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"Bayreuth Dragoons at Hohenfriedberg" Topic

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Mollinary02 Aug 2022 11:06 a.m. PST

Gentlemen, I must start with a confession. Some three years ago I was researching Prussian uniforms for a re fight of Kesselsdorf, and entered into an enjoyable discussion with von Winterfeld on this forum, which also branched into the question of whether the Bayreuth dragoons wore light blue uniforms at Hohenfriedberg. I did a reasonable amount of research, including Kling and Jany, but sadly I have misplaced my notes! I am now moving on to preparing a relight of Hohenfriedberg, and am left to rely on my fading memory. I have managed to relocate Jany, but can find none of the references that I thought I discovered in 2019. I also recollect some source describing a foreign dignitary complimenting Frederick on the superb performance of his "blue cavalry" only to be astonished by Frederick's response "but I have no blue cavalry"! Now I can find no reference to such an exchange. Can anyone help with sources on this issue? All answers gratefully received!

cavcrazy02 Aug 2022 11:20 a.m. PST

They wore horizon blue uniform jackets.

Mollinary02 Aug 2022 11:26 a.m. PST

Thanks cavcrazy, but I am looking for sources to support the assertion. As it happens, I agree with you, but I am a bit (!) of an obsessive on such subjects, and I like to weigh all the evidence, wherever possible. I have now found the reference in Jany, which is p290. It cites Major Chasot as a source (he commanded part of the regiment at Hohenfriedberg) but no mention of the elusive ‘blue cavalry' story!

Michman02 Aug 2022 10:28 p.m. PST

Constantin Kling [1849-1921]
Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preußischen Heeres
Zweiter Teil : Die Kürassier- und Dragoner-Regimenter seit Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zur Reorganisation der Armee 1808 – Seite 45
Weimar : Königlich Preußen Kriegsministerium / Putze & Hölzer Verlag, 1906
x + 502 Seiten, Illustrationen, 34 cm x 24,5 cm

See : link


Mollinary03 Aug 2022 1:10 a.m. PST

Thanks Michman, that is the Kling I referred to in my original post. Not exactly easy to acquire these days, and extremely expensive! I did my research at the British Library, and can, of course, go down to the smoke again to finish it. However, I was hoping someone on this forum might know the answer to my question, in particular the ‘blue cavalry' part. Is this in Kling? Or did I imagine it?

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2022 1:46 a.m. PST

Mollinary, all I've been able to find on when the Kornblumenblaue/hellblaue coats were taken up is references to 1745, but no indication whether it was early, mid or late 1745 (eg Bleckwenn Die friderizianischen Uniformen, Band III, p87). If you have Jany then he usually has a reference to the AKO/General Order that would at least give you a start date.

If it's after 5 June 1745 then you know they were still in white coats- which may also explain how well their charge went, if the Austrians mistook them for friendly cavalry.

Michman03 Aug 2022 2:07 a.m. PST

It appears the answer is "yes". The image I linked is explicitly sourced to Kling (page 45 – as noted in my post). The other images at the Kronoskaf website are similarly sourced.

Mollinary03 Aug 2022 2:32 a.m. PST

Hi Dal, great to hear from you, mate! We have not campaigned together since the debate on the standards of the famous ‘pink panther' regiment of Prussian dragoons! Hohrath's magisterial work on Prussian uniforms has only a single line on this issue, which conceals the nub of the question – he attributes the change to ‘1744/45'. Jany is more detailed, but he only goes so far as to state that the Bayreuth dragoons ‘wahrscheinlich' ‘probably' received their blue coats shortly before the day of Hohenfriedberg. Jany does give a date for an order to collect the new kit from Breslau, for both new recruits and the existing men, dated 16.4.1745, but does not indicate when it was carried out.

