Hanau Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hesse-Kassel Army >> Hanau Infantry

Origin and History

The original regiment was raised around 1680. This was the Hanau County Kreis Regiment which, in 1734, was stationed along the Rhine with the Reichsarmee. In 1750, it was incorporated into the Hesse-Kassel Army.

During the Seven Years' War, the Chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1750 until 1783: Prince Wilhelm von Hessen who became the Erbprinz (hereditary prince) of Hesse-Kassel in 1760

During the Seven Years' War, the Kommandeur assuming effective command of the regiment was:

  • since 1750 until 1764: Colonel von Wissenbach

During the American Revolution, the regiment was part of the Hessian Contingent which was sent to fight along the British troops. It fought at Fort Washington and was captured at Yorktown. It returned to Hessen in 1783.

In 1789 the regiment was amalgamated with Infanterie Regiment 11.

Service during the War

On May 20, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment occupied Paderborn. On May 29, it took part in the Combat of Duisburg. On July 26 1757, the regiment fought in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was initially positioned in the first line of the centre. Later during the battle, it stormed a French battery.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps encamped at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 18, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps who passed the Rhine at Duisburg. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (Hereditary Prince) of Brunswick. On July 7, the regiment was at the capture of Düsseldorf. On October 10, it took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it fought in the first line of the centre as part of the Diepenbroick's Brigade.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to Linstrow's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it was part of the second column under the Prince von Ysenburg who led the assaults on the village of Bergen. After repeated attempts to storm the village, the Hanoverian and Hessian troops withdrew. Prince Ysenburg was killed leading repeated assaults up a steep slope against abattis around the village. The attacks went in without artillery support; the artillery was still in the rear of the baggage train. The French units in Bergen were strengthened by a reserve who blunted the repeated attacks. In June, the regiment was part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 7th column under Major-General von Einsiedel. On August 17, the regiment took part in the attack near Naumburg and, on August 28, in the attack on Wetter.

On October 16 1760, the regiment fought in the Battle of Clostercamp where it formed part of the 2nd brigade of the main body under Major-General von Behr. During this battle, the regiment suffered the heaviest losses of all the Allied units that participated.

On February 14 1761, the regiment took part in an unsuccessful attempt on Marburg. On March 27, it was at the combat of Corbach and, on July 4, at the combat of Unna. On July 16, it took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed on the right wing under the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick.

On May 7 1762, the regiment took part in the combat of Elberfeld. On July 23, it was at the second Combat of Lutterberg where it was attached to Lieutenant-General von Bock's Brigade. On August 22, it was at the encounter of Grünberg; on August 25 at the combat near Grüningen; and on August 30 at the Combat of Nauheim (aka Johannisberg) where it was deployed in Lieutenant-General von Hardenberg's column.

Uniform

Hessian troops wore a uniform in the Prussian style including the grenadier and fusilier headgears. Until 1750 the trousers were dark blue. The stock was red for the other ranks and white for officers.

Privates

Uniform in 1761 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details as per the Mondierungsrelement of 1761
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small white button and dark red within white pompoms
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a white metal plate, a sang de boeuf back and base with white lace and a red within white pompom
Neckstock red in 1756, black from 1761
Coat dark blue with 1 white button on each side at the small of the back; ; 1 or 3 (maybe none) white buttonholes at the small of the back; 2 or 3 white buttons under the left lapel; probably 2 or 3 white buttonholes under the each lapel (at least until 1761)
Collar sang de boeuf
Shoulder Straps sang de boeuf fastened with a white button (maybe none until 1761)
Lapels sang de boeuf with 6 white buttons and 6 white buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets with 2 or 3 white buttons (maybe 2 or 3 white buttonholes till 1761)
Cuffs sang de boeuf with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks sang de boeuf
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters white in summer; black otherwise
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a metal plate
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a sword (brass hilt) and a musket carried using a leather strap.

Officers

Officers wore a white stock and, as a sign of their commissioned rank, a gorget, in button colour, and sash. The sash was of silver silk shot with red flecks. NCO's carried the Prussian style partizan. The standard staff was black.

Musicians

By the Seven Years War the convention of wearing reversed colours had disappeared. Drummers now wore the same dark blue coat with white and red livery lace placed along the coat seams in seven inverted chevrons along the sleeves and around the 'swallows nests' on the shoulder. Very much a copy of the Prussian style.

Drum barrels were of polished brass and were decorated with the Hessian lion surrounded by a laurel wreath with a crown above. The Hessian lion was striped red and white with a red tongue on a royal blue background. The drum cords were white and, for this regiment, the rim was a pattern of alternating dark rose and white diagonal stripes.

Colours

To the present day, a definitive reconstruction of the Hesse-Cassel colours during the Seven Years' War is non-existent. All existing publications are mostly speculative. The Leibfahne (colonel's colour) was probably white and the regimental colour assumed light blue.

Here follows a tentative reconstruction of these colours used till 1767 (black flag poles).

Colonel Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Regimental Colour - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Bleckwenn, Hans: Europa kämpft in Flandern... Die Morier-Bilder in Windsor Castle, Teil IV: Hessen-Kassel 1748, in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, XXX Jg. (1960), Nr. 207, S. 122-125 and Nr. 208, S. 166-168

Böhm, Uwe Peter: Hessisches Militär: Die Truppen der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel 1672-1806, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde e.V., Beckum 1986

Cookman, D.: Sandershausen 1758, Battlefields Vol. 1 Issue 6

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Band 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin 1903

Henry, Mark: Hessian Army of the 7 Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VII No. 3

Manley, S.: Uniforms of the Danish and German States armies 1739-1748, Potsdam Publications

Mohr, Kurt: Einiges über die Hessen-Kasselsche Infanterie 1760, in: Artikel für KA7-Sammler aus alten "Zinnfigur" Heften (1924-1944), KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Manuskript, Köln 1980, S. 106-107

Mulder, Luke: Some Notes on Landgraf Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel Re-Organization of 1760, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 2

Noeske, Rolf: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, 1. Ergänzung Hessen-Kassel, KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt 1989

Ortenburg, Georg: Das Militär der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel zwischen 1783 und 1789, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde e.V., Potsdam 1999

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Renouard, Carl: "Geschichte des Krieges in Hannover, Hessen und Westfalen von 1757 bis 1763", 3 Bände, Cassel, 1863-64

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

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Infanterie des Landgrafentums Hessen-Kassel während des Siebenjährigen Krieges, in: Artikel für KA7-Sammler aus alten "Zinnfigur" Heften (1924-1944), KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Manuskript, Köln 1980, S. 104-106

Witzel, Rudolf: Hessen Kassels Regimenter in der Allierten Armee 1762, bearb. u. hrsg. von Ingo Kroll, Norderstedt 2007

Zahn, Michael: Stammliste und Gefechtskalender der Regimenter der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel im Siebenjährigen Krieg (1756-1763) - Teil 1: Infanterie, Metzingen, 2009

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