Origin and History
The exact date when this regiment was raised is unknown. It is possible that the Duke of Celle raised it during the Thirty Years’ War.
In 1666, the regiment, then known as Villier, took part in the relief of Bremen. In 1667, during the War of Devolution (1667-68), it was briefly taken in Spanish pay.
In 1671, the regiment formed part of the force which captured the city of Braunschweig.
In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment campaigned against the French on the Weser. In 1674 and 1675, it campaigned on the Rhine and contributed to the capture of Saarbrück and Trier, and to the occupation of the country of Bremen and Verden. In 1676, it served on the Rhine.
In 1688, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment formed part of the relief force sent to the Rhine. In 1689, the regiment contributed to the capture of Mainz and Bonn. In 1690, it was at the Battle of Fleurus; in 1692, at the Battle of Steenkerque.
In 1700, the regiment took part in the campaign against the Danes in Holstein.
In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment initially served in the Netherlands where it joined Marlborough’s Army, taking part in the siege of Liège. In 1703, it contributed to the capture of Huy. In 1704, the regiment took part in the Battle of the Schellenberg and the Battle of Blenheim; in 1706, in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde and in the covering of the siege of Lille; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet.
In 1719, the regiment took part in the campaign in Mecklenburg and in the action of Wallsmühlen,
From 1733 to 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment served against the French on the Rhine. In 1735, it took part in the Battle of Clausen.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment served in Brabant. In 1743, it campaigned on the Main where it took part in the Battle of Dettingen. From 1744 to 1748, it served in the Netherlands, taking part in the battles of Fontenoy (1745), Rocoux (1746) and Lauffeld (1747).
From 1734 to 1781, the successive regimental inhabers were:
- from 1734: Colonel Johann Carl von Montigny (promoted to brigadier in 1742, to major-general in 1743, to lieutenant-general in 1747, died in 1754)
- from 1754: Colonel Carl Gustav von Dachenhausen (transferred to Dachenhausen Dragoons in 1758)
- from 1758 to 1781: Colonel Friedrich Christian Bremer (Alt-Bremer) (promoted to major-general in 1761, to lieutenant-general in 1762, to general of cavalry in 1777, died in 1781)
The regiment was disbanded in 1803.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment joined the Observation Army assembling at Bielefeld. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was detached from the main army and posted near Afferde along with Schlütter Horse. During the battle, the squadrons took position in a defile between Afferde and Diedersen to cover the extreme left rear of the Hanoverian position. Ordered to counter-attack the French in Obensburg, the brigade was wildly successful as the French, in their confusion, fired on their Swiss allies thinking they were advancing Hanoverians. However, the recapture of Obensburg was short-lived as the French cavalry soon arrived and the Hanoverian cavalry withdrew covering the retreat of the rest of Cumberland's force. The Allies then retreated to Bremervörde and Stade where it capitulated.
In 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in western Germany, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Minden. On May 26, it was with Ferdinand's main force in the camp of Nottuln. On May 31, it accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed in the centre as part of the brigade under Lieutenant-General von Oberg whose division was ordered to make diversion towards Sankt-Tönis.
In June 1759, the regiment was part of the Allied main army under the command of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, it was present at the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing commanded by Lord Sackville whose deliberate inactivity kept the unit out of any serious action. The regiment then accompanied the Allied army in its advance on Paderborn, Stadtberg and Marburg. In September, the regiment was at the camp of Crofdorf. In December, the regiment joined the corps of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick at Eschwege and marched to Freyberg in Saxony to reinforce the Prussian army.
In the spring of 1760, the regiment returned to Western Germany, On July 31, it took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed between Ossendorf and Menne in the third line of the cavalry centre. On August 22, the regiment was part of the corps of the Hereditary Prince who crossed the Diemel and advanced on Broglie's left flank, his vanguard reaching Zierenberg. His light troops engaged a French detachment (Royal Dragons, Thianges Dragons and part of the Chasseurs de Fischer) under M. de Travers, which had been left at Oberelsungen to observe the Allies' movements. The Allied light troops were soon supported by the Hereditary Prince at the head of the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scot Greys) and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons and the British grenadiers. The French were finally driven back with considerable loss and took refuge into Zierenberg.
