Prussian flag from Prussian flag from
Prussian Cavalry
of the Napoleonic Wars

1805 - 1815

Since the times of King Frederick the Great, Prussia's cavalry had a
reputation that struck awe. Under a leader as renowned as Seydlitz,
the Prussian cavalry achieved the nearest to a state of perfection that
it was ever going to. So great was its reputation in the Seven Years' War
that Napoleon made a special point of warning his men in 1806
to beware of the Prussian cavalry.

1. Introduction: Prussian Cavalry
2. Weapons and Flags.
3. Horses.
4. Organization.
5. Tactics.
6. Guard Cavalry.
7. Cuirassiers
8. Dragoons
9. Uhlans
10. Hussars
11. Landwehr Cavalry.
12. Sources and Links.

Prussia, one of the horse loving countries
possessed horses in plenty, furnished
numerous men for the cavalry, who,
from their childhood, have been at
home in the saddle. As cavalrymen they
enjoyed great reputation in Europe.

"... in 1812 ... a Prussian uhlan major
fought a man-to-man duel with a Cossack
officer (armed with saber) between their
two regiments and captured him ..."
(- John Elting)

The uhlans were the ones who rescued
the commander-in-chief of the Prussian
army, Gen. Blucher, from the hands of
French cuirassiers in Ligny in 1815.
In the same battle French General Gerard
was almost caught by the Prussian
6th Uhlan Regiment while inspecting the
front." ... his chief of staff was
pierced 7 times by lances."
( - Henri Lachouque, France)

Prussian Guard sharpen swords 
on the steps of the French embassy
in 1806 in Berlin. Picture by Myrbach
Picture: Prussian Guard sharpen swords on the steps of
the French embassy in 1806 at Berlin. Picture by Myrbach.

In Ostrovno in 1812 "Murat makes the Prussian Black Lancers
charge down the main road at two battalions of Russian artillery
and infantry, in squares on either side of it; and from his hight
ground Thirion sees how 'this charge, made calmly at a trot,
not proving successful, this cavalry retired as it had adcanced.
It was the first time I'd seen cavalry charge at that pace
and came back from it without any shouting and disorder."
(Britten-Austin "1812 The March on Moscow" p 135)

In May 1813 at Michelsdorf approx. 15 squadrons of Prussian cavalry
(Silesian Cuirassiers, East Prussian Cuirassiers, Silesian Uhlans and
Guard Light Cavalry Regiment) attacked the French 16th Infantry Division.
The Silesian cuirassiers crushed the partially formed French square,
the East Prussian cuirassiers moved between Michelsdorf and Hainau,
routing all formed bodies of infantry they found. The other cavalry units
captured 6 guns and cut down the gunners. The 16th Division broke and fled
in a bloody rout to Michelsdorf.

"Das Paradies der Erde liegt auf den Rucken der Pferde"
Paradise on earth is on the backs of horses.
(Motto of German cavalry)

The Prussian Cavalry.
The cavalry was probably the most vaunted arm
of the Prussian army until 1806.

Prussian queen and 
the Queen's Own Dragoons 
in September 1806. Prussian cavalry grew from 1,000 sabers in the early XVII century to 6,000 by 1750. During the Seven Years War it was decisive in a number of victorious battles, both by bold charges and enveloping operations. In several occasions it even prevented disaster by covering army retreats. The cavalry was probably the most vaunted arm of the Prussian army until 1800. Under a leader as renowned as Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr von Seydlitz (1721-1773), the Prussian cavalry achieved the nearest to a state of perfection that it was ever going to. So great was its reputation in the Seven Years' War that Napoleon made a special point of warning his men at the beginning of the 1806 campaign to beware of the Prussian cavalry.

Battle of Rossbach.
Prussian victory. In 1757 at Rossbach the Prussian army (22,000 men) under Frederick the Great defeated the French and German armies (54,000 men) under Marshal Prince de Soubise.
About 3,500 Prussian horsemen had defeated an entire army of two combined European superpowers. Frederick was heard to say "I won the battle of Rossbach with most of my infantry having their muskets shouldered."
Casualties: 550 Prussians and 5,000 French and Germans ! Most of the allied cavalry in front were smashed to pieces by the initial charge and many of them trampled over their own men trying to flee.

Charge of Prussian dragoons 
in 1813 During the Napoleonic Wars the Prussian cavalry enjoyed several notable successes against the enemy. One of the greatest cavalry charges of the Napoleonic Wars was made by the Prussians in the battle of Leipzig.
In Leipzig in 1813, Prussian General von Yorck gathered his troops near Mockern,(north of Leipzig) and counterattacked with 2 squadrons of Brandenburg Hussars and 1 squadron of horse volunteer-jagers who stood in a hollow ground and were unseen to the French. Behind them advanced Brandenburg Uhlans. Once they came closer to the French infantry the 308 Brandenburg hussars "wheeled out" and charged. The French formed two squares and fired. The salvo made little impression on the hussars, they broke and pursued the French infantry. The infantrymen ran towards own artillery and thus masking their fire. In effect the entire battery was captured by the hussars. Regiment of Wirtembergian cavalry struck the Prussians on the left flank but was immediately charged by 2 squadrons of Prussian uhlans (342 men). The Prussian uhlans and hussars broke two regiments of Wirtembergians and captured 9 guns. During pursuit they met battalion of 1st Marine Infantry Regiment and slashed it to pieces. The uhlans continued their brilliant charge and broke several other squares. Jurgass sent forward 1st West Prussian Dragoons, Lithuanian Dragoons and several regiments of Landwehr cavalry.
Total of 2.000-3.000 of cavalry flooded French positions. The dragoons attacked French cavalry, broke them and pursued towards Gohlis. They also captured 4 guns and took prisoners. Another group of cavalry, dragoons and Landwehr, attacked battalion deployed in line and broke it by attacking one flank. Battalions of 1st and 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment formed squares and attempted to halt the Prussians. But the Mecklenburg hussars took them from the rear while from the front attacked Prussian infantry. The marines broke in the instant, lost a flag and 700 prisoners. The 2nd Leib Hussar Regiment took 2 French flags and 2 guns, and the Landwehr and national cavalry also captured several guns. (Read more in Nafziger's - "Napoleon at Leipzig" and Digby's - "1813: Leipzig".)


Only the cuirassier and dragoon regiments
were entitled to carry standards.

