I. German Grenadiers
Origin and History
On July 18 1758, a German Grenadier Battalion was formed with the grenadiers of the 4 German Varvade garrison regiments serving in Pomerania. It consisted of 4 companies of grenadiers for a total of 384 men. Throughout the war, the battalion was known by the name of its commander.
By 1761, the battalion counted 400 men. The same year, it was renamed "I. German Grenadiers" to distinguish it from the newly established II. German Grenadiers.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since July 18 1758: Count Johan August Meijerfelt
Service during the War
On November 18 1758, a detachment of the battalion was part of Ceneral von Lingen's force at the Combat of Güstow.
On August 27 1759, during a campaign of Pomerania, the battalion formed part of the force under the command of Major Anrep who, after an artillery preparation, stormed Swinemünde, capturing Lieutenant-colonel Prentz, 80 men and 4 guns. However, part of the Prussian defenders managed to take refuge in the "West Redoubt" which the Swedes were forced to besiege in forms. On September 15, the battalion and Åboläns Infantry attacked the Prussian outposts in front of Wollin, forcing their defenders to retire to the fortified town. On September 16, after a preparation of artillery, the battalion took part in the assault and capture of the fortified Town of Wollin, attacking the Swine Gate. On October 1, the battalion followed Fersen's Corps when it left the Oder islands to join the Swedish Main Army in Pasewalk.
During the night of January 27 to 28 1760, a Swedish force (Skaraborgs Infantry, Wrangel Grenadiers and Meijerfelt Grenadiers) under Major Baron Pehr Ribbing launched a surprise attack in 3 columns to seize the bridge over the Peene at Anklam. They first took possession of the suburbs, then surprised the Prussian outposts near the bridge before the Prussians had time to hoist the draw-bridge. The Swedes then ran over the bridge and entered pell-mell into the town. In the dark, Lieutenant-General Manteuffel, who was defending Anklam, clashed with the advancing Swedish troops. A few Swedish platoons under Captain Johan Jacob Hederstierna managed to take Manteuffel prisoner along with 150 of his men. Manteuffel had been wounded during the engagement. Nevertheless the Swedes were repulsed. Manteuffel's Corps retired behind the Peene while the Swedes took their winter-quarters, remaining idle at Greifswald.
To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762
The grenadiers wore the uniform of their own regiments.
The Swedish grenadiers wore mitre caps very similar to those of the Prussian grenadiers. These mitre caps had a brass frontplate and an Austrian style blue bag at the back. To avoid confusion with Prussian grenadiers, the Swedish grenadiers covered their mitre cap with a black oilskin cover.
These converged companies of grenadiers probably did not carry any colour.
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
Purky, Jim: Swedish Army Organization, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
Schorr, Dan: Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979
Wilson, Peter: The Swedish Army in 1756, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
Wilson, Peter: Swedish Politics and Armed Forces in the Seven Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.