Mollinary03 Aug 2022 3:38 a.m. PST

Hi Michman, thanks for the clarification. Sadly, your illustration shows the uniform in 1756, not 1745. Also Kronoskaf, an excellent site by the way, only deals with the Seven Years War, so is unable to cast much light on my rather esoteric search for a date in 1745 when Bayreuth changed from white to blue.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2022 3:57 a.m. PST

And I know you still have your Pink Panthers ready for the table, mate. ;-)

I have heard of Hohrath, but like unicorns and virgins, I'm yet to see one. Jany- at least the volume I once tried to read- just gave me a headache. It's well beyond my meager German skills!

If the decision was taken in '44 then it would have taken a few months for the initial issues to be procured and then the order for the change- probably along with a timetable- to be promulgated. Prussia was still near impoverished, so I doubt Fred would have the money to issue all the units at once. Officers, having to buy their uniforms, probably had them first, but were the issues to the men by regiment, by squadron, by zug? If they had an order to collect the kit in April then that gives them nearly two months to collect it, fit it and do their first parade in it, mate. So I'd take those two as compelling evidence for blue at Hoenfriedberg.

My experience with the Delacre Bilderhandschrift and the Dessauer Speks has made me wary of contemporary art works as references, and it's not just because of colour changes to the originals.

Mollinary03 Aug 2022 5:37 a.m. PST

I agree with you Dal, I am now pretty sure Bayreuth had the blue by Hohenfriedberg. What I am still trying to find out, however, is the source of the ‘blue cavalry' story, and if anyone else has seen it.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2022 2:31 p.m. PST

It could be another story like Uxbridge's leg or similar, mate. You do know that you won't find those references until you stop looking for them and try to find something else?

Mollinary04 Aug 2022 9:10 a.m. PST

I know! But it is soooooooooo frustrating! I have been looking for copies of Kling and the cheapest second hand version of Volume 2, in the 1970s reprint version, is €150.00 EUR

von Winterfeldt04 Aug 2022 11:47 a.m. PST

this is dirt cheap, I would go for it, it is a bargain.

otherwise we had a smilar discussion already

TMP link

my conclusion then :

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.

Mollinary04 Aug 2022 12:07 p.m. PST

Hi vW, thanks for entering this thread, as you say it is closely related to the earlier Kesselsdorf discussion. I respect your view regarding Bayreuth dragoons at Hohenfriedberg, but would disagree on the following grounds. Now these are based on my admittedly limited ability in German, so I am happy to be corrected. Firstly, as I see it, Chasot says the coats were exchanged on the day before Hohenfriedberg, not that they were received then. The reason he gives for them being worn was a fear they might be captured by the Austrians if the camp was lost (?). Is this a fair translation?
Secondly Jany, on page 290, describes Chasot's account regarding orders for and issues of the new uniform. I am now awaiting a copy of Chasot, via Amazon, due to arrive next week, to confirm!
Dal, I have been looking back at our previous thread of 2006 ( wow how time flies! I was posting then under the name Gablenz). I can now add one thing to our debate on Rose coloured flags for DR3, a new source. Page 292 of Jany states: "Das regiment Nr 3 erheilt rosenrote, Nr 5 dunkelrote Standarten".

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2022 4:41 p.m. PST

H-K- If the equipment was to be collected on 16 April 1745, would that have left enough time to fit the coats to the troops?

Mollinary, it's probably sacrilege to say so, but I believe Jany isn't always right. As per the Darmstädt pattern book it was the Bayreuth dragoons (Nr 5) who were to get the rose pink flags. But apart from the new sets of flags presented to KR Nr 2 and Nr 5, the new flag patterns were never made due to lack of funds, and the book is more or less Fred's wish-list for the future. Replacement flags, when issued, followed the same colour scheme as the flag they replaced- we can see that from the few surviving examples in Russia and Ghent. Alt, who was able to inspect the remaining, laid up flags in the Zeughaus (four FR models and two FWR models) in 1869, states that the laid-up flags for DR Nr 5 had black distinctives.

