Ranzow Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hanoverian Army >> Ranzow Infantry

Origin and History

The exact date of creation of the regiment is unknown. It was formerly part of a regiment of Principality of Brunswick-Celle which remained independent from Hanover until 1705 so it was probably part of the four regiment created by the House of Celle in 1617 for the Thirty Years' War. In 1632, it probably was at the Battle of Lützen.

In 1666, the regiment probably took part in an engagement against the Swedes for the reconquest of Bremen.

In 1671, a regiment of two battalions (10 companies) was established. It took part in the siege of Braunschweig.

In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment campaigned against Turenne's French Army. In 1674, it took part in the Battle of Entzheim and in the storming of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines; in 1675, in the siege and capture of Trier; in 1676, in the blockade and capture of Stade where its second battalion was left. The first battalion then went to the blockade of Zweybrück. In 1677, the second battalion took part in the siege of Stettin. In 1678, the second battalion was at the siege of Stralsund while the first battalion fought in the combat of Saint-Denis.

In 1679, the regiment returned home but was soon sent to encamp to the west of Hamburg which was blockaded by the Danes.

In 1683, two companies were added to this regiment.

In 1685, during the Great Turkish War, eight of the twelve companies of the regiment were sent to Hungary where they took part in the siege of Neuhäusl (present-day Nové Zámky) before returning home.

In 1686, the regiment marched against the Danes to protect Hamburg, making itself master of Moorburg and Bergedorf.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the first battalion of the regiment was sent to the Rhine. In 1689, it took part in the Battle of Walcourt and in the capture of Mainz and Bonn; in 1690, in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1692, in the Battle of Steenkerque. In 1692, the regiment ceded two companies to another regiment. The same year, its second battalion was sent to Hungary. In 1694, the first battalion took part in the siege and capture of Namur.

In 1700, the regiment was sent against the Danes in Holstein.

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

  • from 1691 to 1724: Colonel Detlev von Ranzow

Service during the War

In 1701, the first battalion was sent to the Netherlands

In 1702, the regiment was brought to 12 companies as the rest of the Celler infantry regiments. In the Spring, Its first battalion was sent to the Rhine where it took part in the siege of Kayserwerth where the Hanoverian army suffered heavy losses. On June 9, the Allies finally stormed the place. In this action, the first battalion lost 167 men killed or wounded including Captain Biebrac, and Captain Tilly and Lieutenant Schwalbach killed; Captain Wenkstern and lieutenants Mattenberg, Unger and Rathmann wounded. In September, the battalion was at the siege and capture of Venlo and then formed part of the garrison of the place.

In the Autumn of 1703, the first battalion was sent to reinforce the Prince von Hessen-Kassel but arrived too late to take part in the Combat of Speyerbach.

In 1704, the second battalion had to replace De Carles Infantry, which had been decimated at Speyerbach, in the Dutch service. It joined the Allied army in Bavaria a few days before the Battle of the Schellenberg. From this moment, the two battalions served in Dutch pay for the rest of the war. On 2 July, for the first attack on the Schellenberg, each of the two battalions of the regiment contributed 110 men. Of these 220 men, only the two ensigns and 40 men returned. Among the killed and wounded were Lieutenant-Colonel von Schenk, Major Truchses, Captain Paula and lieutenants Bremer and Closen killed; and captains Eimbeck and Ranzow, lieutenants Rathmann and Unger, second-lieutenants Taube, Sinclair, Tönnecke and Wemmering wounded. On 13 August, the regiment fought in the Battle of Blenheim. The first battalion was posted on the banks of the Nebel brook till the end of the battle but the second battalion took an active part in the engagement, capturing one colour, two standards and three cannon. Overall, the regiment lost 30 men killed and 30 wounded in this famous battle.

In 1705, the regiment was incorporated into the Hanoverian Army. During that campaign, it took part in the forcing of the Lines near Heilesheim.

On 23 May 1706, the regiment fought in the Battle of Ramillies. Then its second battalion took part in the siege of Menen where Lieutenant Lange was killed. The two battalions then took up their winter-quarters in Bruxelles.

On 11 July 1708, the first battalion took part in the Battle of Oudenarde where Lieutenant-Colonel von Ritzhaupt was killed; and Major von Wenkstern and Lieutenant Nergen wounded. During the siege of Lille, 400 men of the regiment under Captain Mau defended Oldenburg. On 27 August, both battalions joined the Allied army besieging the Citadel of Lille.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet where it lost Lieutenant-Colonel Helmold, Lieutenant von Lenthe, Lieutenant Heudorfer and ensigns Münstermann and Schmelzer killed; Captain Cantagalli and Ensign Schrader wounded. The second battalion then participated in the siege of Tournay. The two battalions were later at the siege of Mons where they lost Brigadier-Major Mauw and Lieutenant von Rhoeden killed; Captain Markenberg, Lieutenant Bock, ensigns Schrader and Bonn wounded.

In 1711, the first battalion took part in the siege of Bouchain where Lieutenant von Zepelien was killed.

In 1712, the second battalion was at the capture of Le Quesnoy.

In 1714, when most of the Hanoverian army returned home, the regiment remained on the Rhine with the Reichsarmee. It later returned to Hanover.


Wissel mentions that the regiment initially had a red uniform with blue and later red as distinctive colour (for cuffs and lining) without specifying when the change of uniform occurred.


Regimental Colour: centre device consisting of an armoured Roman with raised sword between two marble pillars which are connected by a chain on which dangle two laurel crowns and three laurel wreaths; the whole central scene surmounted by a scroll carrying the motto ANTIQUAE AVIDUS GLORIAE.


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain: