Hardenberg Infantry

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Origin and History

Regiment of Foot Hardenberg - Source: Gmundner Prachtwerk, a manuscript in the library of the Prince of Hannover

The regiment was raised in 1648. A second battalion was raised in 1744. It garrisoned in Gottingen.

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

  • since 1748: von Hardenberg


Service during the War

On July 26 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in a detachment posted between Afferde and Diedersen. This detachment executed an outflanking movement against the French offensive at Hastenbeck and caused near panic among the French towards the conclusion of the battle.

On May 26 1758, 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. 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. At 1:00 PM, it followed the Hereditary Prince in his attack against the wood held by Saint-Germain Division. Towards the end of the battle, the Hereditary Prince and Gilsa rallied Allied infantry units (probably including this regiment) and advanced onto the plain. The Comte de Gisors at the head of 4 squadrons of Carabiniers charged these advancing battalions who let them close in to about 20 paces before firing a devastating volley mowing down in an instant most of the first rank. A single squadron managed to break through but the third rank of infantry knocked it down.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the main Allied army under the command of the Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, the regiment took part in the battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 4th column under Major-general von Scheele.

On November 13 1761, when Ferdinand established his headquarters at Einbeck, the Allied army took its cantonments to the exception of a corps placed under the command of Lieutenant-general Conway who took position along the Huve near Einbeck. The regiment formed part of this corps.

By May 23 1762, the regiment served with the Main Allied Army in Major-general von Bock's Brigade. On June 24, it took part in the battle of Wilhelmsthal under the command of Ferdinand of Brunswick.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with red and orange pom poms with a black cockade and a sprig of oak leaves
Grenadier
Hardenberg Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Hannoverdidi
Prussian mitre in the British pattern with a small front flap. Orange front and small silver flap embossed with the Hanoverian White Horse. On the front was a silver crowned shield supported by the lion and unicorn bearing the arms of Hanover. The small flap had a white border, bomb and scroll work, red sack, orange back base all piped in white lace.
Neckstock black
Coat red with 2 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes under the lapels (hidden by the sleeve in our plate)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels orange with 7 pewter buttons and 7 white buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Cuffs orange (slashed in the British pattern) with 3 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes just above each cuff on the sleeves
Turnbacks orange fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat orange with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter 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.: all textual sources indicate orange as the distinctive colour but graphical sources show a rather pale orange (almost buff).

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

Officers

Officers had silver 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

Drummer uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi

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

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

Colours

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

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

Regimental Flag: Orange field, lion rampant armed with a sword, below a trophy of arms, white scroll, motto above "OFFENDO ET DEFENDO", flower blossoms on the edge of the flag. 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

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

Gmundener Prachtwerk, circa 1761

Knötel, H. d. J. and Hans M. Brauer, Uniformbogen Nr. 45, Berlin

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

Pengel & 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