Kalnein Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Kalnein Infantry

Origin and History

Uniform circa 1757 - Source: Anonymous work circa 1757

The regiment was raised in 1672 in Berlin by General Christopher Albrecht Count zu Dohna. It originally consisted of eight companies. Besides new recruits, soldiers were originally drafted from the garrison of the Fortress of Cüstrin. In 1688, the regiment received two additional companies.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment formed part of the Prussian contingent.

In 1715, the regiment served in Pomerania.

During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in the Battle of Chotusitz (May 17, 1742), the siege of Prague (September 1744) and the Battle of Soor (September 30, 1745).

From 1746, the regiment garrisoned Preussisch-Holland, Liebstadt and Mühlhausen in East Prussia. It recruited in the western districts of Mohrungen, Marienwerder and Neidenburg and in the towns of Preussisch-Holland, Liebstadt, Mühlhausen, Osterode, Gilgenburg and Soldau.

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

  • from October 10, 1745: Major-General Carl Erhard von Kalnein.
  • from October 14, 1757: Major-General Carl Friedrich von Rautter.
  • from September 20, 1758: Georg Friedrich von Kleist
  • from January 27, 1761 till June 8, 1774: Major-General Georg Reinhold von Thadden

The numbering system (Stammliste) was first used by Leopold I., Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau (Der alte Dessauer) in the Dessauer Spezifikation from 1737. Around 1780 the numbers were used in the printed Stammlisten, still with some variations for the fusilier regiments. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present infantry regiment was attributed number 4.

Service during the War

Around June 23 1756, Kalnein Infantry, who was training in the region of Königsberg, was instructed to interrupt training and to leave Garrison-Regiment Sydow and Garrison-Regiment Manteuffel behind.

In 1757, the regiment was part of Lehwaldt's Army assigned to the defence of East Prussia against a Russian invasion. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, the regiment was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing in Lieutenant-General Kanitz's Brigade. The regiment suffered heavy casualties during this battle, loosing 78 men. At the end of the year, it was at the Siege of Demmin (December 29 - January 1).

At the beginning of 1758, the regiment took part in the Siege of Stralsund (January 10 till June 18) before being transferred to the eastern front. On August 25, the first battalion of the regiment fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the left division led by Kanitz. It was virtually annihilated during this battle (28 dead, 206 wounded and 176 captured or missing). On September 25, the second battalion of the regiment was part of the detachment of Major-General Wobersnow who was sent by Dohna from Blumenberg to cut off the Russian detachment left at Landsberg by the retreating main army. On September 26, this Prussian detachment captured Landsberg and the battalion was then stationed in this town. On October 3, it took part in an engagement near Passkrug.

From 1759, the regiment, now deprived of its recruiting cantons which had been occupied by the Russian Army, was used very sparingly in combat.

On July 21 1762, the regiment took part in in the Battle of Burkersdorf. From August to October, it was also present at the Siege of Schweidnitz.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Graf zu Dohna Infantry forming the Grenadier Batallion 4/16 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).


N.B.: this regiment was one of the sole Prussian infantry regiments to change its uniforms after 1753. This change occurred in 1776.


Uniform in 1756 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Musketeer black tricorne laced white, blue and red pompons
Grenadier mitre with brass front plate, red headband with brass ornaments, straw yellow backing with red piping edged royal blue, pompom was royal blue with a red ring (see Grenadier Batallion 4/16 for an illustration)
Neck stock red
Coat Prussian blue with two white braid loops with white tassels on each side at the waist and two brass buttons on the right side at the waist (hidden by the sleeve in our illustration, see insert for details); and, on each side in the small of the back, a brass button with a white braid loop with a white tassel
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a brass button
Lapels none but 6 brass buttons with 6 white braid loops with white tassels (arranged 2-2-2) on each side on the breast
Pockets horizontal pockets laced red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red slit cuffs with, on the sleeve on each side, 3 brass buttons and 3 white braid loops with white tassels
Turnbacks red fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat straw (later white, maybe as early as 1756)
Breeches straw (later white, maybe as early as 1756)
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes

Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.


NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • tricorne with wide gold lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no shoulder strap
  • wide golden lace along the coat edges
  • no braid loop on the breast
  • only 2 golden braid loops and tassels (corresponding to the 2 lowest buttonholes on the coat of the private) and 1 gold braid loop with a tassel on each side at the small of the back
  • 3 golden braid loops with tassels on the sleeve
  • gilt buttons
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a dark brown half-pike measuring 10 Rhenish feet (3.06 m.) in the musketeer companies and 13 Rhenish feet (4.10 m.) in the grenadier companies (carried by the 3 most senior NCOs while other grenadier NCOs were armed with rifled muskets since 1744).

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).


Kalnein Infantry Officer - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen

Officers had tricorne laced with a thin golden lace. They always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding fusiliers or grenadiers. They had a white neck stok. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist and had a black and silver sword knot. They carried an officer stick. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no turnbacks and had gilt buttons and a golden embroidered lace edging on the coat, skirts and pockets as well as on the cuffs and sleeve flaps.

Officers carried dark brown spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).


Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

White lace bordered with a red and blue pattern. Swallow nest with five vertical bars and one horizontal bars on the shoulders. 11 horizontal laces with red tassels on each sleeve. Lace along the edge of the coat, the buttonholes, the pockets, the cuffs and on the back of the coat.


Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with yellow flames. Centre device consisting of a red medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Red field with yellow flames. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle surmounted by a red scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Regimental Colour - Copyright Kronoskaf

The pikes used as staffs for the colours were dark brown.


Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Großen: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres, 2 erw. Auflage, Raststatt 1986

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

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786: Bd. I Infanterie I, Osnabrück 1984

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

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

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, p. 183

Guddat, Martin: Grenadiere, Musketiere, Füsiliere: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 32-37

Letzius, Martin: Das Zeitalter Friedrichs des Grossen, Sturm Zigaretten, Dresden: 1932

Menzel, Adolph von: Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen, Berlin: 1851/57

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Summerfield, Stephen: Prussian Musketeers of the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War: Uniforms, Organisation and Equipement of Musketeer Regiments, Ken Trotman Publishing: Huntingdon, 2012, pp. 124-128

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