Imhoff Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Brunswick Army >> Imhoff Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment, then counting a single battalion, was raised in April 1748 to serve in the Netherlands. In 1754, it was increased to two battalions.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 2 battalions. Each battalion consisted of 1 grenadier and 5 musketeer companies. Grenadiers companies counted 141 men while musketeer companies counted 119 men.

The grenadiers of the regiment were amalgamated with those of the Leibregiment to form the Grenadier Battalion von Stammer.

Throughout the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhaber was:

  • from 1748 to 1770: Philipp Ernst von Imhoff

In 1783, the regiment was amalgamated with Riedesel (raised in 1714).

Service during the War

During the war, the regiment was in the British service.

On July 26 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it fought in the first line of the left wing under lieutenant-General Imhoff.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with the Allied main force in the camp of Nottuln. When Ferdinand of Brunswick crossed the Rhine during the night of May 31, the regiment remained at Brünen as part of Lieutenant-General von Imhoff's detachment charged to watch Wesel. On August 5 at the combat of Mehr, the regiment was part of Imhoff's force who repulsed the French attempt directed against the Allied bridgehead at Rees.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied Army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to May'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 deployed in the first column under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. In June, the regiment was still part of the Allied main army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was mostly deployed in the second line of the 7th column under Major-General von Behr while a detachment was posted near Hille to guard the Eickhorst causeway crossing the peat bog. On November 28, the regiment was part of the force under the Heredity Prince destined to dislodge the Würtemberger contingent from Fulda and then to reinforce Frederick II in Saxony. This force set out from Marburg and marched to Kirtorf. On November 29, the force marched to Angersbach and Lauterbach. On Friday November 30, this force launched an attack on Fulda, forcing the Würtemberger contingent to retreat precipitously southwards on Bruckenau in the general direction of Frankenland and Württemberg. In this action, the regiment was attached to Bevern's column. On December 18, the Hereditary Prince at the head of his corps arrived at Erfurt. On December 25, the Hereditary Prince formed a junction with Frederick at Leipzig in Saxony.

During the war, the unit was also engaged and fought at Ziegenhain, Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal.

Uniform

Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760

  • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
  • Copy (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
  • Copy (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)

Privates

Uniform - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white; blue-white pompoms
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap: brass front plate; blue back laced white; white headband ornamented with brass grenades; white within blue pompom
Neck stock red at the beginning of the war but soon changed to black
Coat dark blue with brass buttons with 2 brass buttons and 2 white buttonholes below each lapel and 1 brass button and 1 white buttonhole on each side at the small of the back
Collar white
Shoulder Straps probably blue
Lapels white, each with 6 brass buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs white Swedish cuffs with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks white fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat white with brass buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with brass ornaments
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following distinction:

  • a wide golden scalloped lace on the tricorne
  • a white neckstock
  • gilt buttons
  • a silver gorget with an inner red metal disc charged with a galloping white horse
  • a silver sash interwoven with yellow
  • 2 golden embroidered button holes under each lapel
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • an officer stick

Officers carried spontoons.

The officers of the grenadier companies wore tricornes and carried spontoons since 1754.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • gold laced tricorne
  • cuffs and lapels edged gold
  • no shoulder strap

Musicians

The drummers wore a dark blue coat with the collar, cuff, lapel and turnback the same as the troopers. The swallow nests on the shoulders were white while white lace edged the front of the coat.

N.B.: Kannik (see references) gives a yellow coat to musicians of all foot regiments of the Brunswicker Army.

The drum had a brass base carrying the Brunswick coat of arms with a rim decorated with blue and white diagonal stripes and with white cords.

Colours

New colours were introduced in 1754 when the army of Brunswick was reorganised. These colours were of the the Prussian pattern with flames and corner monograms. There are no known surviving examples of the colours used during the Seven Years' War.

Here is a tentative reconstruction based on the colours used by regiment von Rhetz in 1776 during the American War of Independence. Even though this regiment had a filiation with the regiment von Imhoff of the Seven Years' War, there is no certainty that the colours were the same.

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with green flames, red central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath surmounted by a golden ducal crown and decorated with a springing white horse surmounted by a golden scroll bearing the motto "Nunquam Retrorsum". Golden corner monograms: crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers (two intertwined C's). Golden grenades superimposed on the flames.

Regimental colours (Regimentsfahne): Green field with white flames, red central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath surmounted by a golden ducal crown and decorated with a springing white horse surmounted by a golden scroll bearing the motto "Nunquam Retrorsum". Golden corner monograms: crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers (two intertwined C's). Golden grenades superimposed on the flames.

Colonel Colour - Source: Richard Couture from elements contributed by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour – Source: Richard Couture from elements contributed by Hannoverdidi

References

Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 illustrations by Herbert Knötel d. J., with text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

Kannik, Preben: Uniformen in Farbe, Universitas Verlag, Berlin, 1967

Ortenburg, Georg von: Braunschweigisches Militär, Elm Verlag, Cremlingen, 1987

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

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

Scharf, Friedrich Ludwig: Buntes Tuch. Zweierlei Tuch. o.O., o.Jg.

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

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