The Franco-Prussian War Armies - Prussia


THE INFANTRY


The Line Infantry.


Headgear


All regiments wore the regulation issue black leather Pickelhaub helmet with brass spike and base, chin‑scales eagle device and rim around the front edge. A cockade of black on white was mounted behind the chinscale button on the left hand side. A dark blue fatigue cap with a red band was also worn with the cockade in the front.

Tunic


The tunic was single breasted, dark blue in colour and fastened with brass buttons. The collar, Brandenburg style cuffs and piping on the front and rear flaps were red. The piping on the edge of the cuff flap and the colour of the shoulder strap identified the corps to which the regiment belonged

CORPS
STRAP
PIPING
I
White
White
II
White
None
III
Red
White
IV
Red
None
V
Yellow
White
VI
Yellow
None
VII,
Light Blue
White
VIII
Light Blue
None
IX
White.
Yellow-
X
White.
Yellow-
XI
White
Light Blue
XII
Red
Light Blue

The regimental number appeared on the shoulder strap in red in all but III, IV and II Corps which were yellow.

Trousers


Trousers were dark grey with a red seam and were worn inside blackjack boots.

Belts


The waist belt and pack straps were white for the first and second battalions of a grenadier or musketeer regiment and black for the third (or fusilier) battalion and for all battalions of fusilier regiments.

Equipment


The metal mess tin was strapped on the top or back flap of the brown cowhide pack. The dark grey greatcoat was rolled over the left shoulder. Alight grey linen haversack was carried on either side as was a water bottle in a black leather case with a black strap. A black ammunition pouch was hung below the waist belt on either side of the brass belt plate. A brass hilted short sword in a black leather scabbard was worm on the left hip suspended from a black leather frog.

Officers


Officers wore the same pattern uniform as the men. Their equipment, however, differed considerably. The greatcoat and water bottle were often not carried into action. A black leather holster was on the right hand side of the waist belt while on the left was worn a gilt handled sword in a black leather scabbard brass tipped. Sword slings were either black or white.

Musicians


Musicians wore the same uniform as the men but with white and red swallows nests on the shoulders. A black or white leather apron  was worn between the leg and the drum. The brass drum had red and white hound’s-tooth edge top and bottom and was hung from the waist belt.

The Guard Infantry


Like the line the Guard regiments wore the pickelhaub helmet but it differed from that of the line in that the eagle was larger and spread further around the helmet. The Guard Fusiliers and the fusiliers of the 1st Foot Guards had a silver star in the centre. The devices were a copper alloy known as tombak except for the 1st Foot Guards which were pewter.

Tunic


The tunic was the same as the line except that the Foot Guards had white lace or litzen on their collar and Swedish style cuffs. Shoulder straps were white, red, yellow and light blue for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Foot Guards respec­tively. The Grenadiers had a red collar piped white but the cuffs were Brandenburg style and had a dark blue cuff patch. Shoulder straps were the same as the Foot Guards with the addition of regimental cyphers. The Guard Fusiliers wore the same tunic as the 1st Foot Guards but with yellow shoulder straps as the line.

The trousers and equipment were the same

Officers.


Officers wore the men's uniform with the addition of silver lace for the Foot Guards and Guard Fusiliers, and gold for the grenadiers.

The Landwehr

 

Headgear


The Landwehr a black leather shako with front and back peaks. On the front was a large black and white rosette in the centre of which was the Landwehr cross in pewter. A black and white national cockade was on the top centre of he shako. The rest of the uniform was the same as the line infantry.

The Jager

 

Headgear


Like the Landwehr the jager wore a black leather shako with peaks front and back, but with a brass eagle on the front and a national cockade on the front top edge.

Tunic


The tunic was the same cut as that of the line infantry but was dark green piped red. Collar and cuffs were red and the latter were of Swedish cut. Shoulder straps were also red with yellow battalion numbers. The Guard Jager Regiment had yellow lace around the collar and cuffs but no number on the shoulder board. The Guard Schutzen had black collars edged red with yellow lace. Cuffs were black edged with red and with a dark green cuff patch edged red. Shoulder straps were red.

