Österbottens Infantry

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

Origin and History

The Finnish regiment was created in 1620. It became an Indelta regiment in 1733.

In 1634, a government regulation ranked the Österbottens Regiment 20th among the infantry regiments.

In 1699, the regiment garrisoned Riga. In 1702, it joined Schlippenbach's army but a detachment remained in Riga. This latter detachment joined Lewenhaupt's army in 1705. One battalion followed Lewenhaupt in the summer of 1708 when he advanced in Ukraine and fought at Liesna on September 28. This battalion finally surrendered a few days after the battle of Poltava in June 1709. The other battalion was captured by the Russian at Riga in 1710. However, the regiment was re-established during the same year and assigned to the army of Finland.

In 1718, the regiment took part to general Armfeldt's campaign in Norway. After the peace of 1721, it returned to Finland.

This Finnish 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:

  • 1757: V. Carpelan

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was reorganised, integrating the Kajana independent company as its 9th company. This brought its total force to 1,350 troopers.

By the end of August 1757, 6 companies of the regiment (about 900 men) had been transported across the Baltic towards Swedish-Pomerania.

To do: campaigns from 1758 to 1763

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 yellow trimmed buttonholes and 2 brass buttons at small of the back
Collar blue
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 a yellow collar and white trimmed buttonholes.

NCOs

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

  • a silver 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 yellow border.

Musicians

The uniform of the drummers were usually yellow with the addition of plain white swallows nest on each shoulder. There were no other lace on the sleeves, etc.

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 6 silver or white hermines.

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): blue filed; centre device consisting of 6 silver or white hermines; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath tied with a gold ribbon.

Liffana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi
Kompanifana - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Hannoverdidi

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 (broken link)

Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000

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

Virtual Finland

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.