Derfflinger Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Derfflinger Dragoons

Origin and History

On 16 December 1704, Colonel Friedrich Baron von Derfflinger asked King Frederick I to take him back into Prussian service and to give him a dragoon regiment. The king's approval was given as early as 30 December and Derfflinger was promoted to major-general.

The new regiment would have 600 men in eight companies. Each of the five existing dragoon regiments had to contribute 80 men, and 200 men were recruited.

After its completion, the companies of the regiment garrisoned various places: the Leib-Kompanie and Dewitz, in the Neumark; Marwitz and Eberstein, in Mittelmark; Bornstedt and Leiningen, in the Duchy of Cleves; and Reichenbach and Goltz, in Prussia.

It was not until 1707 that the entire regiment was concentrated in Prussia

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regimental Chef was:

  • from 30 December 1704: Major-General Friedrich Baron von Derfflinger (died on 29 January 1724)

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 30 December 1704: Lieutenant-Colonel Christoph Sigmund Baron von Bornstedt
  • from April 1715: Otto Wilhelm Truchseß Count zu Waldburg
  • from November 1715 to 13 October 1719: Friedrich Siegismund von Waldow

Service during the War


In the spring of 1709, the regiment was ordered to join Count Lottum's Corps (6,210 men) and to march to the Meuse. On 12 May, Lottum’s Corps reached Maastricht and was assigned to the army of the Duke of Marlborough. From June to September, the regiment took part in the Siege of the Fortress of Tournai, where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing. After the surrender of Tournai, the army marched to Mons.

On 11 September, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet, where it deployed among the 77 squadrons of the Hanoverian General von Bülow and lost 1 officer, 13 men and 89 horses dead, 1 officer 56 men and 16 horses wounded. It was the cavalry regiment with the highest losses!

At the end of October, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Flanders. Over the winter, new recruits were enlisted in the Teltow, Beeskow and Storckow districts and the regiment was brought back to its original strength.


On 23 April 1710, the regiment arrived in front of Douai and took part in the blockade of the fortress. Once the circumvallation entrenchments were dug out, the cavalry recrossed the Scarpe and encamped at Flines, La Laing and Bavaignies. The regiment remained with Marlborough's Army. On 20 July, the army moved into a new camp between Comte and Saint-Eloy.

It is not known whether the regiment was involved in the subsequent Siege of Saint-Venant and Siege of Aire-sur-la-Lys.

In November, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Maastricht.


In 1711, the regiment, along with 39 squadrons and 19 battalions of Prussian troops, remained in the camp of Warde, between Douai and Bouchain, until spring. Marlborough then left the camp with his army and marched to Lens.

On 5 August, Marlborough’s army took position at Etrun, forcing Maréchal Villars to abandon his strong camp between the Scheldt and Scarpe rivers and to move into a new one near Cambrai, and allowing the Allies to lay siege to Bouchain, which surrendered on 13 September.

At the end of October, the Prussian corps took up its winter-quarters in Brabant.

In November, the regiment was sent with other troops by way of Cleve and Minden to the region of Ravensburg, where it remained until April of the next year.


In 1712, when the Duke of Marlborough and the British troops were recalled from the Netherlands, Prince Eugène de Savoie took over command.

Between 19 June and 4 July, the regiment took part in the Siege of Le Quesnoy. It was the only major success for the Imperialists in this campaign. After Maréchal Villars had managed to capture the large magazine in Marchiennes, Prince Eugène had to retreat to Maubeuge, and Villars recaptured Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.

Six companies of the regiment spent the winter in the Duchies of Mark and Cleve, the remaining companies and the staff went to Minden and the County of Ravensburg.


After the signature of peace in April 1713, the regiment marched to the Mark.



The troopers wore the following uniform: black felt hat with a wide brim, turned up on one side; black neck stock with fringes; blue coat with yellow lining; leather-coloured waistcoat; breeches made of calfskin; linen stockings; soft leather boots turned down at the top.


NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers but were distinguished by a coat with blue lining; pockets and buttonholes laced with silver; and gloves edged with a silver braid.


Officers had richly embroidered waistcoat in silver, reaching to the knee; a silver sash; a white feather on the hat; and gold fringes on the gloves.


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Hagen, E. von: Geschichte des Neumärkischen Dragoner-Regiments Nr. 3 Berlin 1885

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


Harald Skala the initial version of this article