‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’ (Part 7: Hessen-Cassel Troops)

As mentioned last month, I’m currently undertaking a massive expansion of my French, Saxon and ‘Western Allied’ (i.e. Great Britain, Hanover, Hessen-Cassel, Brunswick & Schaumburg-Lippe) armies for the Seven Years War.  The long-term objective is to refight the larger battles of the war in western Germany, such as Minden and Vellinghausen, but I’m a LONG way off those goals!  Just looking at the number of French infantry battalions in my collection, I’d need to double my present number for Minden and triple it for Vellinghausen!

In the meantime I’ve set myself some short-term goals to keep the paint flowing, starting with the Battle of Clostercamp, which we refought at the Haverfordwest Gaming Club‘s open day last Saturday.  The scenario and game report for Clostercamp are coming soon, once WordPress fixes the current page-editing problems, but here’s a photo of the action.

On 18th November we have a refight of the Battle of Warburg planned for a tabletop games show in Tenby, so there’s lots more painting to do including Highlanders, more British cavalry, French dragoons, Swiss infantry and the Chasseurs de Fischer.  However, those are still to do; here’s what I’ve succeeded in painting (still with only one good eye!) in the last couple of months, starting with some units for the Army of Hesse-Cassel.

Landgraf William VIII

The long-suffering regular-readers of this blog might remember that in Part 2 of this series, I painted a single Hessian unit, the ‘Erbprinz’ Regiment (shown above), as they were part of the mainly-Hanoverian brigade I was painting.  However, it’s taken me two years to paint more Hessians.

During the reign of Landgraf William (Wilhelm) VIII of Hesse-Cassel, there were twelve regular Hessian infantry regiments and three militia regiments.  One militia regiment was disbanded in 1758, but a new 1. Garderegiment was raised in 1760/61.  Each infantry regiment was initially organised as single large battalion of ten companies totaling 950 men at full strength.  This therefore translates as a large unit of 16 figures in Tricorn (like the Hanoverians).

Each company included a corps of eight grenadiers, which on campaign would be formed into a grenadier company of 80 men.  These grenadier companies would then be detached from their parent regiments and grouped with other such companies to form ad hoc grenadier battalions of variable strength.  In 1759 there were two such grenadier battalions present at Minden (named for their commanders, Schlotheim and Donop) and even if they contained all the army’s grenadiers, they would only have amounted to around 480 men apiece, even at full strength.

However, in 1760 the new Landgraf Frederick (Friedrich) II, having served as a Prussian general, reorganised the army along Prussian lines, splitting each regular infantry regiment into two small battalions of five companies apiece.  The grenadier component of each regiment was expanded to two full companies.  In wartime the two grenadier companies would now be paired at the start of a campaign with the grenadiers from another regiment, forming one of six permanent, Prussian-style grenadier battalions.

Landgraf Frederick II

In theory, the infantry regiments were each expanded in 1760 by an additional 200 men, but in reality this strength-increase was almost totally absorbed by the massively-expanded grenadier component and the infantry battalions remained very weak.  There was therefore absolutely no tactical advantage gained from splitting the regiments into two battalions and the army’s Commander-in-Chief, Ferdinand of Brunswick actually commented that it made absolutely no difference if the Hessian regiments fielded one or two battalions.  In wargame terms, I’m therefore happy fielding the pre-1760 16-figure battalions to represent Hessian regiments right through the whole war and don’t plan to paint a separate late-war Hessian army.  I will however, need to add extra grenadiers for the post-1760 army (though I haven’t yet painted any Hessian grenadiers).

The two remaining militia regiments were also reorganised, becoming four single-battalion units (variously designated ‘Landregiment‘ or ‘Landbattaillon‘), each of four companies.  There were also a few independent companies.  One of the new militia regiments was formed from the massed militia grenadier companies, being designated as the ‘Landgrenadierregiment‘.  While originally raised to provide garrisons and to guard against raids, the militia were increasingly used in the field alongside the regulars and fought most notably at Sanderhausen, as well as Clostercamp and Warburg, so I might have to paint a few units (they’ll be ‘normal’-sized 12-figure units).

