Prinz Wilhem Erbprinz Cavalry

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hesse-Kassel Army >> Prinz Wilhem Erbprinz Cavalry

Origin and History

Trooper of Prince Maximilian Cavalry circa 1748 as per Morier - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Marco Pagan

In 1672 three cavalry companies existed under Major von Hornumb. In 1673 they were increased to four and in 1676 to five companies. In 1683 the regiment was created from four of these companies. Four additional companies were raised. In 1714, Prince Maximilian became Inhaber (owner) of the regiment.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment took part in the battles of Blenheim (August 13, 1704), Castiglione (September 8, 1706), Oudenarde (July 11, 1708) and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was attached to an Austrian corps.

In 1753, the regiment became the property of Prince Wilhelm of Hessen-Kassel.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 360 men formed into 2 squadrons. In 1760, it was increased to 400 men.

During the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhabers were:

  • since 1753: Prince Wilhelm
  • from 1760: Hereditary Prince

In 1765 the regiment was amalgamated with the cavalry regiment (K3) von Schlotheim (former v. Miltitz, v. Oheimb, v. Einsiedel, Heister) to a dragoon regiment.

In 1774 the regiments were again separated and the regiment was renamed Carabinier-Corps, then Carabinier-Regiment.

In 1813 the regiment was incorporated in the regiment Gens d'armes (K2) and ceased to exist.

Service during the War

On July 26 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it fought in the center of the second line.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with the corps of the Prince von Anhalt in the camp of Coesfeld. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 12, during the aborted attack on the French positions at Rheinberg, the regiment was in Spörcken's (second) column of attack under Major-General von Urff. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (Hereditary Prince) of Brunswick. On October 10, it fought in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the second line of the centre.

During the first half of 1759, the regiment formed part of the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. It was attached to Urff's Brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing. On April 13, it took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the second column under the Prince von Ysenburg. The infantry in the column were fed into the initial assaults on Bergen and beaten back while this regiment, along with the rest of the cavalry, protected their flank. In June, the regiment was part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of the 8th column under Lieutenant-General Duke von Holstein. On November 28, 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, they 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 Franconia and Württemberg. During this action, the regiment guarded the baggage. 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 II at Leipzig in Saxony.

On July 10 1760, the regiment was part of Lieutenant-General von Gilsa's Reserve at the Combat of Corbach. This reserve did not take part in the engagement.

To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

By the 1740's the horse troopers did not wear a cuirass anymore.

During the Seven Years War, the regiment used a temporary field sign of oak leaves. The use of the field sign was due to the French cavalry having regiments with similar coat and facing colours.

1756 Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with oak leaves as a field sign and a black cockade fastened with a brass button
Neck stock black
Coat white with a brass button on each side in the small of the back
Collar blue
Shoulder strap Left shoulder: white edged blue fastened with a brass button
Right shoulder: blue aiguillette
Lapels blue, each with 6 brass buttons arranged 2-2-2
Cuffs blue, each with probably 3 (maybe 4) brass buttons
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat white edged blue
Breeches pale straw
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots with white knee covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue edged with a white braid decorated with a blue stripe; a golden crowned and armed Hessian lion in the rear corner (in 1748 Morier depicted a "PM" cipher (Prinz Maximilian) but this design probably changed to a simpler one before 1756)
Housing blue edged with a white braid decorated with a blue stripe and with a golden crowned and armed Hessian lion
Blanket roll blue and white


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

The officers had gold trim rather than yellow lace on their tricorne.

Musicians

Trumpeters wore reversed colours. They were usually mounted on white or grey horses.

The bugle cord was made of interwoven white and blue braids. Any banner from the trumpet would use the same markings as those on the housing.

1761 Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1761 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with oak leaves as a field sign and a black cockade fastened with a brass button
Neck stock black
Coat buff edged with a white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes
Collar blue
Shoulder strap Left shoulder: blue fastened with a brass button
Lapels none
Cuffs blue edged with a white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes, each cuff with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks buff edged with a white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes
Sash blue worn over the coat
Sabretache blue edged with a white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes; decorated with the crowned cipher "FL"
Waistcoat blue edged with a white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes
Breeches pale straw with white knee covers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue edged with a white braid decorated with a blue stripe; the crowned arms of Hessen-Kassel within a golden laurel wreath in the rear corner
Housing blue edged with a white braid decorated with a blue stripes decorated with the crowned arms of Hessen-Kassel within a golden laurel wreath
Blanket roll blue and white


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. The cuirass was introduced only in 1764, after the war.

Officers

The officers had gold trim rather than yellow lace on their tricorne.

Musicians

Trumpeters wore reversed colours. They were usually mounted on white or grey horses.

The bugle cord was made of interwoven white and blue braids. Any banner from the trumpet would use the same markings as those on the housing.

Standards

The flag poles were red. The standards had golden fringe, a golden finial, red/white/blue cords with silver tassels. The regiment carried a white Leib (colonel) standard and a regimental standard.

Leib standard: white field; centre device consisting of the armed Hessian lion in gold.

Squadron standard: blue field; centre device consisting of the armed Hessian lion in gold.

Sources differ concerning the Hessian Lion: it is alternatively illustrated armed or unarmed; facing the pole or the opposite direction.

Leib Standard - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Squadron Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Henry, Mark: Hessian Army of the 7 Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VII No. 3

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

Trenkle, K.: Nix wie weg… die Hesse komme, Verlanganstalt Marburg

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