Weapons and Flags.
After the disastrous Jena Campaign, Prussia had to rely
heavily on captured French weapons and British material.

The Prussian cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars was armed with the following weapons:
- cuirassiers wore no body armor until 1814.
They were armed with straight, heavy pallash.
The NCOs were armed with carbines and sometimes with muskets.
- dragoons were armed with curved sabers and carbines.
- uhlans were armed with curved sabers and lances.
The Volunteer-Jagers attached to uhlans were armed with
carbines instead of lances.
- hussars were armed with curved sabers and carbines.
Their carabiniers were armed with rifles.

Prussian light cavalry sabre and scabbard.
Photo from Military Heritage. Photo: Prussian light cavalry sabre from MilitaryHeritage >
Sabre adopted by the Prussians around 1812. It was nicknamed the "Blucher" sabre for General Blucher. It also found favour with the army of United States. The US dragoon pattern for the War of 1812 was identical to this sword except the scabbard was blackened. Thousands of muskets, carbines and sabres were shipped from Great Britain to finance the Prussia's war effort against Napoleon.

Only the cuirassier and dragoon regiments were entitled to carry standards (one standard per regiment) and the dragoons' "swallow-tailed" flag officially was not recognised as a standard until 1891. The uhlans, hussars and Landwehr were light cavalry and didn't carry flags in 1813-1815.
"Most of the English-language sources, bar Mr Hofschröer and Mr Riehn, emphasise that the standards date from the time of Frederick the Great. This is, as the German-language sources and Mr Riehn show, incorrect. In fact most of the cavalry flags date from the time of Friedrich Wilhelm I, were presented during his reign and carried his FWR monogram. This means that they were nearly 100 years old by the time of the Napoleonic Wars." (- Dallas Gavan)


The Trakheners became Prussian army chargers
and of quality unsurpassed in Europe.
They were also 'purchased' by Napoleon.

Before 1806, horses for hussars and dragoons
were bought mainly in Moldavia,
those for cuirassiers in Holstein and Mecklenburg.
If horses came from inside Prussia, they were
bought in West- and East Prussia or Poland.

horses According to contracts between 1803 and 1817, horses bought for the cavalry should have had a minimum height at the withers:

  • - 157 cm for the cuirasiers
  • - 154 cm for the dragoons (for uhlans slightly smaller mounts)
  • - 149 cm for the hussars (some horses were even smaller than that.)

    Below is average height of horses bought between 1810 and 1815.

    Year Regiment Average height of horses
    which were bought
    Number of horses
    which were bought
    Garde du Corps
    Garde du Corps
    Silesian Cuirassiers
    Brandenburg Cuirassiers
    Brandenburg Dragoons
    Dragoons and Hussars
    Dragoons and Hussars
    10th Hussars
    163 cm
    158 cm
    165 cm
    161 cm
    159 cm
    160 cm
    157 cm
    155 cm
    156 cm
    154 cm
    154 cm
    152 cm
    160 cm

    Before 1806, horses for hussars and dragoons were bought mainly in Moldavia, ( those for cuirassiers in Holstein and Mecklenburg. If horses came from inside Prussia, they were bought in West- and East Prussia or Polish lands (in 1807-1814 part of Grand Duchy of Warsaw)
    The average serving time of a horse was to be 9 or 10 years, their age when bought should have been between 5 and 8 years, but sometimes alsohorses of 4 years were accepted. About two third of the horses were geldings, and the rest mares, stallions were extreme exceptions. In the Prussian army, manes and tails of the horse were not cut.
    In Blücher's hussar regiment (8th) before 1807, the squadron received mainly chestnut horses and the trumpeters white horses. This could have been usage in other regiments, too (or not ?)

    The Prussian horse Trakhener came from Eastern Prussia (today Poland). The Trakheners became Prussian army chargers and of quality unsurpassed in Europe. They were also purchased or taken by Napoleon. Most common colors: bays, chestnuts, blacks.

    The Prussian horse Mecklenburg was a typical cavalry mount known for speed, toughness and spirit. These horses were used by Prussian, German and French cavalry. There were also thousands of Polish horses and even some Hungarian and Russian mounts.

    In 1815 manpower shortage were acute, but the scarcity of horses was worse. Remount depots had been emptied due to the enormous demands of the last two campaigns. In 1815 there were problems with the Poles who were reluctant to sell their fine horses to the Prussians. The King threatened to requisition the mounts.

  • ~

    No central reserve of cavalry, the battle winning ram,
    was created and the individual cavalry brigades were
    disperesed among the several army corps.
    It means the cavalry was subordinated to infantry
    and din't play any major independent role.

    Organization of Prussian Cavalry.
    Cavalry regiment had 4 squadrons of 4 platoons each (in 1813-15).
    The 4th Platoon consisted of so-called flankers, men selected for their
    dexterity and mounted on the strongest horses.

    In 1805 Prussia had:
    . . . . . 13 cuirassier regiments (5 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 14 dragoon regiments (10 x 5 squadrons and 2 x 10 squadrons)
    . . . . . 9 hussar regiments (10 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 1 'Towarzysze' regiment (10 + 5 squadrons)

    After the defeat in Jena Campaign in 1806 and the Treaty of Paris the Prussian cavalry was reduced to:
    . . . . . 4 cuirassier regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 6 dragoon regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 7 hussar regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 2 uhlan regiments (4 squadrons each)

    "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 ... 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." (John Stallaert - "The Prussian Army")

    In 1815 (Waterloo Campaign) Prussia had:
    . . . . . 5 cuirassier regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 9 dragoon regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 13 hussar regiments (4 squadrons each)
    . . . . . 9 uhlan regiments (4 squadrons each)

    The Decree issued in February 1813 stated that the regimental staff consisted of 1 commander, 1 adjudant, 1 Rechnungsfüher (an officer as accountant) 1 staff trumpeter and several non-combatants. The commander could well be a major or leutenant-colonel, promotion was slow in the Prussian army between 1808 and 1814, in order to save salaries. Accoring to army list of 1 January, 1813:

  • - colonels commanded 7 regiments (3 cuirassier, 2 dragoon, and 2 hussars)
  • - lieutenant-colonels commanded 2 regiments (2 dragoon)
  • - majors commanded 10 regiments (1 cuirassier, 2 dragoon, 3 uhlan, and 4 hussar)

    Theorethically cavalry regiment had 4 squadrons of 4 platoons (Zuge) each. During campaign however some regiments were only 2-3 squadrons strong. If the squadron had less than 36 files, then only 3 platoons were formed. The platoon was not allowed to fall below nine files in strength.

