Västgöta-Dals Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Swedish Army >> Västgöta-Dals 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 1685, the grand regiment was finally broken down into three distinct and independent regiments, giving birth to the Västgöta-Dals Infantry regiment.

In the Great Northern War in the Homeland and commanded to the Fleet at Karlskrona till 1709. In Bohuslän 1711, then in Germany and captured at Tönningen. Raised again and in the Norwegian campaigns of 1716 and 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.

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

  • J. Sparre

Service during the War

In 1757, 4 companies (about 680 men) of the regiment were sent to Pomerania.

On April 5 1758, a small detachment of the regiment (about 100 men), was part of a small Swedish force who tried to take the Peenemünde redoubt by surprise from the shore. They scaled the walls but were expelled after fierce hand-to-hand fighting.

The four companies of the regiment continued to serve 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 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 yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 brass buttons at small of the back
Collar saffron yellow
Shoulder Straps on the left shoulder with one brass button
Lapels none
Pockets on each side with 3 brass buttons each
Cuffs saffron yellow
Turnbacks saffron yellow
Waistcoat yellow
Breeches yellow
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

Schirmer as well as Pengel and Hurt mention white trimmed buttonholes.

NCOs

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

  • wide yellow buttonholes on the coat and pockets

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

  • silver lace on the tricorne
  • no shoulder straps
  • brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)
  • blue waistcoat
  • blue breeches
  • white buttoned gaiters

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. Blue laces ran along the seems of the sleeves and shoulders and edgings 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 outer corner of the first canton carried a red ox.

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): white field with 4 black corner flames and 4 yellow cross flames; centre device consisting of a red ox 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.

References

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

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 - Västgöta-Dals regemente

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.