Meerheimb Horse

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Mecklenburg Army >> Meerheimb Horse

Origin and History

In Mecklenburg, under Duke Christian Louis, there was a mounted bodyguard ("Leibgarde zu Pferde") about the strength of a weak squadron. It was disbanded in 1702.

When Duke Frederick William raised an entire cavalry regiment, he commissioned Colonel von Krassow, who had previously been in the Swedish service, and transferred to him the remnants of the bodyguard to form the nucleus of the new regiment. This unit now supplemented and formed the "Leib-Compagnie" of the new regiment, which received the name of "Leib-Regiment zu Pferde". It was originally a dragoon regiment and consisted of six companies, each of 100 men. Two additional companies under von Krassow and von Meerheimb were added.

In September 1702 this regiment was reformed and, with the addition of further recruits, split into two regiments, one of which - under von Meerheimb - now became a regiment of horse, while the dragoons went by lot to von Krassow.

By 1 September 1702, the regiment numbered 366 men in six companies with 61 men each (including officers) plus seven staff.

In the spring of 1703, each company was increased by a further five men and in 1706 another six men in four companies, so the total strength was reduced to 339 men and in 1707 to 331 men.

In 1708, the regiment was renamed "Leibregiment".

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 1702: Colonel Helmuth Joachim von Meerheimb
  • from early spring 1704: Colonel Asam Philipp von Krassow (wounded at Blenheim (on 13 August 1704 at the head of the regiment, no active service thereafter)
  • from 1705: Colonel von Wedell (died 4 September 1708)
  • from 1708: Lieutenant-Colonel von Waldow

Service during the War

On 5 September 1702, the Meerheimb Horse joined the corps of FML Prince of Sachsen-Meiningen as part of the Mecklenburger Contingent of the Reichsarmee. It went to the camp of Kronweißenburg (near present-day Wissembourg).

In 1703, the regiment was initially posted at Oberbrühl and in the Diocese of Speyer, and camped at Haunsheim and Heidenheim, It was later posted at Altenstatt and took up its winter-quarters at Roting.

In 1704, the regiment was posted at Nuremberg. On 10 August, as part of the Allied vanguard, it took in a skirmish near Höchstädt. On 13 August, it fought in the Battle of Blenheim, where its colonel was wounded. It later took part in a skirmish at Eichstedt/Altmühl.

In 1705, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Stollhofen, at Drusenheim and Hagenau.

In 1706, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Stollhofen.

In 1707, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Ettlingen.

In 1708, the regiment was posted on the left bank of the Rhine, opposite the Lines of Ettlingen. During the year, Duke Frederick Wilhelm renamed the regiment as the "Leibregiment".

In 1709, the regiment was at the camps of Knielingen and Speyer.

In 1710, the regiment was at the camps of Muggensturm and Rheinzabern. It took up its winter-quarters at Groß Gartach in Württemberg.

In 1711, the regiment escorted convoys of powder destined for the Fortress of Landau. It was in camp at Speyer. It took up its winter-quarters in and around Wimpffen in Württemberg.

In 1712, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Lauterburg (present-day Lauterbourg). On 16 August, it took part in a skirmish at Kronweißenburg. It took up its winter-quarters at Wimpffen and Groß-Gartach.

In 1712 and 1713, the regiment served with the Reichsarmee on the Upper Rhine under Duke Eugen von Württemberg. Due to lack of payment, food, clothing etc. the regiment was in a very poor condition. With no provisions forthcoming from the Empire, in spite of lengthy negotiations, the Duke ordered to secretly leave the army and march to Hesse. From March to May the regiment marched by way of Groß-Heilbach/Main, Eisenach, Mansfeld, Altmark to take quarters in Mecklenburg at Badebusch/Wittenburg and Hagenow. This departure caused a lot excitement and considerable ruckus between Mecklenburg and the court in Vienna, which were only resolved with considerable diplomatic effort. (Voss, p.295f)

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform Details in 1702 as per Robert Hall
Headgear black hat bordered yellow
Neck stock black
Coat grey-white with blue lining probably with copper buttons (based on the colour of the border of the hat)

replaced by a blue coat with blue lining in 1712

Collar none
Lapels none
Pockets no information found
Cuffs blue, each with copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue
Breeches natural leather
Leather Equipment
Gloves no information found
Cross-belt no information found
Waist-belt no information found
Cartridge Pouch no information found
Scabbard sometimes made of metal but more often of leather with an iron tip protector and a brass mouth piece
Footgear riding boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue
Housings blue


In 1712, the uniform was changed to: blue coat with blue lining and cuffs; blue waistcoat, leather breeches, black neckcloth, black hat bordered yellow, blue saddlecloth.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

no information found yet

Musicians

no information found yet

Standards

no information found yet

References

Bohlen, Julius von: Geschichte des adlichen, freiherrlichen und gräflichen Geschlechts von Krassow. Berlin 1853, pp. 82-96

Hall, Robert: Mecklenburg’s Military from 1650 to 1719, s.l., 2003

Tessin, Georg: Geschichte des Mecklenburgischen Militärwesens 1648-1718 thesis, Rostock 1922

Tessin, Georg: Mecklenburgisches Militär in Türken und Franzosenkriegen 1648-1718, Cologne 1966.

Tessin, Georg: Mecklenburgische Uniformen vor 1718 in “Zeitschrift für Heereskunde” 1980, pp. 75ff

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges and partly from the work of Robert Hall

Acknowledgement

Jörg Meier for the initial version of this article

Wienand Drenth for providing substantial information on the army of Mecklenburg