Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Schaumburg-Lippe Army >> Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Infantry

Origin and History

In 1748, when Wilhelm inherited the County of Schaumburg-Lippe, he immediately began to increase the “Leib-Grenadier-Kompagnie,” which previously counted 70 men (including elderly and invalids, and excluding officers). By October 1749, the company counted 114 men, excluding officers; and by April 1751, 218 officers and men.

In April 1752, this unit was reorganised in 3 companies: a Leibkompagnie, the 2nd Infanterie-Kompagnie and 1 gunner company and renamed “Garnison-Bataillon Bückeburg.” By the end of the year, the 2 companies totalled 233 men, including officers. In May 1753, these two companies counted 258 men, including officers.

In February 1754, the “Garnison-Bataillon Bückeburg” was increased to four companies for a total of 407 men, including officers. In November, a fifth company (a grenadier company) was added to the unit. By September 1755, these five companies of approx. 100 men each (for the first time four of these companies are designated as fusiliers) totalled 465 men, including officers. About 85% of the NCOs and men came from the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe, while most officers came from other German principalities, France, Hungary, Slovenia and Switzerland.

In such a small principality, the battalion was not on a full-time service. During 11 months, only about a third of the battalion was on active service and the entire battalion was assembled only in September for the great exercises.

In April 1756, the five companies of the “Garnison-Bataillon Bückeburg” counted 477, including officers. In August 1756, Count Wilhelm zu Schaumburg Lippe signed a subsidies contract with Hanover by which he agreed to supply an infantry regiment (the present regiment aka “Leibbataillon”, “Fusilier-Regiment” or “Schaumburg-Lippisches Leib-Regiment”) to the Allied army. This regiment was organised in a single battalion of seven companies, each of 114 men, as other Hanoverian infantry regiments. The garrison battalion contributed a large number of men to the new regiment but additional troops had to be raised to meet this commitment. Furthermore, Count Wilhelm kept two companies: the “Leibgrenadierkompagnie” (Captain von Pastelberger) and another grenadier company (Lieutenant von Zielberg), in his own service, designating them as the “Grenadier-Garde.”

According to the subsidies contract, the battalion, including the Begleitartillerie (accompanying artillery to serve the battalion guns), was the only unit that had to be provided making a total of 800 fusiliers and 28 artillerymen, for a grand total of 828 men. However, Count Wilhelm was allowed to bring with him the 2 companies of his Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Grenadier-Garde and his Carabiniercorps, which would remain at his own disposal.

The regimental Inhaber was: Count Wilhelm zu Schaumburg Lippe, but the unit was commanded by:

  • from at least April 1757: Colonel von Hoyer
  • from November 1759: Colonel von Böhm

On September 5, 1763, the battalion was reduced to four companies.

Somewhere during this period, the regiment was renamed “ Grenadier-Regiment.”

On February 17, 1787, the regiment was disbanded. Its officers were released from their oath and, for the most part, transferred to the Hessian service.

Service during the War

On April 24, 1757, the regiment marched to join the Allied army campaigning against the French in Western Germany. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in Block’s Brigade, in the first line of the right wing.

By March 1758, the regiment consisted of 7 companies for a nominal strength of 800 men but fielding only 675 men, including officers:

  • Leib Company under Count Wilhelm (3 officers, 7 NCOs, 2 musicians and 88 privates, for a total of 100 men)
  • Colonel Company under Colonel von Hoyer (3 officers, 8 NCOs, 2 musicians, 83 privates, for a total of 96 men)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Company under Lieutenant-Colonel de la Croisette (3 officers, 8 NCOs, 2 musicians, 79 privates, for a total of 92 men)
  • Major Company under Major von Rheinbaben (3 officers, 8 NCOs, 2 musicians, 81 privates, for a total of 94 men)
  • Captain Funck Company (3 officers, 7 NCOs, 2 musicians, 87 privates, for a total of 99 men)
  • Captain Wilmans Company (3 officers, 8 NCOs, 2 musicians, 86 privates, for a total of 99 men)
  • Captain von Zielberg Company (3 officers, 6 NCOs, 2 musicians, 84 privates, for a total of 95 men)

On June 18, 1758, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's Corps who passed the Rhine at Duisburg. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. Along with the Hessian Wutginau and Prinz Karl regiments, it drove off a French cavalry attack. On October 10, it took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was deployed in Zastrow's Brigade in the first line of the centre. During the night of October 10 to 11, as part of the rearguard, the regiment drove back French hussars, who were pursuing the retreating Allied army. In December, when the Allied army took up its winter quarters in Westphalia, the regiment was quartered in the Bishopric of Paderborn.

By December 1758, the seven companies were at full strength (114 men each, including officers).

In June 1759, the regiment was part of Imhoff's Corps operating in Hesse. On July 22, during the French offensive in western Germany, Wangenheim's Corps, now numbering some 10,000 men, took new positions near Minden with the Bückeburg Infantry encamped near the windwill before Petershagen. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in Wangenheim's Corps between Kutenhausen and the Weser, in the first line of the infantry centre, escorting the Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg detachment of Artillery.

