Grothaus Cavalry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Grothaus Cavalry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in Osnabrück in 1675. It initially consisted of four companies.

In 1676, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment took part in the siege of Maastricht; in 1677, in the engagement of Casale; and in 1678, in the Battle of Saint-Denis.

In 1678, the regiment participated in the relief of Hamburg, threatened by the Danes.

In 1680, the regiment was reduced to two companies, but was soon re-established at four companies in 1682. In 1683, two additional companies were recruited.

In 1686, the regiment was once more posted on the Elbe to guard Hamburg against Danish entreprises.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment served on the Rhine. In 1689, it was at the capture of Mainz and Bonn. In 1690, it was transferred to the Netherlands where it took part in the Battle of Fleurus, returning home for the winter. In 1693, it was sent to the Netherlands once more where it took part in the Battle of Landen. In 1694, the regiment was sent to Hungary where it joined the Imperial army in its camp at Peterwardein. In 1695, it was initially sent to the Rhine, then transferred to the Netherlands where it took part in the capture of Namur.

In 1700, the regiment was sent to the Duchy of Holstein to contain the Danes.

In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), the took part in the invasion of the Principality of Wolfenbüttel and in the investment of Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel; in 1704, in the Battle of Blenheim; in 1706, in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1719, the regiment was part of the Imperial force which were sent to Mecklenburg. The regiment took part in the engagement of Wallsmühlen against the Russians.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment formed part of the Observation Army assembled at Hameln. In 1742, the regiment was sent to Brabant. In 1743, it took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744 and 1745, it campaigned on the Rhine. In 1746, it was transferred to the Netherlands where it fought in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, it took part in the Battle of Lauffeld.

The regimental inhabers were:

  • from 1740: Colonel Friedrich Franz von Wrede (promoted to brigadier in 1745; to major-general in 1747, died on May 11, 1754)
  • from 1754: Colonel Johann Friedrich Röscher (retired as major-general in 1757)
  • from 1757: Colonel Ernst Philip von Grothaus (promoted to major-general in 1759, retired as lieutenant-general in 1761)
  • from 1761: Colonel Alexander von Bremer (Jung-Bremer) (promoted to major-general in 1775; and to lieutenant-general in 1783)

The regiment was disbanded in 1803.

Service during the War

In 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment retired towards Stade with the Allied army which finally capitulated.

On May 26, 1758, the regiment was with the main force of 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 as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General Spörcken.

In June 1759, during the French offensive in Western Germany, 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, one squadron was attached to the first line of cavalry commanded by Lord Sackville whose deliberate inactivity kept the unit out of any serious action. The other squadron was in Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the second line of the cavalry right wing under Major-General von Grothausen. This second line acted as a reserve. In this battle, the regiment lost Captain von Harling and Cornet Niemitz wounded.

On July 10, 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Corbach where it was deployed in the right column of the main corps under Lieutenant-General Count von Kilmannsegg.

On February 15, 1761, the regiment was among the Allied forces who launched a surprise attack on Langensalza against the Saxon Contingent fighting along 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 July 28, the regiment was at Erwitte; and by August 18, at Steinheim. In September, it joined the Allied corps encamped at Wilhelmstadt

By May 23, 1762, in preparation for the campaign in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the Corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick operating in Westphalia. On June 25, the Hereditary Prince advanced up to Buer with 4 sqns (detachments of the present regiment along with Brunswick Carabiniers, Hessian Gens d'Armes and Bock Dragoons 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 August 30, the regiment took part in the Combat of Nauheim where it was attached to Lieutenant-General Oheimb's column. Around 8:30 a.m., the Hereditary Prince instructed Lieutenant-General Oheimb to detach 8 squadrons (including this regiment) to reinforce Jeanneret and to support Luckner's attack on Dorheim with the rest of his corps.


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)


Uniform - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and silver small bobs on the hat (alternatively, the bobs are described as green and white or, from 1761, crimson)
Neckstock black
Coat white with 7 brass buttons on the right side and a brass button on each side at the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulderknot none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs crimson, each with 3 brass buttons
Turnbacks crimson fastened with a small brass button
Waistcoat straw edged crimson with small brass buttons
Breeches chamois
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt buff
Waistbelt buff
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth basic color crimson; border a white chain pattern on red with a yellow and black line on each side; emblem white horse on red ground over green turf within a blue garter yellow lettering, above is a golden crown with red cushions
Sabretache see saddlecloth
Blanket roll crimson

Troopers were armed with a straight steel hilted sword, two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook.


Officers wore a yellow silken sash across the right shoulder; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; a golden lace on the tricorne. They did not carry any cross-belt.


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


The musicans were trumpeters and a kettle-drummer. They were usually dressed in reverse colours; staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.

The kettle-drums were made of copper.

The apron of the kettle-drums and the banners of the trumpets were red, carrying the Arms of England with the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath.


The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field, the metal of the embroideries and fringe is not specified in any of the sources that we consulted (we illustrated golden embroideries and fringe since the uniform had brass buttons)

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
  • reverse: centre device consisting of the “GR” cipher
Leibstandarte – Copyright: Kronoskaf

Regimental Standard: red field with golden embroideries; probably gold fringe

  • obverse: centre device consisting of the White Horse on a red ground; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath (Note that some authors mention that the White Horse was withing the Garter)
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a column with uneven gold scales; a drawn sword resting on top of the column; a trophy of arms below the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” above
Regimentsstandarte – Copyright: Kronoskaf


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

Other sources

Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 Bilder von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text und Erläuterungen von Dr. Martin Letzius, hrsg. von der Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985

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: Die Chur-braunschweig-lüneburgische Armee im Siebenjährigen Kriege: Das Gmundener Prachtwerk, Beckum 1976

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: Die Uniformierung der kurhannoverschen Infanterie 1714 - 1803 in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, 1970

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

Sichart, Louis von: Geschichte der Königlich-Hannoverschen Armee. Dritter Band. Vierter Zeitraum. 1756-1789, Hanover 1870 [google books]

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