Skaraborgs Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised in 1613 as the Västergötlands Storeregement, one of the nine grand regiments organised by Gustavus Adolphus. It incorporated various fänikors (smaller units of about 500 men) from Västergötlands (created in 1552), Dalsland, Skaraborg and Älvsborg.

In 1624, this Grand Regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments (Skaraborg, Älvsborg and Västgöta-Dals) and one cavalry regiment (Västergötlands).

In 1634, a government regulation ranked the Skaraborg Regiment second among the infantry regiments.

In 1684, the Grand Regiment was finally broken down into three distinct and independent regiments, giving birth to the Skaraborg Infantry Regiment.

Transferred into Pomerania in 1699, at the beginning of the Great Northern war the regiment participated to the Holstein campaign of 1700. In Poland in 1702 with Gyllenstierna and then with the King "Hauptarmee". During the Russian campaign distinguished itself in the action at Malatitze (1708). Annihilated at Poltava (1709), only 13 officers and 27 men out of 500 survived the battle. Reraised in 1710. In Göteborg and Bohuslän in 1712 and Wismar (1716). Commanded to the Fleet and then in the Norwegian campaign of 1718.

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, Höjentorps, Vartofta, Vilska, Södra Vadsbo, Norra Vadsbo, Kåkinds and Skånings.

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

  • not yet available

Service during the War

Intitially in 1757, the regiment remained in Sweden.

In 1758, 6 companies of the regiment (about 1,000 men) were among the reinforcements sent to Pomerania. On November 18, a detachment of the regiment was part of General von Lingen's force at the Combat of Güstow. On November 25, 40 men of the regiment were patrolling outside Werbelow when they ran into a Prussian force of grenadiers and cavalry under Feneral Platen. The patrol retreated in good order to a redoubt where they joined 160 men from Kalmar Infantry. They resisted until reinforcements came to their help and the Prussians were obliged to withdraw.

On September 16 1759, during the campaign of Pomerania, volunteers of the regiment took part in the assault and capture of the fortified town of Wollin, attacking the Wicker Gate and the Swine Gate. On October 1, when Fersen's Corps left the Oder Islands to join the Swedish Main Army in Pasewalk, volunteers of the regiment were left behind to defend the islands.

The regiment 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 buttons 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 yellow stockings and white trimmed buttonholes.

NCOs

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

  • silver lace on the tricorne
  • blue collar
  • blue cuffs
  • no shoulder straps
  • 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 yellow border.

Musicians

The drummers wore reversed colours uniforms: yellow coat with blue distinctives. Blue laces ran along the seems of the sleeves and shoulders and along the edges of the coat. Blue stockings.

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 golden lion with 2 white six-pointed stars.

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): black and yellow field (black upper left and yellow lower right); centre device consisting of a lion (black and yellow in the reverse colours of the field) with 2 white six-pointed stars; 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.

The regiment was probably the only one to receive new flags according to the regulation of 1761.

References

Alexanderssons: Lars, Heraldik - Landskapsvapen (website)

Brolin, Gunnar: 18th C. Swedish Military Flags - Part II, 18th Century Military Notes & Queries No. 6

Economic Expert: Westrogothia 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 Sallnäs, Ake: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

Högman, Hans: Svenska regementen under indelningsverkets dagar

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 - Skaraborgs regemente (infantry)

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.