Grenadier

A grenadier (/ˌɡrɛnəˈdɪər/, French pronunciation: ​[ɡʁə.na.dje]; derived from the word grenade[1]) was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At that time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers. By the 18th century, dedicated grenade throwing of this sort was no longer relevant, but grenadiers were still chosen for being the most physically powerful soldiers and would lead assaults in the field of battle. Grenadiers would also often lead the storming of fortification breaches in siege warfare, although this role was more usually fulfilled by all-arm units of volunteers called forlorn hopes, and might also be fulfilled by sappers or pioneers.

Certain countries such as France (Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale) and Argentina (Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers) established units of Horse Grenadiers and for a time the British Army had Horse Grenadier Guards. Like their infantry grenadier counterparts, these horse-mounted soldiers were chosen for their size and strength (heavy cavalry).

Today, the term is also used to describe a soldier armed with a grenade launcher, a weapon that fires a specially-designed large-caliber projectile, often with an explosive, smoke or gas warhead. These soldiers operate as part of a fireteam.

Grenadier-a-pied-de-la-Vieille-Garde
Grenadier of the Old Guard c.1812 by Édouard Detaille

Origins

Grenadier (NYPL b14896507-90049)
17th century grenadier throwing a hand grenade. The concept of throwing grenades made its way to Europe during the mid-17th century.

The concept of throwing grenades may go back to the Ming China, when Chinese soldiers on the Great Wall were reported to be using this weapon. The earliest references to these grenade-throwing soldiers in Western armies come from Austria and Spain. References also appear in England during the English Civil War. However, it was King Louis XIV of France who made the grenadier an official type of soldier and company during his army reforms late in the 17th century.[2] According to René Chartrand, Lt. Col. Jean Martinet introduced the idea of having men detailed to throw grenades in the Régiment du Roi in 1667. In May 1677 the English Army ordered that two soldiers of every Guards Regiment were to be trained as grenadiers; in April 1678 it was ordered that a company of grenadiers be added to the senior eight regiments of foot of the army.[3] On 29 June of that year the diarist John Evelyn saw them at a war games encampment at Hounslow, near London:

Now were brought into service a new sort of soldier called Grenadiers, who were dexterous in flinging hand grenadoes, every one having a pouch full; they had furred caps with coped crowns like Janizaries, which made them look very fierce, and some had long hoods hanging down behind, as we picture fools. Their clothing being likewise piebald, yellow and red.[4]

Grenades

The first grenades were small iron spheres filled with gunpowder fused with a length of slow-match, roughly the size of a baseball. The grenadiers had to be tall and strong enough to hurl these heavy objects far enough so as not to harm themselves or their comrades, and disciplined enough to stand at the forefront of the fight, light the fuse and throw at the appropriate moment to minimize the ability of an enemy to throw the grenade back. Understandably, such requirements led to grenadiers being regarded as an elite fighting force.

Early distinctions of dress and equipment

Hohenfriedeberg - Attack of Prussian Infantry - 1745
Prussian Grenadiers with mitre hats advance during the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.

The wide hats with broad brims characteristic of infantry during the late 17th century were discarded and replaced with caps. This was originally to allow the grenadier to sling his musket over his back with greater ease while throwing grenades (initially, only these troops were provided with slings). Additionally, a brimless hat permitted the grenadier greater ease in throwing the grenade overhand. By 1700, grenadiers in the English and other armies had adopted a cap in the shape of a bishop's mitre, usually decorated with the regimental insignia in embroidered cloth. In addition to grenades, they were equipped with contemporary longarms. The uniform included a belt tube that held the match for lighting the fuse, a feature that was retained in later grenadier uniforms.

Elite status in the 18th century

Grenade usage declined significantly in the early 18th century, a fact that can be attributed to the improved effectiveness of massive infantry line tactics and flintlock technology. However, the need for elite assault troops remained, and the existing grenadier companies were used for this purpose. As noted, above average physical size had been considered important for the original grenadiers and, in principle, height and strength remained the basis of selection for these picked companies. In the British regiments of foot during the 18th century the preference was, however, to draw on steady veterans for appointment to individual vacancies in a grenadier company (one of the eight companies comprising each regiment). The traditional criterion of size was only resorted to when newly raised regiments required a quick sorting of a mass of new recruits.[5] Transferral to a grenadier company generally meant both enhanced status and an increase in subsistence pay.[6]

Whether for reasons of appearance or reputation, grenadiers tended to be the showpiece troops of their respective armies. In the Spanish Army of the early 19th century, for example, grenadier companies were excused routine duties such as town patrols but were expected to provide guards at the headquarters and residences of senior officers. When a regiment was in line formation the grenadiers were always the company which formed on the right flank. In the British Army, when Trooping the Colour, "The British Grenadiers" march is played no matter which regiment is on the parade ground, as the colour party stands at the right-hand end of the line, as every regiment formerly had a company of grenadiers at the right of their formation.

