Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

 



Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 1

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 2

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 3

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 4

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 5

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 6

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 7

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 8

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 9

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 10

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 11

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 12

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 13

Sources

Prussian Colonels-in-Chief 1792-1806: Cuirassier Regiments

By Stephen Millar

“The next moment the plain [around the village of Hassenhausen] fairly rocked and trembled under the headlong charge of the Prussian cavalry as they came pouring on the French infantry. The shock was terrific; but that splendid body of horse recoiled from the blow as if it had fallen against the face of a rock instead of living men. The French threw themselves into squares, and the front rank, kneeling, fringed with their glittering bayonets the entire formations, while the ranks behind poured an incessant volley on the charging squadrons. These would recoil, turn, and charge again, with unparalleled but vain bravery. Prince William [of Prussia], who led them on, disdaining to abandon the contest, again and again hurried them forward with an impetuosity and strength that threatened to bear down everything before them.”

J. T. Headley, Napoleon and his Marshals [Ch. 4, Vol. I] c. 1850

The 13 five-squadron cuirassier regiments available for the Jena-Auerstadt Campaign usually formed two-unit cavalry brigades within each Prussian division (along with two infantry brigades). Unfortunately, these ‘mixed’ divisions were not the ideal solution for waging Napoleonic warfare. While these ‘heavy’ brigades provided the divisional commander with a mobile reserve, the cuirassier regiments were scattered throughout the entire Prussian field army – making it very difficult to co-ordinate a large-scale cavalry charge on the battlefield.

The majority of the cuirassier regiments in 1806 – nine in total – were assigned to Brunswick-Luneburg-Wolfenbuttel’s main army. Cuirassier Regiment ‘Henckel von Donnersmarck’ Nr. 1 and Cuirassier Regiment ‘Holtzendorff’ Nr. 9 were brigaded together in Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen’s army; Cuirassier Regiment ‘Wagenfeld’ Nr. 4 and Cuirassier Regiment ‘Bailliodz’ Nr. 5 went to L’Estocq’s corps in East Prussia.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 1

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Henckel von Donnersmarck’ Nr. 1 was one of two Prussian cuirassier regiments forming part of its colonel-in-chief’s brigade (Grawert’s division) at Jena. It later surrendered at Pasewalk [29.10.1806].

30.10.1788: Bockum-Dolffs, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Dietrich-Goswin von (1732-1805) [1]
17.10.1805: Henckel von Donnersmarck, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Elias-Maximilian, Graf (1748-1827) [2]

Notes:

[1] Several sources incorrectly list this officer’s surname as ‘Dolffs’.
[2] Henckel von Donnersmarck was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1805.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 2

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Beeren’ Nr. 2 fought at Auerstadt as part of its colonel-in-chief’s brigade (Kuhnheim’s division). Elements of the unit surrendered at Erfurt [16.10.1806] and Ratekau [07.11.1806].

04.08.1789: Marwitz, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Gustav-Ludwig von der (1730-1797) [1]
25.02.1797: Malschitzky, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Peter-Ewald von (1731-1800)
20.03.1803: Schleinitz, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Andreas-Dietrich, Freiherr von (1738-1808) [2]
17.10.1805: Beeren, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Karl-Friedrich-Hermann von (1749-1817)

Notes:

[1] Marwitz was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1758. This officer should not be confused with Generalmajor Karl-Christian-August von der Marwitz (1736-1800), the colonel-in-chief of Infantry Regiment Nr. 38 [1796-1800].
[2] Schleinitz was areded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1793.

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Lieb-Kurassiers’ Nr. 3

The ‘Lieb-Kurassiers’ Regiment was part of Oberstleutnant Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia’s brigade (Oranien’s division) at Auerstadt. It later surrendered at Prenzlau [28.10.1806].

21.09.1782: Kospoth, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Ernst-Christian von (1724-1813)
29.12.1794: Goltz, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Leopold-Heinrich, Graf von der (1745-1816)
25.02.1797: Drossel, Oberst [later Generalmajor] August-Friedrich von der (1736-1803) [1]
15.06.1799: Froreich, Generalmajor Ulrich-Karl von (1739-1801) [2]
24.03.1801: Kolischen, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Ernst-Hermann von (1739-1805)
17.10.1805: Schwerin, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Friedrich-August-Leopold -Karl, Graf von (1750-1836)

Notes:

[1] Drossel was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1792.
[2] Froreich was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1793.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 4

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Wagenfeld’ Nr. 4 was attached to L’Estocq’s [eastern] corps in 1806. It was the sole Prussian cuirassier regiment at Eylau [08.02.1807]. When the cavalry was reorganized after the 1806 Campaign, this unit’s flags were given to the newly-formed Silesian Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 1.

23.09.1785: Mengden, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Johann-Karl-Friedrich, Freiherr von (1730-1796)
22.08.1796: Truchsess von Waldberg, Generalmajor Karl-Friedrich-Ernst, Graf (1743-1800)
11.06.1800: Wagenfeld, Generalmajor Ernst-Philipp von (1741-1814) [1]

Notes:

[1] Wagenfeld was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1802.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 5

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Bailliodz’ Nr. 5 was attached to L’Estocq’s [eastern] corps in 1806. The regiment was reformed after 1806 into the Brandenburg Dragoon Regiment Nr. 5.

