Origin and History
The regiment was formed in 1645. It was known as the Cell'sches Reiterregiment and was the oldest regiment of the army. It had a reputation as an 'ill-fated' unit as no fewer than three Inhabers were killed in action in the War of the Austrian Succession (Bülow, d'Acerre, and Hardenberg). A later Inhaber, Schlütter, was killed in the opening actions of the Seven Years War.
The regimental inhabers were:
- 1742: von Bülow
- 1744: d'Acerre
- 1745: von Hardenberg
- 1747: von Breidenbach
- 1753: von Block
- 1753: von Schlütter
- 1757: von Hodenberg
The regiment was disbanded in 1803.
Service during the War
On July 26 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where its two squadrons were detached from the main army and took position near Afferde along with two squadrons of the Dachenhausen Dragoons. During the battle, the squadrons were posted in a defile between Afferde and Diedersen to cover the extreme left rear of the Hanoverian positions. Ordered to counter-attack the French in Obensburg, the brigade was wildly successful as the French, in their confusion, fired on their Swiss allies thinking they were advancing Hanoverians. However, the recapture of Obensburg was short-lived as the French cavalry soon arrived and the Hanoverian cavalry withdrew covering the retreat of the rest of Cumberland's force.
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 in the centre as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General Oberg.
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 second line of the cavalry right wing under Major-General von Grothausen.
On July 10 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Corbach where it was attached to the right column under Lieutenant-General Count von Kilmannsegg.
On February 15 1761, the regiment was among the Allied forces who launched a surprise attack on Langensalza against the Saxon Contingent fighting along the French Army. On July 16, the regiment was posted at Herzfeld on the left bank of the Lippe with part of Spörcken's Corps. It did not take part in the Battle of Vellinghausen.
By May 23 1762, in preparation for the campaign in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the Allied main army. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was deployed in the 7th column. On July 23, the regiment took part in the Combat of Lutterberg, another attempt against the Saxon Contingent.
Accurate Vorstellung der saemtlichen Churfürstl. hannöverischen Armee zur eigentlichen Kentniß der Uniform von jedem Regimente nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird Nürnberg: Raspe 1763 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt)
|Headgear||black tricorne laced white with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and a blue small bob on the hat (silver bobs in 1761)|
|Coat||white with 7 pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||straw edged scarlet (red waistcoat in 1761)|
Troopers were armed with a straight steel hilted sword, two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook.
Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; silver lace on the tricorne. They did not carry any cross-belt.
NCOs had silver laces on the cuffs, pockets and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.
The musicians were kettle-drummers and trumpeters. They were probably dressed in reverse colours; staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.
The kettle-drums of the regiment were made of copper.
The kettle-drum apron and trumpet banners were red, fringed gold, carrying the Arms of England; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard. Generally speaking, the textual descriptions that we have found for the Hanoverian cavalry standards were very simple and we had to guess the complete designs. The obverse of the Leibstandarte of the present regiment is a good example: the description only mentions the arms of England within the Garter without specifying the presence of the crown or of the supporting lion and unicorn. In our version, we assumed that all these items were present.
Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with golden embroideries; fringed gold
- obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter
- reverse: centre device consisting of the “GR” cipher
Regimental Standard: red field with golden embroideries; fringed gold
- obverse: centre device consisting of the White Horse on a red ground within the Garter; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” on a white scroll underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of a column with even gold scales; a drawn sword resting on top of the column; a trophy of arms behind the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” on a white scroll underneath
This standard kept at the Hannover Historisches Museum (inventory number VM 16996) measures 42 cm high and 42 cm wide. Its flagpole has a length of 266 cm.
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Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part I : Das Heer von 1763, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 1-4 (1909), page 3-15
Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part II: Das Heer von 1770, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 4-5 (1909), page 15-20
Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Kurze Stammliste. 1617 bis 1803, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 6-11 (1909), page 22-42
Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II
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Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Uniformierung der kurhannoverschen Infanterie 1714 - 1803 in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, 1970
Schirmer, Friedrich: Nec Aspera Terrent: Eine Heereskunde der hannoverschen Armee von 1631 bis 1803, Niedersächische Hausbücherei, Bd. 3, Hannover 1929
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N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.