“Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 7: Guards & Grenadiers)

Prior to our June refight of the Battle of Leuthen, I was working my way through the Prussian order of battle, painting units to fill it out as best I could so we didn’t have to rely too heavily upon proxies.  To start with, I needed twelve grenadier battalions, but only had eleven painted.  One of the missing units was Grenadier Battalion ‘Wedell’ (1/23), so that was soon under the brush.

Above: Grenadier Battalion ‘Wedell’ (1/23) was formed from the combined grenadier companies of the ‘Winterfeldt’/’Lattorff’/’Zeuner’ Infantry Regiment (IR 1) and the ‘Forcade’ Infantry Regiment (IR 23).  The battalion went through a succession of commanders (and therefore titles), being known initially as ‘Bandemer’.  When Bandemer died in March 1757, the unit became ‘Wedell’ until he was killed at Zorndorff in August 1758.  The unit then became ‘Rathenow’ until finally being given the title ‘Poseck’ in March 1762.

Above: Both constituent regiments had red, Brandenburg-style cuffs, linings and neck-stocks, with white small-clothes, white ‘metal’ and a blue shoulder-strap.  The men of IR 1 also had red lapels and collar.  Both regiments had simple white lace buttonholes, with three pairs on each side of the breast/lapels and one pair below, with another pair above each cuff.  IR 1 also had a pair of lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  The officers of IR 1 had silver lace edging to the lapels and cuffs, while the officers of IR 23 had silver lace buttonholes.

Above: Both regiments had silver-fronted caps with a blue back and white band.  Those of IR 1 had white piping with a white pompom.  Those of IR 23 had red piping and a white pompom with a speckled red top (appearing pink at a distance).

Above:  The Garde Infantry Regiment (IR 15) was one of only two Prussian line infantry regiments with three battalions (the other being the ‘Anhalt-Dessau’/’Kahlden’/’Anhalt-Bernburg’ Infantry Regiment (IR 3)).  The I. Battalion of the Garde was also known as the Leibgarde, being Frederick’s personal bodyguard battalion.  It often served independently of the other two battalions.  Prior to Frederick’s coronation in 1740, the regiment had only two battalions and was titled ‘Prinz von Preussen’ (the Crown Prince of Prussia’s Regiment) but was expanded and elevated to Garde when he became King.  His father’s Grenadiergarde Regiment (IR 6) was then reduced in status and strength, becoming a single battalion regiment, with many soldiers of the old Grenadiergarde being transferred across to the Garde.

Most unusually, the three battalions of the regiment, as well as the three detached ‘flank-grenadier’ companies, each had a different uniform; markedly so in the case of the Leibgarde Battalion.  All soldiers were also known as ‘grenadiers’, regardless of their sub-unit and headgear.

The ‘flank-grenadier’ companies of the II. & III. Battalions spent the war serving as part of Grenadier Battalion ‘Bülow’/’Kleist’/’Anhalt’ (15/18).  However, the flank-grenadier company of the I. Leibgarde Battalion was permanently assigned to guarding the King’s field headquarters.

Above:  My Garde Regiment has a complicated history… I initially painted the I. Leibgarde Battalion in 1996 or thereabouts (using the ‘corn-fed’ Lancashire Games Mk 2 figures) for a big club demo-game of the Battle of Kolin.  I then added the III. Battalion at some point using Old Glory 15s figures, but never got around to painting the II. Battalion.  Then this year in a fit of enthusiasm, I decided to refight the Battle of Leuthen, so finally got around to painting the II. Battalion using Old Glory 15s figures (I re-flagged and re-based the old III. Battalion while I was at it).  However, this now meant that the Leibgarde‘s Lancashire Games figures looked out of place next to the other two battalions, so I decided to paint a new Leibgarde using Old Glory 15s.

Got all that?  Good.

Above:  In full dress, the I. Leibgarde Battalion of the Garde Regiment wore a blue coat with red Swedish cuffs, collar, linings and shoulder-strap, though without lapels.  The coat was richly laced with nine large, tasseled silver buttonholes on each side of the breast, plus two more on each cuff and silver lace edging to the collar, as well as a silver aiguilette behind the right shoulder.  Officers’ lace was even more extravagant, consisting of large, ‘S’-shaped rococo ‘Brandenbourgs’ and additional lace on the pockets.

