15/18 Bülow Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> 15/18 Bülow Grenadiers

Origin and History

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Frederick II converged the grenadier companies of his infantry into elite battalions. Thus the grenadiers of the wing companies from II. and III. Garde Bataillon (2 coys) and Prinz von Preußen (2 coys) infantry regiments were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 15/18 counting four companies.

In 1760, after the battle of Torgau, this grenadier battalion was converged with the Grenadier Battalion 3/6.

During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:

  • since 1756: lieutenant-colonel D. G. von Bülow (died on July 8 1757 from wounds received at the battle of Prague on May 6 1757)
  • July 1757: major P. U. von Kleist
  • October 1758: lieutenant-colonel count Wilhelm von Anhalt (killed in action at the battle of Torgau on November 3 1760)

N.B.: from November 3 1760, the battalion retained the name of Anhalt under succeeding commanders

Service during the War

On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the battalion was part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, it belonged to Keith's Corps. The centre column had concentrated at Brietzen and advanced unopposed upstream along the Elbe river by Torgau, Wittenberg, leaving Meissen to its left. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf. In October, after the capitulation of the Saxon army at Pirna, the battalion accompanied Frederick to Lobositz to bring back Keith's army to the area of Dresden. On October 22, it was part of the 10 battalions of Frederick's force who left Lobositz for Linai.

In April 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it did not take part to the battle of Prague. It was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's corps. On September 7, when an Austrian force under the command of general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps at Moys, the battalion was deployed in the first line of the right wing.

On October 14 1758, the battalion took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's corps, en potence towards Lauske, on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions. Around 8:00 AM, it stopped the advanced of Ahremberg's columns who were trying to move across the defile of Koditz. However, the battalion along with its commander was finally overwhelmed and forced to surrender. The battalion was later reconstituted after an exchange of prisoners.

To do: campaigns from June 1759 to 1762

Uniform

The grenadiers wore the uniform of their own regiments. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to regiments II. and III. Garde Bataillon and Prinz von Preußen.

Mitre Caps

II. and III. Garde Bataillon (wing companies): mitre with white metal frontplate, white metal headband decorated with white metal grenades, red back with silver piping, red within white pompon

Original (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)

In regiments with white metal, the front plates were to be coloured with a water-based silver paste which needed to be re-applied regularly lest the cap plates revert to their original brass colour. Therefore, during campaign, particularly in bad weather, it is possible that the silvering could have worn off and needed to be silvered again.

Prinz von Preußen: mitre with white metal front plate decorated with a black eagle; rose headband with white braid and decorated with white metal ornaments; rose backing with white braid, green within rose within white pompon

Original (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)

In regiments with white metal, the front plates were to be coloured with a water-based silver paste which needed to be re-applied regularly lest the cap plates revert to their original brass colour. Therefore, during campaign, particularly in bad weather, it is possible that the silvering could have worn off and needed to be silvered again.

II. and III./IR15 Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
IR18 Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren

Colours

The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.

References

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Uniformen der Preußischen Infanterie 1753-1786, Teil III/Bd. 3, Osnabrück 1973

Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn, Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000

Fiedler, Siegfried; Grenadiermuetzen der Armee Friedrichs des Grossen, Schild Verlag GmbH, Munich, 1981

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Riehn, R.; Linear Tactics Part III - Grenadier Battalions 1756-1763, The Courier Volume 2 No. 6, May-June 1981

Schirmer, Friedrich; Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt: 1989, pp. 30-32

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.