Headgear

Grenadier Guards Annual Inspection by GOC MOD 45157398
The British Army's Grenadier Guards continues to wear bearskins with its full dress uniform.

As noted above, grenadiers were distinguished by their head-gear from the ordinary musketeers (or Hatmen) who made up the bulk of each regiment of foot. While there were some exceptions, the most typical grenadier headdress was either the mitre cap or the bearskin. Both began to appear in various armies during the second half of the 17th century because grenadiers were impeded by the wide brimmed infantry hats of the period when throwing grenades.

The cloth caps worn by the original grenadiers in European armies during the 17th century were frequently trimmed with fur.[7] The practice fell into disuse until the second half of the 18th century when grenadiers in the British, Spanish and French armies began wearing high fur hats with cloth tops and, sometimes, ornamental front plates. The purpose appears to have been to add to the apparent height and impressive appearance of these troops both on the parade ground and the battlefield.[8]

Prussian Grenadier Cap
18th century Prussian grenadier mitre caps (Grenadiermütze).

The mitre cap, whether in stiffened cloth or metal, had become the distinguishing feature of the grenadier in the armies of Britain, Russia, Prussia and most German states during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Spanish, Austrian and French grenadiers favoured high fur hats with long coloured cloth hoods ("bags") to them. The mitre was gradually replaced by bearskin hats in other armies and by 1914 it only survived in three regiments of the Prussian and Russian Imperial Guards. Russian grenadiers had worn their brass fronted mitre hats on active service until 1807 and some of these preserved for parade wear by the Pavlovsky Guards until 1914 still had dents or holes from musket balls. Some have survived for display in museums and collections.

While Northern-European armies such as Britain, Russia, Sweden and various German states (perhaps most famously Prussia) wore the mitre cap, southern countries such as France, Spain, Austria, Portugal and various Italian states preferred the bearskin. By 1768 Britain had adopted the bearskin.[9]

The shape and appearance of fur hats differed according to period and country. While France used smaller bearskins, Spain preferred towering ones with long flowing bags, and while Britain had its tall cloth mitres with lacing and braiding, Russia would sport equally tall leather helmets with brass front-plates. The first headdresses were fairly low, and in the case of Spain and Austria sometimes contained elements from both mitres and bearskins. At the beginning of the 18th century and briefly during the 1770s, French grenadiers wore tricorne hats, rather than either the mitre or fur cap. Gradually, both began to increase in size and decoration, now showing devices such as pompoms, cords, badges, front-plates, plumes, braiding and also various national heraldic symbols.

By the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, both mitres and fur hats had begun to fall out of use in favour of the shako. Two major exceptions were France's Grande Armée (although in 1812, regulations changed grenadier uniforms to those more similar to the ones of fusiliers, except in guard regiments) and the Austrian Army. After the Battle of Friedland in 1807, because of their distinguished performance, Russia's Pavlovsk Regiment were allowed to keep their mitre caps and were admitted to the Imperial Guard.

During the Napoleonic Wars, British grenadiers had normally worn the bearskin only for full dress when at home, since the fur was found to deteriorate rapidly on overseas service.[10] Following their role in the defeat of the French Old Guard at the Battle of Waterloo, the 1st Foot Guards was renamed the Grenadier Guards and all companies of the regiment adopted the bearskin. All British infantry grenadiers retained the fur headdress for parade dress until shortly before the Crimean War, where it was only worn by foot guard regiments.

Grenadier companies

40thRegimentOfFootByDavid Morier
40th Regiment of Foot by David Morier, 1751
MorierGrenadiersRegts464748
A representative panel of the Grenadier Paintings, depicting privates of the 46th, 47th and 48th Reg'ts. of Foot in route march order, by David Morier
2nd Horse Grenadier
Trooper of the 2nd Reg't. of Horse Grenadiers, by David Morier

From the 17th Century[11] to the mid 19th centuries the "Foot" or infantry regiments of the British and several other armies comprised ten companies; eight of them "Battalion" or "Centre" companies, and two "Flank Companies" consisting of one Grenadier and one Light or Light Infantry Company.[12] In the United States an Act of Congress made on 8 May 1792 directed that for every infantry battalion there should be one company of grenadiers, riflemen, or light infantry.[13]

On occasion the grenadier and light companies could be "brigaded" together into separate grenadier and light infantry battalions for assaults or skirmishing respectively.[14]

Each of the line infantry regiments of the Austrian Army of this period included a grenadier division of two companies, separate from the fusilier companies which made up the bulk of the unit. The grenadier companies were frequently detached from the parent regiment and grouped into composite grenadier battalions for a particular campaign or purpose.[15]

The Russian Imperial Army of the 18th century followed a different line of development. Prior to 1731 grenadiers made up five separate regiments. These were disbanded prior to the outbreak of war with Turkey and picked infantrymen were transferred to one of two grenadier companies incorporated in each (two-battalion) line infantry regiment. In 1756 each of these grenadier companies was brought together in four permanent grenadier regiments.[16] This policy of maintaining a separate corps of grenadiers continued until the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Palace Grenadiers was a ceremonial company selected from distinguished veterans, in existence from 1827 to 1917 with the primary role of guarding the Winter Palace.[17]

With the standardisation of training and tactics, the need for separate grenadier companies at regimental level had passed by the mid-19th century and the British, French and Austrian armies phased out these sub-units between 1850 and 1862.

