1/23 Bandemer Grenadiers
Origin and History
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Frederick II converged the grenadier companies of his infantry into elite battalions. Thus the grenadiers from von Winterfeldt (2 coys) and von Forcade (2 coys) infantry regiments were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 1/23 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since 1756: major Peter Henning Erdmann von Bandemer
- March 30 1757: major Ernst Sigismund von Wedell (killed at the battle of Zorndorf)
- August 25 1758: major Joachim Friedrich von Rathenow
- March 16 1762: major Karl Heinrich von Poseck
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army was ordered to enter into Saxony, the regiment was part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, it belonged to margarve Karl's Corps. The centre column had concentrated in the area of Brietzen and advanced unopposed upstream along the Elbe river by Torgau, Wittenberg, leaving Meissen to its left. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf. In October, after the capitulation of the Saxon army at Pirna, the battalion accompanied Frederick back to Lobositz to bring Keith's army back to Dresden. On October 22, it was part of the 10 battalions of Frederick's force who left Lobositz for Linai.
On May 6 1757, the battalion took part to the battle of Prague where it was deployed to cover the right flank of the infantry in Manstein's brigade. It was among the grenadier battalions who plunged into the gap opened in the Austrian lines near Kyge-Hlaupetin. At the end of August, the battalion was part of the small Prussian army hastily assembled at Dresden by Frederick to head towards Thuringia and to offer battle to the Franco-Imperial army invading Saxony. On November 5, at the battle of Rossbach, the battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under lieutenant-general Ferdinand prince von Braunschweig. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, the battalion was deployed in the vanguard which successfully attacked the Austrian left flank. At the end of the battle, the battalion followed Frederick to capture the bridge at Lissa intact.
On August 10 1758, the battalion was part of the corps who accompanied Frederick when he marched from Silesia to join Dohna to contain the Russian invasion of Brandenburg. On Tuesday August 22, this corps made a junction with Dohna at Manschnow. On August 23, the battalion was the first Prussian unit to cross the Oder, accompanying Frederick. On August 24, the battalion along with Forcade Infantry occupied Darmietzel to secure the crossing of the Mietzel. On August 25, the battalion fought at the battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the right division led by count zu Dohna. On September 2, when it became clear that the Russian army was slowly retiring towards Landsberg, Frederick assembled the corps that he had brought with him from Silesia and left for Saxony where his help was badly needed. On October 14, the battalion took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's corps on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions. Around 8:00 AM, Saldern sent the regiment to the heights of Pommritz to reinforce Frederick's main line.
To do: campaigns from 1759 to 1762
|von Winterfeldt: mitre with white metal frontplate, white headband with white metal ornaments, dark blue backing with white piping, white pom pom||von Forcade: mitre with white metal frontplate, white headband with white metal ornaments, dark blue backing with red piping, white pompom dotted red|
The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.
Fiedler, Siegfried; Grenadiermuetzen der Armee Friedrichs des Grossen, Schild Verlag GmbH, Munich, 1981
Riehn, R.; Linear Tactics Part III - Grenadier Battalions 1756-1763, The Courier Volume 2 No. 6, May-June 1981
Schirmer, Friedrich; Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt: 1989, pp. 30-32
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.