In addition to the organisational changes, the reign of Frederick II also brought about a lot of changes of unit titles, uniforms and flags.  However, while the regimental titles may have changed immediately, the uniforms were slower to change (probably appearing in 1761 at the very earliest) and it’s entirely probable that in 1763 Hessian units were still carrying the flags of William VIII, rather than the Prussian-style flags of Frederick II (as modelled by my American War of Independence Hessian troops)

Hessian uniforms were extremely Prussian in style (becoming even more so after 1760), so I’ve therefore just used Eureka Miniatures Prussian figures.  I’ve used Prussian dragoon figures for both arms of the Hessian cavalry.  When I eventually get around to doing the Hessian Jäger Corps, I’ll probably buy some AWI Hessian Jäger from Blue Moon.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The Grenadierregiment was originally formed in 1672 as a combined grenadier battalion, but in 1702 became formalised as a regiment in its own right.  It kept the status of grenadiers and therefore continued to wear grenadier-caps, but was also granted the right to carry colours and a regimental Chef (Colonel-proprietor) was appointed.  By the time of the Seven Years War, it was therefore just another line infantry regiment (6th in order of seniority, although regimental numbers were not used at this time), albeit one with fancy headgear.  We could argue until the cows come home as to whether it should be classes as ‘elite’ or not, but it seems to have been a good, solid regiment and in 1760 Frederick II re-designated the regiment as 2. Garderegiment.

Flank Grenadier of the Grenadierregiment 1748 (Morier)

Above:  The Grenadierregiment wore the typical Prussian-style dark blue coat common to all Hessian infantry regiments, with red lapels, collar, cuffs, tail-turnbacks and neck-stocks.  The lapels, collar and cuffs were all edged with white lace, as were all buttonholes.  Buttons were white metal and belts were white.

The prolific Swiss artist David Morier (who was commissioned by many of the crowned heads of Europe to record their armies’ uniforms) depicted the regiment in 1748 as wearing buff waistcoats with blue breeches (as shown on the right).  Other sources suggest white breeches being worn by the time of the Seven Years War, but I’ve stuck with blue, as it makes them look a bit different from the Prussians and Brunswickers.  Those white bits at the top of the gaiters do look rather striking, but I’m not sure what they are.  Are they perhaps the white parade-gaiters being worn underneath the black field-gaiters?

The grenadier-caps had white metal front-plates and head-bands, with yellow bag and white piping and pompom.  NCOs had red pompoms.  Officers wore hats with silver lace and black cockades.  The detached ‘flank’ grenadiers had caps with red bags.  Curiously, Morier here shows a flank-grenadier wearing a brass-fronted grenadier cap (with pierce-work revealing the red cloth bag behind), which is odd for a regiment with white metal buttons.

Above:  The Grenadierregiment.  In 1760 the regiment was re-titled as 2. Garderegiment and the uniform was altered, removing the white lace edging from lapels, collar and cuffs and reducing the number of buttons and lace buttonholes.  However, the buttonhole lace bars had small tassels added.  A white aiguillette was added to the right shoulder and a red shoulder-strap was added to the left.  The colour of smallclothes was changed to lemon yellow.  This uniform change probably came into effect during 1761.

The regiment’s flank-grenadiers were now grouped with the grenadiers of 3. Garderegiment to form the Grenadier Battalion ‘Schlotheim’ (re-titled ‘Biesenroth’ in 1762).

Above:  The Grenadierregiment.  Reversed colours for infantry drummers had been discontinued in the late 1740s or early 1750s.  They wore the same coat as the rank-and-file, with the addition of red-and-white ‘national’ lace edging the facings and seams, as well as ‘swallow’s-nests’ on the shoulders and inverted chevrons down the sleeves.  Drummers’ pompoms were coloured red & white.

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment was the 2nd most senior infantry regiment in the army.  In 1757 the regimental Chef, Colonel Otto Friedrich von Haudring was killed at the Battle of Hastenbeck and so the regimental title changed to ‘Capellan’ for Colonel W. F. von Capellan.  In 1759 the regimental title passed again to Baron G. H. von Toll and yet again in 1760 to Colonel G. F. von Bartheld.

In 1760, Landgraf Frederick II changed the regiment’s designation to ‘Fusiliers’.  The ‘Gilsa’ Regiment also became Fusiliers at this time.  In practice this meant little other than a change in headgear to the Prussian-style fusilier-cap.

Flank Grenadier of ‘Baumbach’ Infantry Regiment 1748 (Morier)

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment again wore the typical Prussian-style dark blue coat, this time with orange lapels and cuffs.  Some sources describe the tail-turnbacks as red, but Morier shows them as orange in 1748, when the regiment was titled ‘Baumbach’ (shown on the right) and they were again orange during the American War of Independence.  One source also describes them as orange in 1761 and I’ve taken the view that they were actually orange for the entire period, with the ‘red’ description being a misinterpretation.