16.03.1782: Wurttemberg-Stuttgart, Oberst [later Generalfeldmarschall] Ludwig-Friedrich, Prince of (1756-1817)
02.10.1800: Bailliodz, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Abraham-Franz von (1736-1815) [1]

Notes:

[1] Bailliodz was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1804.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 6

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 6 was part of Generalmajor von Quitzow’s brigade (Wartensleben’s division) at Auerstadt [see Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 7 below].

16.12.1787: Saxe-Weimar, Oberst [later General der Kavallerie] Karl-August, Duke of (1757-1828) [1]
29.12.1794: Byern, Generalmajor Karl-Wilhelm von (1737-1800)
11.06.1800: Quitzow, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Christian-Heinrich von (1737-1806)

Notes:

[1] In 1806, Saxe-Weimar commanded the Advanced Guard detachment of the Prussian main army.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 7

At Auerstadt, Cuirassier Regiment ‘Reitzenstein’ Nr. 7 was brigaded together with Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 6. It later surrendered at Magdeburg [11.11.1806].

11.07.1788: Ilow, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Otto-Friedrich von (1727-1792)
12.11.1792: Borstell, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Hans-Friedrich-Heinrich von (1730-1804)
03.12.1804: Reitzenstein, Generalmajor Heinrich-Friedrich-August, Freiherr von (1747-1823) [1]

Notes:

[1] Reitzenstein was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1794.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 8

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Heising’ Nr. 8 formed part of Generalmajor von Bunting’s brigade (Schmettau’s division) at Auerstadt. It later surrendered at Pasewalk.

02.09.1787: Schlitz [gen. Gortz] Generalmajor [later General der Kavallerie] Karl-Friedrich-Adam, Graf von (1733-1797)
12.09.1797: Heising, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Ludwig-Ferdinand-Friedrich von (1738-1809) [1]

Notes:

[1] Heising was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1792.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 9

This unit was the second Prussian cuirassier regiment of Generalmajor Henckel von Donnersmarck’s brigade (Grawert’s division) at Jena. Like the previous regiment, this unit later surrendered at Pasewalk.

14.10.1787: Manstein, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] Johann-Gottlieb-Wilhelm von (1729-1800)
23.01.1797: Holtzendorff, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Friedrich-Jakob von (1741-1820) [1]

Notes:

[1] Holtzendorff commanded the Prussian-Saxon left wing at Jena.

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Gens d’Armes’ Nr. 10

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Gens d’Armes’ Nr. 10 fought at Auerstadt as part of Generalmajor von Beeren’s brigade (Kuhnheim’s division). Regiments Nrs. 3, 10, 11 and 13 had regimental titles and did not use the surname of their colonels-in-chief. This unit later surrendered at Anklam [01.11.1806].

23.06.1775: Prittwitz und Gaffron, Generalmajor [later General der Kavallerie] Joachim-Bernhard von (1726-1793)
05.11.1793:  Elsner, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Karl-Friedrich von (1739-1808) [1]

Notes:

[1] Elsner was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1762.

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Lieb-Karabiniers’ Nr. 11

The ‘Lieb-Karabiniers’ formed part of Oberstleutnant Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia’s brigade [Oranien’s division] at Auerstadt. Elements of this regiment surrendered at Pasewalk and Anklam.

13.06.1784:  Reppert, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Heinrich-Sebastian von (1718-1800)
29.12.1794:  Bismarck, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] August-Adam-Heinrich von (1739-1813) [1]

Notes:

[1] This officer has been mistakenly described as the father of Otto, Prince von Bismarck-Schonhausen [Chancellor of Germany from 1871 to 1890]. His father was actually Ferdinand von Bismarck.

Cuirassier Regiment Nr. 12

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Heising’ Nr. 12 was in Generalmajor von Bunting’s brigade (Schmettau’s division) at Auerstadt. This was another cavalry regiment which surrendered at Pasewalk.

09.02.1763:  Dalwig, Oberst [later General der Kavallerie] Georg-Ludwig, Freiherr von (1723-1796)
02.10.1796:  Berg, Generalmajor Jakob-Friedrich von (1734-1797)
01.03.1798:  Werther, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Georg-Ehrenreich von (1742-1816)
12.12.1803:  Bunting, Generalmajor Karl-Wilhelm von (1738-1809) [1]

Notes:

[1] Bunting was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1793.

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Garde du Corps’ Nr. 13

Cuirassier Regiment ‘Garde du Corps’ Nr. 13 formed part of Generalmajor von Beeren’s brigade (Kuhnheim’s division) at Auerstadt. It later served in East Prussia. This unit was not reformed after 1806.

25.09.1785:  Byern, Major [later Generalmajor] Karl-Wilhelm von (1737-1800)
30.12.1794:  Zollikofer, Oberst [later Generalmajor] Friedrich-Heinrich-Wilhelm von  (1737-1798)
02.10.1798:  Rabenau, Oberstleutnant [later Oberst] Christian-Friedrich von [1]
01.05.1801:  Wintzingerode, Major [later Oberstleutnant] Ernst-August von [2]

[1] Rabenau was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1800.
[2] Wintzingerode was awarded the ‘Pour le Merite’ in 1802.

Sources:

http://www.napoleon-series.org/
http://www.preussenweb.de/
http://www.lexikon-deutschegenerale.de/f_pr.html
http://home.foni.net/~adelsforschung/ind03.htm
http://www.grosser-generalstab.de/
http://www.napoleonic-literature.com/

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series:  December 2005

 

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