Bock Dragoons

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1701.

The successive regimental Inhabers were:

  • since 1715: du Pontpietin
  • from 1757 till 1766: Joh. Bock von Wülfingen

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 detached to scout along the Weser along with Luckner Hussars (1 sqn) and Bückeburg Carabiniers (1 sqn).

On May 26 1758, the regiment was with Ferdinand of Brunswick's main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 27, it was transferred to Wangenheim's Corps at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. The same day, after the capture of Kaiserwerth, Wangenheim garrisoned the town with light troops, some foot and Bock Dragoons, placing this garrison under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Walthausen. On June 18, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps who passed the Rhine at Duisburg. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where he was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (Hereditary Prince) of Brunswick. On October 10, the regiment was present at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the first line of the left wing.

In June 1759, the regiment was part of the Allied Main Army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On July 27 in the afternoon, the Hereditary Prince set off from Petershagen, near Minden, with 6 bns and 8 dragoon sqns (including this regiment), totalling some 6,000 men, and marched south-westward on Lübbecke to threaten the French left flank and the supply line between Minden and Paderborn. On August 1, the regiment was part of the right wing of the Corps of the Hereditary Prince who attacked and defeated Brissac's French Corps at the engagement of Gohfeld. On November 28, the regiment was part of the force under the Hereditary Prince destined to dislodge the Würtemberger Contingent from Fulda and then to reinforce Frederick II in Saxony. This force set out from Marburg and marched to Kirtorf. On November 29, the force marched to Angersbach and Lauterbach. On Friday November 30, this force launched an attack on Fulda, forcing the Würtemberger Contingent to retreat precipitously southwards on Bruckenau in the general direction of Franconia and Württemberg. In this action, the regiment was attached to the Hereditary Prince's Column. On December 18, the Hereditary Prince at the head of his corps arrived at Erfurt. On December 25, the Hereditary Prince formed a junction with Frederick at Leipzig in Saxony.

On July 31 1760, during the campaign of 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the third line of the centre between Ossendorf and Menne. During the night of September 5 to 6, the regiment was part of an Allied detachment who passed the Diemel near Warburg. This Allied detachment 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 was guided by townsmen as well as deserters who manage to avoid outposts. The regiment along with 2 grenadier battalions and Block Infantry were posted between Malsburg and Zierenberg. At about 2:00 a.m. on September 6, the Allied column was detected when it had almost reached the town. The Allied grenadiers, drove back the detachment of Volontaires du Dauphiné guarding the Warburg Gate and entered into the town while two other gates were masked by Allied dragoons and 2 Hessian battalions. The Allies surprised several French soldiers before they had time to come out of the houses and assembled in the churchyard. Meanwhile, the 2 dragoon regiments masking the other gates made an attempt against the Duremberg Gate but were repulsed by 400 French grenadiers. These dragoons made another unsuccessful attempt against another gate before managing to enter the town through a breach. At 3:00 a.m., the Hereditary Prince, fearing the arrival of reinforcements from the nearby French army, ordered retreat. By 8:00 a.m., the victorious Allied column was back to Warburg. On October 16, the regiment was at the Battle of Clostercamp but did not take part in the action, being attached to a containing force under Major-General von Bock posted north of Rheinberg.

On July 16 1761, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed on the right wing under the Hereditary Prince.

By May 23 1762, for the incoming campaign, the regiment was attached to the Corps of the Hereditary Prince operating in Westphalia. During the night of June 24 to 25, the Hereditary Prince advanced up to Buer with 4 sqns (detachments of Brunswick Carabiniers, Hessian Gens d'Armes, Bock Dragoons and Jung-Bremer Cavalry) and fell into an ambush drawn in a wood near Recklinghausen by the Dragons Chasseurs de Conflans. The Hereditary Prince was himself captured by 2 French hussars before being delivered by 20 troopers of Bock Dragoons. In this action, the Allies lost 20 men killed and 200 troopers taken prisoners; the French a few men killed and about 15 wounded. On July 23, the regiment took part in the second combat of Lutterberg where it was deployed with the cavalry protecting the flank at Winterbühren. On September 21, the regiment was at the Combat of Amöneburg where it was attached to Zastrow's Corps occupying the ground immediately before the Brücker Mühle.

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

Uniform in 1757 -
Source: Richard Couture from a template by Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne laced gold with oak leaves as a field sign and a black cockade
Grenadier Prussian-style mitre-cap; crimson front decorated with the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter surmounted by a crown; golden scroll work; small white flap decorated with a golden grenade and golden scroll work; white bag; crimson headband; red and gold pompom
Neck stock black
Coat white without lace with 1 golden buttons on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder-knot red and gold aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels crimson, each with 9 golden buttons (arranged 1-2-2-2-2)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 golden buttons
Cuffs crimson Swedish cuffs, each with 3 golden buttons
Turnbacks crimson
Waistcoat light buff edged crimson
Breeches light buff
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt buff
Waist-belt buff
Cartridge Box black
Ammunition pouch (grenadiers): straw decorated with a brass shield carrying the crowned initials “GR” and with a brass flaming grenade in each corner
Scabbard black
Foot-gear black boots with white knee-covers
Horse Furniture
Saddle-cloth basic colour crimson; border, from the inner edge out, black line white zigzag, crimson line, line of white rectangles with diamonds superimposed on one another in order crimson, yellow, black, white, crimson line, black line white zigzag, crimson line; emblem, white horse on red ground over green turf, blue garter white lettering, above is a crown gold with red interior

N.B.: during wartime, saddle-cloth and holster-caps probably used a simpler pattern based on the distinctive colour of the regiment edged yellow

Sabretache see saddle-cloth
Blanket roll crimson


Troopers were armed with a Pallasch straight steel hilted sword, two pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; and gold lace on the tricorne. They did not carry a bandoleer.

NCOs

NCO had gold laces on the cuffs, pockets, lapels and waistcoat. They did not carry a bandoleer.

Musicians

Musicians were dressed in reverse colours and probably wore shoulder laces. The staff kettle-drummer probably carried NCO distinctive. His kettle-drums were made of brass (they had been captured at Blenheim on August 13 1704) and had a red apron fringed gold carrying a device consisting of the Arms of England supported by a Lion and a Unicorn within the Garter; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath.

As dragoons, the musicians were drummers. The likely drum pattern would have been similar to the foot with hoops in alternating facing colour and red diagonal stripes, white drum cords over a brass drum with the Arms of Hanover in the centre.

Standards

The first squadron carried the Leibstandarte while the 3 remaining squadrons carried an Eskadronstandartewhich could vary from one squadron to the other.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white damask standard with gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of the Springing White Horse; the motto “QO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT” above
Leibstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'2nd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson damask standard with gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of a bare arm holding a sword issuing from a blue and silver cloud; the motto “DEXTRA DEI HOSTES OPPRIMIT” above
  • reverse: centre device consisting of the Springing White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by the Lion and the Unicorn; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath
2nd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'3rd Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson damask standard with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device depicting a large golden sun with a black eagle flying towards it; the motto “EXEMPLO MAJORUM” above
  • reverse: centre device consisting of the White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by the Lion and the Unicorn; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath
3rd Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

'4th Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): crimson damask standard with golden embroideries; gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device depicting a Raging Golden Lion; the motto “PERICULA NON METUIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of the White Horse on a red ground within the Garter supported by the Lion and the Unicorn; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath
4th Eskadronstandarte – Source: rf-figuren

References

Biles, Bill: The Hanoverian Army in the 18th Century, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VI No. 3

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

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

Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: 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