The lapels had white lace edging and there was more white lace edging to the cuff-flaps.  ‘Metal colour was yellow.  Neck-stocks were red.  Hats had white lace edging, orange pompoms and black cockades.  The colours of waistcoat and breeches aren’t recorded for this period, though Morier showed white waistcoats and blue breeches being worn in 1748 (shown on the right).  I therefore went with this colour-scheme; the white waistcoats were certainly being worn with the 1761 uniform and as mentioned earlier, I like the look of the blue breeches.

The regiment’s detached grenadiers wore the same uniform with Prussian-style grenadier caps.  These caps had a brass front-plate and headband, with an orange bag, white piping and an orange (or possibly mixed orange/white) pompom.  From 1760 the grenadiers were permanently grouped with the grenadiers of the ‘Prinz Ysenburg’ Regiment as Grenadier Battalion ‘Papenheim’ (‘Knoblauch’ from 1761).

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment.  In 1760 and as mentioned above, the regiment was changed to a Fusilier Regiment.  The basic uniform didn’t change very much; the white lace disappeared from the lapels and cuff-flaps, the neck-stock changed to black and the breeches were confirmed as white.  Once again, sources are split over whether the tail-turnbacks were red or orange.  The newly-authorised fusilier-caps had brass metalwork with an orange ‘bowl’, though these may have been slow to arrive and one source describes hats with green pompoms.

Above:  The ‘Haudring’ Infantry Regiment.  Again, the drummers wore the same coat as the rank-and-file, though with the addition of red-and-white lace decoration.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ (on the left) and ‘Miltitz’ (on the right).  The four senior Hessian heavy cavalry regiments were organised very similarly to those of Hanover and Great Britain, each consisting of two squadrons of three companies, for a total of 362 men.  This was increased in 1760 to 412 men.  One regiment on it’s own is not therefore really viable as a Tricorn unit in its own right, so I ‘brigade’ two regiments together to make a 12-figure unit, though from 1760, these units might tip the scales into 16-figure ‘Large’ unit territory.

The Hessian cavalry regiments had been cuirassiers until the 1740s, but then lost their armour, in common with the Hanoverians.  However, following the accession of Landgraf Frederick II in 1760, the Hanoverian cavalry regiments reverted to being cuirassier regiments during the following year, with uniforms and equipment changing radically to very closely match the style of Prussian cuirassiers.  However, their cuirasses didn’t actually arrive until 1764, after the end of the Seven Years War.

In 1760, a fifth heavy cavalry regiment was raised, namely the Garde du Corps.  However, this only consisted of a single squadron and never took to the field.

The ‘Miltitz’ Cavalry were the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in order of seniority and are sometimes referred to as such, but regimental numbers were not used during this period.  They changed their title in 1759 to ‘Oheimb’ and then changed again in 1760 to ‘Einsiedel’.

The ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry were 4th in order of seniority.  The regiment was titled for their Chef, Count Ysenburg-Birstein.  However, in 1757 the title passed to Wilhelm Reyn von Prüschenck.  The title changed again in 1761 to ‘Wolff’.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  All Hessian Cavalry Regiments wore the same style of uniform, namely a white coat, waistcoat and cloak, with the regimental facing colour displayed on the lapels, collar, Swedish-style cuffs, shoulder-straps, tail-turnbacks, aiguillette, waistcoat-edging and cloak-lining.  The facing colour was repeated on the horse-furniture.  Breeches were straw or ‘pale straw’, neck-stocks were black and belts were white and ‘Prussian-style’, with the buckles at the back.  Hats had lace edging in the button colour, with a black cockade.

The ‘Miltitz’ Cavalry had medium-green facings and the ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry had sky-blue.  I’ve gone with the majority view that both regiments had yellow ‘metal’, though Morier shows white (both could be correct at different times).  These Eureka Prussian dragoon figures annoyingly don’t have their aiguillettes moulded on, so they have to be painted (in direct contrast to the Hanoverian Horse Regiments, for which I used British dragoon figures and have to file the bloody things off!!!).