Grenadier regiments

The term grenadier was retained or adopted by various elite infantry units, including Potsdam Grenadiers, the Granatieri di Sardegna (Grenadiers of Sardinia) in Italy, the Foot Grenadiers, Fusilier-Grenadiers, Tirailleur-Grenadiers and Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, the Russian Empire's Imperial Guard, Britain's Grenadier Guards and the 101st Grenadiers. The latter was part of the British Indian Army and claimed to be the first and oldest grenadier regiment (as opposed to grenadier companies) in the British Empire. In 1747 the grenadier companies of a number of disbanded French infantry regiments were brought together to form a single permanent unit - the Grenadiers de France.

During the American Revolution of 1775-1783, the Connecticut 1st Company Governor's Guards [2] and the 11th Regiment of Connecticut Militia had grenadier companies. [3] [4]. New York City also had a Grenadier unit [5], as did South Carolina - the elite 1st South Carolina Regiment, raised and commanded by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.

In Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna created the Grenadier Guards of the Supreme Power on 7 Dec 1841. The formation remained in service until 1847.[18]

A Toronto militia unit was renamed the 10th Royal Grenadiers in 1881, then later became the Royal Regiment of Canada.

World War I and beyond

In 1914 the Imperial German and Russian Armies still included a number of grenadier regiments. In the Russian Army these comprised the Grenadier Guards Regiment (L-G Grenadierski Polk) as well as the Grenadier Corps of sixteen regiments[19] (plus an independent reinforced company of Palace Grenadiers, guarding the St. Petersburg Imperial residences). Five regiments of the Prussian Guard were designated as Garde-Grenadiers and there were an additional fourteen regiment of grenadiers amongst the line infantry of the German Empire. In both the Russian and German armies the grenadier regiments were considered a historic elite, distinguished by features such as plumed helmets in full dress, distinctive facings (yellow for all Russian grenadiers) or special braiding. Their role and training however no longer differed from that of the rest of the infantry.

Today, regiments using the name grenadiers are effectively indistinguishable from other infantry, especially when hand grenades, RPGs, and other types of explosive arms have become standard-issue weaponry; however, such regiments retain at least the tradition of their elite past. Grenadier can also refer to soldiers utilizing grenade launchers, including those mounted on rifles. During World War I a proposal to designate specialist grenade launching units in the British Army as grenadiers was vetoed by the Grenadier Guards who considered that they now had exclusive rights to the ancient distinction, and the term "bomber" was substituted.

During World War I, German troops referred to as assault pioneers, who were early combat engineers or sappers and stormtroopers began using two types of hand grenades in trench warfare operations against the French to clear opposing trenches of troops. The more effective of the two was the so-called "potato masher" Stielhandgranate, which were stick grenades.[20]

The term Panzergrenadier was adopted in the German Wehrmacht to describe mechanized heavy infantry elements whose greater protection and mobility allowed them to keep pace with (and provide intimate protection to) armoured units and formations. This designation reflects the traditional role of grenadiers as shock troops. The term in today's Bundeswehr refer to mechanized infantry.

Defense.gov News Photo 061022-M-9019H-005
An American marine grenadier. Fireteams with the USMC typically include a M203 grenadier.

When parachute units were first created in the United States Army, the Air Corps desired them to be under their control and to be designated "air grenadiers".[21]

The last known unit to serve as grenadiers, and employing grenades as their weapons, was a special "Grenadier brigade" formed by the Red Army within the 4th Army during the Tikhvin defensive operation in October 1941. It was a measure taken because of lack of firearms, and the commander of the brigade was appropriately General Major G.T. Timofeyev who had served in one of the Russian Imperial Army's grenadier regiments during the First World War.[22]

In the Vietnam War US squads usually had at least one soldier whose role was that of a grenadier. He was usually armed with an M79 grenade launcher, although towards the end of the war it was replaced with an XM148 grenade launcher underslinging an M16 rifle in very small numbers. In infantry squads the grenadier was dedicated to his weapon, meaning that he usually carried only the M79 and a M1911 pistol. In some cases, grenadiers were not even issued this sidearm. The M79 was designed to bridge the gap between the maximum throwing range of a grenade and the minimum distance of mortar fire. It also allowed the use of various rounds, notably high explosive, buckshot, flechette, smoke grenades and parachute flares. US squads have continued the concept of the grenadier armed with an M203 or M320 Grenade Launcher Module attached to an M16 or M4.

