Behr Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Brunswick Army >> Behr Infantry

Origin and History

The first battalion of the regiment originated from Regiment Kragen raised in 1688. In 1714, this regiment formed the first battalion of the Garde. In 1748, when the Garde was subdivided into 2 distinct regiments, the unit became known as Regiment Both. In 1754, when the Army of Brunswick was reorganised into 4 regiments, each of 2 battalions, the unit formed the second battalion of the present regiment.

The second battalion of the regiment originated from Regiment Ziegenhirth raised in 1714. In 1721, this regiment was renamed Volckening. In 1738, it was increased to 2 battalions. In 1748, for the campaign in the Netherlands, the first battalion of Regiment Volckening formed a distinct regiment under the name of von Stammer. In 1754, when the Army of Brunswick was reorganised into 4 regiments, each of 2 battalions, Regiment Stammer formed the first battalion of the present regiment.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 2 battalions. Each battalion consisted of 1 grenadier and 5 musketeer companies. The grenadiers of the regiment were amalgamated with those of Zastrow Infantry to form the Grenadier Battalion von Redecken.

Each grenadier company counted 141 men while musketeer companies counted 119 men.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive regimental inhaber were:

  • since 1754: von Stammer
  • from 1756: von Behr
  • from 1760 to 1776: von Mansberg

The regiment was disbanded in 1806.

Service during the War

During the war, the regiment was in the British service.

On July 26 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it fought in the first line of the left wing under Lieutenant-General Imhoff.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with the main force of Ferdinand of Brunswick in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to Behr's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first column under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. In June, the regiment was still part of the Allied main army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On July 30, Gilsa marched from the Allied camp near Minden at the head of 3 bns, including the 1st battalion of this regiment, to take post at Lübbecke and maintain communication with the Hereditary Prince. On August 1, the 2nd battalion took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 7th column under Major-General von Einsiedel; while the 1st battalion was deployed in Gilsa's detachment at Lübbecke. During the night of December 21, the regiment was cantoned at Kleinlinden when 1,200 men of the French garrison of Giessen made a sally to surprise it. However, the Allied piquets gave the alarm and the infantry repulsed the French attack, killing 20 men and taking 20 prisoners.

During the war, the unit was also engaged at Fulda, Fritzlar, Ziegenhain, Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal.

Uniform

Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760

  • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
  • Copy (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
  • Copy (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)

Privates

Uniform - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white; white within red pompoms
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap: pewter front plate; blue back; red headband and lining; white within red pompom
Neckstock red at the beginning of the war but soon changed to black
Coat dark blue with 2 pewter buttons below the right lapel and 1 pewter button in the small of the back
Collar red
Shoulder Straps probably dark blue
Lapels red edged white with 6 pewter buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red Swedish cuffs edged white with 2 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat yellow at the beginning of the war but soon changed to white
Breeches yellow at the beginning of the war but soon changed to white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt white
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black with brass ornaments
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following distinction:

  • a black tricorne scalloped in silver
  • white neckstock
  • silver buttons
  • a silver gorget with an inner red metal disc charged with a galloping white horse
  • a silver sash interwoven with yellow
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • an officer stick

Officers carried spontoons.

The officers of the grenadier companies wore tricornes and carried spontoons since 1754.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • silver laced tricorne
  • cuffs and lapels edged silver
  • no shoulder strap

NCOs carried halberds (Kurzgewehr).

Musicians

The drummers wore a dark blue coat with the collar, cuff, lapel and turnback the same as the troopers. The swallow nest on the shoulder was white while white lace edged the front of the coat.

N.B.: Kannik (see references) gives a yellow coat to musicians of all foot regiments of the Brunswicker Army. An explanation could be that the coat was yellow during the first years of the war but changed to blue when yellow waistcoats and breeches became white.

The drum had a brass base carrying the Brunswick coat of arms with a rim decorated with red and white diagonal stripes and with white cords.

Colours

New colours were introduced in 1754 when the Army of Brunswick was reorganised. These colours were of the the Prussian pattern with flames and corner monograms. There are no known surviving examples of the colours used during the Seven Years' War.

Here is a tentative reconstruction based on the general pattern of the colours used in 1776 during the American War of Independence and on the distinctive colour of the regiment. These colours are hypothetical.

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with red flames, red central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath surmounted by a silver ducal crown and decorated with a springing white horse surmounted by a silver scroll bearing the motto "Nunquam Retrorsum". Silver corner monograms: crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers (two intertwined C's). Silver grenades superimposed on the flames.

Regimental colours (Regimentsfahne): Red field with white flames, red central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath surmounted by a silver ducal crown and decorated with a springing white horse surmounted by a silver scroll bearing the motto "Nunquam Retrorsum". Silver corner monograms: crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers (two intertwined C's). Silver grenades superimposed on the flames.

Colonel Colour - Source: Richard Couture from elements contributed by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour – Source: Richard Couture from elements contributed by Hannoverdidi

References

Kannik, Preben: Uniformen in Farbe, Universitas Verlag, Berlin, 1967

Ortenburg, Georg von: Braunschweigisches Militär, Elm Verlag, Cremlingen, 1987

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Scharf, Friedrich Ludwig: Buntes Tuch. Zweierlei Tuch. o.O., o.Jg.

Schirmer; Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989

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