Oberg Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Oberg Infantry

Origin and History

Private of Chevallerie Infantry in 1756 according to Anciennete 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was initially raised in 1631, during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). In was reduced to four companies in 1648.

In 1662, when war broke out between the Holy Roman Empire and Turkey, the regiment was brought back to full establishment. It was then known as the “Blaue Regiment” (Blue Regiment).

In 1675, after the capture of Trier, Duke Ernst August marched back from the Rhine with part of his troops (including the present regiment) to quench troubles in Lower Saxony. In 1676, these troops captured Stade and occupied the country of Bremen.

In 1679, the regiment formed part of the Hanoverian contingent sent to Schaumburg to observe the Brandenburger forces, establishing its headquarters at Stadthagen.

In 1685, during the Great Turkish War (1683-99), the regiment was sent to Hungary where it took part in the siege of Neuhäusel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK). In 1686, it took part in the siege and storming of Ofen (present-day part of Budapest).

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was transferred to the Rhine. In 1689, it took part in the sieges and capture of Mainz and Bonn. In 1690, it was sent to the Netherlands but returned to Hanover at the end of the year because the contract with Spain had come to an end. In 1692, when a new subsidy was granted by England, the regiment was sent back to the Netherlands where it campaigned till the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697.

In 1700, the regiment took part in the campaign in Holstein against the Danes.

In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Venlo, Roermond and Liège; in 1704, in the Battle of the Schellenberg and in the decisive Battle of Blenheim; in 1705, in the passage of the Lines near Elixheim and Tirlemont; in 1706, in the capture of Dendermond; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1733, part of the regiment took part in the pacification of Mühlhausen.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in the Netherlands and on the Main. In 1743, if fought the Battle of Dettingen and took part in the demolition of the Lines of Germersheim near Landau. In 1744, it followed the French up to Lille. In 1745, the regiment distinguished itself in the Battle of Fontenoy. In 1746, it took part in the Battle of Rocoux; and in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld. In 1748, it returned to Hanover where it garrisoned the towns of Northeim and Osterode.

During the Seven Years War the successive regimental inhabers (owners) were:

  • from 1743: Colonel Christoph Ludewig von Oberg (promoter to major-general in 1754, to lieutenant-general in 1757; retired in 1759)
  • from 1759 to 1768: Colonel Georg Ludewig de la Chevallerie (promoted to major-general in 1764, died on May 16, 1768)


Service during the War

In May 1756, the regiment was part of the Hanoverian Contingent sent to reinforce Great Britain who feared a French invasion. On May 21, the contingent landed at Chatham. At the beginning of November, it became clear that Brunswick-Lüneburg (aka Hanover) was more seriously threatened than England and it was decided to gradually send the Hanoverian contingent back to the continent.

In 1757, the regiment returned to its garrison place. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the centre under the command of Lieutenant-General Wutginau.

On February 23 1758, at 7:00 a.m., during the Allied winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of a detachment under the command of the Hereditary Prince who launched an attack on Hoya on the Weser. In March, the regiment was at the siege and capture of Minden. On May 26, the regiment was with Ferdinand's main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. The regiment was initially left at Rees under Major-General von Brunck to guard the bridgehead. On June 23, the regiment fought in the Battle of Krefeld where it formed part of the 6 battalions led by Lieutenant-General von Oberg, deployed in the centre. Oberg was ordered to make diversion towards Sankt-Tönis. On October 10, the regiment fought in the Battle of Lutterberg as part of Major-General Post's Brigade, deployed in the first line of the centre.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps who had taken position at Dülmen in Westphalia to observe the movement of a French Corps under the Marquis d'Armentières. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the first line of the infantry centre. In this battle it lost Captain-Lieutenant von Bothmer, killed; and Lieutenant Niemeier, wounded. It later took part in the siege of Münster. At the end of the year, it formed part of the reinforcements sent by the Allies to Frederick II in Saxony.

In the spring of 1760, the regiment rejoined the main Allied army. On July 10, it was present the Combat of Corbach where the Hereditary Prince vainly tried to prevent the junction of two French armies. The regiment was attached to the Reserve under Lieutenant-General von Gilsa and did not take part in the fighting.

In 1761, the regiment took part in the siege of Kassel. On November 13, at the end of the campaign in Western Germany, the Allied army took its cantonments to the exception of a corps (including this regiment) placed under the command of Lieutenant-General Conway who took position along the Huve near Einbeck.

By May 23 1762, the regiment was attached to the Allied Main Army led by Ferdinand of Brunswick. On June 24, the regiment fought in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it formed part of the 6th column under Spörcken. The regiment then returned to Hanover where it garrisoned Lüneburg.

Uniform

Hanoverian uniforms were gradually simplified throughout the Seven Years' War. In this article, we illustrate a uniform circa 1756 (Franco Saudelli's plate at the top of the article) and another version circa 1760 (Hannoverdidi's plate accompanying the following table).

Privates

Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow with a sprig of oak leaves, three yellow and red pom poms and a black cockade
Grenadier
Chevallerie Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Hannoverdidi
Prussian mitre in the British pattern with a small front flap. Middle yellow front with crowned red field bearing GR and the Order of the Garter and a blue scroll reading NEC ASPERA TERRENT. Small middle yellow flap with grenade and decorations. Red sack, middle yellow base lined with yellow lace.
Neck stock black
Coat red with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes under the lapels (hidden by the sleeve in our plate)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels middle yellow, each with 7 brass buttons and 7 yellow buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes
Cuffs middle yellow (slashed in the British pattern), each with 3 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes just above each cuff on the sleeves
Turnbacks middle yellow fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat middle yellow with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Breeches straw yellow
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


N.B.: several other sources, like the Brauer Knötel plates, depict this uniform with straw yellow and green as distinctive colour (straw yellow lapels, straw yellow cuffs, green turnbacks and green waistcoat). The uniform seems to have changed during the war.

Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword, and carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers had gold lace lining the cuffs and lapels, a black cockade hat, a gold gorget with the arms of Hanover in the centre and carried a yellow sash slung over the right shoulder. Sergeants wore straw gloves. Partizans were carried.

Musicians

Drummers wore a red coat with swallows nest and lace in yellow.

The drum pattern had hoops in alternating middle yellow and red diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre.

Colours

Colonel Colour: white field bearing the arms of Hanover (common to all Hanoverian infantry regiments except 10-B).

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

Regimental Colour: yellow field; centre device consisting of a trophy of arms containing nude figures and tassels in an inner circular shield; the shield is intertwined with laurels; a mailed arm carrying a sword emerging from clouds above four hillocks and a tree; above is a scroll reading IDEM PACIS MEDIUM QUE BELLI. Hereafter, we present an illustration from the Reitzenstein Sammlung, dating from circa 1761 (left) and the interpretation of Hannoverdidi (right).

Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of the Reitzenstein Sammlung (circa 1761)
Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of user Hannoverdidi

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

Other sources

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

Gmundener Prachtwerk, circa 1761

Knötel, H. der Jung, and Hans M. Brauer: Uniformbogen Nr. 45, Berlin

Niemeyer, Joachim, and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War

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

Reitzenstein Sammlung, Bomann Museum, Celle

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

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

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