Argentina

CASA DE GOBIERNO 14
The Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers of the Argentine Army. Unlike most other units which carried the title of grenadiers, the Mounted Grenadiers were a cavalry unit.

The Argentine Army still maintains a prestigious unit known as the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers (Regimiento de Granaderos a Caballo)--actually a squadron-strength formation—which serves as the Presidential ceremonial escort and guard unit. The regiment was founded in 1903 as a recreation of a unit which existed from 1813 to 1826 under the leadership of national hero General José de San Martín.

Unlike most other units which carried the title of "grenadiers", the Argentine Grenadiers are a cavalry unit, and continue to mount horses for ceremonial purposes, as well as carrying lances and cavalry sabers.

Belgium

See: Regiment Carabiniers Prins Boudewijn – Grenadiers

The Belgian Land Component retains two regiments of grenadiers based in Brussels. First raised in 1837 from companies drawn from the line infantry of the newly independent kingdom, these troops served with distinction in both World Wars. In peacetime they had a ceremonial role which corresponded to that of royal guards in other armies. In 1960 the historic blue and red full dress worn prior to World War I was reintroduced for limited wear, although the tall bearskin headdress is now made of synthetic material.

Canada

The Canadian Grenadier Guards is one of the longest serving units in the Canadian Army's Primary Reserve, it still continues today, both in its reserve role and as a ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial, Rideau Hall, and other places of symbolic importance.

The 10th Royal Grenadiers later became the Royal Regiment of Canada with tradition surviving in a grenadier company.

Chile

The same case of the Mounted Grenadier Regiment in Argentina also applies to its western neighbor Chile. The Presidential Horse Guards Cavalry Regiment "Grenadiers" (Regimiento Escolta Presidencial n.1 "Granaderos") of the Chilean Army is active since 1827, has fought in every major battle of the Chilean Army in the 19th century and since 1840 and 1907 has served as the Escort Regiment to the President of Chile in every important national occasion. This regiment is named after General Manuel Bulnes Prieto, the founding patron of the regiment, who led the Chilean Army to victory in the War of the Peru-Bolivia Confederation in the crucial Battle of Yungay in 1839, which signaled the confederation's demise.

The Chilean Grenadiers' uniforms, until 2011, were similar to the full Feldgrau uniforms of the Chilean Army, but adapted for the cavalry, and like their Argentine counterparts, carry lances but not cavalry sabers, which are reserved for officers and the mounted colors guard escort. Starting 2011, they wear a cavalry light blue full dress uniform with Pickelhaubes for all ranks.

Ecuador

The "Tarqui Grenadiers" serve as the Presidential Escort Squadron for the President of Ecuador. The unit stands guard at Quito's Carondelet Palace and retains the uniform worn during the Battle of Tarqui of 1829, reporting as part of the Ecuadorian Army.

France

While the French army has not included any grenadiers since 1870, the grenade badge is still a distinctive mark of the Foreign Legion, the National Gendarmerie and the French Customs which was a military unit until 1940.

Germany

ILÜ der Bundeswehr am 24.09.2012 -- Panzergr
A panzergrenadier squad of the German Heer. A panzergrenadier is the lowest rank of the German mechanized infantry.
  • Grenadier is the lowest rank (OR-1[23]) in the Heeresanteil (en: army part) of the Bundeswehr Wachbataillon (en: Bundeswehr guard battalion).
  • Furthermore, in German Heer Panzergrenadier (en: armoured grenadier) is the lowest rank (OR-1) of the Panzergrenadieretruppe (en: mechanized infantry).

India

The Grenadiers is a regiment of the Indian Army, formerly known as the 4th Bombay Grenadiers when part of the British Indian Army. It is the oldest active and continuing Grenadier regiment in the Commonwealth of Nations.

Italy

The Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade (Reggimento Granatieri di Sardegna) is currently part of the mechanized infantry brigade with the same name in the Italian Army. This unit traces its history back to a guards regiment raised in 1659 and is made up predominantly of one year volunteers. Historically, as the senior regiment in the Piedmontese and Italian armies the Grenadiers of Sardinia took the tallest recruits[24] of each intake. On ceremonial occasions the Italian Grenadiers parade in their 19th century blue uniforms and fur headdresses. The 1st Grenadiers of Sardinia regiment is currently (2010) the only infantry regiment of the Italian Army with two battalions (1st "Assietta" and 2nd "Cengio" Grenadiers battalions), and it is likely that in the near future its 2nd battalion will be detached to re-activate the 2nd Sardinia Grenadiers Regiment.

Mexico

In Mexico, Grenadiers (Granaderos) are armored specialist police units used for anti-riot duties and other security roles. The Federal Police maintains regional grenadier companies for public security duties, while performing law enforcement and wearing FP uniforms.

Netherlands

LG Prinsjesdag 2013 16
Grenadiers' and Rifles Guard Regiment was the amalgamation of the grenadiers guard regiment and the Jagers guard regiment.

