Hanoverian Garde du Corps
Origin and History
The House of Braunschweig-Lüneburg probably had a Lifeguard since many centuries. For example, in 1514, “Heinrich the Young” already had “Trabanten” to guard him. Similarly in 1578, when Duke “Erich the Young” travelled to Spain, he was accompanied by guards. Finally, in 1606 after the relief of Braunschweig, when Duke Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig disbanded his army, he kept 160 men in two companies as his bodyguard.
The regiment was raised in 1631 as the “Braunschweig-Lüneburgisches Leibregiment”. In 1648 it became the “Hannover Leibwache” and later the “Leibgarde”.
In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the two squadrons of the regiment joined the troops of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg at the camp of Leese. In 1674, these troops marched to the Rhine, advancing in Palatinate and Alsace and engaging Turenne’s Army in the inconclusive Battle of Entzheim. In 1675, the regiment campaigned on the Meuse; it also took part in the siege of Trier and in the Battle of Konzer Brücke before being recalled to Hanover which was threatened by a Swedish army. In 1676, it returned to the Rhine and was at the siege of Maastricht. In 1677, it was at the siege of Charleroi and at the Battle of Saint-Denis.
In 1679, after the Treaty of Nijmegen, the troops of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg were seriously reduced. However, the Leibgarde was increased to 120 men by the incorporation of officers and NCOs from disbanded units. In 1680, the Leibgarde was reorganised to incorporate the Osnabrück Guards, only 60 Hanoverian and 40 Osnabrück guards were kept and the rest disbanded.
In 1683, at the outbreak of the Great Turkish War (1683-99), the regiment formed part of the force sent to relieve Vienna, besieged by the Turks. It took part in the victorious Battle of Vienna and in the conquest of the fortresses of Gran, Silleck, Waitzen and Novigrad. In 1684, it participated in an action at Waitzen and in the siege of Ofen; in 1685, in the Battle of Gran and in the capture of Neuhäusel; in 1686, in the covering of the siege of Ofen.
In 1688, the Leibgarde was increased to 150 men. When the Nine Years' War (1688-97) broke out, it marched to the Rhine. In 1689, it took part in the capture of Bonn. In 1690, it formed part of the Hanoverian contingent sent to Netherlands and took part in Battle of Fleurus. In 1693, it fought in the sanguinary of Landen. In 1695, it took part in the siege and capture of Namur. In 1697, it returned to Hanover.
In 1706, the Leibgarde incorporated the former Guards of the Duchy of Celle and became the “Garde du Corps”.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive regimental Inhabers were:
- from 1693: Lieutenant-General Christian Ludewig von Weyhe
- from 1708: Colonel Hildebrand Christoph von Hardenberg
Service during the War
On 23 May 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ramillies.
In 1707 and 1708, the regiment campaigned against the Maréchal de Villars.
In 1709, the regiment formed part of the army who passed the Rhine and attack the French lines. On 23 August, the Electoral Prince marched from Langenkandel on the French camp but was unable to attack it. The regiment was then redirected to Neuburg.
From 1710 to 1714, the regiment campaigned on the Rhine.
By 1706, the uniform of the two first squadrons was a red coat with blue cuffs, blue collar and blue lining ; a blue waistcoat; and silver buttons.
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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. 3-16