Södermanlands Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Södermanlands Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised in 1614 as the "Södermanlands Storeregement", 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 raised in the 1550's.

In 1624, this grand regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments (Närke, Värmlands and Södermanlands) and one cavalry regiment.

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 three distinct and independent "Indelta" regiments, giving birth to the Södermanlands Infantry regiment.

In 1699, just before the Great Northern War, it was shipped to Wismar and took part in the Holstein campaign of 1700. With Gyllenstierna to Poland in 1702 and thereafter with the King army. Captured at Poltava (1709) but reraised. In the 1710 Skane campaign and then in the same year in Pomerania. With Stenbock and then captured at Tonningen. Reraised for the second time and commanded to the fleet and Roslagen. One battalion in the Norwegian campaign of 1716, both in that of 1718. At Stäket (1719).

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of 1,200 privates in 2 battalions of 4 companies. Each company had 150 privates and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians. The eight companies were (in order): Livkompaniet, Vingåkers, Nyköpings, Oppunda, Strängnäs, Öster Rekarne, Väster Rekarne and Gripsholms.

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

  • J. D. von Köhler

Service during the War

In 1757, six companies of the regiment (about 1,000 men) were part of the expeditionary force sent to Pomerania under Field Marshal Mathias Alexander von Ungern Sternberg. These companies remained in Pomerania until 1761.

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 pewter 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 Pewter buttons down the front with yellow trimmed buttonholes and 1 pewter button at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 pewter buttons each
Cuffs saffron yellow
Turnbacks saffron yellow
Waistcoat yellow
Breeches yellow
Gaiters white wool stockings 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 flat toed 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 differences:

  • silver lace on the tricorne
  • white collar, cuffs and turnbacks
  • no shoulder straps
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)
  • white waistcoat
  • white breeches

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 yellow border.

Musicians

The uniform of the drummers was completely white.

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 corner of the first canton carried a black griffin.

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): yellow field; centre device consisting of a black griffin; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: Dawid from a template by Hannoverdidi

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

References

Alexanderssons: Lars, Heraldik - Landskapsvapen (website)

Economic Expert: Sudermannia Grand Regiment (website)

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

Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

Högman, Hans: Svenska regementen under indelningsverkets dagar (website)

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

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.