Seydlitz Hussars

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Origin and History

Trooper of Seydlitz Hussars in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was raised at the end of 1743 in Schwedt on the Oder.

From 1746 to 1755, the regiment garrisoned Stolp, Schlawe, Bütow, Tempelburg, Lauenburg, Zanow, Neustettin, Rummelsburg and Belgard.

The regiment was often referred to as the “Red Hussars”.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 10 squadrons.

After its surrender at Maxen on November 21 1759, the regiment was re-raised. Only some remains (about 3 squadrons) existed till 1763. It was officially disbanded in 1763.

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

  • from 1747: Alexander Gottlieb von Seydlitz
  • from mid-April 1759: von Gersdorff

Service during the War

In April 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On June 18, 5 squadrons of the regiment were at the battle of Kolin where they were deployed in the cavalry vanguard at the extreme left under under general von Zieten. In August, 70 men of the regiment were part of the small Prussian force assembled in Silesia by major-general von Kreytzen to oust the Austrian corps occupying Landeshut. On August 13, they took part in the first combat of Landeshut. At the end of August, 2 squadrons were 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, though these 2 squadrons were present at the battle of Rossbach, they were not deployed and did not take part to the battle. On November 22, 2 squadrons of the regiment took part in the battle of Breslau where they were deployed en potence as right flank guard under major-general von Rohr. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, 6 squadrons of the regiment were deployed in the vanguard which attacked the Austrian left flank and drove it back on Gross-Heidau.

On July 29 1758, during the Prussian retreat after the failed invasion of Moravia, the regiment was sent forward against the Austrians to cover the crossing of the Mettau by the main army.

On September 2 1759, the regiment, as part of Zieten's corps, fought in the combat of Sorau. During the retreat, the regiment formed part of the vanguard. On November 20, the regiment took part in the battle of Maxen where it was attached to Platen's brigade deployed on the extreme right and extreme left of the Prussian positions. Completely surrounded, the entire Prussian force finally surrendered as prisoners of war. After its capture, the regiment was not re-raised.



Uniform in 1756
Copyright Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear a black mirliton with white cords, knots and tassels
Pelisse red
Fur trim black
Lace 12 rows of white braids
Buttons white
Dolman red edged white with 12 white braids and 3 rows of white buttons
Collar red edged white
Cuffs red edged with a white chevron
Trousers buff (maybe white for parade) with red Schalavary (overtrousers) edged white
N.B.: by 1753, the small hearts on the Schalavary had disappeared
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waist-sash red and white barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots edged white with a white tassel
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red shabraque with red wolf tooth edged white
Sabretache n/a

Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine. They rode brown or isabel horses.


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In 1743, king Frederick ordered the Hussars to return their standards.


Dorn, Günter and Joachim Engelmann; Die Kavallerie-Regimenter Friedrichs des Großen 1756-1763, Augsburg 1992

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

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


Digby Smith for the initial version of this article.