Breidenbach Dragoons

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1689.

The successive regimental inhabers were:

  • since 1740: von Aldeleben
  • from 1751: Fr. von Heimburg
  • from 1757: Maximillan von Breidenbach
  • from 1759: E. von Reden
  • from 1761: G. von Walthausen

Service during the War

In July 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where two of its squadrons fought on the right wing in the second line all brigaded under the command of von Dachenhausen. The two remaining squadrons were deployed on the Schrecken Height between Afferde and Diedersen. On December 5, during the Allied counter-offensive in Hanover, the regiment was part of General Schulenburg's Corps. It attacked and routed a detachment of Chasseurs de Fischer supported by Caraman Dragons near Ebstorf.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with the Allied main army of Duke 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. On October 10, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the second line of the right wing.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the Allied main army under the command of Duke Ferdinand. On July 28, he detached Schleiffen with 40 hussars and a party of Breidenbach Dragoons (200 men) to relieve the small garrison of Vechta threatened by the French. On August 1, the regiment was present at the Battle of Minden in the first line of the cavalry right wing which was not engaged.

On July 31 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the third line of the centre between Ossendorf and Menne.

On February 15 1761, the regiment took part in the Combat of Langensalza. On July 16, it was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen where it formed part of Wolff's Corps, detached by Spörcken from Herzfeld to reinforce Wutginau.

By May 23 1762, the regiment was attached to Luckner's Corps. On June 24, still part of this corps, it fought in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. A few weeks later, om July 23, it took part in the second combat of Lutterberg.

Uniform

Accurate Vorstellung der saemtlichen Churfürstl. hannöverischen Armee zur eigentlichen Kentniß der Uniform von jedem Regimente nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird Nürnberg: Raspe 1763 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt)

Privates

Uniform in 1759 -
Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne laced silver with oak leaves as a field sign and a black cockade
Grenadier Prussian-style mitre cap; blue front carrying a Springing Horse on a red field within the Garter, surmounted by a golden crown with red cushions and decorated with silver scroll work; red flap decorated with a silver grenade; white sack; blue headband; red within blue pompom
Neck stock red
Coat white with 1 white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulderknot red and blue aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels light blue edged white, each with 7 white buttons and 7 white buttonholes (arranged 1-2-2-2)
Cuffs light blue Swedish cuffs edged white, each with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Turnbacks light blue
Waistcoat light buff edged light blue
Breeches light buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff
Waistbelt buff
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots with white knee-covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth basic colour light blue; border from the inner edge out, lines of black-white-red-white-red-white-black; emblem of a white horse on red ground over green turf in a white floral wreath surmounted by a gold crown with red interior

N.B.: during wartime, the saddlecloth and holster-caps were probably plain light blue edged white.

Sabretache see saddlecloth
Blanket roll light blue


Troopers were armed with a Pallasch' straight steel hilted sword, two pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; and silver lace on the tricorne. They did not carry a bandoleer.

NCOs

NCO had silver laces on the cuffs, pockets, lapels and waistcoat. They did not carry a bandoleer.

Musicians

Musicians were dressed in reverse colours and probably wore shoulder laces. The staff kettle-drummer probably carried NCO distinctives. His kettle-drums were made of copper and had a white apron fringed gold carrying a device consisting of the Springing White Horse on a red ground; the motto “EXEMPLA MAJORUM” above

As dragoons, musicians were drummers. The likely drum pattern would have been similar to the foot with hoops in alternating facing colour and red diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre.

Standards

The first squadron carried the Leibstandarte while the 3 remaining squadrons carried an Eskadronstandarte which varied from one squadron to the other.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a Lion Couchant holding a sword decorated with laurel and resting on a trophy of arms; the motto “PARTI TUERI” above
Leibstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

2nd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the initials “GR” within the Garter surmounted by a crown; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of an arm holding a sword (entwined with laurel) issuing from a cloud; the motto “CUM DEO ET GLADIO” above (underneath as per Schirmer)
2nd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

3rd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England and Brunswick-Lüneburg joined by 2 intertwining palm trees and a chain; the motto “ET STIRPS ET AMOR JUNGEBANT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a column with even gold scales; the cipher “GR” at its base; a drawn sword resting on the column; a trophy of arms below the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” above
3rd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

4th Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device depicting St. George on a white horse fighting the dragon; the motto “VIRTUS ANIMI SUPERAT OMNIA” above
4th Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

References

Biles, Bill: The Hanoverian Army in the 18th Century, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VI No. 3

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part I : Das Heer von 1763, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 1-4 (1909), page 3-15

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part II: Das Heer von 1770, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 4-5 (1909), page 15-20

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Kurze Stammliste. 1617 bis 1803, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 6-11 (1909), page 22-42

Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II

Niemeyer, Joachim and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Heereskunde

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984

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

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Schirmer, Friedrich: Nec Aspera Terrent: Eine Heereskunde der hannoverschen Armee von 1631 bis 1803, Niedersächische Hausbücherei, Bd. 3, Hannover 1929