Prussian Uniforms c. 1785: Officer and Infantryman from the 1st Guard Battalion, Number 15 (Late 18th Century)
The introduction of standardized military uniforms went hand in hand with the establishment of standing armies in the second half of the seventeenth century. Distinctive uniforms played an important role in fostering the soldiers’ sense of identification with the state and the general population alike. This image of Prussian uniforms (c. 1785) depicts an officer (left) and a grenadier (right) from the First Guards Battalion No. 15. Apart from the officer’s longer coat and more elaborate ornamentation (and the officer’s cane and rapier instead of saber), the garments are very similar in both color and basic design. Such commonalities heightened the esprit de corps among enlistees and officers alike. Colored etching by an unknown artist, late eighteenth century.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Kunstbibliothek, SMB / Knud Petersen
Original: Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin