Brunswick Zastrow Infantry

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Origin and History

The first battalion of the regiment originated from Regiment Bernstorff raised in 1683. In 1714, this regiment became the Leibregiment Herzog August Wilhelm. In 1733, it was renamed Regiment Niepagen. In 1737, it was amalgamated to Regiment Volckening, forming its second battalion. In 1748. when regiment Volckening was subdivided into 2 distinct regiments, the unit became known as Regiment Tunderfeld. In 1754, when the Army of Brunswick was reorganised into 4 regiments, each of 2 battalions, the unit formed the first battalion of the present regiment.

The second battalion of the regiment originated from Regiment Völcker raised in 1714. In 1737, it was amalgamated to Regiment Sommerlatte, forming its second battalion. In 1748, for the campaign in the Netherlands, the second battalion of Regiment Sommerlatte formed a distinct regiment under the name of von Weyhe. In 1754, when the Army of Brunswick was reorganised into 4 regiments, each of 2 battalions, Regiment Weyhe formed the second 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 Behr 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 regimental inhaber was:

  • since 1754: von Zastrow
  • from 1760: Prinz Friedrich

The regiment was disbanded in 1806.

Service during the War

During the war, the regiment was in the British service. The first battalion remained in Brunswick from 1757 to 1759. It served for the first time with the Allied Army only in 1760.

On July 26 1757, the second battalion 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 second battalion was with the Allied main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On October 10, it took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the first line of the centre.

During the first half of 1759, the second battalion of 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 battalion 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 August 1, the regiment was part of the left wing of the corps of the Hereditary Prince who attacked and defeated Brissac's French corps at the engagement of Gohfeld.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was part of a column under Lieutenant-General von Oheimb sent by Ferdinand of Brunswick to support the Hereditary Prince engaged in a Combat near Corbach. Oheimb's column arrived too late to take part in the action.

During the war, the regiment was also engaged and fought at Fritzlar, Ziegenhain, Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white; yellow-white pompoms
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap: pewter front plate; blue back; yellow headband and lining; yellow-white pompom
Neckstock red at the beginning of the war but soon changed to black
Coat dark blue with 2 pewter buttons under the right lapel and 1 pewter button in the small of the back
Collar yellow
Shoulder Straps probably blue
Lapels yellow with 6 pewter buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs yellow Swedish cuffs with 2 pewter buttons
Turnbacks yellow fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat straw at the beginning of the war but soon changed to white
Breeches straw 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
  • a 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 at the beginning of the war but changed to blue when straw waistcoats and breeches became white.

The drum had a brass base carrying the Brunswick coat of arms with a rim decorated with yellow 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 colours used by regiment Prinz Friedrich in 1776 during the American War of Independence. Even though this regiment had a filiation with the regiment von Zastrow of the Seven Years' War, there is no certainty that the colours were the same.

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with yellow 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): Black field with yellow 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

Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 illustrations by Herbert Knötel d. J., with text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

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

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.