Schwerin Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was created at the end of the 17th century". It initially consisted of ten companies, each of 70 men.

In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession, the regiment numbered 840 men.

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

  • from 1701: Dettlof von Schwerin
  • from 15 September 1708: Adam Philpp von Krassow
  • from 1715: Ernst Heinrich von Bohlen

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

  • from 1701: Dettlof von Schwerin
  • from 1706: Plato von Uffeln (died in 1708) according to Hammann von Uffeln already acted as commander in 1703/04
  • from 15 September 1708: Adam Philpp von Krassow
  • from 1708 to 1715: Ernst Heinrich von Bohlen

Service during the War

From 20 May 1701, the regiment was in Dutch pay. It would be maintained by the Province of Overijssel until 1712.

In 1701, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Arnheim, Deventer, Jülich and Düsseldorf.

From April to June 1702, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Kaiserswerth. By 7 July, it was encamped near Nijmegen. On 23 August, it was present at the cannonade of Helchteren. At the beginning of December, it was posted on the Rhine.

In 1703, the regiment formed part of the Allied forces occupying the Stollhofen Lines. At the end of March, the regiment was allocated to Goor's detachment, sent by the Dutch to reinforce the Army of the Margrave of Baden posted on the Rhine. On 17 August, this corps arrived at the camp of the margrave near Haunsheim. In September, the regiment took part in the campaign on the Danube, occupying Augsburg.

At the beginning of 1704, the regiment numbered 776 men. On 2 July, it fought in the Battle of the Schellenberg, where it formed part of Pallandt's Brigade. On 13 August, under the command of commanded by Captain von Bohlen, it took part in the Battle of Blenheim, where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre in Pallandt's Brigade. After the battle, the regiment was assigned to the escort which accompanied 1,300 French and Bavarian prisoners to Mainz. On 17 September, they reached their destination. The regiment then encamped for a time at Kron-Weißenburg. In November, it took part in the investment and capture of Saarburg.

In June 1706, the regiment took part in the siege of Ostend, which capitulated on 6 July. In mid-August, it formed part of the reinforcements under Lieutenant-General Fagel sent to participate in the Siege of Menin. From mid-September, the regiment took part in the siege of Ath, which capitulated on 2 October.

In 1707 and 1708, the regiment garrisoned Ath.

From June to August 1709, the regiment was present at the Siege of Tournai.

In September 1710, the regiment was present at the siege and capture of Saint-Venant. From September to November, it then took part in the siege of Aire-sur-Lys.

From 1710 to 1712, the regiment garrisoned Douai.

In August and September 1712, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful defence of Douai, where it had to surrender as prisoners of war. It was later exchanged.

In 1713, the regiment (now down to only 316 men) returned to the Duchy of Mecklenburg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1703 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per circa 1703 Jan Hoynck van Papendrecht (Netherlands Military Museum) and Robert Hall
Headgear
Fusilier black felt hat laced yellow
Grenadier low grenadier cap with a blue front decorated with a gilt ducal monogram and a blue bag and a yellow tassel. The upper part of the front carried the name of the owner of the regiment: "Lt. Gen. Schwerin".
Neck stock red
Coat grey-white with blue lining and with brass buttons and white laced buttonholes from top to bottom on the both sides
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons with white laced buttonholes
Cuffs blue, each with 3 brass buttons with white laced 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 blue with brass buttons from top to bottom
Breeches blue (leather as per Hall)
Stockings blue
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard no information found
Scabbard natural leather with brass tip
Footwear black shoes fastened with a strap


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

In November 1703, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ordered to issue completely different uniforms:: blue coat with red lining, with red cuffs, blue stockings, blue waistcoat, blue breeches, black neck stock, black tricorne laced yellow, and brass buttons. However, it is not before the spring of 1705 that the regiments in foreign service received these new uniforms. Grenadiers received surtouts instead of the overcoats.

Pioneers

Pioneers were introduced in 1709. They wore an apron, and carried an axe, a flintlock musket and a saw instead of a sabre.

NCOs

NCOs were distinguished with silver lace on the cuffs, hat and buttonholes.

The new regulation of 1703 stipulated that NCOs would receive surtouts instead of the overcoats.

Officers

Grenadier officers had caps in the same colour but with golden lace and tassel and instead of the monogram, the ducal arms on a gilt plate, which was sewn to the front shield.

Musicians

The uniforms of the musicians were decorated with lace.

Fifers carried flintlocks but drummers had only a sabre.

Colours

The flagpoles were painted blue; the lower end had been sawn off to be able to place the flag better (!), and only the base of the bronze tip remains.

Voss (see our "References" section) describes the colours of the regiment as follows:

Colonel Colour: cloth of simple white silk, about 1 meter long, the centre device of both sides consisted of the Mecklenburg coat of arms, surmounted by a painted golden scroll (98 cm long x 9 cm wide band) with the motto "Provide et Constanter"; each corner device consisted of an exploding grenade.

Company Colours: cloth of simple blue silk, about 1 meter long, the centre device of both sides consisted of the Mecklenburg coat of arms, surmounted by a painted golden scroll (98 cm long x 9 cm wide band) with the motto "Provide et Constanter"; each corner device consisted of an exploding grenade.

Tentative Reconstruction
Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Company Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

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

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

Hammann, W.: Die Lebenserinnerungen Kasimir Wilhelms, Landgrafen von Hessen-Homburg, In: Archiv für hessische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Neue Folge, Band 4, p.397-422

Schäfer, Ernst: Mecklenburgs Militärwesen vor und in den Freiheitskriegen: Vortrag, gehalten im Verein für Meckl. Geschichte und Altertumskunde am 21. Oktober 1913, bei der Erinnerungsfeier an die Leipziger Schlacht In: Jahrbücher des Vereins für Mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Band 80 (1915), pp. 97-114

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

Voss, E. von: Beiträge zur Meklenburgischen Fahnenkunde, In: Jahrbücher des Vereins für Mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Band 45 (1880), pp. 291-314

Wikipedia (German Edition)

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