IR15 Guards and Wedel and Kremzow Grenadiers
NOTE: click or double click on all pictures to enlarge the view.
Continuing with my series on the SYW Prussian brigades in my Minden Miniatures armies, I present to you the elite Forcade Brigade. The brigade consists of 2nd and 3rd battalions of IR15 Guards and two grenadier battalions: Wedell (1/23) and Kremzow (17/22).
The brigade commander is Lt. General Forcade de Baix, Colonel von Saldern - Guards Regimental Colonel, but there is no colonel of the two grenadier battalions.
|Brigade commander Forcade de Baix and the color parties of the two guards battalions. Grenadier companies did not have colors and so it follows that the grenadier battalion carried no colors.|
The Guard Regiment had three battalions, labeled in Roman numerals as I, II, and III. The first battalion was the ceremonial parade ground unit and it only fought in one action during the SYW, at Kolin. The second battalion's distinction is that it wears tricorn hats, while the third battalion wears a mitre with a yellow bag. All three guards battalions wore yellow breeches and waistcoats - the color yellow was the designation of all of the royal regiments in the Prussian army (IR34 - Prinz Ferdinand and IR35 Prinz Heinrich being the other regiments).
|The second and third battalions of the IR15 Guards regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel, and each battalion was commanded by a Lt. Colonel.|
|Second Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their tricorn hats.|
|Third Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their grenadier mitres.|
The Guards Regiment
The two Guards battalions were always a part of the "King's Army", that is, the army that was personally commanded by King Frederick II. Their grenadier battalions were told off to the converged grenadier battalion (15/18) von Kleist.
Leuthen was the most notable battle of the two Guards battalions, as they stormed the town and the walled church yard and drove out the Austrians. The cost came at the lives of 501 rank and file and 17 officers, including one of the battalion commanders, Lt. Colonel von Diericke. Six Pour-le-Merite were awarded to the regiment for their heroism at Leuthen.
The Prussian grenadier battalions in the army were made of two grenadier companies from each of two regiments. Prussian infantry regiments had two battalions for the most part and each battalion had five musketeer or fusilier companies and one grenadier company, Thus the two grenadier companies from the two battalions were hived off from the parent regiment and converged with two grenadier companies from another regiment. Thus the two numerals, separated by a slash, designation that shows the components of the battalion. For example "1/23" tells you that the grenadiers in the battalion came from the IR1 and IR23 regiments. Grenadier battalions were of a single battalion and named after the designated Lt. Colonel. Thus the Wedell Grenadier Battalion, as it was officially known, had grenadiers from the first and twenty-third regiments.
|The Wedell and Kremzow Grenadier Battalions on the parade ground.|
The Wedell Grenadier Battalion (1/23)
|Wedell Grenadiers (1/23)|
The Wedell grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadiers from each of IR1 and IR23, described by Christopher Duffy as "a famous battalion, used for a variety of dangerous enterprises in the Seven Years War."
The Kremzow Grenadier Battalion
|Kremzow Grenadiers (17/22)|
The Kremzow grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadirs from each of IR17 and IR22. Christopher Duffy cites Warnery who says of these grenadiers at Prague, "the only ones who did not open fire, but pressed home the attack at bayonet point. After all, they are Pommeranians...who are beyond doubt the best infantry in the world."