Sporken Infantry

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Sporken Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1617 as a unit of the Principality of Brunswick-Celle which remained independent from Hanover until t1705. It consisted of 2 grenadier companies and 10 musketeer companies organised in two battalions.

The unit was one of the four regiments that this principality maintained during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) to serve with the Imperial Army. In 1625, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hanover. In 1626, it fought in the battles of Calenberg and Lutter am Barenberge. In 1632, the House of Lüneburg changed side and allied itself with Sweden and the four regiments of the Principality of Brunswick-Celle joined the Swedish Army. The same year, they took part in the Battle of Lützen and in the Combat of Hessisch-Oldendorf. In 1642, the regiment was reduced to 4 companies. After the Treaty of Westphalia, in 1648, each of these companies was further reduced.

Between 1663 and 1665, the regiment was gradually increased to 12 companies.

In 1666, the regiment was sent to the relief of Bremen, besieged and bombarded by the Swedes.

In 1668, the regiment participated in the unsuccessful expedition to support the Venetians at Candia (present-day Heraklion) in the Island of Crete.

In 1671, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Braunschweig.

In 1675, the regiment marched to Bremen country where it captured Buxtehude and Bremervörde, and blockaded Stade until its surrender in August 1676. Then Duke Georg Wilhelm sent these troops to reinforce the Branderburger Army in Pomerania. The regiment took part in the capture of Anklam and Demmin. In 1677, it was at the long but successful siege of Stettin. A few Lüneburger regiments then blocked all the passes leading from Mecklenburg to Pomerania. In 1678, the regiment accompanied Brandenburger troops in an expedition on the Island of Rügen. During this campaign, Stralsund, Greifswald and Dammgarten were also taken. The regiment then took part in the capture of the Fortress of Büzow in Mecklenburg.

In 1679, when Denmark blockaded Hamburg, the regiment joined a force assembled on the Weser. It then marched towards the Elbe, forcing the Danes to retire. The same year, the regiment was reduced to 10 companies.

In 1685, the regiment was sent to Hungary where it took part in the siege and capture of Neuhäusel and in the Battle of Gran. In 1686, it was at the capture of Ofen. In 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohacz.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment was increased once more to 12 companies and transferred to the Rhine to fight against the French. In 1689, it took part in the capture of Mainz. In 1690, it was sent to Brabant where it took part in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, the regiment campaigned once more in Brabant and took part in the Battle of Leuze. In 1692, it contributed 3 companies for the creation of a new regiment and 2 new companies were raised to replace them. The same year, it fought in the Battle of Steenkerque. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Landen. In 1694, one of the 3 companies given to the new regiment was given back. The same year, the regiment took part in the capture of Huy. In 1695, it was at the capture of Namur.

In May 1700, the regiment took part in the campaign against the Danes and was at the attack on the Castle of Keinbeck.

In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment marched to the Netherlands. In 1704, it took part in the Battle of Blenheim. In 1705, the regiment was incorporated in the Hanoverian Army. In 1706, it fought in the Battle of Ramillies and took part in the sieges of Dendermonde and Menin. In 1707, the regiment was subdivided in two distinct units. The present battalion forming a regiment under Colonel Melville and the other, a regiment under Colonel Hodenberg. In 1708, the regiment fought in the Battle of Oudenarde and in the siege of Küssel. In 11 September 1709, it took part in the Battle of Malplaquet and in the siege of Mons; in 1710, in the sieges of Douai and Bouchain.

In 1715 and 1716, the regiment garrisoned Maastricht.

In 1719, the regiment accompanied the Imperial troops who marched into Mecklenburg.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment formed part of the corps that Empress Maria Theresa sent from Hungary to the Austrian Netherlands. In 1743, it was attached to Allied army commanded by King George II and took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, the regiment campaigned once more in the Netherlands. In 1745, it fought in the Battle of Fontenoy; in 1746, in the Battle of Rocoux; in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld. In 1748, it returned to Hanover.

The regiment garrisoned at Minden, Hedemunden, Uslar and Dransfeld.

During the Seven Years War the regimental inhabers were:

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the Allied reinforcements sent to Great Britain.