    The 4th Platoon consisted of so-called flankers, men selected for their dexterity and mounted on the strongest horses. The remaining three platoons had 48 such flankers and 12 riflemen each. The riflemmen were best marksmen and were mounted on the calmest horses. Six of the 12 riflemen rode in the second rank of 4th Platoon. The rest of riflemen and flankers were divided equally among the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Platoon.



    I Squadron

    II Squadron

    III Squadron

    IV Squadron

    Picture: squadron of Prussian cavalry according to instructions issued in 1812 (Russian Campaign).

    According to orders from 1st February 1813 each squadron had:
    - 5 officers
    - 15 NCOs
    - 3 trumpeters
    - 12 Gefreite (privates 1st class)
    - 120 privates

    Each squadron had also 2 pack horses.

    Two or three regiments (sometimes four) formed brigade.
    From 1808 on each of the six peacetime brigades had an overall commander for its cavalry and infantry. In 1813-1815 there were 2-4 cavalry brigades in each army corps. Such brigade was formed of 2-4 cavalry regiments. The army list of June 1815 gives generals as "Inspekteur"s for the cavalry in different provinces, but no overall inspector for the whole cavalry.
    There was no Seydlitz.

    No central reserve of cavalry, the battle winning ram, was created and the individual cavalry brigades were disperesed among the several army corps. It means the cavalry was subordinated to infantry and din't play any major independent role.

    I ARMY CORPS in October 1813
    I ARMY CORPS in June 1815
    1st Brigade
    . . . . . . Grenadiers (4 battalions)
    . . . . . . 5th Silesian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . 13th Silesian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . II Foot Battery
    . . . . . . 2nd Leib Hussar Regiment
    2nd Brigade
    . . . . . . 1st East Prussian Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 2nd East Prussian Infantry Regimen
    . . . . . . 6th Silesian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . I Foot Battery (8 guns)
    . . . . . . Mecklembourg-Strelitz Hussar Regiment
    7th Brigade
    . . . . . . Leib Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 4th Silesian Landehr Regiment
    . . . . . . 15th Silesian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . III Foot Battery
    . . . . . . part of Brandenburg Hussar Regiment
    . . . . . . part of 3rd Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    8th Brigade
    . . . . . . Brandenbourg Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 12th Reserve Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 14th Silesian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . XV Foot Battery
    . . . . . . part of Brandenburg Hussar Regiment
    . . . . . . part of 3rd Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment

    Reserve Cavalry: GM von Jürgass
    1st Brigade: Ob. von Donnersmark
    . . . . . . 1st West Prussian Dragoon Regiment
    . . . . . . Lithuanian Dragoon Regiment
    2nd Brigade: Ob-Ltn. von Katzeler
    . . . . . . Brandenbourg Uhlan Regiment
    . . . . . . East Prussian National Cavalry Regiment
    3rd Brigade: Mjr. von Bieberstein
    . . . . . . 1st Neumark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    . . . . . . 5th Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    . . . . . . 10th Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    . . . . . . I Horse Battery
    . . . . . . III Horse Battery

    Reserve Artillery
    . . . . . . I Foot [Heavy] Battery
    . . . . . . II Foot [Heavy] Battery
    . . . . . . XII Foot Battery
    . . . . . . XXIV Foot Battery
    . . . . . . I Foot [Light] Battery
    . . . . . . III Horse Battery
    . . . . . . XXII Horse Battery
    . . . . . . 2 pioneer companies

    1st Brigade
    . . . . . . 12th Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 24th Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 1st Westphalian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . VII Foot Battery
    . . . . . . VII Horse Battery
    . . . . . . 1st Leib Hussar Regiment
    2nd Brigade
    . . . . . . 6th Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 28th Infantry Regimen
    . . . . . . 2nd Westphalian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . III Foot Battery
    3rd Brigade
    . . . . . . 7th Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 29th Infantry Regimen
    . . . . . . 3rd Westphalian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . VIII Foot Battery
    . . . . . . + 2 comp. of schutzen
    4th Brigade
    . . . . . . 13th Infantry Regiment
    . . . . . . 19th Infantry Regimen
    . . . . . . 4th Westphalian Landwehr Regiment
    . . . . . . XV Foot Battery

    Reserve Cavalry: GM von Roder
    1st Brigade: GM von Treskow-II
    . . . . . . 2nd Dragoon Regiment
    . . . . . . 5th Dragoon Regiment
    . . . . . . 3rd Uhlan Regiment
    . . . . . . 4th Hussar Regiment
    . . . . . . II Horse Battery
    2nd Brigade: Ob. von Lutzov-II
    . . . . . . 6th Uhlan Regiment
    . . . . . . 1st Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    . . . . . . 2nd Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    . . . . . . Westphalian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment

    Reserve Artillery
    . . . . . . II Foot [Heavy] Battery
    . . . . . . VI Foot [Heavy] Battery
    . . . . . . IX Foot [Heavy] Battery
    . . . . . . I Foot Battery
    . . . . . . X Horse Battery
    . . . . . . I Howitzer Battery

  • ~

    "The Prussian 1812 Regulation laid down strict instructions
    that a small reserve was to be formed behind either flank
    to protect the squadron from a flank attack as well as
    to swing out in an attack on the enemy's exposed flanks."
    - George Nafziger

    Tactics of Prussian Cavalry.
    When more than one cavalry regiment came together
    then the cuirassiers stood on the right flank,
    then dragoons, next to them were hussars
    and on the left flank stood uhlans.

    "Before 1806 the Prussians used a linear attack known as the Attacke mit drei Gliedern, or 'attack with three ranks'. This was established by the Regulation of 1796. Tactically it was a two-rank line with a third rank formed behind them which acted as a flanking corps.
    This rear rank was formed by drawing the four files from the left wing of each Zug. The third rank was then divided into two groups which were posted behind each wing of the regimental line. It would then swing out and attack the enemy flank and rears as opportunity permitted.
    The Prussian 1812 Regulation laid down strict instructions that a small reserve was to be formed behind either flank to protect the squadron from a flank attack as well as to swing out in an attack on the enemy's exposed flanks. The 1st Zug of the 1st Squadron formed the reserve on the right and the 3rd and 4th Zuge of the 4th Squadron formed that of the left. ...
    The Prussians before 1806 made extensive use of echelon tactics. The process was delineated in the Regulation of 1796. The echelons were placed 30 paces apart. They found the echelon attack naturally easier to handle and manoeuvre than the long undivided linear attack. Surprisingly, the Prussian 1812 Regulation doesn not speak of the echelon attack." (Nafziger - "Imperial Bayonets")

    During campaign the column of march was by 3s but all movement on the battlefield was done by 2s.

