Du Hamel Horse

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Du Hamel Horse

Origin and History

The regiment was established by an electoral decree dated 19 February 1689 from four companies of the Briquemault Horse Regiment (future Cuirassier Regiment No. 5) with a kernel of only 88 troopers. Major-General Franz Baron du Hamel was appointed Chef of the regiment. Enlisting recruits in Westphalia, the regiment was rapidly increased to eight companies for the coming campaign against France.

By 1703, the regiment consisted of six companies, of 55 troopers each. Most of the staff officers were Huguenots from France.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive regimental Chefs were:

  • from 1689: Major-General Franz Baron du Hamel
  • from 1 March 1702: Major-General Charles Count de l’Ostange
  • from 30 November 1704: Colonel Jacques Chalmont du Portail
  • from 30 November 1715: Lieutenant-General Wilhelm Gustav Prince von Anhalt-Dessau

The numbering system (Stammliste) was first used by Leopold I., Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau (Der alte Dessauer) in the Dessauer Spezifikation from 1737. Around 1780 the numbers were used in the printed Stammlisten, still with some variations for the fusilier regiments. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present cuirassier regiment was attributed number 6.

Service during the War

In the Spring of 1701, four companies of the regiment, led by Colonel Charles Count de l’Ostange were assigned to Heiden's Auxiliary Corps, which was posted in the vicinity of Wesel.

In the Spring of 1702. Colonel de l’Ostange led the regiment (2 squadrons) during the Siege of Kaiserswerth which surrendered on 15 June. In September, the regiment took part in the Siege of Venlo, and in October, in the Siege of Roermond.

For the campaign of 1703, the regiment was allocated to the corps of Major-General Lottum. From 21 April to 12 December, it took part in the Siege of Geldern.

By 1704, all companies had been increased to 75 troopers. In May, the regiment was assigned to Anhalt-Dessau’s Corps in Rottweil. On 13 August, the regiment fought in the Battle of Blenheim, where it captured two French colours, but lost a standard during the second attack against the French centre, in which it annihilated three French infantry brigades.

In mid-March 1705, the regiment was sent to Italy, where it would join the Allied army on the shores of Lake Garda. However, it was not present at the Battle of Cassano (our order of battle for this engagement lists three squadrons of the regiment deployed in the first line of the left wing). After losing almost all of its horses due to disease, it returned home with two other regiments and reached Halberstadt in February 1706.

From 1706 to 1708, new recruits were enlisted and the horses were replaced.

On 12 April 1709, the regiment was assigned to the “New Corps”, which was sent to the Spanish Netherlands and took part in the Siege of Tournai and its citadel. On 11 September, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In May 1710, the regiment part in the Siege of Douai; in July and August, in the Siege of Béthune; and in September, in the Siege of Saint-Venant.

In September 1711, the regiment was present at the Siege of Bouchain.

In July 1712, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful Siege of Landrecies.


From 1700, each Prussian unit started to wear a distinguishing uniform. A regulation was issued in 1709 to standardize the uniform and equipment.


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Wikipedia German Edition - [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altpreussisches_Kürassierregiment_K_6_(1806) Altpreußisches Kürassierregiment K 6 (1806)

Ralf Jahn: Die Preussische Eroberung Gelderns (1703)


Harald Skala for the initial version of the article