Origin and History
The unit was raised on August 2 1743 for Colonel Friedrich Julius von Schwerin. Its troops came from garrison units previously stationed in Geldern and Minden. The new regiment was immediately transferred to the newly conquered Province of Silesia.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1743, the regiment initially garrisoned Fort Preußen on the left bank of the Neiße. In 1744, it covered Silesia but, towards the end of the year, it was forced to retire on Neiss. In 1745, the unit was transformed into a musketeer regiment. That year, it was part of Dessau's Corps which took Radun and Ratibor. The same year, the regiment took part in the engagement of Neustadt and in the siege of the Fortress of Cosel.
The regiment recruited in the Silesian districts of Neisse and Münsterberg.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since May 17 1747 until June 25 1763: Joachim Christian von Tresckow
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 32.
The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulations of Erfurt and Prenzlau.
Service during the War
On May 6 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the first line in Lestwitz's Brigade and fought in the bloody combats along the Roketnitzer ravine. After the battle, the regiment was part of the Prussian force who laid siege to Prague until June 19. On September 7, when an Austrian force under the command of General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps in the Combat of Moys, the regiment was deployed in the first line of the centre under Major-Generals Wied and Kannacher. The regiment was part of the Prussian brigade under Kannacher who temporarily recaptured the Jäkelsberg. After the defeat, the almost completely annihilated regiment retired to Breslau. On November 25, its remaining battalion was forced to abandon the town after the defeat of the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern in the Battle of Breslau on November 22. After the surrender of the place, the regiment was allowed free withdrawal but most of its troops deserted (recruits were mostly from Silesia).
In 1758, the regiment was part of the Army of King Frederick II who undertook the invasion of Moravia, taking part in the Combat of Domstadl on June 30. It also took part in the successful defence of Neisse.
In 1759, the regiment served in Pomerania against the Russians. On July 23, it took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it suffered heavy losses being reduced to a single battalion. On August 11, this battalion covered the passage of the Oder at Göritz by Frederick's Army. On August 12, during the Battle of Kunersdorf, the regiment was part of the detachment guarding the bridges near Göritz. In the middle of September, the battalion joined Wunsch's Corps under Finck at Torgau in Saxony, taking part in the victorious Combat of Korbitz on September 21.
In 1760, the regiment was reconstituted to 2 battalions and garrisoned the Fortress of Schweidnitz.
In 1762, the regiment was not reconstituted.
In February 1763, the regiment was re-established upon the return of the prisoners of war.
N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infanterie Regiment 28, forming the Grenadier Batallion 28/32 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red with 8 brass buttons on each side and 1 brass button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||white with 16 small brass buttons down to the waist|
Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a straight bladed pallasch.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- tricorne with wide gold lace and black and white quartered pompoms
- cuffs edged with gold lace braid
- no shoulder strap
- yellowish leather gloves
- black and white sabre tassel
NCOs were armed with a sabre and a black 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).
The uniforms of the officers were very similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne laced gold
- black neck stock
- no shoulder strap on the coat
- no turnbacks on the coat
- no trimming
- black and silver sash around the waist
Officers carried black spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.
The drummer lace consisted of an elaborate geometric pattern (blue field bordered on each side by a thin yellow stripe and decorated with white and red rhombuses.
The uniforms of the drummers were similar to those of the privates but had much more elaborate lacing and other peculiarities:
- no shoulder strap
- swallow nest decorated with the drummer lace on each shoulder
- coat bordered with the drummer lace
- pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace
Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with red corner wedges and black flames. Centre device consisting of a blue medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts 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): Blue field with red corner wedges and black 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 holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a blue scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.
The pikes used as staffs for the colours were black.
Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlich Koeniglichen Preusischen Armee Worinnen zur eigentlichen Kenntniss der Uniform von jedem Regiment ein Officier und Gemeiner in Völliger Montirung und ganzer Statur nach dem Leben abgebildet sind. Nebst beigefügter Nachricht 1.) von der Stiftung. 2.) Denen Chefs. 3.) der Staerke und 4.) der in Friedenszeiten habenden Guarnisons jedes Regiments, published by I.C. v. S.(chmalen), Nürnberg, 1759
Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000
Deutsche Uniformen, Vol. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 illustrations of Herbert Knötel d. J., Text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, published by Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden, 1932
Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Großen: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres, 2 erw. Auflage, Raststatt 1986
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. 256-265
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.