I discuss all this on Kronoskaf, but in the end we just don't know and head for the best guess. DR Nr 3 may have received pink flags- Alt's notes about lilac distinctives suggest that, but 150yo silk can discolour (think of the flags in the HGM or the MFdG). But no contemporary evidence, such as paintings, show a pink dragoon flag, nor does the work of other researchers, such as Menzel and Bleckwenn.

So, mate, nobody can say your Pink Panthers are wrong. I dodged the question by not building that regiment. :-)

€150.00 EUR? That's cheaper than my copy of the 1737 Dessauer was. But now I've retired it's just a bit much- until I win the lottery, at least.

von Winterfeldt05 Aug 2022 4:52 a.m. PST

Albedyll, Georg von : Geschichte des Kürassier Regiments Königin (Pommersches Nr. 2)
1. Theil – Schulenburg-, Bayreuth-, Anspach-Bayreuth Dragoner 1777 bis 1806, Berlin 1896

Der frühere Ausbruch der Campagne brachte es mit sich, daß ein Theil der Sachen und besonders die Röcke dem Regiment nicht mehr zugingen und Letztere erst im Januar 1746 angelegt werden konnten – foot note 2 – Kabinets – Ordre von 25. Dezember 1745, p. 191

So new coats were issued for the troopers only at January 1746.

According to the facing colour for the white coats red versus crimson -

Es ist mit Rücksicht auf die sogenannten Hohenfriedberger Bilder, welche im Jahre 1746 gemalt sein sollen, anzunehmen, daß das Regiment zur Zeit der Schlacht von Hohenfriedberg noch die ponceaurothen Abzeichen getragen hat, foot note 1 : Auf den Porträts ist die hellrothe Farbe der Aufschläge und Rabatten sowie die goldene Stickerei deutlich erkennbar. Ebenso auch auf dem Bilde der Schlacht von Hohenfriedberg in der Ruhmeshalle, von Professor Jansen
p. 99

so yes the equipment von collected in spring 1745 and should have been sent by Gemeral von Massow till middle of May to Breslau and then be received by an officer and some NCOs of the regiment – but as said above some of the equipment and especially the coats did not get through till 1746.

Kling more or less confirms all above, at camp depictions, like ordre de batailles designs at the collection of Herzog Ferdinand von Braunschweig at the time from 3rd of May to 7th of June the draggon regiments :
Posadowski, Louis Württemberg, Rothenburg, Bonin, Bayreuth (nrs 1- 5 of the Stammliste) as well as Nassau (nr. 11) are all still depicted in white coats.

This is in contrast to the recollection of Chasot who mentions that the regiment changed overnight the coats and even Frederick was surprised by that.

So as usual some conflictins sources, I would go along with von Abedyll, citing a cabinet order which is a strong source. As said before, I also cannot believe that coats were changed in a cavalier fashion overnight, this usually had to take a bit of paper work, fitting – refitting etc.

So my conclusion is that Anspach Bayreuth had white coats with red facings at the famous cavalry charge.

von Winterfeldt05 Aug 2022 5:07 a.m. PST

OK – I also re read Jany, he just relies on Chasont alone – however in a foot note he also states

G. Lehmann : Die Ritter des Ordens pour le mérite, Bd.1, S. 32. Auf Ordre von 25.12.1745 empfing des Regiment nach Verbrauch der im Frühjahr erhaltenen neue (zweite) hellblaue Monitierung, Jany, volume 2. p. 290 foot note).

So the unit received a new Montierung – in this context coats – in brackets (second) light blue coats because those issued in spring 1745 were used up.

I don't know who put the second in brackets, but in case the regiment should have started to wear the coats in June 1745 – I would find it odd that already 6 months later they would receive a second light blue coat, my interpretation again, they started to recieve the first new coats at the end of 1745 which is more or less in line with the cabinet ordre.

In case no other more convincing sources come up, I stay with my assumption that Anspach Bayreuth had still white coats at the day of their famous attack.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 6:59 p.m. PST

Thanks for the clarification, vW, and I see your point. Even if a work party was sent up to collect the new coats on 16 April, in those days it would have taken a while to get up there, collect them and then bring them back. Would they be able to do the 70km or so there and back in a week?

