Zepelin Cavalry

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Origin and History

The regiment was formed in 1745 in Brunswick.

During the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhabers were:

  • since 1745: Graf von Platen-Hallermund
  • from 1753: Joh. von Zepelin
  • from 1757: von Skölln
  • from 1758: von Heise
  • from 1761: Emmerich von Estorff

The regiment was disbanded in 1803.

Service during the War

On July 26 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the battle of Hastenbeck where it fought in the second line.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with the Allied main force under Ferdinand of Brunswick in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part in the battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-general von Spörcken.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it was part of the left brigade under Prince Isenburg. This brigade covered the flank of the attempted Hanoverian infantry advances into Bergen. In June, 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 second line of the cavalry right wing under Major-general von Grothausen.

On July 10 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Corbach where it was attached to the left column under Lieutenant-General Griffin.

On February 15 1761, the regiment was among the Allied forces who launched a surprise attack on Langensalza against the Saxon Contingent fighting alongside the French Army. On July 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed on the right wing under the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick.

By May 23 1762, in preparation for the campaign in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the Allied main army. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was deployed in the 5th column under the Prince von Anhalt. On August 30, it fought as part of Luckner's Corps in the Combat of Nauheim.

Uniform

Accurate Vorstellung der saemtlichen Churfürstl. hannöverischen Armee zur eigentlichen Kentniß der Uniform von jedem Regimente nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird Nürnberg: Raspe 1763 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt)

Privates

Uniforms in 1759 and 1760 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and red (yellow from 1761) small bobs on the hat
Neck stock red (black in 1760)
Coat white with 6 brass buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the right side and 1 brass button at the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulderknot none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs orange (black in 1760), each with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks orange (white in 1760)
Waistcoat straw edged orange (edged black in 1760)
Breeches chamois
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff
Waistbelt buff
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth until 1759: basic color orange; border from inner edge out yellow line, green line with yellow zig-zag superimposed, yellow-orange-yellow line, green line with yellow zig-zag superimposed, yellow line; emblem of a blue garter with yellow lettering within garter is a white horse on red ground above green turf and garter is gold crowned

from 1760: basic color white; wide yellow border; emblem of a blue garter with yellow lettering within garter is a white horse on red ground above green turf and garter is gold crowned

By 1761, the saddle was fastened with a white and violet girth.

Sabretache see saddlecloth
Blanket roll orange (probably black in 1760)


Troopers were armed with a Pallasch (straight steel hilted sword), two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook. They were usually mounted on black horses.

Officers

Officers wore a yellow silken sash around the waist; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; gold lace on the tricorne; gold lace around the collar and cuffs. They did not carry any cross-belt.

NCOs

NCO had gold laces on the cuffs, pockets, and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.

Musicians

The kettle-drummer and the trumpeters were dressed in reverse colours and probably had swallow nests at the shoulders. Staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives. Musicians were mounted on light brown horses.

Their kettle-drums were made of copper.

The kettle-drum apron and the trumpet banners were yellow embroidered and fringed gold and carried the Arms of England; below the Arms, a shield carrying a Gordian Knot; trophies of arms; slaves in gold chains

Standards

The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard. Generally speaking, the textual descriptions that we have found for the Hanoverian cavalry standards were very simple and we had to guess the complete designs. The Leibstandarte and the obverse of the regimental standard of the present regiment are good examples: the text only mentions the arms of England within the Garter without specifying the presence of the crown or of the supporting lion and unicorn. In our version, we assumed that all these items were present.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with silver embroideries; probably fringed silver

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter with the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: similar to the obverse
Leib Standard – Source: rf-figuren

Regimental Standard: yellow field with golden embroideries; probably fringed gold

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a silver column with its shaft entwined with laurel wreath, surmounted by a gold crown; the motto “MEREAMUR” above; trophies on both sides at the base of the column.

From 1763, a silver plate was affixed at mid-height of the pole in remembrance of Trooper Heinrich Grass who, during the combat of Nauheim had recovered the standard which had been previously captured by the French.

Regimental Standard – Source: rf-figuren

References

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part I : Das Heer von 1763, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 1-4 (1909), page 3-15

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part II: Das Heer von 1770, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 4-5 (1909), page 15-20

Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Kurze Stammliste. 1617 bis 1803, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 6-11 (1909), page 22-42

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II

Manley, S.: Uniforms of the Danish and German States' Armies 1739 - 1748, Potsdam Publications

Niemeyer, Joachim and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Heereskunde

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

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Schirmer, Friedrich: Nec Aspera Terrent: Eine Heereskunde der hannoverschen Armee von 1631 bis 1803, Niedersächische Hausbücherei, Bd. 3, Hannover 1929

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