Origin and History
On 29 October 1685, the Elector of Brandenburg issued the Edict of Potsdam which brought 20,000 Huguenots to Prussia with the promise of greater freedom. Eight weeks after this proclamation, Colonel Jacques L'Aumonier, Marquis de Varenne raised the “Varenne Regiment” in Soest. The regiment was composed of 16 companies. In 1687, it was split in two units to form the Guard Regiment (IR15).
In 1702, the regiment was reorganised.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regimental Chefs were:
- from January 1686: Colonel Jacques L'Aumonier, Marquis de Varenne
- from 27 November 1715: Anton von Pannewitz
The regiment surrendered to the French in 1806 and was never re-established.
Service during the War
The regiment was in Dutch pay between 1701 and 1713.
From April to June 1702, the regiment took part in the Siege of Kaiserswerth.
At the end of March 1703, fearing for the Army of the Margrave of Baden posted on the Rhine, the Allies sent a reinforcement (12 battalions including the present regiment) under the command of Lieutenant-General von Goor. By mid-August, the regiment is reported as part of Baden’s Army, which was posted between the Zwergbach and the Egge.
At the beginning of April 1704, the regiment was posted in the Black Forest. It was once more allocated to the army of the Margrave of Baden. By 19 May, it was part of the forces assembled at Rottweil to oppose the army of the Elector of Bavaria. On 2 July, it took part in the Battle of the Schellenberg, where it was deployed in Pallandt´s Brigade. On 13 August, the regiment (461 men only) fought in the Battle of Blenheim again in Pallandt´s Brigade.
In July and August 1710, the regiment, under General von Schulenburg, took part in the Siege of Béthune, where it was deployed in where it was deployed in Pallandt´s Division, Croon’s Brigade.
In 1713, the regiment returned to Prussia. Two companies were transferred to Dönhoff Infantry (IR21).
From 1700, each Prussian unit started to wear a distinguishing uniform. A regulation was issued in 1709 to standardize the uniform and equipment.
Nelke, Reinhard: Preussen
N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Harald Skala for the initial version of this article