Trousers


Trousers were the same as the line infantry.
 

Officers

 
Officers wore the same uniform as the men with gold lace where applicable.

THE CAVALRY


The Cuirassiers


Headgear


The Cuirassiers wore a distinctive spiked helmet with a long curved neckguard that resembled a lobster's tail. The helmet was made

of iron and had an eagle device in brass for the line regiments. The two Guard regiments had the Guard Star in tombak. The sixth line regiment had a tombak helmet a with pewter eagle device. The Garde du Corps Regiment wore an eagle with spread wings on top of the helmet in full dress.

Regiment
Facing Colour
Garde du Corps
Red
Guard
Cornflower Blue
1st
Black
2nd
Deep Red
3rd
Light Blue
4th
Red
5th
Rose
6th
Royal Blue
7th
Lemon Yellow
8th
Light Green

Tunic


The tunic for all regiments, both line and guard was single-breasted in a pale yellowish‑white. Up the front of the tunic, along the leading edges of the collar and the top of the cuffs and on the skirt flaps was a piping of five lines, three of white and two of the regimental colour. Table 2 shows the regimental colours.

The Guards Regiments wore white litzen on the collars.

Buttons were pewter except for the 1st, 5th, 6th and 8th regiments which had brass buttons.

The cuirass was iron for most regiments and had brass clasps and scales. The Guard regiments as well as the officers and NCOs of the 6th regiment wore a tombak cuirass. A black edging, piped white was visible around the edges of the cuirass.

Trousers


These were yellowish‑white and were mostly covered up by the black thigh length boots.

Belts


A white leather belt worn across the body held the black leather cartridge pouch in the centre of the back.

Equipment


Suspended on the left hand side from white leather slings was a steel scabbard for the straight edged cuirassier sword with brass hilt. The troopers also carried a pistol which, although it as supposed to be carried on a hook on the cross belt, was usually carried in the holsters on the horse furniture.

The saddlecloth was square cut at the back and ahead of the saddle were two pointed holster flaps. The whole cloth was in the regimental colour, except for the Guard Regiments which were dark blue and the 6th regiment which were red. A broad band which was white for the units with pewter buttons or yellow for the units with brass buttons and had a central line in the regimental colour. The Guard Regiments in addition had a white star in the rear corner and on the holster flaps.

Officers


The basic uniform as the same as that of the men but with gold or silver piping to the tunic (the same as the button colour). The Guard regiments had silver lace on the collars. Helmets were polished steel with brass fittings for the line or gilded copper with pewter fittings for the Guard and 6th regiments. Saddlecloths were plain blue with silver or gold edging.

Musicians


Trumpeters wore exactly the same uniform as that of the troopers but without the cuirass and bore swallows nests in the facing colour with silver or gold diagonal stripes on the shoulders.

The Dragoons.


Headgear


The dragoons wore the standard infantry helmet with either the line or the Guard eagle. The fittings were either brass in the line or tombak in the guards.

Tunic


This was in cornflower blue, single-breasted with piping, collar, Swedish cuffs and shoulder straps in the regimental colour

The collars of the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regiments had white edging while the 1st Guards had yellow and the 2nd Guards white lace. Buttons were brass for the 2nd Guards, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th regiments and pewter for the others.

Trousers


These were very dark blue‑black, in fact almost black, riding trousers lined with black leather. Black leather boots were worn over the trousers. Most regiments took the field wearing the grey, black leather‑lined overalls which had been officially replaced by the trousers just prior to the war. These had a red seam except for the 3rd, 7th and 15th regiments which had rose‑red and the 11th and 12th regiments which were carmine.

Belts


Both the waist belt and the cross belt were white leather with a. black leather cartridge box on the back

Equipment


An all steel sabre was slung on the left hand side and a carbine was slung from the cross belt. Horse furniture consisted of a rounded saddlecloth in cornflower blue with edgings in the facing colour.

Officers


The officers uniform was the same as the men’s, but with silver or gold lace for the Guards regiments and silver or gold cross belts and slings edged with cornflower blue.

