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Prussian Hussars

Brandenburg Hussars charging at the Battle of Leipzig, 16 October 1813. Original painting by Prof Carl Röchling. Reproduced in Die Deutschen Befreiungskriege 1806-1815 by Prof Müller-Bohn, Published in 1900(?).

Introduction

Prussian Hussars were famous for their bravery. At the Battle of Heilsberg in 1807, the Prittwitz Hussars charged and captured the Eagle of the French 55th line infantry regiment. At the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, the Mecklenberg-Strelitz Hussars charged and captured the Eagle of the Marines of the Imperial Guard. We should also recall that the fiery Prussian Marshal Blücher - Marshal Vorwärts himself - started his career in the Prussian army as an hussar officer.

Organisation

1806 - 10 Hussar Regiments each of 10 squadrons. Total of around 150 officers and men per squadron.

1813 - 1814 - 6 Hussar Regiments each of 4 squadrons. Total of around 150 officers and men per squadron.

1815 - 7 Hussar Regiments each of 4 squadrons.

Uniforms

1806:

Regt Dolman Facings Cords/Buttons Pelisse Fur Trim (Officers) (Men) Sash Cords Barrel Sash Sabretasche Trim
No 1 dark green red white dark green white white red white dark green white
No 2 scarlet dark blue white/offrs gold dark blue grey white dark blue white red white/offrs gold
No 3 dark blue yellow yellow dark blue white white yellow white yellow white
No 4 light blue red blue&white/offrs silver pale blue white white yellow white white/offrs light blue light blue/offrs silver
No 5 black scarlet white black white black red white black/offrs red none/offrs silver
No 6 brown yellow yellow brown white white yellow white brown yellow
No 7 lemon yellow light blue white light blue black black light blue white light blue white
No 8 dark crimson black white dark crimson black black red white black none/offrs silver
No 10 dark blue yellow white dark blue white black crimson blue black/offrs blue none/offrs silver
No 11 dark green scarlet yellow dark green blue white red white red yellow

Note: The shako was introduced in 1804. By 1806, not all regiments had converted to the new headgear. Hence, some regiments wore mirletons while others wore shakos. White plumes for men / white with black base for officers. Regt no 5 wore a death's head badge on the front of their shakos.

1815:

Regiment/Designation Dolman & Pelisse Collar & Cuffs Buttons & Cords
Guard dark blue red with yellow trim yellow
No 1 1st Leib Regt black red white
No 2 2nd Leib Regt black black white
No 3 Brandenburg dark blue red white
No 4 1st Silesian brown yellow yellow
No 5 Pomeranian dark blue dark blue yellow
No 6 2nd Silesian green red yellow
No 7 black red yellow
No 8 dark blue light blue white
No 9 cornflower blue cornflower blue yellow
No 10 green light blue yellow
No 11 green red white
No 12 cornflower blue cornflower blue white

Notes:

Headgear was the shako. This was covered by an oilskin on campaign. Under the oilskin, the shako had a central black and white rosette (black and silver for officers). The 2 Life regiments had a white metal death's head badge. The Guard Hussars had a brass "guard" star badge (silver for officers). Just below the plume, a black and white cockade was worn. Troopers wore a long white plume on parade. Officers wore a long white plume with black base.

Pelisse fur was white for troopers and grey for officers. From 1815, black pelisse fur was also worn by both officers and troopers of the 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th regiments.

Sash was in the facing colour with barrels in the button colour. Officers' sashes were silver and black.

Officer, Brandenburg Hussars, 1812

The famous Major von Schill at the head of the 2nd Brandenburg Hussars in 1809. The regiment was disbanded in 1809, after Schill's unsuccessful attempt to start an uprising in Northern Germany. This regiment wore the same uniform as the 1st Brandenburg Hussars except that shoulder straps were yellow.

Acknowledgement and Sources:

Peter Hofschröer and Bryan Fosten: Prussian Cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars Vols 1 and 2 (Osprey Men-at-Arms)

A Mila: Geschicte der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung der königlichen preussischen Armee

Liliane and Fred Funcken: Historische Uniformen

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