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Military History/follow up question re: Prussian artillery uniform?


August Szymanski
August Szymanski  
QUESTION: Hi Dr. Nordquist, sorry to bother you again but I found more info that I'd like your help with.  Your last response to my inquiries was:

Colonel Bojerud and I have discussed the matter. The uniform is German. It is from before 1907. 1907 the German Army introduced Feldtgrau (= field grey) uniforms. This is not one of them, it is older. Of course not all uniforms may have been replaced at once but the German Army was rather strict in enforcing changes. It was also very strict in enforcing military conscription before the age of 20-21. So he may have entered the army at the age of 18 and was then equipped with one of the old uniforms. The uniform is NOT one used by any German cavalry regiment! On the other hand he has a cavalry style saber (sword) at his belt. That was NOT used by infantry soldiers, they had bayonets. His cap shows 2 signs. At the top that of the German Army. Below it that of the Prussian Army (= one of the Royal Prussian regiments). So now we know that indeed he came from a Prussian-Polish area. The cuffs of his uniform indicate that he belonged to the army engineers or maybe to the artillery. The cuffs are what British text books for some reason call "Swedish style" and those were used by those 2 services. Both these 2 services used horses extensively at that time and that probably explains his sword and your family rumors that he belonged to the cavalry. We are unable to find any regimental signs on his uniform. So we can not tell you which Prussian regiment he belonged to. That would also have solved the question of he belonged to the artillery or the engineers. Colonel Bojerud has a feeling that it is the engineers but we can not be sure.  If you want to investigate this further I can only suggest that you contact the military attaché of the German embassy in Washington DC. Most probably it has a home page so you should be able to find it. You know the name and birth date of your ancestor and the general area where he came from. The chances that the German Army of today will be anle to locate him in its files are not too bad. So try! Good luck!

I managed to locate one more picture of him (attached) that might help narrow it down a little more.  It's pretty beat up, but maybe the colors will help?

Thanks again,

ANSWER: Yes they may be of help! Col. Bojerud told me that to be more precise he needed to see any signs and their color on the shoulders of your ancestor. I have told col. Bojerud about the artillery fact and he says your ancestor must have been in the field artillery (horse powered) and he says it is possible that he was with a regiment in Koenigsberg - now Kaliningrad - in East Prussia. I will let him see this picture and we will see what he thinks! Thanks!

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks!  I look forward to seeing what he can figure out.


Col. Bojerud has checked the picture. It is in color. At that time there was no color photography so the picture has been colored by hand afterwards. It is quite clear that he betongs to the artillery and to be precise the field artillery - and since that was completely horse powered at that time that also explains his cavalry saber. We hoped that it would be possible to decide his regiment from the markings on his shoulders. However the painter who colored the picture has not been exact. You can see that yourself by the fact that the marking on the right side is different from that on the left side.  We are therefore unfortunately unable to pinpoint his regiment. Hopefully though the German army can pinpoint it based on all the information you now have and their own files - if still available. Good luck!

You can also reach me at:
There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!  

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


I`m a retired Swedish military physician-surgeon with a big interest in military history - mainly European and especially of the Nordic-Scandinavian area. This also includes the history of military medicine.


A very long and intense personal interest.

Doctor of Medicine. You can also find me here on under these categories: I also answer questions in other categories: Oncology (General Cancer), General History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

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