Musicians


Both trumpeters and NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers but carried sabres only, although the former occasionally carried a pistol in a brown leather holster worn on the waist belt or carried on the horse furniture.

The Hussars


Headgear


The Hussars wore a relatively small sealskin busby with a coloured bag falling to the left hand side. At the front of the busby was a scroll device in the button colour (either pewter or brass) while the Liebhusaren regiments (the 1st and 2nd) had a pewter skull and crossbones under the scroll. The Guards regiment had only the Guards star in brass. Brass chin scales and a black and white cockade also adorned the busby. The bag colour varied with the regiments.

Tunic


Hussars wore a short tunic or Attila in the coloues listed below.

White or yellow cap lines fell from the back of the cap bag and fastened to the tunic on the left breast.

Across the front of the tunic were six rows of braid each ending in a trefoil loop. Braid colours matched the button colour

Regiment
Bag Colour
Button Col=
Colour
Sabretache Colour
Guard
Red
Yellow
Red
Red
1st
Red
White
Black
Red
2nd
White
White
Black
Black
3rd
Red
White
Red
Red
4th
Yellow
Yellow
Dark Brown
Yellow
5th
Madder Red
White
Madder red
Black
6th
Red
Yellow
Dark Green
Red
7th
Red
Yellow
R~ Blue
Red
8th
Light Blue
White
Dark Blue
Dark Blue
9th
Crimson
While
Cornflower Blue
Cornflower Blue
10th
Madder Red
Yellow
Dark Green
Light Blue
11th
Red
White
Dark Green
Dark Green
12th
White
White
Cornflower Blue
Cornflower Blue
13th
Red
White
Cornflower Blue
Red
14th
Red
White
Dark Blue
Red
15th
Yellow
White
Dark Blue
Yellow
16th
Yellow
White
Cornflower Blue
Yellow

Trousers


Although black riding trousers with leather lining and black Hungarian boots with white or yellow braid were the regulation issue, most regiments continued to wear the dark grey overalls over the top of their boots.

Equipment


The white pouch belt was worn over the left shoulder and held the black leather cartridge box on the back. Around the waist was worn a barrel sash alternately coloured black and white.

A sabretache was suspended on the left from beneath the Attila on white slings. Sabretache colours differed for each regiment d are listed on Table 4. Edging and the cypher were of the same colour as the buttons. Armament was the same as the Dragoons. The saddlecloth was pointed to the rear in the Attila colour edged with a hound’s-tooth pattern in the button colour.

Officers


The officer's uniform was of the same cut as the men's except that the braid and edging was either in silver or gold. Officers saddlecloths were much smaller and in the Attila colour with black and silver edging

Musicians


Musicians wore the same uniform as the men but with swallows nests on the shoulders in red and gold diagonal stripes.

The Uhlans


Headgear


The Uhlans wore the traditional tschapka which was plain black leather with a brass eagle device and brass chin scales. The national cockade was worn on the top left while from the right came two cords, like those of the Hussars which wrapped around the hat and then fell loose around the neck.

Tunic


The Uhlan tunic, or ulanka, was a dark blue single-breasted garment. It was piped around the lapel or plastron, along the hem and on the skirt flaps in a distinctive regimental colour. The collar and Polish cuffs were also coloured. The regimental colours were as follow

Regiment
Facing
Button
Epaulettes
1st Guards
Red
Pewter
Brass
2nd Guard.
Red
Brass
Pewter
3rd Guard.
Yellow
Pewter
Brass
1st
Red
Brass
Pewter
2nd
Red
Brass
Pewter
3rd
Red
Brass
Pewter
4th
Red
Brass
Pewter
5th
Red
Pewter
Brass
6th
Red
Pewter
Brass
7th
Red
Pewter
Brass
8th
Red
Pewter
Brass
9th
Red
Brass
Pewter
10th
White
Brass
Pewter
1lth
Carmine
Brass
Pewter
12th
Light Blue
Brass
Pewter
13th
White
Pewter
Brass
14th
Carmine
Pewter
Brass
15th
Yellow
Pewter
Brass
16th
Light Blue
Carmine
Brass

The centre of the epaulette also had distinctive colours which were as follow: The 1st Guards, 1st, 5th, 9th and 13 regiments were white. The 2nd Guards, 2nd and 6th regiments were red. The 3rd Guards 3rd, 7th, 1 lth and 15th regiments were yellow. The 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th regiments were light blue. The 10th and 14th regiments were carmine.

