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  HELSINGBORG 1710
 
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  GADEBUSCH 1712
 
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  STRESOW 1715
 
 
Uniforms:
  Coalition army
 

Örjan Martinsson

The Anti-Swedish Coalition's Uniforms in
the Battle of Stresow

There are two different maps showing how the coalition army's fortified camp looked like and in what order the battalions stood. Both maps are included on this page and they are also coloured by me to increase clarity. This means that Danish-Norwegian battalions have red colour, Saxons green, Prussians blue and Swedes have yellow colour. The numbering is the same in both maps and it is repeated in the captions to the images showing how the Anti-Swedish coalition's uniforms looked like.

The map above comes from an article previously published on Daniel Schorr's now defunct website. The article seems however in its turn to have taken the map from Otto Vaupell's work on the Danish-Norwegian army from the 19th century. Vaupell's map appear to be the most frequently used in the literature (for example the work by the Swedish General Staff: "Karl XII på slagfältet"), but it is unfortunately of unknown provenience since no one has been able to locate the source Vaupell used. For the other map the original is both known and preserved. A facsimile of it is added as an appendix to the work by the Danish General Staff: "Bidrag til den store nordiske krigs historie" and it is shown further down on this page.

The coalition army consisted of 14 battalions and 35 squadrons but only the infantry and five squadrons had landed when the battle of Stresow occurred. The combined strength should therefore not have been more than 11 000 men infantry and 500 men cavalry. A more detailed description of the army's strength, as well as the uniforms of those regiments that did not participate in the battle, can be found on a separate page.

Concerning uniforms the greatest uncertainty is the Prussian army. They had during the War of the Spanish Succession uniforms of the same cut as the Saxons, which was the type of uniform almost all armies had at that time. But when Frederick William I succeeded as King of Prussia in 1713 a series of military reforms were initiated. Among other things the width of the uniform was reduced to save money on cloth, eventually making it impossible to button the buttons. They were also made more colourful by adding turnbacks and lapels. All this was not done at once and the reduced amount of cloth was something that evolved in time. The question however is exactly when the uniforms got the classic "Prussian" look. This might have happened as early as 1715 and that is how the Prussians are depicted below, but it is also possible that they still looked like their Saxon allies.

The Prussians also distinguished themselves by creating five temporary grenadier battalions for the Rügen campaign. The soldiers in these battalions retained the uniforms of their parent regiments which are described in detail further down on this page.

In order to ease identification of the Prussian regiments I have also added (in parenthesis) the official regimental numbers which they got during the reign of Frederick the Great.

The Coalition Army's Fortified Camp


10. Prince of Holstein's grenadier battalion

9. Sydow's grenadier
battalion

11. Billerbeck's grenadier
battalion

12. Barleben's
grenadier
battalion

13. Reinch's
grenadier
battalion

17. Weissenfels' Regiment

18. Dronningen's
Livregiment

19. Norwegian Enlisted Reg.

4. Second Trondhjemske Regiment

5. Oldenburg Regiment
 

16. Kurprinz' Regiment

24. Anhalt-Dessau's Regiment

20. Jyske Regiment

3. Prince Georg's Regiment

8. Kamecke's Regiment

15. Königin's Regiment

21. Prince Carl's Regiment

2. Livgarden til Fods
 

7. Jung-Dohna
 

14. Ansbach-Kavanagh

26. Gens d'Armes
(1 skvadron)
 

26. Horse Grenadiers
(2 squadrons)

22. Fynske Regiment

1. Grenadier Corps
 

6. Alt-Dönhoff

26. Ansbach-Flemming
Dragoon Regiment
(2 squadrons)

23. Prince Albrecht's Regiment

The force on the map above with the number 25 consisted of 200 Saxons detached from Kavanagh's Regiment. The map below from the Danish General Staff state on the other hand that half the force were Prussians.

The Prussian Grenadier Battalions

The Prussian grenadier battalions were temporary units which only existed during the Rügen campaign. They were created by merging the grenadier companies from the various infantry regiments. This means that no battalion had a single uniform because each company retained the uniform of their parent regiment. The exact composition of the battalions are shown below. The depicted uniforms are the regular musketeer uniforms as I have no information on how the grenadier caps looked like. A Prussian grenadier had however (at least during the reign of Frederick the Great) both grenadier cap and tricorne. The cap was used in battles and parades while the hat was used for every day activities.


First battalion
Reinich
(3 companies)
=
Alt-Dönhoff
(IR 2)

Anhalt-Dessau
(IR 3)

Leibregiment
(IR 6)
   

Second battalion
Barleben
(4 companies)
=
Wartensleben
(IR 1)

Stillen
(IR 20)

Jung-Dönhoff
(IR 21)

Kamecke
 (IR 23)

Third battalion
Billerbeck
(2 ½ companies)
=
Grumbkow
(IR 17)

Schwendy
(IR 24)

Schlabrendorff
(IR 25)
 

Fourth battalion
Princeen av Holstein
(4 companies)
=
Arnim
(IR 5)

Prince Christian
Ludwig (IR 7)

Holstein-Beck
(IR 11)

Prince Heinrich
(IR 12)

Prince Albrecht
(IR 19)

Fifth battalion
Sydow
(4 companies)
=
Jung-Dohna
(IR 4)

Anhalt-Zerbst
(IR 3)

Heiden
(IR 9)

Prince Georg
of Hessen-Kassel
(IR10)
 

Prince Georg of Hessen-Kassel's Regiment (IR 10) had until 1715 Prince Friedrich of Hessen-Kassel as its chef. This Friedrich married Charles XII's sister Ulrika Eleonora the same year and later became King Fredrik I of Sweden (1720-1751). This marriage is probably the reason why he gave up IR 10 to his younger brother Georg who in his turn kept the position until 1730 when he just like his older brother continued his military career in Sweden.

Swedish uniforms and strength in Pomerania 1715