Blå Hussars

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Blå Hussars

Origin and History

Trooper of Blå Hussars - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Dr Marco Pagan

On December 19 1757, Baron Ungern-Sternberg mandated Count Fredrik Ulrik Putbus of Posseska Infantry and von Platen from Drottningens Livregemente to raise, by the end of April 1758, 2 hussar squadrons counting 100 men each.

On June 20 1758, Baron Wrangel raised a hussar regiment of 10 squadrons of 100 men each, known as the "Blue Hussars". The squadrons raised earlier by count Putbus and von Platen were incorporated into this new regiment. Recruitment took place in Danzig and Lübeck, and partially in Sweden. The regiment was organised along the Prussian model and the language of command was German.

On October 10 1761, the regiment contributed 5 squadrons to the newly raised Gula Husarenregiment while receiving an additional squadron. It now consisted of 6 squadrons for a total of 800 troopers.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since June 20 1758: Baron (friherre af Adinal) Georg Gustaf Wrangel
  • from October 10 1761: Colonel Count Fredrik Ulrik Putbus


Service during the War

Did you know that...
The famous Prussian General von Blücher originally served with the Blå Hussars during the first campaigns of the Swedish Field Army in Pomerania?

Gebhardt Leberecht von Blücher was born in Rostock in Mecklenburg but belonged to an old Pomeranian family.

He joined the Swedish Blå Hussars at the age of 16. When he was around 18, he served in the vanguard of a Swedish force under Colonel Count Johan Sparre. On August 29 1760 (or September 1 according to Lantingshausen's journal), this vanguard gave chase to a couple of squadrons belonging to Belling Hussars driven out of their position in Friedland (in present-day Mecklenburg). The Prussian hussars tried to escape to the woods of Galenbeck but some Swedish hussars managed to attack them on the road to Lübbendorf and Blücher was taken prisoner.

Then, according to the legend, the young von Blücher got scared to death by a bearded and wild hussar who shouted at him "Young man, I will devour you!" (in German "Jung ich fress dich auf!"). If we ignore this traditional anecdote, it seems that Lieutenant-colonel Wilhelm Sebastian von Belling became fond of the young boy and persuaded him to abandon the Swedish service and to join his regiment of "Black Hussars" (or more precisely "New Black Hussars").

Acknowledgement: Gunnar W. Bergman for this interesting anecdote

In 1758, the regiment, raised in Pomerania, reinforced the Swedish expeditionary force operating against Prussia. It was initially used to screen the flanks, rear and front of the army. On November 18, a detachment of the regiment was part of general von Lingen's force at the combat of Güstow.

The regiment was not very successful until the Swedes formed a special light brigade consisting of hussars, horse-jägers, grenadiers, free-corps infantry along with a special light horse-drawn field artillery (3 pdr guns better than their Prussian equivalents). The commander of this light brigade was the young multi-talented (he was earlier with the fortress artillery and made some exquisite drawings of Pomerania) grenadier-major Jacob Magnus Sprengtporten.

To do: campaigns from 1759 to 1762


Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758-
Source: Richard Couture from a Not By Appointment template
Uniform Details
Headgear yellow mirliton with a black scarf edged yellow, yellow cords and a small yellow rosette on the front of the hat.
Pelisse cornflower blue
Fur trim black
Lace yellow
Buttons yellow
Dolman cornflower blue with yellow braids and yellow buttons
Collar blue edged yellow
Cuffs yellow with white lace
Cloak cornflower blue
Breeches straw with dark cornflower blue overtrousers edged yellow
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt yellow
Waist-sash yellow
Scabbard black
Boots black edged yellow
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth cornflower blue, wearing a crowned monogram (AF) and bordered with a yellow scalloped lace
Sabretache cornflower blue, wearing a crowned monogram (AF) and bordered with a yellow scalloped lace


Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine.

Officers

The officers had gold lace trim and buttons rather than yellow lace trim and yellow buttons.

Musicians

Trumpeters wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with gilt decorations replacing yellow braids and laces.

Brass trumpets with yellow cords.

Colours

This unit did not carry any standard.

References

Brolin, Gunnar, 18th C. Swedish Military Flags - Part I: Standards and Guidons, 18th Century Military Notes & Queries No. 5

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

Högman, Hans, Svenska regementen under indelningsverket

Jönköping War Museum, Sweden

O'Hara, Danny, Eighteenth Century Wargaming Resources On-Line

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

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