The Royal Netherlands Army maintains a regiment of Guard Grenadiers who retain the bearskin headdress of the early 19th century. This regiment has been amalgamated with the Jager Guards to form the "Garderegiment Grenadiers en Jagers" Two of its companies are Jagers (riflemen), the other two are grenadiers; it wears the maroon beret and is an air assault and airborne forces trained unit.

Norway

In the Norwegian Army and Air Force, grenadier (Norwegian: grenader) is used as a rank, the lowest enlisted below sergeant, to distinguish professional soldiers from conscripts. The grenadiers are employed for positions requiring more experience and/or professional presence. Fully professionalised units, such as the Telemark Battalion, serve in international operations. Professional enlisted personnel in the Navy has the equivalent rank matros (able seaman).

Spain

There is one company of the 1st King's Immemorial Infantry Regiment which during ceremonies is authorized to use grenadier uniforms of the Charles III period.

Sweden

The Grenadier Company is the honor guard of the Swedish Army's Life Guards for state ceremonies. Their uniform includes bearskin hats, and white baldrics (cross belts) that originally carried the fuses used to light grenades. The grenadiers bear the King's own Life Company banner, which was presented to the unit in 1868 by Charles XV's consort, Queen Louise.[25]

Switzerland

SRC 023
A Swiss Grenadier takes part in Swiss Raid Commando. Swiss Grenadiers units make up a part of the Swiss Special Forces Command.

In the military of Switzerland, the Grenadiers form well trained mechanized infantry units. They are used for especially challenging operations and are initially trained in Isone, a secluded, mountainous region in the South of Switzerland. The Swiss Kommando Spezialkräfte specialize in urban warfare, guerrilla warfare, anti-terrorist operations, commando tactics, sniper missions, hand-to-hand combat, and other special operations.

United Kingdom

The Grenadier Guards are one of the five prestigious regiments of Foot Guards, each of which retain the bearskin headdress originally associated with grenadiers.

The Grenadier Guards are officially recognized as the most senior regiment of foot guards, although this is not recognized by the Coldstream Guards, who are an older regiment founded six years earlier. The older age of the Coldstream Guards is not recognized as seniority because they were formed to serve the Commonwealth and only served the English (later British) monarchy after the Stuart Restoration. On the other hand, the Grenadier Guards were formed a few years before the Restoration by Charles II while still in exile in the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium), so the Grenadier Guards have a longer service to the crown.[26]

United States

The United States Army rifle squad consists of two fireteams of four soldiers each, with the designated grenadier being equipped with an M4/M16 with the M203 grenade launcher (or newer M320) slung under the barrel and providing limited high-angle fire over 'dead space'.[27]

The United States Marine Corps rifle squad consists of three four-man fireteams including a team leader who also works as the M203 grenadier. During the Vietnam War there was one grenadier in the squad armed with an M79 grenade launcher.

References

  1. ^ "grenadier". Retrieved 30 March 2018 – via The Free Dictionary.
  2. ^ René Chartrand, page 18 Louis XIV's Army, ISBN 0850458501
  3. ^ p.34 Tincey, John The British Army 1660-1704 Osprey Publishing, 31/03/1994
  4. ^ Evelyn. The Diary of John Evelyn From 1641 to 1705/6
  5. ^ Stuart Reid, page 16 "British Redcoat 1740-93", ISBN 1-85532-554-3
  6. ^ Stuart Reid, page 18 "British Redcoat 1740-93", ISBN 1-85532-554-3
  7. ^ W.Y. Carman, page 35, "British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures", Hamlyn Publishing 1968
  8. ^ Military Uniforms of the World: Preben Kannil SBN 71370482 9
  9. ^ Liliane and Fred Funcken, page 83 "L'Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats de la Guerre en Dentelle", ISBN 2-203-14315-0
  10. ^ W.Y. Carman, page 112 "British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures", Hamlyn Publishing Group 1968
  11. ^ p.4 Fraser, David The Grenadier Guards Osprey Publishing, 01/07/1989
  12. ^ p.39 Logusz, Michael O. With Musket and Tomahawk: The Saratoga Campaign and the Wilderness War of 1777 Casemate Publishers, 19/05/2010
  13. ^ p.xxxv Miller, A.E. printer The Militia System of South-Carolina: ..., 1835
  14. ^ p.143 Kirke, Charles Red Coat, Green Machine: Continuity in Change in the British Army 1700 to 2000 Continuum International Publishing Group, 28/12/2009
  15. ^ Philip Haythornthwaite, page 5 "Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1): Infantry", ISBN 0-85045-689-4
  16. ^ Angus Konstan, pages 16-17 "Russian Army of the Seven Years War (1)", ISBN 1 85532 585 3
  17. ^ Borris Mollo, page 131 "Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army", ISBN 0-7137-0920-0
  18. ^ p.42 Chartrand, Rene Santa Anna's Mexican Army 1821-48 Osprey Publishing, 25/03/2004
  19. ^ Mollo, Boris (1987). Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army (2nd ed.). pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-0713719390.
  20. ^ p.36, Gudmundsson, Hyland
  21. ^ p.5 Rottman, Gordon US Army Airborne 1940-90 Osprey Publishing, 18/09/2012
  22. ^ Alexei Valeriyevich Isayev, Cauldrons of 41': History of the Great Patriotic War which we didn't know, Yauza, Moscow, 2005 (in Russian)[1]
  23. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
  24. ^ David Nicolle, page 21 "The Italian Army of World War I, ISBN 1-84176-398-5
  25. ^ http://www.kungahuset.se: The Wedding - The Guards Battalion
  26. ^ Major R.M. Barnes, page 26 "A History of the Regiments & Uniforms of the British Army", First Sphere Books 1971,
  27. ^ US Army Field Manual 3-21.8 Archived 2012-09-16 at the Wayback Machine (Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, formerly FM 7-8)

