Monday, 23 March 2015


Here is the Commander in Chief of the Hessian Army – the Erbprince (Crown prince),  assisted by Lieutenant-General Prince Christian Ludwig of Isenburg-Birstein. On the base is also a Calvinist pastor reading the Scriptures to his bored looking congregation. The Erbprinz has converted to Catholicism and so is perhaps less than attentive and Prince Christian just looks thoughtful.

Prince Frederick, the Erbprinz and future Landgrave Frederick II, converted to Catholicism in 1749 and this army is designed for the mid 1750s and this caused something of a difficulty in the Calvinist state (see my early post on this blog titled Landgrave William VIII). Frederick is in his early 30s age-wise.

His companion is, on the other hand, a seasoned old military salt probably sent by the Erbprinz’s father to keep an eye on his son and make sure he does not do anything foolish with the Landgraviate’s major money-spinning asset – it’s army. Christian Ludwig von Isenburg-Birstein was born on October 10 1710 in Birnstein. He was the son of Prince Wolfgang Ernst I of Isenburg and Budingen and Princess Friederike Elisabeth von Leiningen-Dagsburg. In January 1741, he was appointed Chef of the Reiter Regiment von Diemar (K4). In 1746, he was apppointed major-general and in 1750 lieutenant-general and Kommandeur of the Hessian Corps in the Low Countries and, later, of the 8,000 strong Hessian Corps stationed in England during 1756. A close friend of the Landgrave, he left the army in 1757 and was awarded “Ritter des Deutschen Orden”. His younger brother (who was killed at the battle of Bergen in the SYW), commands the Grenadier brigade.

Finally, uniforms. The Erbprinz wears the colonel’s uniform of his own Infantry Regiment (IR7) and Prince Christian wears the colonel’s uniform of the 4th Horse Regiment mentioned above. Two of the portraits show the Erbprinz post 1760 when he has become Landgrave of Hessen Kassel. The third portrait shows a much younger Erbprinz in his Prussian Infantry uniform but I don’t think he would have worn this uniform when he was on the field commanding Hessian soldiers.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

IR5 Leib Regiment

The unit was raised in 1688 as “Prinz Friedrich” regiment of foot. It took part in the campaign against the Turks in Greece. In 1698, the unit became known as the “Prinz Friedrich Bataillon”. In 1702, the unit was renamed “Prinz Friedrichs Regiment zu Fuß“ (aka Erbprinz). When the Erbprinz (Hereditary Prince) Friedrich became King of Sweden in 1721, the regiment assumed the name König (King’s) regiment.

The regiment was part of the Imperial District contingent during the Wars of the Spanish and Austrian Successions. In 1746, the regiment was sent to Scotland. In 1751, the regiment was renamed “Leibregiment Infanterie”. From 1760, it bore the name of its Kommandeure.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Chefs of the regiment were:
-since 1751: Landgrave Wilhelm VIII.
-from 1760 to 1785: Landgrave Friedrich II.

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Kommandeure assuming effective command of the regiment was, from 1749 until 1776, Major-General von Wutginau who, in my OOB, commands this brigade as well.

During the American War of Independence, as “Regiment Landgraf”, the regiment was sent to North America and fought at Fort Washington, Newport and Spingfield. In 1789, the regiment was amalgamated with Infanterie Regiment Nr. 7.

I have now done 5 out of 12 Foot Regiments so 'progress'!! Figures are all Black Hussar except for the officer who is from Foundry.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Prinz Wilhem Cavalry K1

Here is the first of four Hessian Horse regiments, each consisting of two squadrons or about 300 men in total. There were also two dragoon regiments of 4 squadrons each.

This regiment was raised in 1672 and had a distinguished service record. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment took part in the battles of Blenheim (August 13, 1704), Castiglione (September 8, 1706), Oudenarde (July 11, 1708) and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).

Each squadron carried a standard and I show both examples. Figures are a mix. The horses are all from Front Rank as are the officer, standard bearer and musician. The rank and file are from Crusader. The illustration is from Saudelli and Pagan.