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"1806 Prussian Foot Guard question" Topic

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18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2013 3:03 p.m. PST

I was looking at a source which showed that the Foot Guard (I.R.15) was at the following strength on Oct 14, 1806 –

71 O / 2.284 M

The page can be found at:


Is this correct? Was the Prussian Foot Guard really that large on the field for Auerstadt? I'm hoping von Winterfeldt or some other Prussian expert can step in. Thanks.

VonBlucher02 Mar 2013 3:15 p.m. PST

18th Century Guy,
15th Regiment of Guards was 3 Battalions strong in 1806.

The 6th Regiment, Guard Grenadiers was only 1 battalion strong, which is why these units were brigaded together,

Also the grenadiers stayed with the parent unit and only the grenadier companies wore the mitre caps, The rest wore hats.


14Bore02 Mar 2013 3:23 p.m. PST

From PDF link
Reserve: Grand Duke von Kalckreuth
lst Division: Generallieutenant von Kunheim
lst Brigade: Generalmajor von Hirschfeld
l/Leibgarde Regiment #l5
2/Leibgarde Regiment #l5
Total Guard – 47/l,523)
Guard Grenadier Battalion #6 (25/756)
l2pdr Battery #4 Faber
2nd Brigade: Oberst von Peltz
König Musketeer Regiment #l8 (2)(?/l,600)
Grenadier Battalion Raibel (#l8/27)
Grenadier Battalion Prince August (#l/l3)
7pdr Howitzer Battery #l Alkier
lst Cavalry Brigade: Generalmajor von Beeren
Garde du Corps #l3 (5)
Gens d'Armes Regiment #l0 (5)
Beeren Cuirassier Regiment #2 (5)
Horse Artillery Battery #l Scholten

Jemima Fawr02 Mar 2013 5:35 p.m. PST

As VB says – IR 15 was three battalions strong and retained its three grenadier companies. IR 6 meanwhile, was a single battalion (also retaining its grenadier company).

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2013 7:05 p.m. PST

vonBlucher (John),

I wondered if I.R.6 was incorporated with I.R. 15 but that same page where I pulled my information from shows I.R.6 with a totally separate line:

Nr. 6 Grenadiergardebataillon
25 O / 754 M

Plus no source shows I.R.15 at 3 battalions, I always see 2 battalions listed unless there is a depot battalion that is being included on the German source that is being left off of Nafziger's source. If I.R.15 & 6 kept their grenadier companies then 'technically' there would/could be a third battalion (only 3 companies strong) being made up of just grenadiers of the Guard. Is that another possibility?

14Bore – I have that same information (PDF from George Nafziger) which is why I'm asking the question.

The two sources show I.R. 15 at totally different strengths for Oct 14th. Which one is correct? If both of them were reasonably close then I wouldn't even ask this question. I'm more curious as to why there is such a difference and naturally which one is correct. I'm working on an 1806 Prussian army and I'd like to get this right.

For the uniform statement, I've never seen the grenadier companies of either I.R.15 or 6 shown wearing a mitre (as in SYW style mitre) except for parade dress. In the field they are shown as wearing the bicorne like everyone else. If you follow this link it will show all of the regiments in 1806 and the Guard is not shown in a mitre.


14Bore02 Mar 2013 7:32 p.m. PST

Speculation on my part, but while the Regiment had 3 Battalions only two were at Auerstedt. Also the larger number suggests total of 3 battalions and number shown in OOB is for two battalions with around 760 per battalion.
P.S. mitres were out by this time in the Prussian Army :(

VonBlucher02 Mar 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

IR 15 was a full 3 battalions strong. Each battalion was 5 Musketeer companies and 1 Grenadier company, The Grenadier companies were not detached. Only the Grenadier companies wore the new Grenadier Cap (mitre). The 7 years war mitre's were worn by the Guard Grenadiers for ceramonial purposes only.

The grenadiers wore the same hat as the grenadiers in the line, with their appropriate facings and lace.

There has always been some confusing with IR 15, in that some say the all wore hats in the field. I also read that only the musketeers wore hats.

I've seen conflicting OB's with the all 3 battalions of IR 15 and with only 2 battalions at Auerstadt. I've always gone with the fact that all 3 were present at Auerstadt.
Nafzinger in his Prussian Army book also mentions IR 15 with 3 battalions. Hofschoder in his Osprey book on Prussian Infantry that at the outbreak of the War in 1806, the guard consisted of 4 battalions of 6 companies each.

My guards when I get them painted will be of 3 battalions for IR 15 and 1 for IR 6.


Hopefully von Winterfedt will confirm this or gives the correct info.

VonBlucher02 Mar 2013 8:31 p.m. PST

One other thing about IR 15 was that the 1st battalion was also called the "Life Guard" where the 2nd and 3rd battalions were just called Guard battalions. Also Chandler shows all 3 battalion present at Auerstadt also and bases it on
O. von Lettow-Vorbeck.
Der Krieg von 1806 and 1807 Vol VI pp 425-27


18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2013 8:39 p.m. PST


Cool, thanks! I love discussions like this and the sharing of information.