    Cavalry regiment could be formed in several different ways: in echelon, in column with intervals, and in column without intervals (companies placed "nose to tail"). When in line the men were drawn up stirrup to stirrup in 2 ranks. The quietest horses were in the front rank.

    The flankers and riflemen were usually sent out to engage the enemy at 150 - 200 paces away from their parent regiment.

    The 1812 Regulations prevented the Prussian cavalry from taking the initiative and was seen as a mere appendage of the infantry. In battle the cavalry was usually deplyed behind infantry or on the flanks, only to be used to exploit success achieved by the infantry and not "to go out on its own."

    At least theoretically they were to await the attack of the French cavalry. Only when the enemy was much weaker the Prussian cavalrymen were to attack the enemy. In such case they attacked one or both flanks of the French. In reality the Prussian cavalrymen were more aggressive.

    When more than one cavalry regiment came together then the cuirassiers stood on the right flank, then dragoons, next to them were hussars and on the left flank stood uhlans.
    When attacking French infantry formed in squares, the attack was to be made on the corners. In the last years of the Napoleonic Wars, maneuvers and tactics of Prussian cavalry were very similar to other armies.

    Fig. 123:
    Regiment of 4 squadrons forming column by squadron.
    [Source: Nafziger - "Imperial Bayonets"]
    The Prussians had two basic columns, column of half-squadrons and column of squadrons. They had two intervals, open (geoffneten) and closed (geschlossenen or masse). The open column had intervals equal to the size of a Zug or squadron. It also had an additional 4 ft. between each squadron, be the column in Zuge or squadrons.
    The Prussians used two basic systems to ploy from line to column. In the first, when forming a column of squadrons or Zuge the manoeuvre elements filed by 2s to the flank where the column was to be formed and, thence, directly to the rear. Continuing in Indian file until the squadron or Zug had withdrawn to the depth of its position in the intended column, it would turn 90 degrees towards the final column's location and march to its final position.


    Garde zu Pferde (Horse Guard, Garde du Corps)
    was the flower of Prussian cavalry.

    Cavalry of the Royal Guard.
    [Königliche Garde Kavallerie]

    Garde zu Pferde/
Garde du Corps 1813, 
by Knotel. Left: officer and private of Garde du Corps in 1806 ?, picture by Bryan Fosten.

    Right: Garde du Corps in 1813, picture by Knotel.

    The regiment of guard cavalry (Regiment Garde zu Pferde, Garde du Corps, Horse Guard) was formed in 1741 and was the senior cavalry unit. It was a cuirassier unit, heavy cavalry. Their regimental standard had the embroidery, crowns and monograms of mixed silver, gold and green thread. The privates of Garde du Corps wore white Kollet with 2 bands of white lace edging the collar and cuffs. The officers wore silver lace trim. In 1814 the Garde du Corps (Garde zu Pferde, Horse Guard) wore captured cuirasses of the French horse carabiniers. After the campaign in France in 1814 Russian monarch, Tsar Alexandr, presented the cuirassiers with black Russian armor.

    Chef of the Garde du Corps (Garde zu Pferde, Horse Guard) was
    King Friedrich Wilhelm III.
    - - - 1801 - von Wintzingerode
    - - - 1806 - von Zawadzky
    - - - 1810 - von Bockum-Dolffs
    - - - 1813 - von Knobelsdorff
    - - - 1816 - Graf von Brandenburg

    Combats (sometimes only in detachment strength):
    - - - 1806 Auerstädt - 1806
    - - - Jan 1807 Heilsberg
    - - - 1807 Schippenbeil
    - - - 1807 Bialochowo
    - - - 1807 Gollau
    - - - 1807 Königsberg
    - - - 1813 Neu-Flemmingen
    - - - 1813 Lutzen
    - - - 1813 Bautzen
    - - - 1813 Haynau
    - - - 1813 Leipzig
    - - - 1814 Aube

    Picture: Normal-Dragoner-Eskadron in 1810. Picture by Knotel.

    In 1810 the Normal-Dragoner-Eskadron was formed from men drawn from dragoon and curassier regiments. The Normal-Hussaren-Eskadron took men from the hussar rgiments.

    In 1813 the two units became Guard Dragoon Squadron and Guard Hussar Squadron and together with two other squadrons (Guard Cossacks and Guard Uhlans) formed the Guard Light Cavalry Regiment (Leichtes Garde-Kavallerie-Regiment)

    In 1813 thus were two Guard cavalry regiments:

  • - Garde du Corps (Garde zu Pferde, Horse Guard) Regiment
  • - Guard Light Cavalry Regiment (Leichtes Garde-Kavallerie-Regiment)

    Both regiments had a normal establishment of 4 squadrons. However, because of "popular subscription" to the war squadrons known as "freiwilligee jagers" were raised. These were wealthy young men who wished to liberate the fatherland. (Nafziger - "Lutzen and Bautzen" p 178)

    In March 1815 were formed three new regiments:

  • - Guard Uhlan Regiment (Garde-Ulanen-Regiment)
  • - Guard Dragoon Regiment (Garde-Dragoner-Regiment)
  • - Guard Hussar Regiment (Garde-Husaren-Regiment)

    Guard Uhlans in 
parade uniforms in 1810.
Private and officer. The Guard Uhlan Regiment was formed from several smaller units:
    - 1 squadron of Guard Uhlans (see picture ->)
    - 1 squadron of Guard Cossacks
    - 2 squadrons of Silesian National Cavalry
    The Kollet of Guard Uhlans was dark blue with yellow buttons, red collar, cuffs and piping. Two bars of yellow lace were on each side of the collar and one on the cuff. On the cartridge-box was a brass 'guard star'. Their greatcoat had white shoulder straps.

    The Guard Hussar Regiment was formed from:
    - 1 squadron of Guard Hussars
    - 3 squadrons of East Prussian National Cavalry
    The Guard Hussars wore dark blue pelisse and dolman, poppy red cuffs and collars and yellow buttons. The saddle cloth was dark blue with poppy red stripes.

