Hessian Grenadier-Regiment

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War >> Armies >> Hesse-Kassel Army >> Hessian Grenadier-Regiment

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1697 from six regimental grenadier companies.

At the beginning of the war of the Spanish Succession, in 1702, the regiment was renamed Grenadierregiment. On November 15 1703, it fought at the battle of Speyerbach where it suffred heavy casualties, losing all its officers. The regiment also fought at the battles of Blenheim (August 13, 1704), Castiglione (September 8, 1706 ) and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment remained in Hessen.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Chefs of the regiment were:

  • since 1751: landgrave Wilhelm VIII.
  • from 1760 to 1766: landgrave Friedrich II.

During the same war, the successive Kommandeure assuming effective command of the regiment were:

  • since 1755 until 1766: colonel von Bose

In 1760, when the Hessian Army was reorganised, the regiment became known as the Zweite Garde and in 1763 Zweites Bataillon Garde.

In 1789, the regiment was amalgamated with Infanterie Regiment Nr. 14.

Service during the War

On March 28 1756, George II informed the Houses of Parliament of Great Britain that the French Court was planning the invasion of Great Britain and that, consequently, he intended to requisition a body of Hessian troops and to use it as reinforcement of Great Britain. The same day, the contingent of the Hesse-Kassel Army started to assemble in Germany. It consisted of 8 regiments including the present regiment. From March 28 to April 20, the Hessian contingent marched towards Bremen. On May 2, it embarked aboard 48 British transports at Stade. On May 15, it landed at Southampton. From May 19 to 22, the Hessian contingent was transported to the region of Salisbury where it took its cantonments. By May 23, it had been quartered in Hampshire. From July 11 to 14, the Hessian contingent moved to its new encampment at Winchester. In December, it took its winter-quarters in the Counties of Chichester, Salisbury and Southampton.

From April 23 to 27 1757, the Hessian contingent embarked aboard 43 British transports at Chatham to return to Germany. On May 1, the convoy sailed from Chatham. From May 11 to 16, the convoy gradually reached Stade after having suffered a severe tempest. By July, the regiment had joined the Allied Army assembled in Hanover under the command of the Duke of Cumberland to prevent the French invasion of Hanover. On July 24, the regiment took part in a small action at Lafferde. On July 26, it fought at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the first line of the centre.

In 1758, the regiment took part in the Allied campaign on the west bank of the Rhine, passing the Rhine on June 5 at Rees. On June 12, it took part in the aborted attack on the French positions at Rheinberg. On June 23, it took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken. On October 18, the regiment was at the combat of Soest.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to Bose's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. From April 6 to 7, the regiment took part in the capture of the Fortress of Ulrichstein. A few days later, on April 13, it took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the third column under the Duke von Holstein-Gottorp. Along with Gilsa Infantry, and supported by some Allied cavalry units, it covered the right flank near Bad Vilbel clearing the wood of Saxons in support of the attack of the left flank on Bergen. In mid June, the regiment was part of Wutginau's Corps which had taken position at Büren in Westphalia. 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 raid on Naumburg and, on August 28, in the raid on Wetter. On November 30, ittook part in the attack on Fulda where the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick surprised the Württemberger contingent in the service of France. It was attached to the Hereditary Prince's column. On December 9, it was part of the Allied relief corps sent to assist Frederick II in Saxony.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was part of Lieutenant-General von Gilsa's Reserve at the Combat of Corbach. This reserve did not take part in the engagement. On the night of July 14, having intelligence that a French party (6 bns, Bercheny Hussards and some light troops) under General Glaubitz was on its way to Ziegenhain from Marburg, evidently with the object of disturbing his communications, Ferdinand detached the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick to take command of 6 bns (Behr (1 bn), Marschalk (1 bn), Mansbach (2 bns) and Hessian 2. Garde (2 bns)) which were lying at Fritzlar, and to attack Glaubitz whose forces had encamped at Vasbeck for the night. On the morning of July 15, the Hereditary Prince marched rapidly southward, being joined on the way at Zwesten (present-day Bad Zwesten) by Luckner's Hussars and by the 15th Light Horse (under Major Erskine), which had just arrived from Great Britain. On reaching the vicinity of Ziegenhain, he found that Glaubitz was encamped farther to the west, near the village of Emsdorf. His troops being exhausted by a long march, the Hereditary Prince halted for the night at Treysa. On July 16, he captured most of Glaubitz's detachment in the Engagement of Emsdorf. On July 30, it was at the combat of Weißenstein and, on August 10, at the combat of Sababurg. From September 30, it participated to the blockade of Wesel. On October 16, it fought in the Battle of Clostercamp.