Trousers


The Uhlans wore the same trousers as the Dragoons.

Belts


Waist belts were dark blue edged with the facing colour while the cartridge belt which held the black cartridge box in the centre of the back was white.

Equipment


Uhlans carried a Dragoon pattern sabre and a pistol as well as the blackened ash lance with a white over black swallow tail pennon. The saddlecloth was of the same cut as the dragoons but was dark blue edged with the facing colour.

Officers


Officers wore the same uniform as the troopers with silver or gold litzen on the collars cuffs, pouch belts and sabre slings (the latter two had a dark blue edging). Cap lines were silver with black and silver tassels and waist belts were black and silver.

Musicians


Musicians wore the same uniform as the men but with swallows nests in the usual pattern.

THE ARTILLERY


Headgear


The artillery picklehaub was similar to that of the infantry except that a ball device replaced the spike. Fittings were brass for the line or tombak for the Guard.

Tunic


The cut of the tunic was the same as that of the line infantry. The cuffs and collar, however, were black edged red. The line foot regiments had Brandenburg cuffs while those of the horse regiments and the Guard had Swedish cuffs. The Guard regiments had yellow litzen. The shoulder straps were red with a yellow regimental number.

Trousers


The gunners of the line regiments wore the infantry trousers worn inside the boots, while those of the horse regiments together with gun commanders, team drivers and trumpeters wore cavalry type overalls.

Belts


The dismounted men of the foot regiments wore white cross and waist belts. Those of the horse artillery had a white pouch belt with a black pouch and a white waist belt.

Equipment


The line regiments carried the same equipment as the infantry but without have the ammunition pouches or rifles. The horse artillery and riders, etc, carried a sabre with steel hilt and scabbard from white slings and a pistol in a brown leather holster.

Officers


Officers on the whole wore that same uniform as the men but with gold Guard litzen. Trousers were either the same as the infantry for the foot regiments or dragoon type for the horse regiments.

THE ENGINEERS


Headgear


The pickelhaub was the same as the infantry but with pewter devices instead of brass.

Tunic.


The tunic was the same as that of the artillery but with Swedish cuffs for all units, pewter buttons and white Guard litzen.

Belts and Equipment


Belts were black and each man carried a rifle a single ammunition pouch and a short sword. A pick or a shovel was strapped head down on the side of the pack. Other items were the same as the artillery.

Officers.


Officers had silver litzen and the same equipment as their infantry counterparts.

GENERAL OFFICERS.


Headgear


The standard Dragoon pickelhaub was worn by all general and staff officers. Those of the Guard had the Guard eagle. It was common, however, for the undress cap to be worn in the field.

Tunic.


On campaign both staff and general officers wore a dark blue single-breasted tunic piped red for general officers and carmine for staff. Collar and cuffs were similarly coloured. The undress frock coat, or Uberrock, was commonly worn in the field. This was a double-breasted garment, usually black in colour, with a stand up collar in red or carmine and deep rolled cuffs piped in the appropriate colour. The hem, front and back flaps of the tunic were similarly piped. Buttons were gilt for generals and silver for staff.

Trousers


These were dark grey with two red seams with a grey stripe in between on each leg. They were worn inside knee or hip length black boots.

Belts


The waist belt was black although more often than not a sash was worn. This was silver with two bands of black and was tied to hang to the left of the tunic. On each end of the sash was a large tassel.

Equipment.


All officers carried gilt hilted sabres in steel scabbards from gold or silver slings. Saddlecloths were as those of the Cuirassiers but with gold or silver edging.

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