Block Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created in 1670 for Colonel Wiedemann when war with Münster seemed likely. It was initially known as the “Graue Regiment” and soon afterwards as the “Grüne Regiment”.

In 1671, the regiment took part in the siege of Braunschweig. In 1673, it was at the camp of Leese, facing Turenne's Army which was posted at Minden. In 1674, it initially campaigned on the Rhine and then fought in the Battle of Einscheim in Alsace. In 1675, it fought in the engagement of Konzer Brücke on the Sarre near Trier. In 1676, it was at the siege of Maastricht; in 1677, at the siege of Charleroi; in 1678, at the Battle of Saint-Denis. In 1679, it returned to Hanover and marched to the relief of Hamburg, threatened by the Danes.

In 1686, the regiment (10 companies) was sent to Morea to assist the Republic of Venice against the Turks. It campaigned in the region of Argos before taking up its winter-quarters in the island of Zante (present-day Zakynthos). In 1687, it fought in an action near Patras and was at the capture of Corinth and Athens, before returning to Germany.

In 1688, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment campaigned on the Rhine. In 1689, it took part in the capture of Mainz. In 1690, it was sent to the Netherlands but returned during the autumn. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Landen; in 1694, in the capture of Huy, and in 1695, in the capture of Namur.

In 1705, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was sent to the Netherlands. In 1706, it took part in the capture of Dendermonde; in 1708, it formed part of the army covering the long siege of Lille. In 1709, it fought in the sanguinary Battle of Malplaquet and was at the surrender of Mons. From 1710 to 1713, it took part in all campaigns, including the sieges of Béthune and Landrecies.

In 1715, the regiment garrison Maastricht. In 1716, it returned to Hanover.

In 1733, the regiment was sent to Mecklenburg to quench troubles.

In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment campaigned on the Rhine. In 1735, it took part in the action of Klausen on the Moselle.

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment formed part of the reserve encamped at Hanau. In 1744 and 1745, it served on the Rhine. In 1746, it fought in the Battle of Rocoux; and in 1747, in the Battle of Lauffeld.

During the Seven Years War the regimental inhabers were:

  • since 1741: Colonel Johann Heinrich von Block

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 was deployed in the first line of the left wing.

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick'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 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 p.m., the Hereditary Prince led this brigade in an attack against the wood held by Saint-Germain's Division. In this battle, the regiment lost Major von Wietzendorf, killed in action; and Captain von Puffendorf, Lieutenant König and Adjutant Jordan, wounded. On October 10, the regiment fought in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the first line of the centre. In this battle, the regiment lost Ensign von Düring who was wounded.

In June 1759, the regiment was attached to the main Allied army under the command of Ferdinand of Brunswick. In July, the regiment was allocated to Dreves' Corps who reoccupied Bremen and Osnabrück. On July 29, the regiment rejoined the corps of the Hereditary Prince. On August 1, the regiment was part of the left wing of the corps of the Hereditary Prince who attacked and defeated Brissac's French Corps in the Engagement of Gohfeld.

In February 1760, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Münster. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was placed in the second line of the right wing in front of Ossendorf under the command of Lieutenant-General Hardenberg. In the night of September 5 to 6, during the French offensive in Hesse, the regiment was part of an Allied detachment who passed the Diemel near Warburg and made a junction with Bülow's light troops at the village of Witzen (unidentified location), about 5 km on the other side of the Diemel. The plan called for Bülow to turn the town of Zierenberg and to take post between this town and Dierenberg (probably the village of Dörnberg or the height of Dörenberg). The Allied force, now led by the Hereditary Prince, was guided by townsmen as well as deserters who manages to avoid outposts. The regiment was posted between Malsburg and Zierenberg while the rest of the Allied force stormed Zierenberg. At 3:00 a.m., the Hereditary Prince, fearing the arrival of reinforcements from the nearby French army, ordered retreat. At 8:00 a.m., the victorious Allied column was back to Warburg. On October 16, the regiment was with the Corps of the Hereditary Prince but did not take part in the Battle of Clostercamp, being left behind near Wesel with Kielmansegg's Brigade.

On February 14 1761, during the Allied winter offensive in Hesse, the regiment was part of Breitenbach's Corps who unsuccessfully attacked two gates of Marburg. On March 2, part of the regiment took part in the storming of the Castle of Battenberg. On July 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was placed in the first line.

By May 23 1762, during the French campaign in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the Corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick operating in Westphalia. On August 30, the regiment took part in the Combat of Nauheim where it was attached to Lieutenant-General von Hardenberg's column. Around 11:00 a.m., the regiment was part of those who passed the Wetter. After the crossing, the regiment launched two assaults on Nauheim before finally dislodging the defending French troops. The regiment then rejoined the other Allied battalions preparing for an attack against the Johannisberg. On September 21, the regiment was present at the Combat of Amöneburg where it formed part of Zastrow's Corps occupying the ground immediately before the Brücker Mühle (Zastrow commanded in the absence of Lieutenant-General Hardenberg). In this affair, the regiment lost Lieutenant Berensbach, killed; and Ensign Appuhn, wounded. The regiment then took part in the siege of Kassel where Ensign von Block was wouned.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a sprig of oak leaves, three red pom poms and a black cockade
Grenadier
Block Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Hannoverdidi
Prussian mitre in the British pattern with a small front flap. Pewter front bearing crowned coat of arms. Small pewter flap embossed with brass GR. Red sack, white base piped with white lace.
Neckstock black
Coat red with 2 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes under the lapels
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red (left shoulder)
Lapels white with 7 pewter buttons and 7 white buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Cuffs white (slashed in the British pattern) with 3 pewter buttons and 2 white buttonholes just above each cuff on the sleeves
Turnbacks white fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat white with 2 horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter 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, and carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

Officers

Officers had silver 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 white.

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

Colours

Colonel Colour: White field bearing the arms of Hanover (common to all Hanoverian infantry regiments except 10-B).

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

Regimental Colours: Red field. Mailed sword bearing arm emerging from grey clouds within laurel wreath. Scroll above reads RE NON VERBIS. In each corner there was a crowned "GR", the King's cypher. Hereafter, we present an illustration from the Reitzenstein Sammlung, dating from circa 1761 (left) and the interpretation of 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. der Jung, and Hans M. Brauer: Uniformbogen Nr. 45, Berlin

Pengel, R., and G. R. 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