In the Spring of 1757, the regiment was sent back to the continent. On July 26, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the battle of Hastenbeck where it was attached to the detachment located between Afferde and Diedersen. This detachment executed an outflanking movement against the French attack at Hastenbeck and caused near panic among the French towards the conclusion of the battle. After the defeat, the regiment followed the Allied army in its retreat towards Verden and Stade. In December, during the Allied counter-offensive in Hanover, it took part in the recapture of the Fortress of Harburg which capitulated on December 29.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with Ferdinand's main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand 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 the Holstein (third) column of attack under Major-general von Gilsa. On June 17, the regiment was part of Holstein's corps who marched towards Hüls. On June 19, it joined the corps of the Hereditary Prince at Kempen. 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. At 1:00 PM, it followed the Hereditary Prince in his attack against the wood held by Saint-Germain division. Captain Kating of the regiment was mortally wounded during this battle. On July 16, along with the Brunswicker Zastrow Infantry, it stormed strong French entrenchments at Papenmütze on the Erf

In June 1759, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps who had taken position at Dülmen in Westphalia to observe the movement of a French corps under the Marquis d'Armentières. On August 1, the regiment took part in the battle of Minden where it was deployed in Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the first line of the infantry centre.

In 1760, the regiment took part in the affair of Dillenburg. It later joined Lückner's expedition in the County of Wittgenstein.

On July 16 1761, the regiment took part in the battle of Vellinghausen where it was attached to the reserve.

In March 1762, the regiment set off from its winter-quarters near Münster. At the end of May, the regiment served in the corps operating in Westphalia, placed under the command of the Hereditary Prince. On August 21, the regiment took part in the combat of Gräbenstein not far from Homburg on the Ohm. On August 25, it was at the cannonade near Grüningen. On August 30, it fought in the combat of Nauheim where it lost 2 officers and 162 men killed, wounded or captured. On September 16, the regiment drove the French out of Schweinsberg. On September 21, the regiment took part in the combat of Amöneburg where it was attached to Zastrow's Corps occupying the ground immediately before the Brücker Mühle. In November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in the region of Paderborn.

On January 5 1763, the regiment arrived at Einbeck to garrison the place.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced yellow with a sprig of oak leaves, three yellow/red pom poms and a black cockade
Grenadier
Sporken Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Hannoverdidi
Prussian mitre in the British pattern with a small front flap. Brass front with springing horse and crown. Small brass flap with engraved grenade. Red sack, dark yellow base lined with yellow lace.
Neckstock black
Coat red with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes under the lapels (hidden by the sleeve in our plate)
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels straw, each with 7 brass buttons and 7 yellow buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes
Cuffs straw (slashed in the British pattern), each with 3 brass buttons and 2 yellow buttonholes just above each cuff on the sleeves
Turnbacks straw fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat straw with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Breeches straw yellow
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword (brass hilt), and carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers had gold lace lining the cuffs and lapels, a black cockade hat, a gold gorget with the arms of Hanover in the centre and carried a yellow sash slung over the right shoulder. Sergeants wore straw gloves. Partizans were carried.

Musicians

Drummers wore a red coat with swallows nest and lace in yellow.

The drum pattern had hoops in alternating straw and red diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre.

Colours

Colonel Flag: White field bearing the arms of Hanover (common to all Hanoverian infantry regiments).

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

Regimental Flag: Pale straw field, within a palm wreath a mailed arm issuing from a cloud holding a drawn sword with the inscription VICTORIA. Scroll above reads SI DEUS PRO NOBIS QUI CONTRA NOS. Hereafter, we present an illustration from the Reitzenstein Sammlung, dating from circa 1761 (left) and the interpretation of User:Hannoverdidi (right).

Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of the Reitzenstein Sammlung (circa 1761)
Regimental Colour - Source: Interpretation of user Hannoverdidi

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

Other sources

Biles, Bill: The Hanoverian Army in the 18th Century, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VI No. 3

Gmundener Prachtwerk, circa 1761

Knötel H., and Hans M. Brauer: Heer und Tradition

Niemeyer Joachim, and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Reitzenstein Sammlung, Bomann Museum, Celle

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar