Östgöta Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Östgöta Infantry

Origin and History

Descended from the Östgötafänikors which were organized in the 1550's (the fänikors were smaller units of about 500 men) and from the same Storeregements as Jönköping regiment. The regiment was initially raised in 1618 as the Östergötland Storeregement, one of the nine grand regiments organised by Gustavus Adolphus.

Around 1623, this Grand Regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments and one cavalry regiment (Östgöta).

In 1685, the Grand Regiment was finally broken down into three distinct and independent "Indelta" regiments, giving birth to the Östgöta Infantry regiment.

In Pomerania in 1699, then at the beginning of the Great Northern War in the 1700 Holstein campaign. With Gyllenstierna in Poland from 1702 and then with the King army. Captured at Poltava (1709). Reraised in 1710 and then in the Skane campaign. Transferred in Germany, 1712 and in Stenbock's campaign. Captured at Tönningen (1713). Raised again and in the Norwegian campaigns of 1716 and 1718.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of 1,200 privates in 2 battalions of 4 companies. Each company had 150 privates and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • K. H. Krebs

Service during the War

In 1757, six companies of the regiment (about 1000 men) were sent to Pomerania.

On November 18 1758, a detachment of the regiment was part of General von Lingen's force at the Combat of Güstow.

To do campaigns from 1759 to 1761

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
sketches of infantry uniforms from the
Swedish War Archives
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a tin button on the left side
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a blue bag (because of the great similarity of the Prussian and Swedish grenadiers, in the field the mitre was covered with a black wax cloth)
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue with 10 tin buttons down the front with yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 tin buttons at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one tin button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 tin buttons each
Cuffs saffron yellow
Turnbacks saffron yellow
Waistcoat yellow
Breeches yellow
Gaiters white stockings with brown leather strap at knee
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt broad white leather shoulder-strap
Waistbelt white with brass buckle
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes with brass buckles


Troopers were armed with a sword and a musket. The bayonet was permanently fixed to the musket.

Other interpretations

Schirmer as well as Pengel and Hurt mention white trimmed buttonholes.

NCOs

Corporals wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • silver lace on the tricorne
  • wide yellow buttonholes on the coat and pockets
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)

Sub officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • silver lace on the tricorne
  • no shoulder straps

NCOs carried halberds but no cane.

Officers

Officers wore a blue uniform (coat) with blue distinctives (collar, cuffs, turnbacks). They were further distinguished from privates by:

  • a gold lace on the tricorne
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • a silver gorget
  • brass buttons
  • blue or black breeches (breeches of the same colour as those of the privates were also worn)

N.B.: contrarily to the custom in other armies, Swedish officers did not wear any sash

Horses were equipped with blue housing with a yellow border.

Musicians

The drummers wore uniforms identical to those of the privates but with gold/white laces running along the seems of the sleeves and shoulders and edging the collar and pockets. Furthermore, a wide vertical gold/white lace was sewn on the coat along the buttonholes.

The drums were brass with provincial coats of arms embossed on the front. The rims were blue with yellow edging.

Colours

The pikes used as staffs to carry the colours were always yellow. The Liffana had gold finials while the Kompanifana had steel finials. The colours measured 2.12 x 1.70 m. (1.81 x 1.33 m. as per Clifford).

Liffana (colonel flag): white field; centre device carried the crowned royal arms of Sweden flanked by 2 crowned golden lions; the outer corner of the first canton carried a yellow griffin and 4 blue roses.

N.B.: for the liffana, Clifford adds a pedestal supporting the arms, the letters “AFRS” above the arms and 1 royal crown in the corner of each of the 3 remaining cantons.

Kompanifana (ordonnance flag): red field; centre device consisting of a yellow griffin and 4 blue roses; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: User:Hannoverdidi
Ordonnance Flag - Source: User:Hannoverdidi

The colonel's battalion carried the Liffana and a Kompanifana. The lieutenant-colonel's battalion carried 2 Kompanifanor.

References

Economic Expert: Ostrogothia Grand Regiment (website)

Großer Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen - Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 6 Leuthen, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher), Berlin 1904, pp.92-107, Annex pp. 11-16

Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

Pengel, R. D. and G. R. Hurt: Swedish Army in Pomerania – 1757-1763, Birmingham, 1983

Purky, Jim: Swedish Army Organization, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

Säwe, Teofron: Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Beijers Bokförlagsaktiebolag, Stockholm, 1915

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Schorr, Dan: Swedish Flags 1757-1762 - Part II Infantry Flags, The Courrier, March-April 1980

Schorr, Dan: Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979

Swedish War Archives, Sketches of infantry uniforms

English Wikipedia - Östgöta infanteriregemente

Wilson, Peter: The Swedish Army in 1756, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.