Sources

  • Gudmundsson, Bruce I., Hyland, William, Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918, Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated, 1995

External links

14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician)

The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) (German: 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (galizische Nr. 1)), Ukrainian: 14а Гренадерська Дивізія СС (1а галицька)), prior to 1944 titled the 14th SS-Volunteer Division "Galicia" (German: 14. SS-Freiwilligen Division "Galizien", Ukrainian: 14а Добровільна Дивізія СС "Галичина") was a World War II German military formation made up predominantly of volunteers with a Ukrainian ethnic background from the area of Galicia, later also with some Slovaks and Czechs. Formed in 1943, it was largely destroyed in the battle of Brody, reformed, and saw action in Slovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria before being renamed the first division of the Ukrainian National Army and surrendering to the Western Allies by 10 May 1945.

15th Panzergrenadier Division (Wehrmacht)

15th Panzergrenadier Division was a mobile division of the German Army in World War II

19th Grenadier Division (Wehrmacht)

The 19th Grenadier Division (German: 19. Grenadier-Division) of the German Army in World War II was formed from remnants of the 19. Luftwaffen-Sturm-Division (19th Airforce Storm Division) and was renamed 19. Volksgrenadier-Division (19th People's Grenadier Division) in October 1944.

29th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

The 29th Infantry Division was a unit of the German army created in the fall of 1936. It was based on the old Reichswehr 15th Infantry Regiment and drew its initial recruits from Thuringia. It was upgraded to 29th Motorized Infantry Division in the fall of 1937. The division was also known as the Falke-Division (Falcon Division).

30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS

The 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (German: 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS) was a German Waffen SS infantry division formed largely from Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian personnel of the Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling in August 1944 at Warsaw, Poland. The division was transferred to southeastern France by mid-August 1944 to combat the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). The division's performance in combat was poor, and two battalions mutinied, murdered their German leaders, and defected to the FFI. Other troops of the division crossed the Swiss border and were interned. Afterwards, some of the division's personnel were transferred to the Russian Liberation Army while others were retained to form the SS "White Ruthenian" infantry brigade from January 1945.

33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)

The 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French) (German: 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS "Charlemagne" (französische Nr. 1)) and Charlemagne Regiment are collective names used for units of French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II. An estimated 7,340 to 11,000 men served in the unit at its peak in 1944. The unit's members participated in the final days of the Battle in Berlin in the area of the Führerbunker and were among the last Axis forces to surrender.

562nd Grenadier Division (Wehrmacht)

The 562nd Grenadier Division was a German military unit during World War II.

94th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)

The 94th Infantry Division (German: 94. Infanteriedivision) was a German Army infantry division in World War II.

German Army (1935–1945)

The German Army (German: Heer, German pronunciation: [ˈheːɐ̯], lit. Army) was the land forces component of the Wehrmacht, the regular German Armed Forces, from 1935 until it was demobilized and later dissolved in August 1946. During World War II, a total of about 13 million soldiers served in the German Army. Germany's army personnel were made up of volunteers and conscripts

Only 17 months after Adolf Hitler announced publicly the rearmament program, the Army reached its projected goal of 36 divisions. During the autumn of 1937 two more corps were formed. In 1938 four additional corps were formed with the inclusion of the five divisions of the Austrian Army after the Anschluss in March. During the period of its expansion under Hitler, the German Army continued to develop concepts pioneered during World War I, combining ground (Heer) and air (Luftwaffe) assets into combined arms forces. Coupled with operational and tactical methods such as encirclements and the "battle of annihilation", the German military managed quick victories in the two initial years of World War II, a new style of warfare described as Blitzkrieg (lightning war) for its speed and destructive power.The infantry remained foot soldiers throughout the war; artillery also remained primarily horse-drawn. The motorized formations received much attention in the world press in the opening years of the war, and were cited as the main reason for the success of the German invasions of Poland (September 1939), Norway and Denmark (April 1940), Belgium, France and Netherlands (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941) and the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941). However their motorized and tank formations accounted for only 20% of the Heer's capacity at their peak strength. The army's lack of trucks (and of petroleum to run them) severely limited infantry movement, especially during and after the Normandy invasion when Allied air-power devastated the French rail network north of the Loire. Panzer movements also depended on rail, since driving a tank long distances wore out its tracks.

