Hanoverian Line Infantry Organisation

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Introduction

In 1756, the Electorate of Hanover’s infantry consisted of 1 Garde-Regiment, entitled Fußgarde (Foot Guards) with 2 battalions and 23 line regiments with 1 battalion each. In 1757 a regiment raised in Sachsen-Gotha was taken into payment - by 1759 fully incorporated into the army. In 1758, two so called New Battalions No. 1 and No. 2 were raised (10-B and 13-B). Till 1759, the infantry’s most junior regiment (13-A) was entitled Fusiliers.

After 1763, the line infantry regiments were organised in 2 battalions by combining two regiments into one. The regimental service numbers below were introduced only by 1783. The annex A or B, thus, serving to keep trace of the battalions origin within the new regiment. It does not show the 7YW ranking in terms of seniority.

Composition and Organisation

Each battalion had 7 coys of musketeers with 3 officers and 111 men, or a total of 814 men including regimental staff. In 1758, each coy was augmented by 14 men, the battalion now with 912 men. Sachsen-Gotha remained at 814 men. The two new battalions were organised in 5 coys each, with a total 1,013 men per battalion. During the war, a number of so called Combined Battalions had been created for the duration of an entire campaign, thus increasing the total of battalions, but reducing all over battalion strength in the event.

Each battalion formed 1 smallish grenadier corps comprising 1 officer and 64 men. The Garde grenadiers served as guard of the headquarters during the war. During 1757 and 1758, there had been no regular organisation of grenadier battalions. They were usually stripped from their parent regiments and combined into more or less ad-hoc units, depending on task and size of the army. Thus, grenadier battalions force could vary between 200 or as many as a 1,000 men on occasion. In June 1759, 3 permanent battalions were created for the duration of the campaign. In 1760 and 1761, 3 battalions were ordered to be formed with 500 men each. In 1762, the number of grenadiers nearly doubled as 1 company was formed within each regiment. Now, 6 grenadier battalions were raised, excluding the coys of the two new battalions, that remained with their parent units, and the two Garde coys that continued to serve as HQ guards.

Each battalion had 2 light guns.

Drill

Firing

For fire combat in battle, the battalion formed in 4 divisions by 2 half-divisions by 2 pelotons. Firefight was usually by divisions or half-divisions. The battalion formed line in 4 ranks up to the battle of Hastenbeck, July 1757, thereafter in 3 ranks.

References

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin, 1903, appendix 1