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"Update to Nash The Prussian Army 1808-1815 Chapter 3 Cavalry" Topic

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Trockledockle10 May 2022 9:14 a.m. PST

I've decided that the best approach is to have a topic for each chapter and work through them gradually. I've put a draft for the regular cavalry below. The sources of the information are referenced at the bottom. Particular thanks to Oliver Schmidt for his posts on this forum. Any comments will be appreciated.

Chapter 3 Cavalry
(a) Organization

Page 43
Replace the last sentence with

A substantial reorganisation of the cavalry took place in March 1815. New regular regiments of all types were raised from cadres of existing regular regiments, the newly occupied territories and the National cavalry regiments. In most cases, there was insufficient money and time to issue new uniforms and the men of these regiments in the Waterloo campaign wore the uniforms of their original regiments.

Page 47
Replace " the uhlans were armed with a steel tipped wooden lance" with " the uhlans were armed with a steel tipped wooden lance 3.285m long (ref 6)

(b) The uniforms of the Kurassier Regiments

Page 47
The Garde du Corps was removed from the line and the 4th Kuirassiers became the 3rd. The Magdeburg Kuirassier Regiment was raised in March 1815 and became the 4th Regiment with yellow facings.(References 1 and 2.)

Page 51
The saddle cloth was in the facing colour with a border in the button metal colour. The edging was metallic for officers. The Brandenburg regiment had a red saddle cloth from 1812. (Reference 2).

(c) The Uniforms of the Dragoons

Page 53

Insert after the table listing the regiments.

The 7th was raised from elements of the 1st West Prussian, Brandenburg and Neumark Dragoon Regiments (reference 2). Reference 4 states that the new uniform was not received in time for the Waterloo campaign. The 8th was raised from elements of the 2nd West Prussian and Lithuanian Dragoon Regiments and the Elbe National Cavalry Regiment.

(d) The Uniforms of the Hussars

Page 53

Add to last paragraph

On campaign, the hussars usually wore the dolman but not the pelisse. The pelisse was worn buttoned up in colder weather (ref 7).

Page 54

Replace sentence beginning "In March 1815………..regiments" with "In March 1815, six new Hussar regiments were formed from cadres from existing regiments, National Cavalry Regiments, regiments from occupied territories and volunteer formations."

Insert after the second table listing the new regiments.

The 7th were formed from the 1st Leib Hussars and the Silesian National cavalry.

The 8th were formed from the 4th squadron of the 2nd Leib, the 5th squadron of the Brandenburg and a squadron of the 2nd Silesian Hussar regiments. In the Waterloo campaign, they wore the uniforms of the original regiments (ref 4).

The 9th were formed from the 5th squadrons of the 1st Silesian and the Pomeranian Hussars and a squadron from the Lutzow Freikorps Hussars. In the Waterloo campaign, they wore the uniforms of the original regiments (ref 4).

The 10th were formed from the Elbe National cavalry regiment and retained that regiment's uniform as shown in the table above.

The 11th were formed from the Berg Lancers. Although these were originally lancers, in Prussian service they wore a Hussar uniform as described in the above table from 1814 (ref 4).

The 12th were formed from Saxon Hussars.

(d) The Uniforms of the Uhlans

Page 57

Five new regiments were formed in 1815. The regulation uniforms were the same as those of the existing three regiments with the following shoulder straps and buttons (ref 2).

4th Light blue/yellow
5th White/white
6th Red/white
7th Yellow/white
8th Light Blue/white

As with the dragoons and hussars, the replacement uniforms and czapkas arrived after the Waterloo campaign. The information on reorganisation comes from references 1, 3, 4, and 5.

The 4th were formed from detachments from the 1st Uhlans, Pomeranian National Cavalry and Silesian National Hussars.

The 5th were formed from detachments from the 2nd and 3rd Uhlans along some from the Berg Hussars (see 11th Hussars above). The Berg lancers did not have lances (ref 4).

The 6th were formed from the Von Lutzow Freikorps cavalry regiment and some men from both Russo-German Hussar Regiments. They wore black hussar dolmans as described on page 85. A contingent of Bremen Volunteers attached to the 6th wore the same uniform. They were armed with lances (ref 4).

