In 1756 it was the garrison of Königsberg, Gumbinnen, Memel and Pillau, plus Stettin in 1760.

In the winter of 1757-8 the 2 battalions of the regiment in garrison in Königsberg and Pillau withdrew into Pomerania on hearing the news that the Russian general Fermor intended to retake East Prussia. "They took with them the money, the greater part of the stores and the artillery" (Kronoskaf). At the end of June 1758 the regiment stayed in Pomerania to face the Swedes, Dohna's small Prussian army having left Pomerania to confront the Russians in Brandenburg. In 1759 the regiment was defending the mouth of the river Oder against the Swedes but withdrew in September. In mid-September 1 battalion of the regiment and Land Militia Battalion No.4 Wasmer were defending the town of Wollin; on the 16th the Swedes stormed the town, capturing the garrison. (Details from Kronoskaf.)

The grenadiers of the regiment were combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment XI during the war up to 1760, forming Standing Grenadier Battalion Nr. IV (G-I/G-XI Lossau). From 1760 they were combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment No.II to form the same standing grenadier battalion. They fought at Gross-Jägersdorf in 1757, Zorndorf in 1758 (around 40% casualties - Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st edition), Kay and Kunersdorf in 1759 and Torgau in 1760.

This is the most elaborate style of garrison regiment flag, carried only by regiments 1 and 2. It is very similar to the flags carried by many of the regular line infantry regiments, except for the wreaths which are in the style carried by the other garrison regiments and which are very similar to the design of wreath used on the flags of the regiments of Frederick William I, Frederick's father. The regimental flag design is shown at the top (Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.



10 comments:

Capt Bill said...

Sir David, Wonderful as usual. I just reflagged two Prussian units with your Garrison flags Regt. III and V. They look marvelous! Thanks...Bill

David said...

Thanks, Bill. I'm glad they're being used and enjoyed! Will you be posting pictures? I'd love to see them in action.

All the best,

David.

Capt Bill said...

Sir David, I shall indeed as soon as I get a new memory chip for my camera...Bill

David said...

Thanks, Bill, I look forward to seeing them. :-)

All the best,

David.

Simmy said...

Hello David,
once you have published a very interesting post.
Little is known about the regiments of the Prussian garrison.
Beautiful flags and great pictures.
See you soon
Simmy

David said...

Hi Simmy,

Thanks; glad you like the flags and the post. I shall be posting some more of the garrison regiments' flags and uniforms soon!

Cheers,

David.

Jiminho said...

Hi David, Just dropped in to see more nice flags once again! Very elaborate pomp and circumstance about these ones. I find it a bit curious to see that the more simple, practical and somewhat "civilian" look of the uniform is not reflected by the elaborate flags. A very smart looking combination however and I bet they would look good on the table.

I have to compliment you again on your choice of header illustration. ANOTHER sentry on duty on a somewhat neglected rampart. This one looks alert at the cannon, his cartridge box hanging open at the ready. All business, no languid lounging like the previous one. Must be a Prussian!

David said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks for dropping by. :-) Glad you like the flags. Frederick certainly simplified the flags for the later garrison regiments, although the earlier regiments had more complex flags - and, despite the very simple uniforms and "third-line" nature of the troops, also found plenty of very active uses for his garrison regiments!

Glad you like the header too - it's another one from Carl Spitzweg. He had a quirky sense of humour, it seems, and I really like his style. This chap certainly looks a bit disturbed and could well be a Prussian - perhaps he's just seen Austrian grenadiers coming up a scaling ladder! ;-)

Hope all's well.

All the best,

David.

Jiminho said...

Hi David,

Looking at the Spitzweg painting again, the fellow does look worried and surprised, like he did just spot your Austrian grenadiers. Forlorn "hope" gazing upon bad news! The muzzle-on view of the cannon is odd as well. The lines of the painting (cannon, embrasure, the soldier's anxious gaze lead straight to the viewer, he is scared of us!

It would be fun to recreate this scene in miniatures.

Best, Jim

David said...

Hi Jim,

Yes, I agree it would make a good mini-diorama (as would many of Spitzweg's paintings)! And yes, he looks distinctly afraid of whatever he is staring straight at! :-)

All the best,

David.