Origin and History
The regiment was formed in 1645. It was known as the Cell'sches Reiterregiment and was the oldest regiment of the army.
In 1666, the regiment took part in the relief of Bremen. In 1668, during the War of Devolution (1667-68), it assisted the Dutch.
In 1671, the regiment formed part of the force which captured the city of Braunschweig.
In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment was encamped at Leese to oppose Turenne’s Army. In 1674, it marched to Alsace where it took part in the combat of Entzheim. In 1675, it was sent to the assistance of the Prince of Orange and fought in the Battle of Konzer Brücke. It then returned home and took part in the capture of Bremen and Stade.
In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment was sent to the relief of Vienna. In 1684, it continued to serve against the Turks and took part in the siege of Ofen. In 1685, it was at the siege of Neuheusel and at the Battle of Gran; in 1686, in the second siege of Ofen; and in 1687, at the Battle of Mohacs.
In 1688, during the Nine Years’ War (1688-1697), the regiment marched back to the Rhine. In 1689, it took part in the capture of Mainz and Bonn. In 1690, it was transferred to the Netherlands and fought in the sanguinary Battle of Fleurus. In 1692, it was at the bombardment of Namur. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Landen. In 1695, it was at the capture of Namur.
In 1700, the regiment took part in the campaign against the Danes in Holstein.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment took part in Marlborough's march to the Danube and in the Battle of Blenheim. In 1705, at the death of Duke Georg Wilhelm of Celle, the regiment was incorporated into the Hanoverian Army. In 1706, it participated in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet.
In 1715, the regiment formed part of the Hanoverian force who encamped near Rotenburg to protect the duchies of Bremen and Verden against Danish initiatives.
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 1734 and 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment campaigned on the Rhine and the Moselle.
In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment joined the Observation Army assembling near Hameln. In 1742, it was transferred to Brabant. In 1743, it returned to the Rhine and fought in the Battle of Dettingen. It then served in the Netherlands until 1748, fighting in the battles of Fontenoy (1745), Rocoux (1746) and Lauffeld (1747).
The regiment had a reputation as an 'ill-fated' unit as no fewer than three Inhabers were killed in action in the War of the Austrian Succession (Bülow, d'Acerre, and Hardenberg). A later Inhaber, Schlütter, was killed in the opening actions of the Seven Years War.
The regimental inhabers were:
- from 1742: Colonel Matthias von Bülow (died in May 1744 in Roermond)
- from 1744: Colonel Jacob d'Acerre (killed in action in the Battle of Fontenoy)
- from 1745: Colonel Hans Christoph von Hardenberg (killed in action in the Battle of Lauffeld)
- from 1747: Colonel Ernst Ludewig von Breidenbach (retired in 1753 as major-general to become Burggrave of Friedberg)
- from 1753: Colonel Friedrich Otto von Block (died the same year on October 19)
- from 1753: Colonel Joachim Conrad von Schlütter (died in May 1757)
- from 1757: Colonel Ernst Wilhelm von Hodenberg (promoted to major-general in 1759; to lieutenent-general in 1761; died in 1775)
The regiment was disbanded in 1803.
Service during the War
In the summer of 1757, the regiment left its quarters at Bremen and joined the Observation Army at Herford. On July 26, during the French invasion of Hanover, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where its two squadrons were detached from the main army and took position near Afferde along with two squadrons of the Dachenhausen Dragoons. During the battle, the squadrons were posted in a defile between Afferde and Diedersen to cover the extreme left rear of the Hanoverian positions. Ordered to counter-attack the French in Obensburg, the brigade was wildly successful as the French, in their confusion, fired on their Swiss allies thinking they were advancing Hanoverians. However, the recapture of Obensburg was short-lived as the French cavalry soon arrived and the Hanoverian cavalry withdrew covering the retreat of the rest of Cumberland's force. In this battle, the regiment lost Captain Schaden, killed. After the capitulation of the Allied army at Kloster Zeven, the regiment went to Zell.
In February 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment marched on Minden under the command of Major-General von Fürstenberg. After the capture of the place, it marched to the vicinity of Wesel. After the retreat of the French to the left bank of the Rhine, it took up its quarters at Horstmar and Leer in the region of Münster. On May 26, the regiment was with Ferdinand'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 in the centre as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General Oberg. It then marched on Roermond. When the Allied army retired to the right bank of the Rhine, the regiment passed the river at Kleve. Attached to Kielmansegge's Corps, it then took position at Dülmen and Drensteinfurt but was later forced to retire to Münster. It took up its winter-quarters in Osnabrück.