On March 27 1761, the regiment took part in an engagement near Corbach. On July 4, it was at the combat of Unna. On July 15 and 16, it fought in the Battle of Vellinghausen. On July 21, it took part in the combat of Fürstenberg.

On June 24 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal.

Uniform

Pre-1760/61 Uniform

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

It seems that, like the uniforms of the Hanoverian army, those of the Hessen-Kassel got simpler during the war. At the beginning of the conflict, there still were white lace around lapels and cuffs but the new uniform issued from the end of 1760 until April 1761 had no such laces.

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
based on Friedrich Schirmer (see reference below)
Headgear
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap with white metal front-plate and headband; yellow sack laced white; white pompom
Wing Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap with white metal front-plate and headband; red sack laced white; white pompom
Neck stock red
Coat dark blue with 3 white buttonholes under each lapel at the waist and 3 white buttonholes on each side at the small of the back
Collar light red (ponceau red) laced white
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels light red (ponceau red) laced white, each with 7 white buttons and 7 white buttonholes
Pockets horizontal, each with 3 white buttons and 3 white buttonholes
Cuffs round light red (ponceau red) laced white and slit open, each with 3 white buttons and 3 white buttonholes on each sleeve just above the cuff
Turnbacks light red (ponceau red or possibly red as the ordinary lining of the coat)
Waistcoat straw
Breeches white
Gaiters black for campaigning and during winter, white for parades and during summer
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a brass plate
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


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

NCOs

NCOs wore a Prussian style mitre cap similar to the one worn by privates (white metal front plate and headband and yellow sack) but with a red pompom. They also had silver lace (unknown pattern) and red stocks. They carried a black or dark brown Prussian style half-pike (partizan).

Officers

Officers wore a white stock and, as a signed of their commissioned rank, a silver gorget and a sash. The sash was of silver silk shot with red flecks .

Officers also had embroidered silver lace on lapels, waist, arms, on pockets (maybe 2 on each) and in the back. Officers wore tricornes with assumed straight silver lace instead of the 1760 zig-zag pattern. They carried a black or dark brown spontoon or a white stock.

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 “swallow nests” on the shoulder. Very much a copy of the Prussian style. They also wore a Prussian style mitre cap similar to the one worn by privates (white metal front plate and headband and yellow sack) but with a red/white pompom.

Drum rims believed to be yellow with diagonal red stripes.

1760/61 Uniform

From around April 1761, the uniforms of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Garde were similar.

Privates

Uniform from 1760/61 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
as per the Mundierungsreglements 1761

from the State Archive of Hesse, Marburg, piece 4 h 4203
Headgear
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap with white metal front-plate and headband; yellow sack laced white; white pompom. All silver plate and base contained the Hessian lion with four red stripes below the monogram “FL”. However, looks are not covered with the 1761 Mundierungsreglements. It's description derives from other source.
Wing Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap with white metal front-plate and headband; red sack laced white; white pompom
Neck stock black
Coat blue with 2 white button loops with white tassels at the waist on each side under the lapels and 1 white button loop with white tassel at the small of the back (one on each side)
Collar red
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button, white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels red, each with 6 white buttons and 6 white button loops with white tassels on each lapel
Pockets horizontal, each with 2 white buttons and 2 white button loops with white tassels
Cuffs red round and slit cuffs, each with 2 white buttons and 2 white button loops with white tassels on the sleeve
Turnbacks red fastened with a white button
Waistcoat yellow
Breeches yellow
Gaiters black for campaigning and during winter, white for parades and during summer
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with a metal plate
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


NCOs

NCOs wore a Prussian style mitre cap similar to the one worn by privates (white metal front plate and headband and yellow sack) but with a red pompom. They also had silver band lace instead of the white laces of the troopers.

Officers

Officers had no lapels, (silver) bow lace, but not as rich as with the 1st Garde. Their tricorne had a broad zigzag lace without Lahne (sic - read Lohe? - flamed?). No plume on the tricorne. Black stocks and cockade with the pig-tail.

Musicians

The Tambours also receive lapels just like the privates (i.e. none before?). The lace on the sleeves was a band lace of mixed white/red just like 1st Garde, but not so rich. They also wore a Prussian style mitre cap similar to the one worn by privates (white metal front plate and headband and yellow sack) but with a red/white pompom.

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 Leib (colonel) colour was probably white and the regimental colour assumed sang de boeuf (red) but may also have been white or even yellow.

Here follows a tentative reconstruction of these flags used till 1767

Colonel Colour - Source: Frédéric
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Frédéric

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

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

Trenkle, Karl: Nix wie weg ... die Hesse komme - Hessen-Kasseler Uniformen 1730 - 1789, Marburg 2000

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.