    The Guard Dragoon Regiment was formed from:
    - 1 squadron of Guard Dragoons
    - 1 squadron of Queen's Own Dragoons
    - 2 squadrons of Pomeranian National Cavalry

    In contrast with the French and British, the Prussian best corps took no part in the fighting in Waterloo Campaign in 1815. The Royal Guard was kept in reserve and after the war was stationed in Paris.

      Kommandeur: der General-Lieutenant Herzog Carl von Meklenburg Strelitz
      Chef des Generalstabs, der Oberst-ltn. von Wedell
      Infanterie-Brigade - Oberst von Alvensleben
      . . . . . . . . . 1ste Regiment Garde zu Fuss - Oberst-ltn. von Block
      . . . . . . . . . 2te Regiment Garde zu Fuss - Oberst-ltn. von Muffling
      . . . . . . . . . Garde-Jäger-Bat. - Major von Bock
      Infanterie-Brigade - Oberst von Ratzmer
      . . . . . . . . . Grenadier-Regiment Kaiser Alexander -Major von Schachtmeier
      . . . . . . . . . Grenadier-Regiment Kaiser Franz - Oberst-ltn. von Klür
      . . . . . . . . . Garde-Schützen-Bat. - Major Graf von Meuron
      Kavallerie-Brigade - Oberst von Knobelsdorf
      . . . . . . . . . Regiment Garde zu Pferde - Oberst-ltn. Graf von Brandenburg
      . . . . . . . . . Garde-Husaren-Regiment - Major von Knobloch
      . . . . . . . . . Garde-Dragoner-Regiment - Oberst-ltn. von Zastrow
      . . . . . . . . . Garde-Uhlanen-Regiment - Major von Kraft
      Artillerie-Brigade - Major Willmann
      . . . . . . . . . 6pfund. Garde Fussbatterie No. 1. - von Lehmann,
      . . . . . . . . . 12pfund. Garde Fussbatterie No. 1. - Kpt. von Witt
      . . . . . . . . . reitende Garde-Batterie No. 1. - Major von Willmann
      . . . . . . . . . reitende Garde-Batterie No. 2. - Kpt. von Neuendorf
      . . . . . . . . . Park-Kolonne No. 37.

  • ~

    Within the Prussian cavalry the cuirassiers
    enjoyed higher prestige than dragoons and uhlans.


    Cuirassiers in 1809 Cuirassiers in 1813 Left: Brandenburg Cuirassier Regiment in 1809, by Knotel. From left to right:
    - cuirassier in July 1809
    - cuirassier in August 1809

    Right: Brandenburg Cuirassier Regiment in 1813, by Knotel. From left to right:
    - officer in blue leibrock
    - officer in kolett
    - cuirassier in Litevka.




attached to cuirassier 
regiments, picture by Knotel Right: Squadron of volunteer-jagers attached to the Brandenburg Cuirassier Regiment 1813, picture by Knotel

    Within the Prussian cavalry the cuirassiers enjoyed higher prestige than dragoons and uhlans. The men and horses in cuirassier regiments were bigger and stronger, a factor important not only on parades. They were the battle-cavalry who on battlefield charged en masse crushing the enemy with sheer force.

    In 1806 Prussia had 13 cuirassier regiments, incl. the Garde du Corps Regiment. Then Napoleon defeated and downsized the Prussian army. In 1812 the numebr of cuirassier regiments was 4, including the Garde du Corps.
    For the campaign in 1815 Prussia had 5 regiments, one Garde du Corps and 4 cuirassier regiments. In the 4th Regiment served many Saxons. Several cavalry regiments, incl. cuirassiers, had also squadron of volunteer-jagers.

    On campaign the cuirassiers wore either dark blue Litevka or grey greatcoats. But often during battle the rank and file wore the white, double-breasted Kollet. The shoulder straps were white with piping in the facing color. When off duty the officers could wear the single-breasted blue tunic known as Leibrock.

    The leather belts were white for all the troopers.

    Their headwear was a Russian style high black leather helmet decorated with a black comb (not covered by oilcloth), a brass plate and chinscales. The helmet fittings were brass.

    The cuirassiers wore dark grey overalls and covered in black leather "up the whole length of the inner legs and around the ankles." The seams could be piped in red "according to colonel's wishes." The buttons down the outer legs were removed during the 1815 campaign.

    Under overalls were worn short boots.

    The saddle cloth was in the facing color with 2 edge-stripes in the botton color. Officers' saddle cloth had silver or gold stripes, depending on button color.

    Uniforms of Prussian cuirassiers in 1815

    Regiment Coat Facings Buttons
    1. Silesian White Black Yellow
    2. East Prussian White Light Blue White
    3. Brandenburgian White Poppy Red Yellow
    4. Westphalian White Yellow White

    The cuirassiers were armed with the pallash, a straight-bladed sword. The scabbard was iron. Additionally they carried 2 pistols each.

    The Prussian cuirassiers were lighter than the French heavies. They had not worn the heavy breastplates since 1790. Andreas Hetzert of Germany wrote us:
    "A few weeks ago I bought a reprint-text from "Die Elberfelder Bilderhandschrift" (author: Peter Schuchardt) from a painter, Johann Carl Hackenberg, who painted in color all troops from 1813 - 1816, which came through his town Elberfeld. On 02 Feb 1815 he saw the Brandenburger Kürassiere with yellow (former French) cuirasses and on 06 Feb 1815 the Ostpreussisches Kürassierregiment with white (former French) cuirasses. Then I found in the reprint of the book "Geschichte der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung der Königlich Preussischen Armee in den Jahren 1808 bis 1878" (Berlin, 1878, Mila) - History of clothing and equipment of the Kings Prussian Army in the years of 1808 until 1878, on page 166 § 978 " ... at the end of March 1814 they got the French cuirasses, yellow for the Garde du Corpse and the Brandenbuger Kürassiere and white for the rest ...." And I found in a reprint from 1840 "Die Uniformen der Preußischen Garden" / The uniforms of the prussian Guards, a picture of the Garde du Corps 1806 without a cuirasse and 1814 with a yellow cuirasse, then 1815 a Cuirassier with a black cuirasse and an officer 1815 with a yellow cuirasse."