Grenadier Guards

The Grenadier Guards (GREN GDS) is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being held by the Life Guards. Although the Coldstream Guards were formed before the Grenadier Guards, the regiment is ranked after the Grenadiers in seniority as, having been a regiment of the New Model Army, the Coldstream Guards served the Crown for four fewer years than the Grenadiers (the Grenadiers having formed as a Royalist regiment in exile in 1656 and the Coldstream Guards having sworn allegiance to the Crown upon the Restoration in 1660).

The grouping of buttons on the tunic is a common way to distinguish among the regiments of Foot Guards. Grenadier Guards' buttons are equally spaced and embossed with the Royal Cypher reversed and interlaced surrounded by the Royal Garter bearing the royal motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (May he be shamed who thinks badly of it). Their white belt ("Buff Belt") with brass clasps also carry the Royal Cypher. Modern Grenadier Guardsmen wear a cap badge of a "grenade fired proper" with seventeen flames. This cap badge has to be cleaned twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. A tarnished grenade is severely frowned upon and can be punished by disciplinary action within the Regiment.

Grenadier Models Inc.

Grenadier Models Inc. of Springfield, Pennsylvania produced lead miniature figures for wargames and role-playing games with fantasy, science fiction and heroic themes between 1975 and 1996. Grenadier Models Inc. is best known for their figures for TSR, Inc.'s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, collectible Dragon-of-the-Month and Giants Club figures, and their marketing of paint and miniature sets through traditional retail outlets.

The company began as a basement enterprise, but by 1983 they had grown to a staff of 50 people and had the third highest gross sales in the expanding gaming market. Grenadier's sculptors included John Dennett, Janine Bennett, Julie Guthrie, Robert Watts, Nick Lund, Mark Copplestone, Michael Daley, Sandra Garrity, Bob Naismith, William Watt and Ian Symonds. Grenadier closed its doors in 1996, but many of their products remain in production by companies in the UK, Italy and the United States.

List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (M)

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its variants were the highest awards in the military of Nazi Germany during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. A total of 7,321 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. This number is based on the acceptance by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the German Army, Kriegsmarine (navy) and Luftwaffe (air force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reich Labour Service and the Volkssturm (German national militia). There were also 43 foreign recipients of the award.These recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945. Fellgiebel was the former chairman and head of the order commission of the AKCR. In 1996, a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting 11 of these original recipients. Author Veit Scherzer has cast doubt on a further 193 of these listings. The majority of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of Germany in the final days of World War II in Europe left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process.Listed here are the 118 Knight's Cross recipients of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS whose last name starts with "M". Fellgiebel himself delisted one and Scherzer has challenged the validity of seven more of these listings. The recipients are ordered alphabetically by last name. The rank listed is the recipient's rank at the time the Knight's Cross was awarded.

List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (Sa–Schr)

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. A total of 7,321 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. This number is based on the acceptance by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reich Labour Service and the Volkssturm (German national militia). There were also 43 foreign recipients of the award.These recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945. Fellgiebel was the former chairman and head of the order commission of the AKCR. In 1996 a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting 11 of these original recipients. Author Veit Scherzer has cast doubt on a further 193 of these listings. The majority of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of Germany during the final days of World War II left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process.Listed here are the 457 recipients whose last name is in the range "Sa–Schr". Scherzer has challenged the validity of 11 of these listings. This is the first of two lists of all 1,060 Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients whose last names start with "S". The recipients whose last name is in the range "Schu–Sz" are listed at List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (Schu–Sz). The recipients are ordered alphabetically by last name. The rank listed is the recipient's rank at the time the Knight's Cross was awarded.

List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (Schu–Sz)

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. A total of 7,321 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. This number is based on the acceptance by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (air force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reich Labour Service and the Volkssturm (German national militia). There were also 43 recipients in the military forces of allies of the Third Reich.These recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945. Fellgiebel was the former chairman and head of the order commission of the AKCR. In 1996 a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting 11 of these original recipients. Author Veit Scherzer has cast doubt on a further 193 of these listings. The majority of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of the Third Reich during the final days of World War II left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process.Listed here are the 603 recipients whose last name is in the range "Schu–Sz". Scherzer has challenged the validity of 14 of these listings. This is the second of two lists of all 1,060 Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients whose last names start with "S". The remaining recipients whose last name starts with "Sa–Schr" are listed at List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (Sa–Schr). The recipients are ordered alphabetically by last name. The rank listed is the recipient's rank at the time the Knight's Cross was awarded.