In 1761 the uniform changed radically to the Prussian cuirassier style of a pale straw ‘kollet’ coat, with facing-coloured collar, cuffs, shoulder-strap, cummerbund, sabretache and waistcoat.  The cuffs, tail-turnbacks, front-seam, waistcoat and sabretache were all edged with lace, consisting of two stripes of the facing colour and two stripes of yellow for ‘Miltitz’ and white for ‘Prüschenck’.  The sabretache was decorated with the crowned cypher of Frederick II, while the horse furniture was decorated with the arms of Hesse-Cassel.  However, their cuirasses did not arrive until 1764, which makes finding figures for this later uniform somewhat impossible!  I’ll therefore use my ‘early’ cavalry regiments for the entire war.

Above:  A cavalryman of the ‘Ysenburg’ Cavalry Regiment, painted in 1748 by David Morier.  The armorial details of the horse furniture had changed by the time of the Seven Years War and the button colour had (probably) changed, but the rest of the uniform was unchanged.  This painting gives an excellent indication of the shade of blue facings.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  Each cavalry squadron carried a fringed square standard; the 1st Squadron in each regiment carried the Leibstandarte, which had a white field decorated with the lion badge of Hesse-Cassel, either in a ‘metal’ colour or in ‘true’ colours.  The 2nd Squadron carried an Eskadronstandarte of the same design, though having a facing-coloured field.  The standards of the ‘Miltitz’ Regiment are recorded as having gold fringes and armorials, while those of the ‘Ysenburg’ Regiment had silver.  Staves are variously described as red or brown.

Above:  The Cavalry Regiments ‘Ysenburg’ and ‘Miltitz’.  Trumpeters are recorded as wearing ‘reversed’ colours in both the early and late versions of the uniform, but I’ve been unable to dig out any more details.  I’ve given them red & white ‘national’ lace edging on their collars, cuffs and lapels.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoon Regiment was one of two Hessian dragoon regiments.  I should clarify that this regiment was actually titled the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons until 1758, having Prinz Moritz von Sachsen-Gotha as its Chef.  However, by the time they were actively engaged in the war, the title had passed to Prinz Friedrich von Hessen, who owned the regiment for the duration of Hesse-Cassel’s active participation in the Seven Years War, so I’ll refer to them as the ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons.

Hessian dragoon regimental organisation was again very similar to that of Hanover.  They were considerably stronger than the cavalry regiments, being organised into four squadrons, each of two companies, for a total of 662 men at full strength, increasing in 1760 to 742 men.  In Tricorn terms, that comfortably weighs in as a ‘normal’-sized unit of 12 figures.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons wore a sky-blue uniform coat that was almost identical to that of the Prussian dragoons.  The lapels, cuffs, collar, shoulder-strap, turnbacks and waistcoat were all yellow with white metal buttons and a white aiguillette at the right shoulder.  Breeches were straw and neck-stocks were black.  Belts were white and the cross-belts had the buckles at the back, Prussian-style.  Unlike Prussian dragoons, the hats had white lace edging.  The horse furniture was yellow with a double strip of white lace around the edge.  A black sheepskin or bearskin covered the horn of the saddle and the tops of the holster-caps.  The cloak was white, lined yellow; this was rolled with the yellow lining outermost and stowed behind the saddle.

The only uniform changes in 1761 were the change of the tail-turnbacks to red and the addition of Frederick II’s cypher in white to the shabraque and holster-caps.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoons had square standards with silver fringe and embroidery.  The Leibstandarte was white, with the arms of Hesse-Cassel in silver, while the Eskadronstandarten were of the same design with a pale yellow field.  Some sources describe the arms of Hesse-Cassel as being in ‘true’ colours, including a red & white-striped lion-rampant.

Above:  The ‘Prinz Friedrich’ Dragoon Regiment’s drummers were initially dressed in ‘reversed colours’, which I’ve interpreted as yellow coats with light blue facings.  These were decorated with ‘swallow’s nests’ of red & white national lace on the shoulders and possibly other lace decoration (I’ve edged the collar, cuffs, lapels and pockets with lace).  In 1761 the ‘reversed’ uniform was changed to the same colourings as the rest of the regiment, though still with lace decoration (i.e. Prussian-style).

Above:  At the start of the Seven Years War, the Hessian artillery arm occupied a very low status in the pecking order of the army and had not even been given official status as a ‘corps’.  As a consequence, it had fewer than 100 men of all ranks and very few heavy guns.  However, it slowly began to expand at the start of the war, initially providing a detachment of two 3pdr battalion guns for each of the eight infantry battalions contracted to serve in Britain.  With their departure, a further five 3pdr detachments were formed to serve the infantry regiments remaining in Germany.