    "Here, I must give the greatest credit to the Lithuanian Dragoons,
    incl. the Volunteer Jager Squadron, who had performed to the highest
    standards during the entire campaign ... for the way in which they
    carried out the next manouevre could not have been done better on the
    parade ground. I had them turn right about by troops,
    right wheel in squadrons and charged the [French] battalion
    in echelon ... We had to jump both the ditches which lined the road
    ... The French were in column and hurrying towards Wiederitzsch ...
    we got among them and there followed a great bloodbath ..."
    - Wilhelm Ludwig Victor Graf von Donnersmark


    Dragoons in 18o6 Dragoons in 1813-14 Left: Dragoon of the 6th Regiment in parade outfit in 1806. Picture by Vuksic, Croatia.

    Right: Dragoons during the campaign in 1813.
    From left to right:
    - officer (mounted) of the Queen's Own Regiment,
    - officer of Brandenbourg Dragoons,
    - private of Queen's Own Dragoons,
    - senior NCO of Brandenbourg Dragoons,
    - private (mounted) of Neumark Dragoons
    - trumpeter of Neumark Dragoons
    Picture by de Beaufort, France.

    The Prussian dragoons were excellent. Although they were of lower status than cuirassiers and rode on smaller horses, they were in combat more often. The dragoons were universal troops, they could skirmish, scout, fight dismounted and make all-out charge in pitched battle. In Auerstadt in 1806 one regiment of Prussian dragoons scattered some of GdD Gudin's seasoned infantry out of formation and left 600 men killed and wounded.

    The dragoons were armed with a curved saber in an iron scabbard. (The heavy and straigh-bladed Pallash was favored by the stronger men, however it was replaced by the lighter saber in 1811).
    Approx. 20 dragoons per squadron were armed with cavalry carbines.

    To several dragoons regiments were attached small detachments of horse volunteer-jagers. Their officer wears dark green coat, grey trousers and his shako is protected with oilcloth.

    Lithuania Dragoon Regiment
in 1813. Picture by Knotel.
From left to right:
- dragoon in Litevka
- volunteer jager (dismounted)
- officer in kollet The Prussian dragoons wore light blue (or blue) Kollet.
    However during campaign they wore the longer, more comfortable and warmer Litevka.

    The black shako was covered with a black oilcloth.
    The saddle cloth for all regiments was light blue (blue) with 2 edge-stripes in facing color.

    Picture: Lithuania Dragoon Regiment in 1813, by Knotel. From left to right:
    - dragoon wearing the longer Litevka
    - volunteer jager (dismounted)
    - officer in kollet


    Uniforms of Prussian dragoons in 1815

    Regiment Coat Facings Buttons
    1. Queen's Own Light Blue Crimson white
    2. 1st West Prussian Light Blue white White
    3. Lithuanian Light Blue Red Yellow
    4. 2nd West Prussian Light Blue Red White
    5. Brandenburgian Light Blue Black Yellow
    6. Neumark Light Blue Light Red White
    7. Rhenish Light Blue white Yellow
    8. Magdeburg Light Blue Yellow White


    In 1813 at Weinberg Defile, the Prussian uhlans advanced
    against French chasseurs who stood behind a ditch.
    The French fired a volley. The Prussians halted before
    the ditch and the French commander of elite company
    rode forward and called a challenge in German:
    "Now come here !"
    The Prussian officer drew his saber and responded
    "Wait a moment, I'm coming !" Unfortunately in this moment
    the elite company abandoned the brave officer and fled at once.
    The uhlans pursued them. (Nafziger - "Napoleon at Leipzig")


    Prussian Towarzysze Regiment in 1806 Prussian uhlans in 1813 Left: Regiment of Towarzysze (Towarczys) in 1806, picture by Knotel.

    Right: Prussian uhlans in 1813, picture by Knotel.

    "As early as 1704, the Prussians were using cavalry troops armed with lances. In 1745, a unit known as Bosniaken ... wore a costume which derived from Bosnian and Polish national costume. By 1806, the Prussian army still retained units with strong Polish/Bosnian links. These were the ‘Towarczys" Regiment and a self-standing "Towarczy" Battalion, both of which were armed primarily with the lance ... The Prussian uhlan regiment, raised in 1806/7 from the former Towarczys, had a strength of 8 squadrons. But was later split in two to form two separate regiments of four squadrons each." For more info click here (

    In 1807 the Towarczys Regiment was disbanded. (Towarzysze in Polish means Comrades, Nobles). With the reorganisation of the Prussian forces the remains of this famous unit were split into two units:

  • - (1st) West Prussian Uhlan Regiment
  • - (2nd) Silesian Uhlan Regiment

    "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." (John Stallaert - "The prussian Army")

  • - (3rd) Brandenburg Uhlan Regiment

    Uniforms of Prussian uhlans

    Regiment Coat Shoulder Straps Buttons Lance-Pennants
    1. West Prussian Dark Blue White Yellow White / Blue
    2. Silesian Dark Blue Red Yellow Red / Blue
    3. Brandenburgian Dark Blue Yellow Yellow Yellow / Blue

    In 1815 the number of uhlan regiments increased.

  • The (5th) '1st Rhenish' Uhlan Regiment was formed from:
    - III Squadron of Silesian Hussars
    - III Squadron of Brandenburg Hussars
    - II Squadron of Berg Hussars
  • The (7th) '2nd Rhenish' Uhlan Regiment was formed from:
    - Hellwig's cavalrymen
    - Saxon uhlans
  • The (8th) '3rd Rhenish' Uhlan Regiment was formed from:
    - two hussar regiments of Russo-German Legion.
    (In 1815 they still didn't have lances and uhlan uniforms.
    They were armed and dressed like hussars.)

    The Prussian uhlan was armed with lance and curved saber in steel scabbard. The lance had brown shaft, iron point and (since 1815) white over black pennants. The rank and file were armed with pistols but no carbines.

    The Prussian uhlans wore dark blue Kollet with red collars and 'Polish' cuffs. The lapels were pipped in red. Their legwears were the usual cavalry overalls. The shako was covered with black waxed cloth.

    In 1815 the tall black Polish czapka with black chinstraps was introduced. Privates and NCOs wore the dark blue sash, while officers had the silver-and-black sash.

    The black sheepskin saddle cloth with red "wolf's teeth" trim was replaced in 1815 with a rounded, dark blue saddle cloth.