List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients (W)

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) and its variants were the highest awards in the military and paramilitary forces of Nazi Germany during World War II. The decoration was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low-ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. A total of 7,321 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. This number is based on the acceptance by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR). Presentations were made to members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reich Labour Service, and the Volkssturm (German national militia). There were also 43 foreign recipients of the award.These recipients are listed in the 1986 edition of Walther-Peer Fellgiebel's book, Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945. Fellgiebel was the former chairman and head of the order commission of the AKCR. In 1996 a second edition of this book was published with an addendum delisting 11 of these original recipients. Author Veit Scherzer has cast doubt on a further 193 of these listings. The majority of the disputed recipients had received the award in 1945, when the deteriorating situation of Germany during the final days of World War II left a number of nominations incomplete and pending in various stages of the approval process.Listed here are the 446 Knight's Cross recipients of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS whose last name starts with "W". Scherzer has challenged the validity of 11 of these listings. The recipients are initially ordered alphabetically by last name. The rank listed is the recipient's rank at the time the Knight's Cross was awarded.

Needle Mountains

The Needle Mountains are a subrange of the San Juan Mountains of the Rocky Mountains located in the southwestern part of the U.S. State of Colorado. Much of the range is protected in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan National Forest. The range is notable for having some of the most rugged mountains in the state, and includes many technical climbs and scrambles. A small but dramatic east-west subrange in the northern section is known as the Grenadier Range.

Notable peaks include:

Mount Eolus, 14,083 ft

Windom Peak, 14,082 ft

Sunlight Peak, 14,059 ft

Pigeon Peak, 13,972 ft

Vestal Peak, 13,864 ft (Grenadier Range)

Turret Peak, 13,835 ft

Jagged Mountain, 13,824 ft

Arrow Peak, 13,803 ft (Grenadier Range)

Animas Mountain, 13,786 ft

Storm King Peak, 13,752 ft (Grenadier Range)

Mount Silex, 13,628 ft

The Guardian (Colorado), 13,617 ft

Leviathan Peak, 13,528 ft

Vallecito Mountain, 13,428 ft

Mount Garfield, 13,074 ft

Panzer-Grenadier-Division Großdeutschland

The Panzer Grenadier Division Großdeutschland (also commonly referred to simply as Großdeutschland or Großdeutschland Division) was an elite combat unit of the German Army (Heer) that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. Großdeutschland was one of the best-equipped units of the German Army.The unit originally started out as a ceremonial guard unit in the 1920s and by the late 1930s had grown into a regiment of the combined Wehrmacht German armed forces. The regiment would later be expanded and renamed Infantry Division Großdeutschland in 1942, and after significant reorganization was renamed Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland in May 1943. In November 1944, while the division retained its status as a panzergrenadier division, some of its subordinate units were expanded to divisional status, and the whole group of divisions were reorganized as Panzerkorps Großdeutschland.

SS Sturmbrigade RONA

S.S. Sturmbrigade R.O.N.A. (also known as the Kaminski Brigade) was a collaborationist formation composed of Soviet nationals from the territory of Lokot Autonomy during German-occupied areas of Russia during the German-Soviet War of 1939−45.First appearing in late 1941 as auxiliary police, the unit initially numbered 200 personnel. By mid-1943, its size had increased to 10,000-12,000 men equipped with captured Soviet tanks and artillery. Bronislav Kaminski, the unit's leader, named it the Russian National Liberation Army (Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya, RONA).

After the failure of Operation Citadel, RONA personnel retreated to Belarus and the Lepel area of Vitebsk, where they were involved in German security operations, committing numerous atrocities against the civilian population. In March 1944, the unit was briefly renamed to Volksheer-Brigade Kaminski (Militia Brigade Kaminski), before it was absorbed into the Waffen-SS in June 1944.

With its transfer to the Waffen-SS, the brigade was renamed to Waffen-Sturm-Brigade RONA, and Kaminski was given the rank of Waffen-Brigadeführer der SS (the only man with such a rank). After Operation Bagration, the RONA retreated further west, and by the end of July 1944, the remains of the Kaminski unit (3-4 thousand—some sources estimate 6-7 thousand) were assembled at the SS training camp Neuhammer. On the Kaminski unit base, SS leaders planned to create a SS Division – 29.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr.1).

However, the Warsaw Uprising began on the same day as Himmler's signing of an order for the establishment of the division. The division formation was never implemented and part of the RONA Brigade was sent to Warsaw, where the unit was again involved in committing numerous atrocities. On 18 August 1944, Bronislav Kaminski was killed. According to various sources, either an SS court found him guilty or he was simply executed outright by the German Gestapo.

By August 27, deciding the brigade was too undisciplined and unreliable, the German commanders removed it from Warsaw. The unit was sent to Slovakia, where it was used against Slovak partisans. After the end of October 1944, the brigade was disbanded and the remaining personnel absorbed into General Andrey Vlasov's Russian Liberation Army.

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