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"Kesselsdorf Prussian Dragoons" Topic

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mollinary15 May 2019 2:08 p.m. PST

Kesselsdorf took place in December 1745. I have seen it suggested that the changeover of Prussian Dragoon uniforms from white to light blue took place over 1744-45, brought about by the need to distinguish them from Austrian Cuirassiers. There were six regiments of Prussian Dragoons at Kesselsdorf, 4,5,7,8,9,10. Does anyone know of any evidence as to whether they would have worn white or light blue uniforms? Unless there is evidence to the contrary, my base assumption would be that by December 1745 they would all be in light blue. Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 2:37 p.m. PST

The Osprey books say the change occurred between mid 1745 to early 1746, so I would say they would most likely be blue at this battle. These are images purportedly showing Prussian Dragoons at this date.


Prussian Dragoner-Regiment Holstein-Gottorp No 9: Battle of Kesselsdorf : picture by Adolph Menzel

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2019 7:18 p.m. PST

Agree – my Prussian dragoons for that time are all light blue

mollinary16 May 2019 5:13 a.m. PST

Thanks Herky. The top print actually shows the Old Dessauer praying before the battle, so does not actually show a dragoon uniform. The one of Holstein Gottorp shows the uniform after 1762, when the white plume was adopted for the first time. I took my 1744-45 timeframe from Daniel Hohrath's monumental work on the Uniforms of the Prussian Army of Frederick the Great. What I wondered was whether anyone was aware of clothing warrants or suchlike documents which might refine the date for individual regiments?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2019 12:12 p.m. PST

Hi Mollinary, thanks, I got the pics from a google image search and didn't check before posting!!!
That'll learn me!

mollinary16 May 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

You are welcome. A mistake I have made myself in the past! But thanks at least for trying to help, it is kind of you.

seneffe07 Jun 2019 2:31 p.m. PST

I'm pretty sure that all re-uniforming took place after the withdrawal of the Prussian forces from the WAS under the Treaty of Dresden in December 1745.
There may have been a royal regulation mandating the change before that, but it is hard to imagine new uniforms reaching the troops of any ancien regime army- even the Prussians- during an active campaign.
So- on my understanding- Prussian Dragoons in White until all active campaigning ceased in 1745. Blue of course from the next time they took the field in 1756.

mollinary08 Jun 2019 1:29 p.m. PST

Hi Seneffe, Your post makes a lot of sense, but I am curious that an authority as august as Daniel Hohrath dates the change to mid 1744 – end 1745. If the change began in 1744, then there would have been time over the winter of 44-45 for some regiments to receive the new uniforms. Indeed, if I understand correctly, individual soldiers were due new coats according to a strict time calculation from their first issue. So it is at least possible that many regiments might have made a somewhat mottled appearance, as the new uniforms gradually made their presence felt. Not that it affects the current subject of discussion, but I seem to recall something regarding the Austrian de Ligne dragoons at Kolin representing exactly such an appearance, caught half way between two different uniforms. Does anyone else remember such an account?

von Winterfeldt09 Jun 2019 6:04 a.m. PST

Kling, the best source about that subject:

The regiments Posadowski, Louis Württemberg, Rothenburg, Bayreuth (No. 1,2,3,4 and 5 according to the ranking list) and the regiment Nassau (No. 11 of the ranking list) which went ino the field in August 1744, had to wear the white coat, which was newly issued when going into the field) till the beginning of 1746.

Kling, Kürassiere und Dragoner, p. 43

Dragoon Regiments No. 6 (Alt Möllendorf) and No. 7 received blue coats in 1745.

The Regiments No. 8, 9, 10 and 12 received immediately when raised 1742 and respectively 1743/44 blue coats.

mollinary09 Jun 2019 7:52 a.m. PST

Wow, v Winterfeldt, a million thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. So with Rothenberg splitting into Regiments 3 and 4, that would mean, for Kesselsdorf, DRs 4 and 5 in white coats, DRs 7,8,9,10 in light blue. Perfect!

von Winterfeldt09 Jun 2019 9:26 a.m. PST

I forgot Bonin, No. 4. in my first line

so white – Posadowski, Louis Württemberg, Rothenburg, Bonin, Bayreuth and Nassau, Kling is discussing the subject in some furhter details, like Alt Möllendorf, according to a "map" of a camp, where each units are displayed with coat colour and facing colour, still is depicted in September 1745 – white coats, Kling footnote p. 43 – so the exact time when they adopted the blue coats is not exactly known.

mollinary09 Jun 2019 11:49 a.m. PST

While I have your attention vW! My source, the General Staff History of the Wars of FdG Vol1, lists the facing colour for DR4 as Cornflower blue until the change to blue coats, when it changes to straw. Does Kling agree with this? Many thanks for all your help.

von Winterfeldt10 Jun 2019 4:27 a.m. PST

Regiment Bissing, is that the regiment?