    Uniforms of Prussian uhlans in 1815

    Regiment Coat Shoulder Straps Buttons Lance-Pennants
    1. 1st West Prussian Dark Blue White Yellow White / Black
    2. Silesian Dark Blue Red Yellow White / Black
    3. Brandenburgian Dark Blue Yellow Yellow White / Black
    4. Pomeranian Dark Blue Light Blue Yellow White / Black
    5. 1st Rhenish Dark Blue White White White / Black
    6. 2nd West Prussian Dark Blue Red White White / Black
    7. 2nd Rhenish Dark Blue Yellow White White / Black
    8. 3rd Rhenish Dark Blue Light Blue White White / Black

  • ~

    The black-clad 1st Life Hussar Regiment
    struck fear into the enemy for many years.
    Their badge (skull and crossbones)
    was also used by the Das Reich SS Panzer Division
    and some other elite SS troops during World War 2.


    Left: Prussian hussars in 1806. Picture by Knotel. From left to right: - von Prittwitz Hussars (1806),
    - Prinz Eugen von Wurttemberg Hussars (1807),
    - von Pietz Hussars (1806),
    - von Rudorff Hussars (1807).

    Right: privates of 1st Silesian Hussar Regiment skirmishing in 1813. Picture by Knotel.



    Right: detachment of Volunteer-Jagers of 1st Silesian Hussars in 1813. Picture by Knotel.

    The Prussian hussars were of awerage height and rode on smaller but agile horses. If they were not as disciplined and trained as dragoons and not as strong and robust as the cuirassiers, the hussars were the most dashing. They participated in many bold actions, went through the most difficult situations, and they also skirmished, scouted and pursued the enemy. From 25 to 29 June 1815 (several days after Waterloo) two regiments of Prussian hussars had ridden a total of 170 km and since 15 June they had been marching and fighting almost continuously, which was taking its toll both on men and horses.

    In 1806 were 10 hussar regiments, in 1812 only six.

    In 1815 the regiments of National Cavalry became regular regiments,
    and six of them went into hussars.
    In 1815 Prussia had 12 hussar regiments.

  • - The (11th) '2nd Rhenish' Hussar Regiment was formed from:
    1st, 2nd and 3rd Berg Hussar Regiment.
  • - The (12th) Hussar Regiment was formed from
    two Saxon hussar regiments and militia.

    The Prussian hussars were armed with curved sabers and carbines. Pistols were carried by NCOs and trumpeters.

    Hussars' uniforms were the most expensive and gave them an advantage when it came to conquering women's hearts :-)
    Until 1806 the officers of Guard hussars on parade wore red-lined panther skins. During campaign however the hussars wore grey overalls over their tight breeches, the black shako was protected by a black oilcloth.

    The sabretache was of brown leather and having a flap with a poppy red cover. The waist sashes were of the same color as the dolman collar. Officers wore silver-and-black sashes.
    The hussars used black sheepskin saddle cloth with a poppy red "wolf's teeth" trim. These items were replaced in 1815 by rounded saddle cloth with pointed corners.

    The dolman and pelisse were in the same color. The pelisse of the hussars had white fur, but black for the Normal-Husaren-Eskadron. In 1815, pelisses of the 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment [No. 2 in the army list], as well as the 7., 8., 9., 10. and 12. Regiment also got black fur. NCOs had black fur, but this was changed in 1815 and from that year onwards their fur was of the same colour as that of the men. Officers had grey "Baranken" (fur of Russian lambs). In 1815 in those of regiments with black fur the fur of officers became black, too, the officers in the white fur regiments retaining the "Baranken".

    After 1808 other hussar regiments had no shoulder straps, except their officers. The official regulations issued in December 1808 stated that the sabretache of the Pommeranian and the 1st and 2nd Life Hussars would be of black leather. The regimental history of the Life Hussars by Mackensen confirms the black sabretache. Some illustrators incl. Herbert Knotel, however depict the sabretache of Life Hussars as covered with red cloth. (Herbert Knötel is considered as generally less reliable than his father Richard.)

    The uniforms of 1st and the 2nd Life Hussars were quite similar until 1815. The only difference was that the 1st had white and the 2nd had poppy-red shoulder-straps. In March 1815 the 1st Life Hussars retained the poppy-red facings (collar, cuffs, stripes etc.), while the 2nd Life were given black.

    Uniforms of Prussian hussars in 1815

    Regiment Dolman & Pelisse Collar & Cuffs Buttons & Cords Saddle
    (on saddle cloth)
    1. Life
    "Death's Head"
    Black Poppy
    White Black Poppy
    2. Life Black Black White Black Black
    3. Brandenburgian Dark
    White Dark
    4. 1st Silesian Brown Brown Yellow Brown Yellow
    5. Pomeranian Dark
    Yellow Dark
    6. 2nd Silesian Green Poppy
    Yellow Green Poppy
    7. Black Poppy
    Yellow Black Poppy
    8. Dark
    Yellow Dark
    9. Corn
    Yellow Corn
    10. Green Light
    Yellow Green Light
    11. Green Poppy
    White Green Poppy
    12. Corn
    White Corn

    Death's Head's Hussars

    The black-clad hussars struck fear
    into the enemy for many years.

    1st Life Hussars One regiment stood out above the others. It dressed in black and took as its badge a skull. The regiment became known as the Death's Head Hussars and struck fear into the enemy for many years. It was the 1st Life Hussar Regiment (1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment)

    The chefs of this unit were:
    1804-1808 von Prittwitz
    1808-1840 His Majesty Friedrich Wilhelm III

    The commanders were:
    1803 - Lossow
    1806 - Pfuhl
    1809 - von Czerdaheli
    1812 - Sandrart

    The 1st Life Hussar Regiment participated in record number of combats: 66 !
    1806 - Drobin, Sierps, Biezun, Mlawa u. Soldau, Lahna, 1807 - Schippenbeil, Lennenburg, Waltersdorf, Wackern, Eylau, Braunsberg, Wusen (Vorpost.), Albrechtsdorf, Danzig (Gdansk), Spanden, Dietrichsdorf, Heilsberg, Gollau and Königsberg, 1812 (as Hus. R. Nr. 1 under Major von Cosel) - Poniewiesz, Borusk (Bobrujsk ?), Wyszki (part of regiment), Czeszawen, Garossenkrug (part of regiment), Neugut (part of regiment), Schöppingsmühle and Baldohnen, Neumühle (part of regiment) and Friedrichstadt, 1813 - Dannigkow, Magdeburg, Bernburg, Halle (Jäg. Sq.), Friedeburg (1. Sq.), Luckau (Jäg. Sq.), Kalau, Hoyerswerda, Luckau, Großbeeren, Jüterbog, Klausdorf, Dennewitz, Burgxdorf, Streumen, Colmitz, Treugeböla, Leipzig, Zütphen, Gorkum, Heusden, Herzogenbusch, Breda, Bavel, Doest and Ypelaer (part of regiment), 1814 - Hoogstraten and Turnhout, Antwerp, Lier, Condé, Soisson, Fontenay, La Fère Champenoise, Jonville and Compiègne.