Jemima Fawr03 Mar 2013 4:01 a.m. PST

III./IR 15 was called the 'Grenadier-Garde' and historically the entire battalion had worn mitres, though by the 1800s the 'centre' companies were wearng hats and the grenadier company was wearing grenadier caps, like everyone else.

IR 6 was called the 'Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon' and again, the entire unit had historically worn mitres, though again, they were wearing hats and caps by the 1800s. However, this regiment retained their old mitres for wear during palace-guarding duties and formal parades.

Confusingly, all these battalions had grenadier companies, even when the entire battalion was titled 'grenadier'.

von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 6:48 a.m. PST

It is a bit confusing, but I agree with von Blücher, that

IR. Nr. 15 was three battalions strong in 1806
The first battalion was also called erstes Bataillon Leib Garde where especially the officers had a different uniform in gala in contrast to battalions 2 and 3.

All companies were grenadiers – but only the wing companies did wear the grenadier cap (that one of 1806)

IR. Nr. 6 was called Garde Grenadier Bataillon

The grenadier companies – or better the wing companies were not detached but stayed witht he center companies, the wing company of 1. Leib Bat. missed the battle of Auerstedt.

In all – 4 Guard Battalions were at Auerstedt 3 of Nr. 15 and one of Nr. 6

A good site with a lot of uniform plates, click on the immages and they will be enlared in a sperate window:




and just for fun (not to do with the Guards)
Prussians at Eylau from Richard Knötel, in case somebody has this in colour – please submit


VonBlucher03 Mar 2013 7:43 a.m. PST

R Mark Davies,
Thanks for the additional input.

von Winterfeldt,
As always thanks for the additional info also and the link to a great site. I have seen this Eylau plate in color, but I can't remember where right now.

My intial mistake was calling the new grenadier cap a mitre. Just a bad choice of words on my part.


14Bore03 Mar 2013 8:26 a.m. PST

Unless your going for the minimum for a OOB in particular, fill out any Regiment, it will come in sooner or later. Love the prints above, never saw them before.

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2013 9:08 a.m. PST


Thanks for the great info and pictures. This has been another great exchange of information.

Seroga03 Mar 2013 9:45 a.m. PST

Von Winterfedlt:

Wonderful print (and great subject!). Thank you!

Here is a higher definition version of the image :


Here are some citations for the series of 5 prints published in 1913 after works by R. Knötel





I have the idea that the 5 originals have not been published and may have been commissioned just for the black and white series published in 1913 in Berlin.

The publisher :


I think rare book & print experts in Berlin will know what became of Büxenstein's collection (and his publishing business), assuming that the Great Googler does not know already.

von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 9:47 a.m. PST

Just to add – also only the wing company of the Grenadier Garde Bataillon did wear the grenadier cap – that one introduced in 1799 – for field dress and no mitre caps, the other companies the usual tricorne, hat, here a good picture by Knötel, please compare also to the new 1806 line of figures and spot the differences in equipment – the original black and white print is coloured (in case I am not mistaken for IR 15, Bataillon Grenadier Garde should have yellow buttons and laces


VonBlucher03 Mar 2013 9:52 a.m. PST

18th Century Guy,
You're welcome!! But thanks to von Winterfeldt and R Mark Davies for the confirmations.

von Winterfeldt,
It looks as if this was done Knotel's images was a very dark color print.

Below is the link to Brown collection.



You beat me to the link from the Brown collection. :))

von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 10:03 a.m. PST


Thank you very much for the links – those black and white illustrations were used in some so called centenial books, but I did see – somewhere – also at least one in colour.

Funnily enough you find those prints under

R Knütel and not R. Knötel ;-))

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Mar 2013 11:29 a.m. PST

Wow! I've never seen this Knotel print before, so this is a very nice find. I wonder if any company sells color copies of it suitable for framing.

Presumably, all of the guard companies wore the same campaign uniform, including the first battalion. Is this correct?

So if I were to paint the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the IR15, would one fifth of each battalion be considered the "wing" companies, and are these the only figures that would be wearing the grenadier cap? I'm assuming an organization of 4 centre companies and 1 wing company per battalion.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Mar 2013 11:34 a.m. PST

please compare also to the new 1806 line of figures and spot the differences in equipment

Can you elaborate on what those differences are? We want to see the new range get it right the first time.

von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 12:20 p.m. PST

@Der Alte Fritz

About the Garde, campaign dress, yes more or less identical, including first battalion, the wing companies would be wearing the grenadier cap.

The Garde Grenadier Bataillon would be a bit different to IR 15.

About the organisation, a Musketier battalion had 5 companies of Musketiere and NOT 4 plus a grenadier company.

The grenadier companies were taken away to make the grenadier battalions.

As for the Garde, they seemingly retained those "wing" companies, that is the center companies were also technically grenadiere but did wear the hat, so in my view it would be 5 center and one wing company – 6 companies making a Garde Bataillon quite strong.