The 7th were formed from the 2 squadrons of the Hellwig Hussars and one of the von Schill Freikorps. The Hellwig contingent wore the uniform as described on page 85. An 1814 portrait shows a hussar from the von Schill contingent wearing a blue dolman although the regimental history states that they wore "partly green, partly red dolmans and pelisses, with yellow or white cords" (ref 5). The von Schill Freikorps hussars had originally been recruited from the 2nd Silesian Hussars who had a green uniform. No lances were carried. Saxon Uhlans joined in August 1815 (ref 5).

The 8th were formed from 2 squadrons of the 1st Russo-German Legion Hussars and 2 squadrons of the 2nd Russo-German Legion Hussars. In the Waterloo campaign, they were not equipped with lances and wore the uniforms of the original regiments (ref 4). The 1st were equipped as described on page 87 while the 2nd had black pelisses and dolmans with black lace and light blue collars and cuffs. By Waterloo, the Russian Kiwer shakos had been replaced with British Hussar fur hats for all squadrons (ref 5).

1: Napoleonic Army Handbook- The British Army and her Allies, Partridge and Oliver, Page 205
2: Prussian Napoleonic Cavalry Volume 2, page 19, P. Hofschroer, Osprey MAA172
3: The Prussian Army during the Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815, G. Nafziger, Volume III
4: The Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine 1815, pages 19, P. Hofschroer, Osprey MAA496
5: Prussian Uhlans 1815 TMP link
6: Prussian Uhlans Question TMP link
7: Calpe Miniatures link

Oliver Schmidt10 May 2022 9:45 a.m. PST

The Prussian king ordered on 7 August 1812, that the saddle cloth of the Brandenburgisches Kürassier-Regiment should continue to be red with yellow edge, as they had been before. Means that the colour of the saddle cloth corresponded with the red colour on the collars of the litewkas, not with those of the white uniform coats, which had been changed from red to to blue in 1810.

And note that Prussian regiments did not have a number in their names before 1816, but were only known by their provincial or other name instead. Except the regiments newly formed in 1815, which were known by numbers, but did not yet get provincial names. As late as 5 November 1816, all regiments received provincial names plus the number, only to lose the provincial names on 10 March 1823 (regaining them in 1860, I believe). You don't have a Magdeburgisches Kürassier-Regiment before November 1816, only a 4tes Kürassier-Regiment.

Trockledockle10 May 2022 3:33 p.m. PST


Thanks very much for your comments, I shall include them in the final version.

Regarding the numbering, I was aware that the territorial designations for the new regiments only came into use in 1816 but I am a bit uncertain as to what the earlier (1808) regiments were called before that. Were the Lithuanian Dragoons just called the Lithuanian with no number? How did they decide on the number (seniority?) assigned to an old regiment when the new system came in? I assume that the number only system also applied to the old reserve infantry regiments?

Oliver Schmidt10 May 2022 4:06 p.m. PST

Anciennity of the Prussian regiments followed the date of their creation. For the new regiments formed in 1807, the king decided on their anciennity in case of doubt. So the Litauisches Dragoner-Regiment was just called like this, but they *knew* their anciennity in relation to the other regiments.

In the army lists, regiments were grouped in types of arms (infantry, riflemen, cuirassiers, dragoons etc.), and then within each class according to their anciennity.

See for example the names given here, printed in August 1815, the officer losses of all regiments during the 1815 campaign:


And yes, the reserve regiments were also only numbered, each of the 12 line regiments (named after their province only) having its corresponding Reserve-Regiment (numbered , without provincial denomiation).

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2022 1:45 a.m. PST

I've just made 42mm long lances for some 25mm uhlans on the supposition that their lances were probably the same length as French….but it seems like, taking 25mm as 1/60th, then should be about a centimetre longer…and I've superglued them into the hands and made wine bottle foil lance pennons as well…sigh…

Trockledockle11 May 2022 1:47 p.m. PST

4th Cuirassier

Assume that they are big lads – 6 ft tall so 25mm becomes 1/73 and the lances should be 45mm long- close enough.

It is of course possible that they were shortened in the field if they were unwieldy although I have no evidence of this. I wouldn't change them.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2022 1:37 a.m. PST

@ Trockle

I think you're right. As it is, the lances are almost as long as the horses the fellers are riding. Making them longer might simply make their horses look improbably weedy.

StillSenneffe13 May 2022 3:46 p.m. PST

Perhaps worth spelling out for wargamers and figure designers that from mid-1813, the Cuirassiers were ordered to wear their white kollets not blue Litewkas on the days when battle was expected.
Von Winterfeldt (and perhaps Oliver S also) has in the past provided solid information to this effect from c19th regimental histories.

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