Stechow Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Stechow Dragoons

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on December 18, 1740 in Lower Silesia, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), by Christoph Ernst von Nassau. Initially, its troopers came mostly from units formerly in the Saxon service who had recently surrendered. By the summer of 1741, the regiment counted five squadrons; in the autumn, it occupied Nesse. In 1744, it took part in several minor actions; in 1745, in the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.

The regiment garrisoned Sagan, Beuthen, Sprottau and Grünberg. It levied its recruits in the districts of Grünberg and Sagan.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted five squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from November 27, 1755: Christoph Ludwig von Stechow
  • from March 6, 1758 to September 15, 1770: Leopold Johann von Platen (the regiment was then known as “Jung-Platen”)

The regiment was disbanded on October 28, 1806 after the capitulation of Hohenlohe at Prenzlau.

Service during the War

Around mid-August 1756, the regiment was mobilized. It joined the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin (Lloyd mentions Rochow but this is impossible since this regiment was operating in Saxony in Frederick's army). During the campaign of 1756, Schwerin's Army remained on the border between Silesia and Bohemia.

On May 6, 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve under General von Zieten. When the Reserve dispersed the entire Austrian cavalry, Prince Charles of Lorraine tried to rally some Austrian cavalry units but the regiment along with Warnery Hussars attacked and broke these units. On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the van at the extreme left under Hülsen. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Meier's Brigade, in the second line of the left wing under Lieutenant-General von Zieten. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Stechow's Brigade in the first line of the cavalry right wing under Zieten.

On the morning of February 19, 1758, the regiment marched towards Troppau, believing that the town was still in the hands of the Prussians. Austrian hussars and Polish uhlans attacked the regiment on the march from three sides. In this combat, Stechow Dragoons lost 10 officers, 8 NCOs, 279 dragoons and 301 horses taken prisoners or missing. The Leib-Carabiniers who rode to the relief of Stechow Dragoons were only able to rescue the standards and a few men. In April. the regiment was part of the Prussian army who proceeded to the invasion of Moravia. On June 29, the regiment took part in an engagement near Tobitschau. On October 14, the regiment fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg. After the defeat, it covered the retreat of the Prussian army.

On August 12, 1759, the regiment fought in the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the reserve of the left wing as part of Ascherleben’s Brigade. It was one of the last regiments to leave the field. On September 21, the regiment took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing under Major-General Wunsch. On October 29, it fought at Pretzsch. On November 20, the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where it was attached to Platen's Brigade. Around 3:00 p.m., Daun's Corps deployed with its right on the heights in front of Muhlbach and its left towards Hausdorf. Finck sent the regiment along with Rebentisch Infantry to contain the attack. Completely surrounded, the entire Prussian force finally surrendered as prisoners of war.

By the summer of 1760, the regiment had been re-established. On September 17, it took part in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it formed part of the avant-garde. On November 3, it took part in the Battle of Torgau.

On May 12, 1762, the regiment took part in the Combat of Doebeln where it was attached to the right column under Lieutenant-General von Seydliz. At the end of July, the regiment took part in Seydlitz’s incursion into Bohemia and on August 2, was at the Combat of Teplitz. On October 29, it fought in the Battle of Freiberg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1757
Headgear black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small white button and lemon yellow pompoms

N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap

Neck stock black
Coat cobalt blue with with 2 white buttons under the lapel and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar lemon yellow
Shoulder strap left shoulder: blue fastened with a white button
right shoulder: white with a white aiguillette
Lapels lemon yellow with 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs lemon yellow (Swedish style) with 2 white buttons
Turnbacks lemon yellow
Waistcoat straw yellow with one row of small white buttons and horizontal pockets, each with white buttons
Breeches buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Bayonet scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth lemon yellow with rounded corners; bordered with one wide and one narrow white braid
Housings lemon yellow with pointed corners; bordered with one wide and one narrow white braid
Blanket roll cobalt blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • black within white pompoms in the lateral "cornes" of the tricorne
  • silver lace edging the cuffs

Officers

Stechow Dragoons Officer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a silver clip) and red and silver pompons
  • silver embroidery loops
    • 6 on each lapel
    • 2 on each side at the waist under the lapel
    • 1 on each side in the small of the back
    • 2 on each side, to the left and right of the waist button
    • 2 on each pocket
    • 2 on each cuff


Musicians

Stechow Dragoons Drummer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

Drummers of the regiments wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated around the lapels, the pocket flaps and the cuffs, on the shoulders and on the seams with a lemon yellow lace bordered in white and decorated with white central dented braid.

Colours

Standards were made of damask. They were swallow-tailed and measured some 50 cm along the pole, 65 cm from the pole to the extremity of a point and 50 cm from the pole to the centre of the indentation. The cords and knots were of silver threads. The pole of the standard was a lemon yellow tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden spearhead wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric (FR).

Note: several sources mention that the “FR” ciphers was also shown on the chest of the eagle; however the preserved standard in the Ghent City Museum has no such decoration

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with waved silver corners, fringed silver with a lemon yellow central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and decorated with an armed black eagle surmounted by a white scroll laced silver bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in silver in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers). Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): lemon yellow field with waved silver corners, fringed silver with a silver central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and decorated with an armed black eagle surmounted by an lemon yellow scroll laced silver bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in silver in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).
Colonel Standard – Source: Dal Gavan as per originals kept at the HGM and Ghent City Museum
Squadron Standard – Source: Dal Gavan as per originals kept at the HGM and Ghent City Museum

References

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 LobositzBerlin, 1901, Appendix 1

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 604-607

Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar

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