In 1758 the ‘British Contingent’ returned to Germany and the artillery was officially united as a single Artillery Corps initially under the command of Lieutenant General von Diede, though he died soon after and was replaced by Major General von Schlueter.  However, Hesse-Cassel had in the meantime been overrun by French forces, there were only four Hessian 12pdrs remaining and there were no Hessian-made guns available for expansion of the corps or to replace losses.  The Count of Schaumburg-Lippe therefore offered a number of pieces, bringing the strength of the corps in 1759 up to 14x 12pdrs, 4x 6pdrs, 1x ex-French 4pdr, 5x 3pdrs, 1x 30pdr Howitzer and 2x 20pdr Howitzers. I presume that the 3pdrs assigned to infantry battalions were not included in these totals.

Later in 1759, Hanover provided additional guns and the totals then stood at 14x 12pdrs, 12x 10pdrs, 10x 3pdrs, 2x 30pdr Howitzers, 2x 16pdr Howitzers and 4x 60pdr Mortars.  The organisation becomes much more complicated later in the war, with some sources saying that it came to match that of the British and Hanoverian artillery: two Light Divisions, each with 12x 6pdrs and two Heavy Divisions; one with 12x 12pdrs and one with 8x 30pdr Howitzers, while others say that it was organised into five companies of mixed calibres and yet another source suggests that there were four battalion gun companies and five artillery companies.  This confusion is further complicated by the fact that some orders of battle only list position artillery and ignore battalion guns, while others count all guns.  Further complication arrives when historians count ALL position guns as ‘heavy’, regardless of calibre, even 3pdrs!

Above:  The uniform of the Hesse-Cassel Artillery Corps was very Prussian in style, comprising a dark blue coat with white belts and straw smallclothes.  However, unlike the Prussian uniform, the coat had lapels and the facing colour was crimson, being displayed on lapels, collar, cuffs, shoulder-straps and turnbacks.  The cuffs were Swedish in style, with two buttons.  Buttons were pewter.  Gaiters and neck-stocks were black.  Hats were edged in white lace and had crimson pompoms.  It was simple enough to paint the lapels onto these Prussian gunner figures.

For the guns I used a Prussian 12pdr (on the left with four crew) and a Prussian 6pdr (on the right with three crew).

Above:  Hessian gun-carriages were traditionally painted white with ironwork painted red, reflecting the red-and-white stripes of the national lion-rampant badge.  A bad batch of Humbrol 60 Scarlet (which is the colour of dried blood) always comes in handy for these red-painted guns! 🙂  It’s entirely possible that the guns supplied by Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe remained in their original paintwork, which for Hanover was red with black ironwork and for Schaumburg-Lippe was probably white with black ironwork (a surviving Schaumburg-Lippe 12pdr at Bückeburg Palace has been mounted upon a white-painted carriage as far back as records can ascertain).  However, I’ve gone with the traditional Hessian colours, as they look rather spectacular! 🙂

More SYW troops to follow, including a lot more Frenchmen such as these:

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to ‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’ (Part 7: Hessen-Cassel Troops)

  1. Nick says:

    Ooh cup of tea and a bikkie time

    Another informative article with eye candy

  2. Nick says:

    Really must try the rules

    Are they ok for solo play

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yes, I think so. I’ve done a few solo games with them. I tend to find that attacks against fixed defences work best for solo play, as once the defences are in place, defenders tend to be reluctant to move, so you can just play the attacker and see how it develops. My first ‘return game’ to Tricorn a couple of years ago was Mollwitz, where the Prussians are generally attacking, but the Austrians put in their own cavalry flanking attack.

  3. Donnie McGibbon says:

    Super read and some lovely figures on display, you have done a great job as always and a great addition to your collection.

  4. Neil Youll says:

    Love those Hessian guns. Now that winter approaches I suppose I will have to up my own rate of painting: dropped off a bit in the summer.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Neil! 🙂

      Yeah, my rate dropped off due to the extreme heat in June and again in early September and in between my eye was playing up through most of July! 🙁

  5. Pingback: ‘Auvergne, Voici Les Ennemis!’: The Battle of Clostercamp 16th October 1760 (The Refight) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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