    The 2nd Life Hussar Regiment was formed in 1808 by taking 4 out of 8 squadrons of 1st Life Hussars. It participated in 36 battles.

    Totenkopf The 1st and 2nd Life Hussars (Leib-Husaren) did wear the "Totenkopf" on their shakos. There is however disagreement to the badge painted on the shako cover. The well-known illustrator Knotel has the shako-covers painted with the full skull and crossbones.

    That badge was also used by the Das Reich SS Panzer Division and some other SS troops during World War 2. The Waffen-SS was the Nazi party's fighting force. In contrast to Germany's regular army, the Waffen-SS was an elite combat unit composed of volunteer troops with particularly strong personal commitments to Nazi ideology. Images: 1 (

  • ~

    On 27th June 1815 the 1st Pomeranian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment
    moved to Senlis. They found the town empty of French troops.
    Hardly had the regiment dismounted on the market place
    to bivouac when an outpost returned in full flight.
    Hot on its heels was a detachment of French curiassiers from
    Donop's brigade (Kellermann's Corps). The landwehr had no time
    to remount and the commander of the cuirassiers demanded
    their surrender. Major Blankenburg decided otherwise.
    Leading those men who were mounted, he charged the French,
    taking advantage of the fact that they were bottled up in
    one of the streets and thus unable to manoeuvre.
    The landwehr cut down the front rank of the cuirassiers
    and drove them out of the town. A detachment of 2nd Silesian Hussars
    supported the landwehr with carbine fire. Meanwhile, the elite
    French horse carabinier brigade arrived and the landwehr quickly fell back.
    (Hofschroer - "1815: The Waterloo Campaign" p 230)

    Landwehr Cavalry
    [Landwehr Kavallerie]

    Left: detachment of volunteer jagers attached to Silesian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment in 1813-1815. Picture by Knotel.

    Right: East Prussian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment in 1813. Picture by Knotel.


    Below: officer and private of Elbe Landwehr Cavalry in 1813-1814. Picture by Knotel


    The Landwehr cavalry was considered light cavalry.

    In March 1813 Landwehr (militia) was formed on the introduction of universal conscription, including formations of 30 Landwehr Cavalry Regiments with total of 113 squadrons (each squadron with 72-102 men).

    Additionally several provinces of Prussia (East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia and Western Prussia) formed their own National Cavalry Regiment. During the autumn campain in 1813 the 113 squadrons of Landwehr Cavalry had 10.952 men, while the National Cavalry 13.375 men.

    In 1815 were 30-34 Landwehr Cavalry Regiments, while the National Cavalry Regiments no longer existed. These formations became regular regiments.

    Provinces: Landwehr cavalry regiments

  • East Prussia - 5 regiments
  • West Prussia - 3
  • Pomerania - 3
  • Neumark - 2
  • Kurmark - 7
  • Silesia - 8
  • Westphalia - 1
  • Elbe - 1
  • Thuringia - 1 (after June 1815)
  • Rhineland - none (3 regiments after November 1815)

    At Waterloo 40 % of Prussian cavalry was made of Landwehr, 38 % were hussars, 13 % uhlans, only 9 % dragoons and 0 % cuirassiers and guards.

    The Landwehr Cavalry was armed with curved sabers and lances. Mark Adkin gives them also pistols. (Adkin - "The Waterloo Companion" p 255)

    "The Landwehr cavalry were given lances in imitation of the Cossacks. Lack of training in their use must have made them fairly ineffective in a battlefield role." (- Peter Hofschroer

    The Landwehr Cavalry wore dark blue Litevka with collars and cuffs in provincial colors. The leather belts were black. They wore their typical headwear with a white cross, although shakos were also popular. In 1815 the Neumark regiments wore English stovepipe shakos, and the 3rd Silesian wore the Polish style czapka.

    Uniforms of Prussian Landwehr Cavalry in 1815

    Province Coat Litevka Collar and Cuffs Buttons
    East Prussia Dark Blue Poppy Red White
    Kurmark and Neumark Dark Blue Poppy Red Yellow
    West Prussia Dark Blue Black White
    Pomerania Dark Blue White Yellow
    Silesia Dark Blue Yellow White
    Westphalia Dark Blue Green White
    Elbe Dark Blue Light Blue Yellow
    Rhineland Dark Blue Madder Red Yellow

    Shoulder straps within regiments:
    white for I Squadrons
    red for II Squadrons
    yellow for III Squadrons
    light blue for IV Squadrons

  • Sources and Links.
    Recommended Reading.

    Information supplied by Oliver Schmidt from Germany
    Hofschroer - "Prussian Cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815"
    Craig - "The Germans"
    Nafziger - "Napoleon at Leipzig"
    Duffy - "Frederick the Great"
    Holborn - "A History of Modern Germany 1648-1840"
    Digby-Smith - "1813: Leipzig"
    Petre - "Napoleon’s Conquest of Prussia 1806" 1993
    Simms - "The Struggle for Mastery in Germany" 1998
    Article by Dallas Gavan "Prussian Cavalry Standards 1808-1815" on
    flags from
    "Deutsche Uniformen - Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen" von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text und Erläuterungen von Dr. Martin Letzius, Herausgegeben von der Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH Dresden-A. 21 (Erscheinungsjahr: 1932)
    Russian Cavalry
    Preussische Kavallerie - Der Chronist.
    Preußische Husaren.
    Preussische Uhlanen.

    Prussian Army of the Napoleonic Wars

    Prussian Infantry - - Prussian Cavalry - - Prussian Artillery

    Battle of Dennewitz, 1813
    General von Bulow crushed Marshal Ney
    Battle of Leipzig, 1813
    The Battle of the Nations,
    the largest conflict until World War One:
    Battle of Waterloo, 1813
    The German Victory - interview with Peter Hofschroer

    Cavalry Tactics and Combat
    Cut and Slash vs Thrust, Charge, Melee, Pursuit, Casualties
    The Best Cavalry

    Napoleon, His Army and Enemies