Närke-Värmlands Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Närke-Värmlands Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised in 1614 as the “Södermanlands Grand Regiment”, one of the nine grand regiments organised by Gustavus Adolphus. It incorporated various fänikors (smaller units of about 500 men) from Södermanlands, Närke and Värmlands.

In 1624, this grand regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments (Närke, Värmlands and Södermanlands) and one cavalry regiment. Two of these units were soon merged into a single one: the Närke-Värmlands Infantry.

In 1634, a government regulation ranked the Södermanlands Regiment as fourth among the infantry regiments.

On December 5 1682, the grand regiment was finally broken down into distinct and independent "Indelta" regiments, giving birth to the Närke-Värmlands Infantry regiments.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment exceptionally consisted of 1,674 troopers in 2 battalions of 5 companies. Each company had 150 troopers and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • F. Ribbing

Service during the War

In 1757, a battalion of the regiment (4 coys, about 600 men) was part of the expeditionary force sent to Pomerania under Field Marshal Mathias Alexander von Ungern Sternberg. The regiment remained in Pomerania until 1761.

In 1758, 3 additional companies (500 men) of the regiment were sent to Pomerania to reinforce the Swedish expeditionary force operating against Prussia.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
sketches of infantry uniforms from the
Swedish War Archives
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a tin button on the left side
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a blue bag (because of the great similarity of the Prussian and Swedish grenadiers, in the field the mitre was covered with a black wax cloth)
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue with 10 tin buttons down the front with red trimmed buttonholes and 2 tin buttons at small of the back
Collar red
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one tin button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 tin buttons each
Cuffs red
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red
Breeches red
Gaiters white stocking with brown leather strap at knee
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt broad white leather shoulder-strap
Waistbelt white with brass buckle
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes with brass buckles


Troopers were armed with a sword and a musket. The bayonet was permanently fixed to the musket.

Other interpretations

Schirmer as well as Pengel and Hurt mention white trimmed buttonholes.

NCOs

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

  • a silver lace on the tricorne
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)

NCOs carried halberds but no cane.

Officers

Officers wore a blue uniform (coat) with blue distinctives (collar, cuffs, turnbacks). They were further distinguished from privates by:

  • a gold lace on the tricorne
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • a silver gorget
  • brass buttons
  • blue or black breeches (breeches of the same colour as those of the privates were also worn)

N.B.: contrarily to the custom in other armies, Swedish officers did not wear any sash

Horses were equipped with blue housing with a red border.

Musicians

no information available yet

The drums were brass with provincial coats of arms embossed on the front. The rims were blue with yellow edging.

Colours

The pikes used as staffs to carry the colours were always yellow. The Liffana had gold finials while the Kompanifana had steel finials. The colours measured 2.12 x 1.70 m. (1.81 x 1.33 m. as per Clifford).

Liffana (colonel flag): white field; centre device carried the crowned royal arms of Sweden flanked by 2 crowned golden lions; the outer corner of the first canton carried 2 crossed golden arrows and 4 white roses.

N.B.: for the liffana, Clifford adds a pedestal supporting the arms, the letters “AFRS” above the arms and 1 royal crown in the corner of each of the 3 remaining cantons.

Kompanifana (ordonnance flag): crimson field; centre device consisting of 2 crossed golden arrows and 4 white roses; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: Hannoverdidi

The colonel's battalion carried the Liffana and a Kompanifana. The lieutenant-colonel's battalion carried 2 Kompanifanor.

References

Alexanderssons, Lars, Heraldik - Landskapsvapen

Economic Expert - Sudermannia Grand Regiment

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

Pengel, R. D. and G. R. Hurt; Swedish Army in Pomerania – 1757-1763, Birmingham, 1983

Purky, Jim, Swedish Army Organization, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1

Säwe, Teofron Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Beijers Bokförlagsaktiebolag, Stockholm, 1915

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Schorr, Dan, Swedish Flags 1757-1762 - Part II Infantry Flags, The Courrier, March-April 1980

Schorr, Dan, Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979

Swedish War Archives, Sketches of infantry uniforms

English Wikipedia - Närke-Värmlands regemente

Wilson, Peter, The Swedish Army in 1756, 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.