At the beginning of January 1759, the regiment came out of Münster and joined the troops who formed a cordon near Lette. At the end of May, the regiment joined Wangenheim’s Corps which was encamped at Halteren. In June, this corps took 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 where it was deployed in Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the second line of the cavalry right wing under Major-General von Grothausen. In this battle, the regiment lost Lieutenant Winter, killed. It pursued the French in the countries of Detmold and Paderborn and encamped at Hermanstein near Wetzlar where it remained until November 27. It then took up cantons near Werdorf.
In January 1760, the regiment took part in the expedition against Dillenburg and then took up its winter quarters in the region of Homburg in Hessen. In May, it left its winter-quarters and encamped at Hermanstein. On July 10, it took part in the Combat of Corbach where it was attached to the right column under Lieutenant-General Count von Kilmannsegg. In November, the regiment joined Luckner’s Corps at Moringen and took part in the blockade of Göttingen till it was raised on December 18. The regiment then took up its cantons in Herzberg.
In January 1761, the regiment formed part of the corps of General von Kielmansegge who made an expedition against Duderstadt. In February, the regiment marched marched on Mühlhausen with Spörcken’s Corps. In this expedition, the Allies captures 5 officers and 100 men. On February 15, the regiment marched to Schlotheim. On February 15, it was among the Allied forces who launched a surprise attack on Langensalza against the Saxon Contingent fighting along the French Army. At the beginning of April, the regiment took up up cantonment in Polle. At the end of May, it joined Spörcken’s Corps at the camp of Marburg where it remained until June 29. On July 16, the regiment was posted at Herzfeld on the left bank of the Lippe with part of Spörcken's Corps. It did not take part in the Battle of Vellinghausen. The regiment later served under General von Luckner on the Diemel and the Weser. In October, the regiment joined the corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick who operated in the neighbourhood of Einbeck and Northeim. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Rute in the region of Hildesheim.
By May 23 1762, in preparation for the campaign in Western Germany, the regiment was attached to the Allied main army. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was deployed in the 7th column. On July 23, the regiment took part in the Combat of Lutterberg, another attempt against the Saxon Contingent. It later took part in the siege of Cassel. It then took up cantonments in the region of Hildesheim. But, around Christmas, it was transferred to the Hanoverian towns of Ricklingen and Neustadt.
In April 1763, the regiment returned to its traditional garrison place at Bremen.
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)
|Headgear||black tricorne laced white with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and a blue small bob on the hat (silver bobs in 1761)|
|Coat||white with scarlet lining (changed to straw lining in 1761 according to Wissel) with 7 pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||straw edged scarlet (red waistcoat before 1761)|
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; silver lace on the tricorne. They did not carry any cross-belt.
NCOs had silver laces on the cuffs, pockets and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.
The musicians were kettle-drummers and trumpeters. They were probably dressed in reverse colours; staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.
The kettle-drums of the regiment were made of copper.
The kettle-drum apron and trumpet banners were red, fringed gold, carrying the Arms of England; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard. Generally speaking, the textual descriptions that we have found for the Hanoverian cavalry standards were very simple and we had to guess the complete designs. The obverse of the Leibstandarte of the present regiment is a good example: the description only mentions the arms of England within the Garter without specifying the presence of the crown or of the supporting lion and unicorn. In our version, we assumed that all these items were present.
Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with golden embroideries; fringed gold
- obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter
- reverse: centre device consisting of the “GR” cipher
Regimental Standard: red field with golden embroideries; fringed gold
- obverse: centre device consisting of the White Horse on a red ground within the Garter; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” on a white scroll underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of a column with even gold scales; a drawn sword resting on top of the column; a trophy of arms behind the column and the motto “PRO LEGE ET GREGE” on a white scroll underneath
This standard kept at the Hannover Historisches Museum (inventory number VM 16996) measures 42 cm high and 42 cm wide. Its flagpole has a length of 266 cm.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Wissel, Friedrich v. and Georg von Wissel: Geschichte der Errichtung sämmtlicher Chur-Braunschweig-Lüneburgischen Truppen, sammt ihren Fahnen, Standarten und Pauken-Devisen ..., Zelle, 1786, pp. 103-116
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, Ortenburg Georg: 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, and G. R. Hurt: 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.