Hanoverian Grenadiers à cheval
Origin and History
A grenadier squadron of two companies was established in December 1742. In 1745, it was increased with 50 men but was soon reduced to its original strength in 1748.
From 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the unit campaigned mostly in the Netherlands.
The unit primarily acted as the garrison force of the City of Hanover.
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the unit comprised;
- 1 adjutant
- 1 auditor
- 1 regimental surgeon
- 2 assistant-surgeons
- 1 provost
- 1 servant
- 1 squadron (organised in 2 companies) totalling
- 8 officers
- 14 NCOs
- 4 drummers
- 150 grenadiers usually riding black or dark brown horses
The regimental inhabers were:
- from 1742: Major Ernst Ludewig von Breidenbach (promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1745)
- from 1747: Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Friederich von Bock von Wülfingen
- from 1757: Major Carl August von Veltheim (promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1757, to colonel in 1759)
- from 1761: Major-General Johann Ludewig Imperial Count von Wallmoden-Gimborn
In 1763, the unit was amalgamated with the Garde du Corps.
The regiment was disbanded in 1803.
Service during the War
Throughout the war, the unit was mainly used to guard the headquarters.
On June 26, 1757, during the French invasion of Hanover, the unit took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing. The cavalry was not really tested in this battle. They were superbly mounted, but drilled in the old German style tactics that meant that they were steady, but slow. They would have charged at a trot and quite likely would have received an enemy charge at the halt, trusting their firearms.
In March 1758, the regiment was at the siege and capture of Minden. On May 26, the regiment 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 on the left wing under the command of Lieutenant-General von Spörcken. In December, when the Allied army took up its winter-quarters in Westphalia, the regiment was quartered in Münster where Ferdinand had established his headquarters.
In June 1759, the squadron was part of the main Allied army under the command of the Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 1, it was present at the Battle of Minden in the first line of the cavalry right wing commanded by Lord Sackville whose deliberate inactivity kept the unit out of any serious action.
In November and December 1760, the regiment took part in the blockade of Göttingen.
On July 16, 1761, the unit was at the Battle of Vellinghausen where it was part of Lieutenant-general Wutginau's Corps supporting the left wing.
By May 23, 1762, the squadron was attached to the main Allied army. On June 24, the squadron fought at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal where it formed part of the 7th column.
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)
|Coat||red with a brass button on each side at the small of the back
Troopers were armed with a straight steel hilted sword, two pistols and a carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook.
Offficers wore a yellow silken sash around the waist; a silver gorget, a silver porte-epee; gold lace on the tricorne; gold lace around the collar and cuffs. They did not carry any cross-belt.
NCO had gold laces on the cuffs, pockets, and waistcoat. They did not carry any cross-belt.
Trumpeters of the unit wore the British Royal Livery. They were clothed in red, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with blue, and laced with the royal lace (golden braid with two thin purple central stripes). Staff trumpeter probably carried NCO distinctives.
The banners of the trumpets were black embroidered in gold with devices similar to those carried on the standards.
According to other sources, musicians of the regiment were dressed in reverse colours and probably had swallow nests at the shoulders.
Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): black field with gold embroideries; gold fringe
- obverse: centre device consisting of the Arms of England within the Garter supported by a crowned lion and a unicorn all embroidered in gold; the motto “DIEU ET MON DROIT” underneath; corner devices consisting of the crowned “GR” ciphers
- reverse: centre device consisting of the Springing Silver Horse surmounted by an Electoral crown; motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath; corner devices consisting of the crowned “GR” ciphers
The unit had no regimental standard.
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. 19-24
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, and Georg Ortenburg: 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 & Hurt: German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
Pengel, R.D anf G. R. Hurt: Seven Years War. Brunswick-Luneburg (Hanover). Hessen Cassel. Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Schaumburg Lippe. Supplement, Birmingham 1984
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.