Saturday, 28 December 2013

Painting time. East-Prussia National Cavalry Regiment (I)

The East-Prussia National Cavalry Regiment (EPNCR) was brigaded with 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. It fought under Bluecher at the Katzbach, contributing to the rout of the French cavalry, and came to my attention while searching for a balanced OOB for the next battle of Bunzlau. The EPNCR does not took part in that skirmish, but I added it to equilibrate the cavalry forces of the both sides. As in the case of the Brandenburg Uhlans, the EPNCR is not amonsgt my Prussian cavalry units, so before to enrol these Prussians riders, started to search for their uniforms.
The EPNCR was one of the first new cavalry units raised by the Prussian government after the Russian campaign. The other new national cavalry regiments were uniformed in a style closely related to that of the regular cavalry: Pommerania NCR like uhlans and Elba and Silesia NCR's like hussars. On the contrary, the EPNCR wore an uniform, described by Knotel as "an oddity", consisting in a blue litewka (long coat) braided like a hussar jacket.

EPNCR by Richard Knötel
The description of the uniform (taken from the Uniform Evolution site, 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 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 cavalrymen of this regiment wore the uniform noted above with the difference that the head-dress was a black French-style kolpak with a red bag and in place of the shoulder straps, yellow metal-trimmed epaulettes were worn. This regiment was armed with a lance and the four squadrons each had a distinctive pennant. The upper half of the pennant was always coloured white but the lower half were as follows: white (1st sq.), red (2nd sq.), blue (3rd. sq.) and green (4th sq.). However, other source gives 1st - white, 2nd - blue / white, 3rd - green, 4th - red / white. Below you can see other representations of the EPNCR.
EPNCR trooper (left) by Herbert Knötel
Taken from Zur Geschichte of EPNCR
While making my little research, some other oddities about the regiment appeared. The first was the lack of agreemente about the headwear of the elites, that some sources indicate that was a cavalry kiwer-shako instead the classical French-style kolpack. The second were the blue cuffs of the Litewkas given to new recruits after September 1813. The third was that the Freiwilliger Jaegers detachment also wore a blue (and not green) Litewka but with green shoulder straps.
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.
Next, the necessary figures for conversion!

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