As for equipment


width of cartridge belt
size of catridge box
placing of the field ax
shape of hat
placing of the musket along with the hat
size of water bottle
(two of such bottles for a tent comradeship, it was quite big, originals of it exist in Burg Forchtenstein.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Mar 2013 12:53 p.m. PST

<Q>so in my view it would be 5 center and one wing company – 6 companies making a Garde Bataillon quite strong.

So I would paint 6 companies in a Garde Battalion, of which 5 companies would be wearing a cocked hat and one company would be wearing the grenadier cap while they were deployed on campaign. Yes?

I'm sorry if I seem to be obtuse. My brain is not working today.

Oliver Schmidt03 Mar 2013 1:27 p.m. PST

Some info here:


and here:


von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 1:53 p.m. PST

a bit confusing – even for me

"By the way Jany, p. 395, also confirms your assumption: An order by the king (Allerhöchste Cabinetts-Ordre) of 16th May 1799 ordered, that the "Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon" (also named "Grenadier-Bataillon der Garde", "Flügel-Grenadier-Bataillon" or just "Grenadier-Batallion v. Forstner" and "Grenadier-Batallion v. Schwichow") should exist only in times of peace, and that on mobilisation the companies should rejoin their respective battalions. "

So om 1806 – the Flügelcompanies were with their battalion and not used to form an extra indipendent guard war time battalion – or do I mss something??

Bemerkenswert ist, daß nicht wie bislang die 4 Kompagnien Flügelgrenadiere der 4 Gardebataillone zu separaten Grenadierbataillonen zusammengefaßt wurden, wie es bei den anderen Regimentern auch 1806 noch geschah. Die Flügelgrenadiere blieben mit Ausnahme derer des I. Bataillons Leibgarde Nr. 15 bei ihren Bataillonen. Auch die Flügelgrenadiere der Leibgarde hätten beim ihrer Truppe bleiben sollen, es kam jedoch anders, wie Lieutenant von Witzleben von der Grenadierkompagnie des I. Bataillons Leibgarde Nr. 15 berichtet: "Am 13. October Nachmittags marschirte das Bataillon bekanntlich auf Weimar., Die Grenadier-Compagnie unter dem Capitain von Colmar, bei der ich stand, hatte die Queue des Bataillons, weil links abmarschirt war. Wir hatten kaum das Thor passirt, als der Capitain von Colmar Befehl erhielt, mit der Compagnie die Arrieregarde hinter der Bagage der Division zu machen, welche dem Bataillon, als dem letzten in der Colonne folgen sollte. So lange es Tag, sahen wir das Bataillon auf eine kurze Distance voraus. Die einbrechende Nacht raubte uns aber die Aussicht, und da während derselben sehr oft Halt gemacht werden mußte, weil Munitions-Colonnen und sogar Regimenter sich zwischen die Bagage drängten, so rückten wir nur in sehr kurzen Absätzen vorwärts und waren beim Tagesanbruch so weit abgekommen, daß wir das Bataillon durchaus nicht mehr sehen konnten."

Oliver Schmidt03 Mar 2013 2:08 p.m. PST

Exactly: no indipendent guard war time battalion.

The account of lieutenant v. Witzleben confirms this.

von Winterfeldt03 Mar 2013 5:28 p.m. PST

to be precise no combined guard wing grenadier war time battalion, so it is 6 companies per battalion, 5 with hats one with grenadier cap

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Mar 2013 6:25 p.m. PST

Thank you Von Winterdeldt, tat is the way that I shall build the battalion .

Supercilius Maximus04 Mar 2013 10:38 a.m. PST

Wasn't one battalion of IR#15 either left in Berlin to guard the royal palaces, or detached to protect the sovereign if he was in the field?

bkim417504 Mar 2013 10:56 a.m. PST

Looks like I may have to redo my guard, they're all in bicornes based on the Osprey book (Pivka?).
So based on the earlier troop strengths listed at the top this would work out to the Guard companies (24 of them)being around 130 officers/men, giving a 6 company strength of 780/bn. How does that compare to the line bns with only 5 musketeer companies since the grenadiers were in combined battalions? I realize they all varied, but from a theoretical standpoint what should the line strength have been?

VonBlucher04 Mar 2013 11:25 a.m. PST

Supercilius Maximus,
Based on the link that Oliver Schmidt attached to the above, it looks like the only unit not present was the wing company for the 1st battalion of IR 15.

The guard wing companies would be in the new Grenadier cap, all the others be in bicornes.

Look down on the link below as Hofschroer gives wartime battalion strenghths in the article.


18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2013 7:39 p.m. PST

I'd like to continue this with a question regarding the Saxons who were with the Prussians for the 1806 battles.

Did the Saxon hussars carry any type of squadron pennant? I know they wouldn't have a standard or flag but did each squadron have some type of rally or recognition flag/fannion/pennant?

VonBlucher05 Mar 2013 5:15 a.m. PST

@18th Century Guy,
Nothing that I've read has mentioned anything, just that they didn't have unit flags. This would be the same for the Prussian Hussars also.

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