miscellaneous

   
 
 

east-prussian national cavalry regiment (Ostpreußisches National Kavallerieregiment)

The East-Prussia National Cavalry Regiment (EPNCR) was one of the first new cavalry units raised by the Prussian government after the Russian campaign, the others being the Silesian National Cavalry and the Pomeranian National Cavalry Regiments (a fourth one, the Elb-National-Hussaren-Regiment was raised in November 1813).
The EPCNR  was formed at Königsberg and consisted of volunteers from all social classes, with a majority of well educated young men. These volunteers were not granted the privileges of the voluntary (Freiwilliger) riflemen of other Prussian units, leading to some irritation among them. Each of the four squadrons had one elite company (the status was not due to military excellence and only but to the abilility of these men to equip themselves at their own expenses). During the August armistice, a Freiwilliger Jaeger detachment was raised from these elite companies.
The men of the EPNCR were highly motivated, but poorly trained so they were not very successful at the beginning of their military existence. After the August armistice, they were brigaded along the Brandenburg Uhlans Regiment, under the Oberst von Katzeler, in the Jurgass's Cavalry Reserve of the Yorck's I Prussian Army Corps of the Army of Silesia. They fought under Bluecher at the Katzbach, contributing to the rout of the French cavalry.

UNIFORMS
Whereas the rest of the national cavalry regiments were uniformed in a style closely related to that of the regular cavalry, i.e.  Pommerania NCR like uhlans and Elba and Silesia NCR's like hussars, the EPNCR wore an uniform, described by Knotel as "an oddity", consisting in a blue litewka (long coat) braided like a hussar jacket.
The description of the uniform is as follows: A dark-blue Litewka fitted with yellow hussar-style braiding across the breast and around the edges. The shoulder straps were white and the collar and pointed Polish cuffs were Ponceau red, the latter being trimmed with yellow lace. Yellow metal buttons. Around the waist was worn a Hussar style girdle coloured red and yellow.
The overalls were dark blue with double yellow braiding down the outside seams, divided by a line of red. The head-dress was a leather-reinforced kiwer shako with a yellow metal plate, brass chin scales and yellow woolen cords and cap lines. Black leather belts with brass fittings. The shabraque was made of black sheepskin, edged with scarlet "wolf's teeth". The Elite wore the same uniform but the head-dress was a black French-style kolpak with a red bag and in place of the shoulder straps, they had yellow metal-trimmed epaulettes.
The regiment was armed with sword and lance and the four squadrons each had a distinctive pennant eith the upper half of the pennant was always coloured white, and the lower half as follows: white (1st sq.), red (2nd sq.), blue (3rd. sq.) and green (4th sq.).
While making the uniform research, appeared some oddities about the EPNCR: (1) a lack of agreemente about the headwear of the elites (a kolpack or a kiwer shako), (2) the blue cuffs of the Litewkas of the recruits after September 1813 and (3) the blue Litewka with green shoulder straps wore by the Freiwilliger Jaegers detachment, instead a green coat (as usual in the rest of the Prussian units).
These useful informations were found through the friends of the Napoleon-Series forum, Karl Weiss, Thomas Hemman and Steven Smith. Karl closed the issue about the Freiwilliger detachment, whereas Steven draw my attention to this very informative thread of the N-S forum. Finally, Thomas kindly provided me with a reprint of his paper "Das Preußische National-Kavallerie-Regiment 1813-1814" published in the "Zeitschrift für Heereskunde" Journal (See bibliography).
A visit to the Peter Schuchhardt's Compagnie d'Elite web site, allowed me to complete the information about the EPNCR, by means of the acquisition of one of his amazing uniform plates.

 

Reduced version of the Peter Schuchhardt's plate No. 21



MINIATURES
As in the case of the Brandenburg Uhlans, there are not 1/72 HO scale plastic figures for the EPNCR. The main feature of the uniform is the hussar-style braided litewka, so hussar figures without the flying pelisse, are a good initial option. The mandatory visit to the Plastic Soldier Review page, led to me to the Italeri 6008 French Hussars, with have some figures wearing the pelisse. 

 


Taken from Plastic Soldier review site

The above pictures show the chosen figures as well as the neccesary surgery: the elimination of sword or carbine and a good haircut! The sabre of one of the shouldered-sabre figures was also eliminated, to build a figure carrying the lance on the right stirrup and secured to the right arm of the rider, while another was left 'as it is' to make for the lanceless Freiwilliger detachment. The trumpet and the figure with the wavering sabre (commanding officer) were also used without modifications. The tails of the litewka were modeled with plasticine, that was also used for the shako cover, the kolpack of the elites and the horse bags, as depcited below.




 

UNIT FIGURES COLOR SCHEME PICTURES
PRUSSIAN National Cavalry (1813) Italeri 6008
French Hussars










Links of interest:

Uniform Evolution web site. The Prussian Army
Das Preußische National-Kavallerie-Regiment 1813 – 1814 Thomas Hemmann. Zeitschrift für Heereskunde« Ausgabe 447, 2013
Compagnie d'Elite web site Peter Schuchhardt
Project Leipzig

The full movie: East-Prussia National Cavalry
 

 

FIGURES