Saxon Wietersheim Fusiliers
Origin and History
On October 15 1756, when the Saxon Army surrendered to Frederick II near Pirna, the Saxon infantry was forcefully incorporated into the Prussian Army, former Rochow Fusiliers thus becoming Infanterie-Regiment (Nr. 50) Wietersheim established in Halle.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since October 15 1756 till July 30 1757: Major-General L. F. L. von Wietersheim
Service during the War
In October 1756, the regiment was assigned to the garrison of Halle.
For the campaign of 1757, the regiment accompanied Frederick's Army for the invasion of Bohemia. On July 30, Frederick disbanded this Saxon regiment and distributed the remaining men among his other regiments (IR7, IR29, IR35, IR36 and IR41).
N.B.: the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Flemming Fusiliers, forming the S-50/S-58 Bähr Grenadier Battalion (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red, 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Privates were armed with a short musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- tricorne laced silver with black and white quartered pompom and black within white tassels
- no shoulder straps
- silver laced cuffs
- yellowish leather gloves
- black and white sabre tassel
NCOs were armed with a sabre and a half-pikes measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.37 m.) in the fusilier 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).
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following differences:
- black tricorne laced with a wide silver braid with a black cockade fastened with a silver clip; black within silver tassels
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
Officers carried spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).
Colonel Colour (Leibfahne): White field with green corner 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, ciphers) and grenades in gold.
Regimental Colours (Kompaniefahnen): Red field with green corner 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, ciphers) and grenades in gold.
Gavan, Dal: Colours of the Saxon regiments in the Prussian service
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. 125
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.