I know I've asked before, but any thoughts on why Fiebig and Jany say DR Nr 3 had pink as their flag's distinctive colour (though Jany's 1905 colouring of the 1729 DS, which reproduced by Bleckwenn in 1971, shows DR Nr 3 having white regimentsfahnen). Are they basing their view on the colour of the remaining flags in the Zeughaus? And why did Jany say DR Nr 5 had dark red?

von Winterfeldt05 Aug 2022 11:14 p.m. PST

Hi Dal

As by my sources – the coats did not show up at Breslau, looking at all the available sources, and also Kling is very dubious about the Chasot statement point strongly into the direction that at Hohenfriedberg the unit was in white coats with ponceaured facings.

As to Fiebig and Jany, it would help me if you point out the source in full title as well as the page – I then could pin point quicker and have a look without wasting time finding the spot. Did dragoon regiments carry Fahnen? I was under the impression they had cavalry Standarten, in guidon style?

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 1:00 a.m. PST

So another Q-Store/Supply stuff up? It's good to know that uniforms not showing up is a long-held tradition. :-)

The dragoon fahnen weren't promoted to standarten until 1861, from memory. Until then they ranked with the infanterie fahnen and were referred to as such. We call them standarten on Kronoskaf because using "fahnen" confused some people, mate. We explain that in the general comments.

The reference for Jany is in Mollinary's last post- Page 292 of Jany states: "Das regiment Nr 3 erheilt rosenrote, Nr 5 dunkelrote Standarten". The reference for Fiebig is Unsterbliche Treue, page 114, 2nd heading down "Fahnen seit 1741", where he states:

"Leibfahne weiß, Mitte rosa, Stickerei silber.

Regimentsfahne rosa, Mitte silber, Stickerei silber.

Es ist nicht gewiß, ob diese anläßlich der Teilung der Schulenburg-Grenadiers für das Regiment bestimmten farben tatsächlich zur Einführung gelangt sind. Möglicherweise hat das Regiment 5 fahnen der Schulenburg-Grenadiers behalten und geführt."

So he's not certain they received the new flags either.

Apart from the Darmstädt Pattern Book plate for the new Bayreuth Dragoons Regimentsfahnen, the earliest source I've found that suggests DR Nr 3's flags weren't white is Alt (Geschichte der Königl. Preussischen Kürassiere und Dragoner 1619-1870. Premier-Lieutenant im See-Bataillon Georges Alt. Simon Schroppische, Berlin, 1870.) I have the Anton Hain KG reprint from 1970. The reference is Line 3. of the table at the bottom of pages 168 and 169, and identifies the flags Alt saw as being FWR designs, so dating from at least 1737, if not earlier.

von Winterfeldt06 Aug 2022 2:50 a.m. PST

OK thanks, indeed they say Fahnen, odd, confuses even me, there their shape is different to a Fahne, as well as the size, anyway here clearly the Regimentsfahne is rose red (pink is a weak translation) rosa at this time more like a light crimson – the center piece silber and the embroidery silvers as well – as the text says that when the regiment Schulenburg Grenadiere was divided or parted it is not certain that those were introduced in reality, propably the regiment retained 5 Fahnen of the Schulenburg Grenadiers, so he speaks about Nr. 3 ? Mr. 5 was a 10 squadron strong regiment and would need 10.

