Hälsinge Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment originated from various fänikors (smaller units of about 500 men) raised in 1540 in Hälsingland and Gästrikland. The regiment was initially raised in 1615 as the Nörrlandska Storeregement, one of the nine grand regiments organised by Gustavus Adolphus.

In 1624, this grand regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments (Västerbottens, Hälsinge and a third regiment transferred to Navy service) and one cavalry regiment.

Around 1684, the grand regiment was finally broken down into three distinct and independent regiments, giving birth to the Hälsinge Infantry regiment.

One battalion transferred to Finland in 1699 and then in Eastland in 1700 at the start of the Great Northern War. The second battalion to Livland in the fall of 1700. The whole regiment belonged to the Lewenhaupt army and went with it to Ukraine in 1708. One battalion destroyed at Lesnaja (1708), and the survivors placed into the Dalregement. Reraised after Poltava and transferred to Germany. Stenbock's campaign of 1712 and captured at Tönningen, Raised again and took part in the 1718 campaign against Trondhjem.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of 1,200 privates in 2 battalions of 4 companies. Each company had 150 privates and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians.

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

  • R. O. Fock

Service during the War

In 1757, six companies (about 900 men) were sent to Pomerania.

On November 18 1758, a detachment of the regiment was part of General von Lingen's force at the Combat of Güstow.

The six companies of the regiment continued to serve in Pomerania until 1761.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a tin button on the left side
Grenadier bearskin cap similar to the cap worn by the French Imperial Guard of Napoleon
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue with 10 tin buttons down the front with yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 tin buttons at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one tin button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 tin 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 as well as Pengel and Hurt mention white trimmed buttonholes.

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

The uniform of the drummers were yellow with the addition of plain white swallows nest on each shoulder. There were no other lace on the sleeves, etc.

The drum was brass with provincial coats of arms embossed on the front. The rims were blue with yellow edging.

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 carried a white ram.

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): black and white gironed field ( black upper and lower wedges, white left and right wedges); centre device consisting of a yellow ram on a black field; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: Hannoverdidi

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

References

Economic Expert: Norrland Grand Regiment (website)

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

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

Swedish War Archives, Sketches of infantry uniforms

Wilson, Peter: The Swedish Army in 1756, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

English Wikipedia – Hälsinge regemente

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