Spenska Infantry

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

Origin and History

This permanent "Varvade" regiment was raised in 1749 at Stralsund where it assumed garrison duties. It consisted of 1,200 privates (about 5/6 Germans and 1/6 Swedes) in 2 battalions of 4 companies. Each company had 150 privates and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians.

In 1754, a company was stationed at Göteborg.

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

  • since 1749 until 1765: count Gabriel Spens

Service during the War

Until 1757, 4 companies of the regiment garrisoned Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania while 600 men were stationed at Landskrona.

By the end of August 1757, the entire regiment (about 1,200 men) had been transported across the Baltic towards Swedish Pomerania.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a brass 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 brass buttons down the front with white trimmed buttonholes and 2 brass buttons at small of the back
Collar red
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one brass button
Lapels none (maybe red lapels)
Pockets on each side with 3 brass buttons each
Cuffs red
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters white 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 shoes with brass buckles

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

Other interpretations

Pengel and Hurt mention red waistcoat.

NCOs

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

  • a silver or gold 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), probably the common Varvade Liffana: white field; centre device was the crowned King's monogram surrounded by palm branches tied with a gold or yellow ribbon.

Kompanifana (Ordonnance flag): red field; centre device consisting of a lilac-coloured circle charged with 3 gold crowns, the whole surmounted by a large gold crown; one yellow leaf on each side below the central circle.

Liffana - Source: Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: rf-figuren

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

References

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

Högman, Hans, Svenska regementen under indelningsverkets dagar

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

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, vol. III, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989, pp. 25-38

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

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