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Friday, 3 April 2015

Saratoga Campaign 1777: German units

For this campaign, the British rented several regiments from the German principalities of Brunswick, and Hesse. I will be posting shots of my own figures in the coming weeks. I have recently purchased some  Seven Years War Prussian HaT figures which will be painted as below. I just need get some dismounted dragoons for the Brunswick dragoons.
 first group of Prussians getting based.

The uniforms of these regiments were modeled off of the Prussians.
Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777
Guidon bearer, Brunswick Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig, 1776-1777
Among the German mercenary troops arriving at Quebec in 1776 was a unit of cavalry from Brunswick. Dragoner-Regiment Prinz Ludwig (or 'Prince Ludwig's Dragoon Regiment') was supposed to be given horses in North America, and wore high leather riding boots. Still waiting for horses, they marched south with General Burgoyne's army in 1777 and were captured after the British defeat at Saratoga. Recruits sent from Brunswick allowed the regiment to be reformed at Quebec in 1781. This man's uniform is in the traditional cornflower blue of the Brunswick dragoons. He holds a swallow-tailed cavalry flag called a guidon. Its pole is made in the form of a joisting lance, a fashion of the time. In the centre of the guidon is white horse of Niedersachsen, the crest of the Dukes of Brunswick. Confusingly, a very similar white horse of Hanover was used on British flags at this time. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)
a Grenadier battalion and a regiment.

From The English government had decided to "hire" from German princes the services of their small armies to reinforce its own. At the time, Germany, except for Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony, was divided into hundreds of small autonomous states. Thus, beginning in 1776, thousands of German soldiers crossed the Atlantic to fight alongside the British.

These British and German troops together totalled 8,000 men, approximately 5,000 of whom came from Brunswick and Hesse-Hanau. All were under the supreme command of General John Burgoyne, supported by General Friedrich Adolphus von Riedesel of Brunswick. Burgoyne's primary task was to rid Canada of the Americans, which he accomplished easily in 1776. The next year he was to go with his army to Albany in New York State to join up with the forces of General William Howe. This would cut into two the United States of America - the American colonies had declared their independence on July 4, 1776 - and thus make it easier to neutralize them.

Sapper, Brunswick Infanterie-Regiment von Riedesel, 1776-1777
Sapper, Brunswick Infanterie-Regiment von Riedesel, 1776-1777
Infanterie-Regiment von Riedesel was one of the Brunswick units that marched south with General Burgoyne in 1777. The sappers were tough, elite soldiers whose task was to clear obstacles laid by the enemy. They wore the mitre, the emblem of elite German soldiers, and their uniform was protected by a leather apron; they were equipped with an axe and a saw. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Drummer, Brunswick Infanterie-Regiment von Specht, 1776-1777
Drummer, Brunswick Infanterie-Regiment von Specht, 1776-1777
Infanterie-Regiment von Specht was one of the regiments of German mercenaries hired from the duchy of Brunswick that arrived at Quebec in 1777. It accompanied General Burgoyne's expedition south in 1777. Amongst the various German states of this period, it was still common for infantry drummers to wear a uniform in the colour of their colonel's livery. This drummer wears the yellow and red livery of the von Specht family, whose patent of nobility from the Holy Roman Empire dated from 1662. The use of this uniform in Canada is proved by surviving tailors' bills submitted by the regiment to the British authorities. Reconstruction by Derek Fitzjames. (Parks Canada)

Hat Prussian Command and Marching troops

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