So next question what did the Fahnen of the Schulenburg grenadiers did look like?

von Winterfeldt06 Aug 2022 3:48 a.m. PST

I just had another look at the very detailed regimental history of von Albedyll, here on page 43, there are Fahnen in colour, I assume of Schulenburg, however painted by Krickel, secondary source, Leibfahne white with blue centere, Regimentsfahnen dark blue with white center, when the Schulenburg Regiment became the Bayreuth Dragoner, the facings changed to light ponceau red, also Krickel shows at another colour plate the regiment from 1731 to 1746 in white coats as well.

von Winterfeldt06 Aug 2022 4:28 a.m. PST

I also checked Bleckwenn, well – it is down to speculation, as to Anspach Bayreuth he refelcts on relicits which show black cloth and assumes that those prescribed in the regulations remained paper work only and were not realized.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 5:19 a.m. PST

I can't remember who first started using guidons for dragoons, but the Prussians followed the practice and introduced them to the Dragoon squadrons. However, they still referred to them as fahnen, possibly simply because they weren't standarten. The earliest depiction I've seen is one of Redlin's plates dated 1605, a Preussisch-Polnische Lehnsfahne. The earliest regimental guidon depictions I've seen are also from Redlin, dated 1637/38.

The Grenadiere zu Pferde (DR Nr 3) was raised in 1704 as the Derfflinger Dragoner and in 1740 was a 10 squadron regiment, and it was divided into two regiments in 1741. I think Fiebig calls them the "Schulenburg-Grenadiere" because of the change in name in 1741. How the flags were divided up, etc, at the split is described on the generalities page ( link ).

When the regiment was divided they lost the Grenadiere title and became the (Oberst Adolf Friedrich v.d.) Schulenburg Dragoner (Dr Nr 3 in 1806 numbering). The Bayreuth Dragoner (DR Nr 5 in the 1806 numbering) was a different regiment, raised as the (Oberst Achaz v.d.)Schulenburg Dragoner in 1717. (Oberst Friedrich Erbprinz v.) Bayreuth took over the regiment on 07 August 1731.

Things became much simpler when regiments started getting named after towns, cantons or cities, and/or got numbered, instead of being named after their inhabers. That goes for all the armies.

Mollinary06 Aug 2022 5:44 a.m. PST

Thanks guys for all the work you've put into this incredibly detailed and helpful thread. Pity so many of the sources are so hard to acquire. For me, the question of whether blue coats were worn by the Bayreuth Dragoons at Hohenfriedberg boils down to whether you believe Chasot or not. He was a senior officer in command of part of the regiment on the day and, as an eye witness with considerable responsibility for the troops in question, arguably had the best opportunity of any of our sources to know the truth of the matter. My copy of his work arrives next week, and I will get a better feel for it's overall reliability. Thanks again for some fascinating input.

von Winterfeldt06 Aug 2022 8:04 a.m. PST

I don't believe Chasot – a change of tunics overnight just before the battle, what a huge administrative task and then confuse maybe the own army – and even Frederick not knowing it, all in all very dubious. They white coats also wouldn't be thrown into the bin but stored – creating even more logistical problems, as written above, if nothing better comes up, at least for me, the white coat is the most propable.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 2:49 p.m. PST

Pity so many of the sources are so hard to acquire.

Mate, keep an eye on ZVAB ( ) and and you'll be surprised what can pop up. Prices can also be quite reasonable. There's 30 copies of Fiebig on for prices between $65 USDUS and $280 USDUS, three copies of Alt ($24US to $31 USDUS), numerous copies of Charrie's books for around $50 USDUS. Sometimes you get lucky.

Mollinary07 Aug 2022 12:28 p.m. PST

Thanks Dal! I do actually keep an eye on ZVaB, and already have Fiebig and all the Charries. But, you might be surprised to learn, this is a fringe interest for me, beyond the English Civil War!

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 2:02 p.m. PST

Not surprised at all, mate. I've been fighting the ECW temptation for a couple of decades. :-)

von Winterfeldt17 Oct 2022 1:47 a.m. PST

@Mollinary – what is your verdict afte reading Chasot?

Mollinary18 Oct 2022 11:15 a.m. PST

Hi v W. Unfortunately I cannot answer, as the book that arrived was not Chasot's memoirs themselves, but a commentary on them, and a description of Chasot's life, written by Kurd von Schlozer in 1856. Just my luck that the relevant piece was not included!

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