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PRUSSIA


Contemporary print of
a Prussian Cuirassier
Officer of the Garde
du Corps Regiment.

The Infantry

The Artillery

Organisation &Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

Bibliography & Sources

The Cavalry

Pre-1806

Prior to the defeat of 1806 the cavalry comprised twelve cuirassier regiments plus the Garde du Corps, twelve Dragoon regiments (13 in 1802 and 14 in 1803), and ten Hussar regiments including one of the Bosniaks (later lancers, raised from Prussia's Polish territory). Under Frederick the Great they had been employed in 'shock' action, but in the 1806 campaign the formation of divisions including a cavalry brigade resulted in the cavalry becoming too scattered to act effectively en masse.

The Cuirassiers

The Cuirassier Regiments formed the heavy cavalry, employed in crushing the opposing cavalry and piercing the enemy's battle line. As mentioned above, there were 12 Cuirassier Regiments in the army plus the Garde du Corps numbered 13th. Each of these regiments were comprised of five squadrons (the Garde du Corps three until 1798) with a field strength of 841. All of these squadrons consisted of two companies, each company had 3 officers, 6 NCOs, 1 Trumpeter and 72 men. They wore no cuirass, but a white jacket (except for the 2nd Regiment which was yellow) with facing-coloured collar, cuffs, turnbacks and girdle, with broad lace down the breast and edging the cuffs, shoulder straps and white belts; white breeches, long boots and bicorns and white plumes for troopers, with a black tip for NCOs and black base for officers. The sword was long and straight with a large, brass basket type hilt carried in a black scabbard with steel fittings. A white carbine belt, edged in the facing colour, was worn over the left shoulder. The cartouche was black leather, decorated with a brass disc engraved with the Royal cypher, carried on a plain white leather strap over the right shoulder. The cartouche of the 10th Regiment, an exception, was white and both it and the strap were edged with the regimental lace. Regimental distinctions were as follows in table 12, below:

Sabretaches were facing-coloured with edging and "FWR" cypher in the lace-colour; waistcoats were facing coloured with exception of the 10th and 13th Regiments which were dark blue.



(left) - Officer of the Quitzow Regt. c.1806, (right) - Trooper of the von Beeren Regt. c.1806