On July 16, 1761, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen, where it was attached to the infantry of the central corps.

By May 23, 1762, the regiment was attached to the main Allied army where it escorted the artillery. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal, where it was attached to the fourth column, still escorting the artillery.

At the end of the war, the regiment served as an occupation force in Minden. On January 27, 1763, it marched from Minden to return home. The staff and five companies were initially billeted in Stadthagen, while two companies were quartered in Hagenburg. In September, after the reduction of the regiment, the four remaining companies were stationed in the Fortress of Wilhelmstein in Bückeburg, and in Blomberg, Schieber, and Alverdissen.

Uniform

Description of the uniform of 1762 based on Wilmans' document kept in the Staatsarchiv Bückeburg.

Privates

Uniform - Copyright: Boris Brink
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with red/white pom poms
Grenadier not applicable
Neckstock red
Coat blue with 6 pewter buttons on each side and 2 pewter buttons at the waist on the left side
Collar red
Lapels none
Cuffs red Swedish-style cuffs, each with 2 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.

Somewhere after 1762, the fusiliers became musketeers and their uniforms changed slightly: the collar disappeared and the cuffs were changed to blue.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as privates with the following distinctions:

  • silver braid edging the collar and the cuffs

Officers

Officers wore a gorget.

Musicians

No known particulars

Colours

Hereafter, we present tentative reconstructions of the colours of Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Infantry at the time of the Seven Years' War. It is mentioned that, during this period, the regiment carried two colours: a light blue and a light red.

To recontruct these colours were made several assumptions:

  • as for the blue colour illustrated in the Register Book of the regiment in 1771, their centre device would carry the crowned arms of the County of Schaumburg-Lippe, surrounded by the collar of the Prussian Military Order of the Black Eagle (a distinction awarded to Count Wilhelm on June 14, 1751) but without the "bâtons de maréchal (a rank obtained by Count Wilhelm only in 1762)
  • as for the blue colour illustrated in the Register Book of the regiment in 1771, their corner devices would consist of the crowned monogram "W"
  • contrarily to the blue colour illustrated in the Register Book of the regiment in 1771, the white scroll would carry the motto "UBI GLORIA OMNE PERICULUM DULCE", which was the motto in use during this period as mentioned by Hübinger and Wilmans

We also assumed that the light blue colour was the Leibfahne and the light red was the Regimentsfahne, but it could be the opposite.

Colonel Colour: light blue field; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of Shaumburg-Lippe surrounded by the collar of the Prussian Military Order of the Black Eagle; a white scroll below carrying the motto UBI GLORIA OMNE PERICULUM DULCE in gold; corner devices consisting of the crowned cipher "W" in gold.

Colonel Colour - Source: Boris Brink in collaboration with Volker Scholz

Regimental Colours: light red field; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of Shaumburg-Lippe surrounded by the collar of the Prussian Military Order of the Black Eagle; a white scroll below carrying the motto UBI GLORIA OMNE PERICULUM DULCE in gold; corner devices consisting of the crowned cipher "W" in gold.

Regimental Colour - Source: Boris Brink in collaboration with Volker Scholz

References

Düring, G. W. von: Geschichte des Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburgischen Karabinier- und Jäger-Korps. Berlin 1828 - online Google books

Froriep, J. F.: [7 Zur Erinnerung an den Herrn Oberstlieutenant Johann Casimir von Monkewitz], Bückeburg 1789

Hübinger, Erich: Graf Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe und seine Wehr, Verlag Robert Noske, Borna-Leipzig 1937

Klein, Hans. H.: Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe, Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1982

Knötel, R.: Uniformkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Rathenow, 1890-1921, Vol. XV, Plate 36, Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg. Jäger, Grenadier, Musketier, Bombardier, Ingenieur. 1765.

Ulmenstein, Christian Ulrich Baron von: Die Offiziere des Schaumburg-Lippischen Truppenkorps 1648 – 1867

Wilmans, M.: Anciennete von Seiner Hoch-Reichs-Gräflichen Erlauchten! des Regierenden Herrn Graffen zur Schaumburg-Lippe, und Sternberg, Ritter des Königl-Preushen Grossen-Ordens, von Schwarzen Adler! General en Chef Seiner Königl. Maj. von Portugal Combinirten Armée, Infanterie Regiment, Grenadier-Garde, Carabenier zu Pferd, und Jäger zu Füss, imgleichen Artillerie, wie auch Ingenieur, und Mineur-Corps; Benebst denen Fahnen-Divisen, und Uniform, Bückeburg den 12. Juny 1762, Staatsarchiv Bückeburg au F 1 A XXXV 18 Nr 73

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

Acknowledgements

Boris Brink and Volker Scholz for the major revision of this article in April 2021