Luckner Hussars

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Luckner Hussars

Origin and History

The unit was created in 1757 when Rittmeister Nicolaus von Luckner with 54 hussars which were formerly in the Dutch service joined the Hanoverian Army. These hussars were all foreigners commanded by Hungarian officers. During the year the unit increased to 90 men.

By 1758, Luckner was at the head of a squadron of 180 hussars organised in two companies.

At the beginning of 1759, an additional squadron was raised bringing the total strength of the unit to 434 men.

In 1760, the unit consisted of four squadrons, each of two companies of 86 men. By this time Luckner Hussars were mostly natives of Hanover.

The regimental inhaber (proprietor) was:

  • since 1757 Nikolaus Graf von Luckner

Service during the War

Throughout the war, the regiment was involved in almost every Kleinkrieg actions in the Western theatre of operation.

On July 26 1757, the unit was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was detached on the Weser.

On May 26 1758, the unique squadron of this unit was part of Wangenheim's Corps encamped at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the unit took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was posted on the left wing along with Hammerstein Cavalry, Drachenhausen Dragoons, Ruesch Hussars, and Grothaus Cavalry as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General Spörcken. On September 19, the unit was part of a detachment sent towards Warburg against the camp of the French corps of Dumenil, it forced this corps to decamp and to pass the Diemel. On September 20, the unit pursued this corps beyond the Diemel, forcing it to retire to Kassel.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the main Allied army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, the regiment was at the Battle of Minden where its 2 squadrons were deployed in Laffert's detachment on the left bank of the Weser. On August 16, the regiment routed a French detachment at Volkmarsen, 10 km south of Warburg. On November 28, 1 squadron of the regiment was part of the force under the Hereditary 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, 1 squadron of the regiment was attached to the Hereditary Prince's column. On December 18, the Hereditary Prince at the head of his corps arrived at Erfurt. On December 25, the Hereditary Prince effected a junction with Frederick II at Leipzig in Saxony.

On January 7 1760, the regiment supported the 87th Keith's Highlanders in its attack on Beaufremont Dragons in the village of Eyesbach (probably Egelsbach or Esbach). The French dragoons were completely taken by surprise and the Allies took 80 prisoners along with 200 horses and all their baggage. By the end of January, the unit was attached to the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On June 20 in the morning, the regiment attacked a detachment (Bercheny Hussards and the Volontaires du Hainaut) sent forward from Schlüchtern by Prince Xavier to reconnoitre the movements of the Hereditary Prince. The dragoons of the Volontaires du Hainaut were sent to the rescue and together with Bercheny Hussards, they drove back Luckner Hussars, taking 50 prisoners. On July 10, the regiment took part in the Combat of Corbach where it was attached to the left column under Lieutenant-General Griffin. On July 15, the regiment along with the 15th Light Horse joined the Hereditary Prince at Zwesten (present-day Bad Zwesten) for his planned attack on Glaubitz's detachment. On reaching the vicinity of Ziegenhain, the prince 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 at 11:00 a.m., he posted the regiment in a hollow near Speckswinkel, 1.5 km before Erksdorf. The Allies captured most of Glaubitz's detachment in the Engagement of Emsdorf. On July 31, the unit was present at the Battle of Warburg, incurring the wrath of the British command because it stayed to pillage the baggage of the retreating French. On August 10, a French party of 500 horse and foot drove part of Luckner Hussars out of Northeim. However, Allied jägers reinforced Luckner Hussars and together they forced one of the gates of Northeim and stormed the place. In this action, the French lost 150 men killed; and 11 officers, 300 foot and 30 dragoons taken prisoners and conducted to Hameln.

In 1761, the unit captured one flag from the Swiss Jenner Infanterie and two flags from General Belzunce (probably commanding Du Roy Cavalerie). These flags were sent to King George III.

Uniform

The uniform was completely changed in 1760. The later uniform is shown in brackets in the table below.

Privates

Trooper of Luckner's Hussars in 1761
Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Uniform Details
Headgear
Trooper black militron (brown fur kolpack (busby))
Pelisse dark green (red)
Fur trim black (black)
Lace yellow (yellow)
Buttons brass (brass)
Dolman dark green (white)
Barrel sash red/yellow (yellow)
Lace yellow (yellow)
Breeches red (white)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (white)
Scabbard black (black)
Boots yellow (yellow)
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth Sheepskin saddle and cloth in dark green with red ornamentation (red with yellow ornamentation)
Sabretache Dark green with red ornamentation (red with yellow ornamentation)
Blanket roll grey (grey)


Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the cross belt on a swivel hook.

Officers

The officers had gold lace trim and buttons rather than yellow lace trim and brass buttons.

Musicians

Individual information about the musicians has not been found. That said, given the very Prussian style, it can be assumed that the musicians would have followed the Prussian pattern.

Trumpeters would have worn the same uniform as any troopers.

Colours

This unit did not carry any standard.

References

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

Bunger, K.: Graf Nikolaus Luckner, A Short Biography, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No.4

Mollo, J.: Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63, Blandford Press, page 190.

Mulder, Luke: Growth of the Hanoverian Light Troop Establishment During the Seven Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 4

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

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

Vae Victis: Les troupes légères du Roi Georges

Yahoo SYW Group Message No. 23, 3551, 4299, 4300, 4301