Origin and History
The regiment was initially raised in 1615 as the Norrland Grand Regiment, one of the nine grand regiments organised by Gustavus Adolphus. It incorporated various fänikors (smaller units of about 500 men) from Västerbottens, Angermannia, Medelpadia, Hälsinge and Gestricia.
In 1624, this grand regiment was organised into sub-units: three field regiments (Västerbottens, Hälsinge and a third regiment transferred to Navy service) and one cavalry regiment.
Around 1684, the grand regiment was finally broken down into three distinct and independent regiments, giving birth to the Västerbottens Infantry regiment.
Transferred in Livland, 1701, and belonged to the King's army thereafter. In Rehnskiold's Corps in 1705-06: captured after Poltava. Reraised and transferred to Reval, 1710, were the regiment was virtually destroyed by sickness. Raised again on the West coast 1712-13 and in Roslagen 1713-14. Ostergotland 1714, Bohuslan 1715 and in the Norwegian campaign 1718.
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was understrength and consisted of only 1,056 privates in 2 battalions of 4 companies. Each company should have counted 150 privates and 11 officers, NCOs and musicians.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- E. Lagerbom
Service during the War
In 1757, six companies (about 900 men) of the regiment were sent to Pomerania.
On September 26 1758, a detachment of 150 men of the regiment probably took part in the Combat of Tarmow. Two days later, on September 28, part of the regiment was involved in the successful defence of Fehrbellin against a Prussian assault.
|Coat||dark blue with 10 tin buttons down the front with white trimmed buttonholes and 2 tin buttons at small of the back
|Gaiters||white stockings with brown leather strap at knee|
Troopers were armed with a sword and a musket. The bayonet was permanently fixed to the musket.
N.B.: Pengel and Hurt give yellow rather than white as distinctive colour
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- a silver lace on the tricorne
- brass buttons (smaller than those of officers)
NCOs carried halberds but no cane.
Officers wore a blue uniform (coat) with blue distinctives (collar, cuffs, turnbacks). They were further distinguished from privates by:
- a gold lace on the tricorne
- no turnbacks on the coat
- a silver gorget
- brass buttons
- blue or black breeches (breeches of the same colour as those of the privates were also worn)
N.B.: contrarily to the custom in other armies, Swedish officers did not wear any sash
Horses were equipped with blue housing with a white border.
The uniform of the drummers were identical to those of the privates but white laces decorated the collar, seems and pockets.
The drums were brass with provincial coats of arms embossed on the front. The rims were blue with yellow edging.
The pikes used as staffs to carry the colours were always yellow. The Liffana had gilt finials while the Kompanifana had steel finials. The colours measured 2.12 x 1.70 m. (1.81 x 1.33 m. as per Clifford).
Liffana (colonel flag): white field; centre device carried the crowned royal arms of Sweden flanked by 2 crowned golden lions; the upper corner of the first canton carried a white stag surrounded by 13 five-pointed white stars.
N.B.: for the liffana, Clifford adds a pedestal supporting the arms, the letters “AFRS” above the arms and 1 royal crown in the corner of each of the 3 remaining cantons.
Kompanifana (ordonnance flag): blue field; centre device consisting of a white stag surrounded by 13 five-pointed white stars; the whole surrounded by a green laurel wreath (yellow as per Schirmer) tied with a gold ribbon.
The colonel's battalion carried the Liffana and a Kompanifana. The lieutenant-colonel's battalion carried 2 Kompanifanor.
Economic Expert: Norrland Grand Regiment (website)
Großer Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen - Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 6 Leuthen, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher), Berlin 1904, pp.92-107, Annex pp. 11-16
Höglund, Lars-Eric and Ake Sallnäs: The Great Northern War 1700-1721, Colours and Uniforms, Acedia Press, Karlstadt, 2000
Pengel, R. D. and G. R. Hurt: Swedish Army in Pomerania – 1757-1763, Birmingham, 1983
Purky, Jim: Swedish Army Organization, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
Säwe, Teofron: Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Beijers Bokförlagsaktiebolag, Stockholm, 1915
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989
Schorr, Dan: Swedish Flags 1757-1762 - Part II Infantry Flags, The Courrier, March-April 1980
Schorr, Dan: Uniforms of the Swedish Army, 1757-1762, The Courrier, June-July 1979
Swedish War Archives, Sketches of infantry uniforms
Wilson, Peter: The Swedish Army in 1756, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. X No. 1
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.