Prins Carl Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Danish Army >> Prins Carl Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 30 November 1657. On 11 December 1676, it was designated as the "Prins Christians Regiment".

From 1689–1697, one battalion with six companies was in English pay. On 18 July 1695, this battalion surrendered to the French at Diksmuide, but was exchanged later that year.

On 22 August 1695, the regiment was renamed "Prins Carls Regiment".

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted three battalions and 1 grenadier company. One battalion was hired by Austria and two by the British.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the proprietors of the regiment was Prins Carl.

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:

  • from 30 November 1692: Kristoffer Bjelke killed in action at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704
  • from 13 August 1702: Jobst Scholten
  • from 20 September 1704: Johan Bernhard Schwärtzel
  • from 20 October 1709 to 1717: Patroklus von Rømeling

The first battalion in British pay was under the command of:

  • from 1701: Kristian Bjelke
  • from 20 September 1704 to 1714: Johan Bernhard Schwärtzel

The second battalion in British pay was under the command of:

  • from 1701: Jobst Scholten
  • from 9 January 1708: Friedrich Kristian Bjelke
  • from 4 October 1709: Patroklus von Rømeling

The battalion in Austrian pay was under the command of:

  • from 1701 to 1 March 1703: Johan Didrik Haxthausen

Service during the War

Battalion in Austrian Pay

In November 1700, one battalion (7 coys) of the regiment was sent to Saxony.

In 1701, this battalion (6 fusilier coys) was attached to the Danish Contingent taken in Austrian pay. In March, this contingent was in Saxony but had already been ordered to join the Imperial army assembling in Tyrol for the planned invasion of Northern Italy. By mid-November, the contingent had reached Bolzano. The regiment took its winter-quarters along the left bank of the Mincio in front of Goito and Mantua.

In 1702, the battalion in Austrian pay took part in the Campaign in Northern Italy. On 15 August, it fought at the Battle of Luzzara.

On 1 March 1703, the remainder of the battalion was merged with the rest of a battalion of Prins Christian Infantry and one-third of the Marine Regiment batallion into the new 2nd Danske infantry regiment again under Haxthausen.

Battalions in British Pay

In October 1701, two battalions (12 coys) embarked at Glüchstadt and were transported to Northern Holland.

In 1702, these battalions took part in the siege and capture of Liège.

In mid-March 1704, after settling the problem with pay arrears, these battalions were posted in Southern Brabant. In July, they were ordered to join Marlborough's Army in Bavaria. Upon their arrival, they were assigned to the army of Prince Eugène de Savoie and stationed at Heidelberg. On 13 August, they took part in the Battle of Blenheim. In the autumn, they took part in the sieges of Trarbach and Saarburg. They took up their winter-quarters between the Moselle and the Rhine.

At the end of May 1706, these battalions joined Marlborouh's Army and took part in the Battle of Ramillies. They were present at the ensuing sieges of Antwerp, Ostend, Menin, Ath, Dendermonde and Oudenarde.

In 1709, these battalions took part in the siege of Tournai. On 11 September, they fought in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1713, these battalions returned to Denmark.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1701 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Snorasson and Henriksen, and Martinsson
Headgear
Fusilier black felt flat topped hat with brims variously fastened up (one side, two sides or three sides or worn as a simple slouch hat). The brim was usually edged with a braid. A cord ran around the basis of the crown. A rosette in the distinctive colour of the regiment or later a black cockade was worn on the left side of the hat. The lace and the cord could have been of the distinctive colour of the regiment (particularly in the early years of the conflict) or in the metal colour of the regiment (yellow or white).
Grenadier Grenadier caps came in several design from the popular cloth mitre cap to the bearskin with a hanging bag or the fur bonnet.
Neck stock white
Coat double-breasted grey-white coat with yellow lining and with 22 pewter buttons (11 on each side) and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back. In the first years of the war, all buttonholes were usually trimmed in the distinctive colour of the regiment.
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat yellow with pewter buttons
Breeches yellow during the early years of the war and gradually standardized to red
Stockings yellow fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters the use of gaiters generalized much later but they were already used in 1700 where red gaiters are reported
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt yellowish natural leather worn across the left shoulder
Waist-belt yellowish natural leather waist-belt worn above the coat
Cartridge Box black for fusiliers

grenadiers carried a large grenade pouch containing two grenades and cartridges.

Bayonet Scabbard black leather
Scabbard black
Footwear black leather shoes with a brass buckle


N.B.: Petersen gives a totally different uniform (blue with red distinctive and white metal).

Soldiers were armed with a flintlock musket, a small bayonet and a sword (fusiliers) or a sabre (grenadiers). Grenadiers were also armed with hand grenades and with a small axe.

NCOs

NCOs were probably distinguished from privates by a silver lace on the hat and by silver edging on the cuffs.

NCOs carried a cane whose characteristics indicated the precise rank of each NCO.

NCOs also carried a halberd and a sword. They had no musket, to the exception of grenadier NCOs who were armed as the privates.

Officers

Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. They were not standardized across the entire army but seems to have been similar within a regiment. Buttons were silver-plated and silver embroideries decorated the coat, cuffs and pocket flaps. Their coat could be single or double-breasted.

The hats of officers were often edged with a red or white plumetis.

Officers usually wore a wig.

Officers wore a gorget and a silken sash of the distinctive colour of their regiment. Those serving in Dutch pay wore an orange sash across the shoulder.

Officers carried a cane whose characteristics indicated the precise rank of each officer; a pike and a sword. Officers of the grenadier companies carried a musket instead of a pike.

In the field, pistols of various forms were carried by officers who often carried two of them when dismounted.

Musicians

Drummers usually wore coats similar to those of privates but richly decorated with braids on the sleeves and body (without swallow nests). Braids were usually of the metal colour of the regiment. The shell of the drum was of painted woods and decorated with the regimental arms or the King's double monogram.

Colours

The colonel company carried the colonel colour and each other company carried its own company colour.

Colonel Colour: white field; centre device consisting of the crowned cipher of King Frederick IV surrounded by the blue collar of the Order of the Elephant; corner devices consisting of of the crowned cipher of Prince Carl.

Ordonnance Colour (only one known): yellow field; the Dannebrog (a white cross pattée) on a red field in the first canton (upper left); centre device consisting of the crowned cipher of King Frederick IV surrounded by the blue collar of the Order of the Elephant; corner devices consisting of of the crowned cipher of Prince Carl.

Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour of the 2nd battalion - Copyright: Kronoskaf


References

Höglund, Lars-Eric: Stora nordiska kriget 1700-1721 - del 2, 2003

Martinsson, Örjan: Danish Infantry Uniforms 1700-1730 in Tacitus.nu

Skjold Petersen, Karsten: Den Danishe hærs uniforms i 1700-tallet, 2005

Snorasson, Torstein and Søren Henriksen: Danish Uniforms 1699-1712, in Chakoten, translated and published by Dan Schorr in 2008

Vaupell, O.F.: Den Danske Haers Historie, Copenhagen 1876, p. 629, 631

Wikipedia – Danish Auxiliary Corps in Anglo-Dutch service 1701–1714

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

Acknowledgements

Wienand Drenth and Jörg Meier for additional information on this regiment.