It kept without any doubt till the introduction of the light blue coat the earlier white coat of Regt. Schulenburg with red facings and yellow buttons, however the grenadier caps were discarded

In what volume of the General Staff work is this mentioned – link?

mollinary10 Jun 2019 5:06 a.m. PST

Yes, Regiment Bissing. I am afraid I have no link, as it is in hard copy. The volume is ‘Der Erste Schlesische Krieg 1740-42: Erster Band'. It is on page 20 of Anlage 1 on the Prussian Army.

mollinary10 Jun 2019 8:09 a.m. PST

Found a link:


von Winterfeldt10 Jun 2019 8:34 a.m. PST

OK, fortunately I do have this as download – yes indeed different to Kling, maybe Jany is covering this subject as well??

As preference – I would opt for Kling.

mollinary10 Jun 2019 10:13 a.m. PST

In general I would agree….. but. Kling's wording on this particular issue, ‘it kept without any doubt' sounds more like an assumption in the absence of evidence to the contrary, rather than a statement of knowledge. The Staff history, however, has dredged cornflower blue facings and yellow buttons from somewhere. Why would they invent it? So, in this one case, I will go with the staff! Not sure as to whether Jany covered it as well, I will start digging. Thanks again for engaging in this somewhat esoteric search, your contribution is much appreciated!

von Winterfeldt10 Jun 2019 11:30 a.m. PST

I just have no time to translate or to transcribe – alas – the whole discussion about this topic Kling is providing, he shows other arguments, the Staff work was written well before Kling's work was published – the Staff work main intention is to write about the history and only as side story uniforms – Kling's work is completely devoted about uniforms, equipment and arms.

Let me know in case you come across anything in Jany, who at least is almost on par with Kling.

mollinary20 Jun 2019 6:19 a.m. PST

vW. Just completed a very enjoyable couple of hours in the British Library consulting Kling and Jany.. as you say, Kling is a superb and comprehensive source, with much discussion of sources. Regarding the idea of Cornflower blue facings for the 4th dragoons, he notes that von Hagen' History of the 3rd Dragoons (later numbering?) refers to it on page 79, without giving any source for the information. Jany appears to have no uniform information at all in his work for the General Staff on the Cavalry before 1806, and his text for Menzel's illustrations does not refer to the issue either. I found Kling's discussion of the possibility that the Bayreuth Dragoons received their new light blue uniforms the night before Hohenfriedburg fascinating, and rather convincing!

von Winterfeldt21 Jun 2019 1:28 p.m. PST


Thanks for your feed back. Did you check the Jany volumes about the history of the Prussian Army, those are totally different works to those he wrote for the "Beiträge"???

They for sure contain information about uniforms, but I don't know how deeply he is discussing this topic.

mollinary21 Jun 2019 2:19 p.m. PST

Sadly that was not possible, as those volumes do not seem to be in the British Library Collection. I have seen them for sale on abe books, but the volume on Frederick from 1740 is about £70.00 GBP+, which is a bit more than I am willing to spend to possibly (and possibly not) add to this particular and somewhat esoteric discussion! Perhaps someone else can help?

von Winterfeldt22 Jun 2019 2:30 a.m. PST

but those books should be available maybe in other librarys' in GB?

Unfortunately when I had access to this volume, my interest in Prussian army started from 1792 onward – so I failed to do photocopies

von Winterfeldt22 Jun 2019 2:37 a.m. PST

Hm – quite tempted to buy, Jany is a first class authority, in fact I don't know any better about the Prussian army in full context.

mollinary22 Jun 2019 1:01 p.m. PST

I may have found a copy in the Cambridge University Library, I will report back next week.

mollinary25 Jun 2019 8:06 a.m. PST

I have now found, and borrowed, Vol 2 of Jany from the Cambridge University Library. He does not address the question of facing colours for the dragoons before the change to light blue coats, and therefore offers no opinion on DR4. On timing of the change to light blue he is very imprecise. He thinks the Bayreuth Dragoons ‘probably' changed to light blue just before Hohenfriedberg, and that the East Prussian Regiments(6-10) who didn't take part in the 1744 campaign and were not re-equipped before that of 1745, got theirs either just before or just after the end of the 1745 campaign. He quotes a date of 1st November 1745 for Regiment No 7. All the above, is of course, subject to the vagaries of my translation from the German!

von Winterfeldt25 Jun 2019 12:54 p.m. PST

Thanks, I bought the volume, just couldn't resist, yes he won't help us for Dragoon Regiment No. 4 – but I re read Kling more seriously, I am quite convinced that the facing colour should be red, reading the information in Kling about the white coat.

As for Anspach – Bayreuth, Kling is discussing the topic in depth, he thinks they did not wear light blue at Hohenfriedberg.

Jany gives interesting information still, he states that AB received already their issue of the white uniform coat already in 1743 and they were quite worn in 1745.

Still, I have to re read the topic several times and digest all the information, after all an enjoyable discussion.

mollinary23 Jul 2019 2:26 p.m. PST

VW, any further thoughts after your review?

von Winterfeldt31 Jul 2019 10:59 p.m. PST

I don't believe that Anspach Bayreuth dragoons did wear light blue coats at Hohenfriedberg. In case they arrived one day earlier or the evening before, how could they distribute them.
It is no matter of throwing them out – each trooper received usually his tunic, then he would wear it and he would be inspected for the fit and in case the tunic was re tailored for better fit.
For regiment nr. 4 – I still am in line with Kling.

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