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PRUSSIA

The Infantry

The Artillery

Organisation &Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

Bibliography & Sources

The Cavalry

Post 1806

Organization

After the Treaty of Paris and disastrous campaign of 1806 the cavalry was reduced to four Kurassier, six Dragoon, seven Hussar and two Uhlan (lancer) regiments each of four squadrons, of two companies each, and each company of two troops or Zugen thus leaving the recionstituted cavalry at a strength of 76 squadrons. Each squadron each squadron consisted of 125 men all ranks.

The highest cavalry formations were brigades. These were usually formed from three regiments but sometimes brigades contained four such units. In practice, it was common for a regiment to field only two, or three squadrons or to be split into two parts. The strength of a brigade could vary from seven or eight squadrons up to twelve.

In 1809, Major von Schill, the commander of the 2nd Brandenberg Hussar Regiment, raised the flag of revolt against Napoleon. His actions were illconsidered and as a result, his regiment was struck from the army list and was replaced by the newly-formed Brandenburg Uhlan Regiment.

An independent Uhlan Squadron was formed in 1809 and in the following year was renamed the Garde-Uhlanen-Eskadron. In 1811, two Normal squadrons were formed; the Normal-Dragoner-Eskadron, composed of men from Dragoon and Kurassier regiments; and the Normal-Hussaren-Eskadron drawn from the ranks of the Hussar rgiments. In February 1813 to these three formations was added a fourth, the Garde-Cosaken and together they became known as the Leichtes Garde-Kavallerie-Regiment. In March 1815, these squadronswere expanded to form the Garde-Uhlan, Dragoon and Hussar Regiments, the Cossacks being attached to the Garde Uhlanen

In early 1813, Yorck raised the East Prussian National Cavalry Regiment. This was a volunteer formation and it was later re-titled Prussian. This example was followed in March, when the Silesian National Cavalry Regiment, later the National Hussar Regiment and the Pommeranian National Cavalry, later the National Light Cavalry, were raised. In November 1813, the Elb-National-Hussaren-Regiment, was formed in the newly liberated western provinces.

The Reserve cavalrymen that were mobilized in 1813 were absorbed into the existing cavalry regimental organizations.

The Landwehr cavalry was recruited at this time and by mid-1813; 113 squadrons were in existence. Generally they were grouped into four squadron regiments, but some regiments had three, or five, squadrons. By the end of the 1815 campaign, the following numbers of Landwehr Cavalry Regiments were serving with the Prussian Army see Table 17 below:

In 1815, the National Cavalry were redesignated and numbered in the line sequence, as were the other volunteer formations later explained in these pages pages.

The sword of the Kurassier Regiments was the heavy straight-bladed Pallasch. A similar weapon was also used by the Dragoons up to 1811. The rest of the cavalry used a curved Hussar style sabre. All cavalrymen carried a brace of pistols in the holsters at the front of the saddle and in addition to the aforementioned armament, the Uhlans were armed with a steel-tipped wooden lance and the Hussars with a short carbine. The horse furniture consisted of a high wood and leather saddle, at the front of which were fixed the pistol holsters. Over this saddle it was usual for the light cavalry to place a black fur shabraque, edged with red wolf's teeth, whilst the Dragoons and Kurassier Regiments utilized a saddle cloth. Across the horse's neck was slung a rolled cloak and at the rear of the saddler was a valise. The forage bag and mess tins were secured to hang at the rear of the saddle.

Cavalry sword knots Fausttriemen were of two types. The Hussar and Uhlan Regiments used one which was made entirely from thin blackened leather. The other regiments, had one with a red leather strap and plaited Schieber; the Quaste was in white wool and the Kranz was coloured white, yellow, light-blue or red for the four squadrons respectively. The NCOs all carried a Troddel of the same type as was in use with the infantry.