Hessian Artillery

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hesse-Kassel Army >> Hessian Artillery

Origin and History

Hessian Artilleryman - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was formed in 1610.

In 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Year's War, the Hessian artillery manned the field guns, the fortress guns as well as the battalion guns attached to the infantry. Two artillery companies were dedicated to the service of fortress guns and field artillery. The field artillery pieces were not standardised and consisted of guns of various calibers (3, 6 and 12-pdrs), 30-pdr howitzers and 60-pdr mortars. Some pieces were supplied by Great Britain and Prussia while others had been captured from the French. The Hessian artillery had a well-staffed artillery headquarters and support train.

In 1757, a new company was formed. The artillery arm now consisted of 15 officers, 27 NCOs and 385 men (including drivers).

In the Spring of 1759, when Ferdinand of Brunswick reorganised the Allied artillery, the Hessian artillery was organised in one heavy field battery, five field batteries (each of 8 guns), and one garrison unit. The necessary additional manpower was drawn from militia units.

In January 1760, at the death of Wilhelm VIII, the new landgrave Friedrich II changed the organization of the army. The reorganised Hessian battalions each had two 3-pdr guns with three horses per gun and an accompanying 3-horse ammunition carriage. Each guns was served by 11 artillerymen. In August, the Hessian artillery was reorganised once more. It was now subdivided into five field artillery companies:

  • 1st company (106 men):
    • 3 x 12-pdr guns
    • 2 x 3-pdr guns
    • 2 x 60-pdr mortars
  • 2nd company (72 men):
    • 4 x 12-pdr guns
    • 2 x 6-pdr guns
    • 2 x 3-pdr guns
    • 2 16-pdr howitzers
  • 3rd company (72 men):
    • 4 x 12-pdr guns
    • 2 x 6-pdr guns
    • 2 x 3-pdr guns
    • 2 16-pdr howitzers
  • 4th company (106 men):
    • 3 x 12-pdr guns
    • 2 x 3-pdr guns
    • 2 x 60-pdr mortars
  • Reserve:
    • 14 x 12-pdr guns
    • 12 x 6-pdr guns
    • 10 x 3-pdr guns
    • 4 x 40-pdr mortars
    • 4 x howitzers.

In 1762, the Hessian artillery consisted of four battalion artillery companies and five field artillery companies.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • 1756: Lieutenant-colonel Schleestein
  • 1758: Colonel Schluter, then Huth
  • 1761: Colonel von Gohr
  • 1762: Major Lempe

Service during the War

In 1756, a detachment of 10 officers and 188 men with 16 guns accompanied the Hessian infantry sent to England. They returned to the continent early in 1757 with the Hessian contingent.

On August 1 1759, at the Battle of Minden, a Hessian artillery detachment under Colonel von Huth, along with the Bückeburg Artillery, was attached to Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the first line of the infantry centre. This detachment consisted of 315 men (excluding drivers) manning 8 x 12-pdr guns, 4 x 6-pdr guns, 4 x 3-pdr guns, 1 x 20-pdr howitzer and 1 x 30-pdr howitzer.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform Details
Headgear
Kanonier black tricorne laced white with crimson pompoms
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue with 2 crimson laced buttonholes on each side at the waist, 2 pewter buttons on the right side at the waist, 1 crimson laced buttonhole on each side in the small of the back
Collar crimson
Shoulder Straps crimson fasted with a pewter button (left side only)
Lapels crimson with 6 pewter buttons arranged 2-2-2
Cuffs crimson, each with 2 pewter buttons on the sleeve above the cuff
Turnbacks crimson fasted with a small pewter button
Waistcoat straw with pewter buttons
Breeches straw
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Officers

Officers had silver trim and buttons rather than the white trim and pewter buttons. Their cuffs and lapels were edged silver. They had embroidered silver buttonholes at the waist, in the small of the back, on pockets and above the cuffs. They also wore a silver sash interwoven with small red striping and a silver gorget.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates but had no shoulder strap and a silver edging on each cuff. They carried the Prussian style partizan. The standard staff was black.

Musicians

By the Seven Years War the convention of wearing reversed colours had disappeared. Drummers now wore the same dark blue coat with white and red livery lace placed along the coat seams, in 7 inverted chevrons along the sleeves and around the 'swallows nests' on the shoulder. Very much a copy of the Prussian style.

Drum barrels were of polished brass and were decorated with the Hessian Lion. The drum cords were white and, for this regiment, the rim was a pattern of alternating white and sky blue diagonal stripes with a thin red stripe edging every second diagonal.

Guns

see Hesse-Kassel Artillery Equipment

Colours

no information found yet

References

Böhm, Uwe Peter: Hessisches Militär: Die Truppen der Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel 1672-1806, Herausgegeben im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde e.V., Beckum 1986

Uniformen von Hessen-Cassel, 1769 unter Landgraf Friedrich, nach gleichzeitigen colorierten Zeichnungen vom Hauptmann Bornemann in der Bibliothek des Hessischen Geschichtsvereins

Henry, Mark: Hessian Army of the 7 Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. VII No. 3

Partridge, Mike: The Artillery of Hesse-Cassel - A Brief Organizational History, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No. 2

Pengel & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Thalmann, G.F.: Abbildungen und Beschreibung des Fürstes Hessen-Casselschen Militair-Stantes unter der Regierung Landgraf Friedrich des Zweiten bis zum Jahre 1786 (Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg, no. E195/2)

Witzel, Rudolf: Hessen Kassels Regimenter in der Alliierten Armee 1762, Norderstedt 2007

Acknowledgements

Michael Zahn for the research and Frédéric Aubert for the plates