Swedish Artillery

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

Origin and History

The ranks of the artillery were filled by recruitment.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the Swedish artillery counted about 3,000 men in 38 companies.

The artillery regiment in Stockholm totalled 960 men, excluding staff, and consisted of 12 companies of 80 men each :

  • 2 artillerymen coys
  • 2 miners coys
  • 8 “pieces” coys

Besides this regiment, there were about 830 men stationed in the following places :

  • a strong company (147 men) assigned to the forts of Waxholm and Fredriksborg to guard the entry of the harbour of Stockholm
  • 1 battalion of 6 coys (353 men) in Västgöta at Göteborg and 1 coy at Jönköping
  • 1 battalion of 7 coys (330 men) in Scania
    • 2 coys in Landskrona
    • 3 coys in Malmö
    • 1 coy in Kalmar
    • 1 coy in Kristianstad

Finally, there were also:

  • 1 battalion of 4 coys (430 men) stationed on the island of Gotland
  • 1 battalion of 6 coys (600 men) stationed in Finland at Helsingfors (actual Helsinki), Sveaborg and Loviisa
  • 1 battalion of 2 coys (196 men) stationed at Stralsund in Pomerania

Heavy artillery consisted mainly in 6-pdrd and 12-pdrs guns, 8-pdrs and 16-pdrs howitzers and 16-pdrs mortar. Carriages and limbers were painted light blue with unpainted brass fittings.

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

Service during the War

By the end of August 1757, 935 artillerymen of the regiment had been transported across the Baltic towards Swedish-Pomerania. They came from:

  • Stockholm Regiment (194 men)
  • Västgöta Battalion (172 men)
  • Scania Battalion (122 men)
  • Gotland (244 men)
  • Finnish Battalion (203)

At their arrival in Pomerania, these artillerymen were converged with 46 artillerymen of the garrison of Stralsund to form a Field Artillery Regiment of 12 coys (981 men). The regiment was equipped with:

  • 12 x 12-pdrs guns
  • 12 x 6-pdrs guns
  • 36 x 3-pdrs guns (regimental guns)
  • 2 x 16-pdrs howitzers
  • 8 x 8-pdrs howitzers

In May 1758, the converged Field Artillery Regiment was reorganised into 18 coys with 4 pieces each. At the end of June, besides the artillery of Stralsund, the regiment still counted 603 men. In July, another reinforcement of 661 artillerymen was sent to Pomerania to reinforce the Swedish expeditionary force operating against Prussia. These 661 men came from:

  • Stockholm Regiment (327 men)
  • Västgöta Battalion (58 men)
  • Scania Battalion (91 men)
  • Gotland (56 men)
  • Finland Battalion (129 men)

After the arrival of these reinforcements, the Pomeranian Field Artillery Regiment was reorganised once more into 8 brigades for a total of 24 coys with 4 pieces each. The regiment was equipped with:

  • 8 x 12-pdrs guns
  • 16 x 6-pdrs guns
  • 60 x 3-pdrs guns
  • 4 x 16-pdrs howitzers
  • 8 x 8-pdrs howitzers

After the disastrous offensive of General Gustaf David Hamiltons against Berlin in the Autumn of 1758, the Swedes formed a light brigade consisting of hussars, horse-jägers, grenadiers, free-corps infantry and a special light horse-drawn field artillery with 3 pdr guns (better than their Prussian equivalents). Swedish artillery was considered with respect by the Prussian war historian Marschall Sulicki. The commander of this light brigade was the young multi-talented (he was earlier serving with the fortress artillery and made some exquisite drawings of Pomerania) grenadier-major Jacob Magnus Sprengtporten.

In the Summer of 1759, the Pomeranian Field Artillery Regiment counted 1,002 men. The same year, several batteries took part to the campaign at the mouth of the Oder:

  • 1 battery of 4 x 12-pdrs
  • 1 battery of 6 x 6-pdrs
  • 1 battery of 2 x 16-pdrs howitzers
  • 1 battery of 2 x 16pdrs mortars.

In 1761, the Swedish army suffered from a shortage of horse and was forced to leave all its field guns in the town of Grimen. Only the regimental guns accompanied the army.

Uniform

The uniform was of the same cut as the infantry uniform. Engineers, pioneers, pontoniers, miners wore the same uniform.

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear black untrimmed tricorne with a brass button and a yellow cockade on the left side
Neckstock probably black
Coat dark blue with 6 brass buttons grouped 2 by 2 down the front and 2 brass buttons at small of the back
Collar dark blue
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one brass button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 brass buttons each
Cuffs dark blue
Turnbacks dark blue
Waistcoat dark blue with 6 brass buttons
Breeches dark blue
Gaiters dark grey
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt broad natural leather shoulder-strap
Waistbelt white with brass buckle
Cartridge Box none
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard none
Footgear black shoes with brass buckles


Privates were armed with a musket and did not carry swords.

NCOs

NCOs were distinguished by a thin gold lace on the tricorne.

Officers

Officers were distinguished by a wide gold lace on the tricorne.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

no information available yet

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

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

Schorr, Dan, Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979

Sharman, Alistair, Sweden's Role in the Seven Years War: A Brief Chronology 1756-1761, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XII No. 4

Wilson, Peter, Swedish Politics and Armed Forces in the Seven Years War, 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.