Björneborgs Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created on February 16 1626 when the Finnish Grand Regiment was divided into smaller units.

In 1634, a government regulation ranked the Björneborgs Regiment sixth among the infantry regiments.

During the Great Northern War, transferred to Riga in the Spring 1700, fortress garrison thereafter. With Lewenhaupt to the Ukraine, 1708. After the battle of Ljesna, 1708, the survivors were placed under Västerbottens regiment and captured after Poltava. Reraised in 1710 and belonged to the Army of Finland. In the campaign against Trondhjem with Armfeldt, 1718

This Finnish regiment counted 1,025 men and consisted of two battalions of 4 companies. Each company should have consisted of 140 men.

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

  • since 1749: Hans Henrik Delwig
  • from 1758: Ture Gustav Rudbeck
  • from 1760: Johan Hasfehr
  • from 1762 to 1763: Lorentz Johan Goos

Service during the War

Initially, the regiment was not involved in this war and remained in Scandinavia.

In 1761, 4 companies (500 men) of the regiment were transported to Pomerania to reinforce the Swedish army fighting Prussia.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a brass 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 brass buttons down the front with yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 brass buttons at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one brass button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 brass 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 mentions white trimmed buttonholes and yellow buttons.

NCOs

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

  • a silver lace on the tricorne
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)

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

Musicians usually wore a yellow coat with white swallow nests on the shoulders.

The drum had a brass barrel decorated with a brown bear wearing a gold crown and surrounded by two white six pointed stars. Rims were blue edged yellow.

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 charged with a brown bear wearing a gold crown and surrounded by two white six pointed stars.

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): blue (upper part) and yellow (lower part) field; centre device charged with a brown bear wearing a gold crown and surrounded by two white six pointed stars; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi

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

References

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

Högman, Hans: Svenska regementen under indelningsverkets dagar (broken link)

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

Virtual Finland

English Wikipedia – Björneborgs läns regemente

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.