Nassau-Friesland Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Dutch Army >> Nassau-Friesland Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 24 March 1639 for George Frederik Baron van Schwartzenberg. It was known as Oranje-Friesland, or Nassau-Friesland, or Nassau-Stadthalter.

On the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment consisted of two battalions and belonged to the Provinces of Friesland.

Since its creation, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from 24 March 1639: George Frederik Baron van Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg
  • from 7 April 1646: Homme van Hettinga
  • from 4 August 1649: Ernst van Aylva
  • from 19 April 1666: Hendrik Casimir II Prince van Nassau-Friesland
  • from 19 March 1696: Johann Wilhelm Friso, Prince of Nassau (promoted to general in 1704, drowned in 1711)
  • from 12 September 1711: Willem IV Karel Hendrik Prince van Oranje-Nassau

The regiment was under the effective command of:

  • from 1693 to 1711: Conrad Unckel, promoted to major-general in 1704, and to lieutenant-general in 1709

In 1795, the regiment was incorporated into the 4th Halvebrigade, forming its third battalion.

Service during the War

From Aril to June 1702, the regiment was present at the Siege of Kaiserswerth. In October, it took part in the siege and capture of Citadel of Liège.

On 30 June 1703, the regiment was at the Battle of Ekeren. It took its winter-quarters in Friesland.

On 23 May 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ramillies. In June and July, one battalion was at the siege of Ostend. In August, one battalion was at the Siege of Menin.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. From August to December, it was also present at the siege and capture of Lille.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment fought in the Battle of Malplaquet.

From April to June 1710, the regiment took part in the Siege Douai. It then took part in the siege and capture of Saint-Venant.

In 1712, the regiment campaigned in Flanders. In June and July, one battalion was at the Siege of Le Quesnoy.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1692 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details circa 1692 as per de Wilde and Belaubre
Headgear
Fusilier black felt hat without lace
Grenadier no information found yet
Neck stock white
Coat blue with red lining and with tin buttons and white buttonholes from top to bottom on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 tin buttons with white buttonholes
Cuffs red, each with 3 tin buttons with white buttonholes
Turnbacks none (it seems that the basques of the coat could be turned back if needed but this was a rare practice during this period)
Waistcoat red with small tin buttons from top to bottom
Breeches probably red
Stockings red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather
Footwear black shoes fastened with a buckle


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet; and a sword.

NCOs

The coats of the sergeants had silver buttons.

Officers

The coats of the officers had gilt buttons.

Musicians

no information found

Colours

Colonel Colour in 1702 - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Battalion Colour in 1702 - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Belaubre, Jean and Dr. de Wilde, Claus-Peter Golberg: Die Vereinigten Niederlande, Kaltenkirchen, 2001, pp. 33-34

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Teil 1. Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986., p. 553

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

Acknowledgement

Phil Carrington for his work on the lineage of Dutch regiments

Mathias Kussmann for the initial version of the article