On February 15, 1761, the regiment took part in the Combat of Langensalza. From 7:30 AM, Major von Falkenberg at the head of one squadron of the regiment delayed the Saxon infantry regiment Prinz Anton for more than two hours till the arrival of Lieutenant-general Reden followed by his regiment (Reden Dragoons). On February 19, Luckner's Corps, reinforced with 4 sqns (this regiment along with Veltheim Cavalry), attacked the barricaded bridge at Vacha, drove back the defenders and made itself master of the town, forcing Stainville to retire from this town. On July 16, the regiment was at the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing under the command of the Hereditary Prince. It unit was effectively kept out of combat.
By May 23, 1762, the regiment served with the main Allied army where it was attached to Lieutenant-General von Hodenberg's Division. On June 24, it took part in the battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was attached to the 5th column under the Prince von Anhalt. On August 30, the regiment took part in the Combat of Nauheim where it was attached to Luckner's Corps.
Accurate Vorstellung der saemtlichen Churfürstl. hannöverischen Armee zur eigentlichen Kentniß der Uniform von jedem Regimente nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird Nürnberg: Raspe 1763 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt)
|Headgear||black tricorne laced white with oak leaves as a field sign, a black cockade and a white small bob on the hat (green bobs in 1761)|
|Coat||white with 6 pewter buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the right side and 1 pewter button at the small of the back on each side
|Waistcoat||straw edged apple green|
Troopers were armed with a Pallasch (straight steel hilted sword), two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook.
Officers wore a yellow silken sash around the waist; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; silver lace on the tricorne; gold lace around the collar and cuffs. They did not carry any cross-belt.
NCO had silver laces on the cuffs, pockets, and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.
Musicians comprised trumpeters and one kettle-drummer. They were dressed in reverse colours and probably swallow nests at the shoulders. Staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.
The kettle-drums were made of copper.
The kettle-drum apron and trumpet banners were green fringed in gold and carried the Springing White Horse surmounted by an Electoral crown; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath.
The regiment carried one Leibstandarte and one regimental standard.
Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field , there is no mention of the colour of the fringe and embroideries, here we assume them to be silver to fit with the colour of the buttons of the uniform:
- obverse: centre device consisting of the initials “GR” within a garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn, the whole surmounted by a golden crown with red cushions surrounded by golden embroideries; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of a scene depicting St. George fighting the dragon, surmounted by the motto “VIRTUS ANIMI SUPERAT OMNIA”
This standard kept at the Hannover Historisches Museum (inventory number VM 16997) measures 51 cm high and 64 cm wide. Its flagpole has a length of 268 cm.
Regimental Standard: green field, there is no mention of the colour of the fringe and embroideries, here we assume them to be silver to fit with the colour of the buttons of the uniform:
- obverse: centre device consisting of a White Horse on a red ground within the Garter; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath
- reverse: centre device consisting of an allegory embroidered in gold depicting Fame; the motto “ARMA VIROSQUE CANO” above
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Wissel, Friedrich v. and Georg von Wissel: Geschichte der Errichtung sämmtlicher Chur-Braunschweig-Lüneburgischen Truppen, sammt ihren Fahnen, Standarten und Pauken-Devisen ...], Zelle, 1786, pp. 49-63
Other sources Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 Bilder von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text und Erläuterungen von Dr. Martin Letzius, hrsg. von der Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932
Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985
Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part I : Das Heer von 1763, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 1-4 (1909), page 3-15
Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Part II: Das Heer von 1770, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 4-5 (1909), page 15-20
Knötel, Richard: Die Uniformen des Hannoverschen Heeres 1763 und 1770. Kurze Stammliste. 1617 bis 1803, in: Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht, vol. XVI, no. 6-11 (1909), page 22-42
Lawson, Cecil C. P., A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II
Manley, S., Uniforms of the Danish and German States' Armies 1739 - 1748, Potsdam Publications
Niemeyer Joachim, Ortenburg Georg: Die Chur-braunschweig-lüneburgische Armee im Siebenjährigen Kriege: Das Gmundener Prachtwerk, Beckum 1976
Niemeyer, Joachim and Georg Ortenburg: The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Heereskunde
Pengel, R.D, Hurt G.R.: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984
Pengel & Hurt, German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Uniformierung der kurhannoverschen Infanterie 1714 - 1803 in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, 1970
Schirmer, Friedrich: Nec Aspera Terrent: Eine Heereskunde der hannoverschen Armee von 1631 bis 1803, Niedersächische Hausbücherei, Bd. 3, Hannover 1929
Sichart, Louis von: Geschichte der Königlich-Hannoverschen Armee. Dritter Band. Vierter Zeitraum. 1756-1789, Hanover 1870 [google books]
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.