The Leibgarde in full dress

However, in 1756 a much cheaper ‘interim’ uniform was introduced for campaign wear.  This was of the same pattern, though lacked the expensive lace.  It did however, retain the silver aiguilette.  This ‘interim’ uniform can be seen in the painting at the top of this article and I decided to paint my Leibgarde wearing this mode of dress (boring, I know).

The hats had black cockades and scalloped silver lace for all ranks and in both modes of dress.  Officers had white feather edging, while NCOs and drummers had red fringed edging to their hats.  Smallclothes were lemon yellow and neck-stocks were black.  Black gaiters were worn on campaign, though this battalion was the last to retain white gaiters for full dress.

The detached flank-grenadier company (acting as headquarters guard) wore grenadier caps with an ornate silver front and equally-ornate silver band, a red cloth back, silver piping and white pompom with a red centre.

Above:  The II. Battalion of the Garde wore a coat with red Swedish cuffs, linings, collar, shoulder-strap and lapels.  Each lapel had three pairs of broad silver lace buttonholes and a pair below each lapel, as well as a pair of buttonholes on each cuff.  There was no aiguilette and no lace edge to the collar.  There was also no campaign ‘interim’ coat.  Officers’ coats lacked lapels and were therefore the same as those of the Leibgarde.  It’s unclear if they had an ‘interim’ version, so they may well have worn the richly-laced coat on campaign.

I’ve occasionally seen it written that the II. Battalion wore mitre-caps, but that was only true of the detached flank-grenadier company (serving with Grenadier Battalion 15/18), who wore the same cap as that described above for the Leibgarde.  The rest of the battalion wore hats with plain silver lace ‘tape’ edging and red-over-white pompoms.

Above:  The III. Battalion of the Garde wore the same coat as the II. Battalion, though unusually wore grenadier caps instead of hats.  The only other battalion in the Prussian Army to wear grenadier caps was the Grenadiergarde (IR 6).  This unit does therefore, provide a rare opportunity to use those flippin’ grenadier standard-bearer figures!

Speaking of standard-bearers… The flags of the Garde were white, decorated with vertical strips of silver lace.  The corner ‘FR’ cyphers were gold, the wreaths were of mixed silver and gold leaves and the central eagle was black.  The central panel was silver for the Leibfahne (carried by the Leibgarde) and blue for the Kompaniefahnen.  These flags are by Maverick Models.  Staves were lemon yellow, as were all pole-arms.

Above:  The grenadier cap of the III. Battalion of the Garde had a silver front, an ornate silver band, a yellow cloth back, piped silver and a white pompom with yellow centre.  The detached flank-grenadier company wore the same cap as the other battalions (having a red back with white pompom and red centre).

These are Old Glory 15s figures and were bought from Timecast in the UK, though at the time of writing, Timecast are shortly intending to retire and we don’t yet know who the new UK agent will be, so I won’t add a link to their site, as it will soon be defunct.  Although I’ve recently invested heavily in Eureka figures, I still prefer the Old Glory 15s Prussian Grenadiers to the Eureka Miniatures offering (shown in my earlier post here).

Anyway, this week I’ve been re-flagging more of my old 28mm AWI collection and have painted a regiment of Continentals.  We’re also doing a (postponed) refight of Bunker Hill on Saturday, so more on that soon, as well as more SYW.

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 7: Guards & Grenadiers)

  1. Neil Youll says:

    Very nice as always. Painting Frenchies at the moment: there are more exciting things to do! Austrians and Saxons next: better get some more white paint.

  2. David says:

    Splendid figures and a nicely detailed post! I’m still working on my version of the IR15 flags…

    The French may be dull (their uniforms, anyway, to some extent – talking only of the white/grey of the line regiments, presumably) but their flags are wonderful. 🙂



    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers David! Yes, sorry I didn’t wait! 😉

      And yes, there is something utterly wonderful about the striking simplicity (and occasional weird over-elaboration) of French flags!



  3. Pingback: “Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 8: Prussian Cavalry Reinforcements) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  4. Pingback: Jemima Fawr’s Review of 2022 | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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