Hanoverian and Dutch Armies in the Great Northern War: Organisation and Deployment

The Campaign in Holstein-Gottrup (1700).

Units of the Dutch and Hanoverian armies were first active in the Great Northern War in 1700. The Danes had invaded this territory and the units were part of an international rescue force that was sent to eject them for the duchies. They joined elements of the Holstein army (including some Swedish units) and a detachment from the Swedish army. While there were no battles this force succeeded in lifting the Danish siege of Tonning. In combination with the landings of Swedish troops in Denmark it was to force them out of the war, at least for the time being. The following is a break down of the troops that were sent by the Dutch and by the Duchies of Luneburg-Celle and Luneburg-Hannover. In addition I have given some details of the Swedish contingent to this force. These are the units which were part of the campaign, but not in Holstein-Gottrup service.

I would like to thank Mark Stevens, Mads Kofoed and others for there help in preparing this page.

The Dutch:

Hollands contribution to this force consisted of 4 infantry regiments / battalions, 3 Horse regiments and a Dragoon regiment. There appears to be a marked difference between the size of these units and what their official organisation calls for. Possible this is just a result of the normal 'wastage' a unit suffers while on campaign. Yet the units should be at, or near, their full strength as it was the beginning of their service in this war and the Marlburian wars. I feel therefore that it is more likely that the units are under strength as they are not fully mobilised yet. The strengths they appear to have might reflect peace time establishments, as they would have had little time to build up to war strength before going to Holstein.

Which ever is true they certainly don't appear to have been very presentable. It being said about them that "It appears as if neither the men or the horses made a particularly good impression".

Infantry:

The following units were sent to Holstein in 1700, Holstein-Beck's Foot, Weller's Foot, Keppel's Foot and Capol's Swiss Foot. Each of them was a single battalion and appears to have had a strength of about 500 men, possibly organized as 10 companies of 40 to 50 men.

Official Dutch organization called for battalions to be of 12 companies of 70 to 75 men, but usually they numbered about 700 in the field. The Dutch Swiss units were supposed to have a different organization, 4 companies of 150 to 200 men to a battalion. Once again they tended to have about 700 men in the field. Capol's regiment at the time only had one battalion with the second being raised in 1701.

Nevertheless the units in Holstein appear to be about 500 strong, giving a total of about 2000 Dutch infantry. Perhaps as a result of the speed of their dispatch to Holstein. Also there is a possibility that the Holstein-Beck regiment still had pikes at that time. They are reported as having 140 pike men amongst their ranks in 1701.

Cavalry:

Three Horse regiments were sent to Holstein-Gottrup in 1700, Albermarle's Carabiniers, Ostfriesland's and Aughrim's Horse. The Carabiniers consisted of 3 squadrons and the two Horse of one each. Squadrons were supposed to be made up of three companies of 67 men for the Horse and 50 for the Carabinier. While the Horse were supposed to have two squadrons per regiment. Once again I feel that under strength, peace time establishment units were sent. All the companies in Holstein seem to have had about 40 to 50 men in a company. Giving regimental strengths of 360 to 450 for the Carabiniers and 120 to 150 for each of the Horse.

Dopf's Dragoons were also dispatched to Holstein in 1700. They should have consisted of 8 companies of about 80 men, but yet again they seem to have had 8 companies of 40 to 50 men. Giving a regimental strength of 320 to 400.

The total number of Dutch cavalry sent was 1000.

Hanoverian Notes:

In 1700 the state of Hanover did not exist instead there were two duchies, the duchies of Hanover-Calenburg and Luneburg-Celle. By a dynastic arrangement the two duchies were united under George Ludwig in December 1703. Prior to this the two states had maintained there own separate armies. Below is a list of the units in each of the armies and there colonels in 1700. The numbering system is the number that the unit would have in later Hanoverian armies.

Duchy of Luneburg-Celle:

Infantry Battalions: Initially 11 battalions and later 12, including one battalion of guards.

  • Foot Guards (G.R.)
  • Mally de Charles (1A)
  • Von Bernstorff (1B)
  • De Luc (2A)
  • La Motte (3A)
  • De Breuil in 1703, probably 2nd battalion of La Motte regiment earlier (4B)
  • Von Rantzau, 1st battalion (5B)
  • Von Weyhe (6A)
  • Von Rantzau, 2nd battalion (6B)
  • Von Hodenberg on 1707, probably 2nd battalion of De Luc regiment earlier (7B)
  • Von Tozin (8A)
  • Prinz von Mecklenburg · Strelitz, raised in 1702 (11A)

Mounted Units: 3 Cavalry regiments, including the guard, and 2 Dragoon regiments. See also Combined regiments.

  • Gardes du Corps (LAG)
  • De Frechappel Cavalry (2CA)
  • De Boisdavid Cavalry (3CB)
  • Von Viller Dragoons (5C)
  • Von Botmer Dragoons (6C)

Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg:

Infantry Battalions: 8 battalions including one of guards.

  • Garde zu Fuss (G.R.)
  • Von Starke (3B)
  • St Pol des Estanges (5A)
  • D·Herleville (7A)
  • Von Gohr (8B)
  • Von Treuenfels (9B)
  • Von Schlegel (10A)
  • Von Austenrath (11B)

Mounted units: 4 Cavalry regiments, including the guard, and 2 Dragoon regiments. See also Combined regiments.

  • Leib Horse (1CA)
  • De Noyelles Cavalry (3CA)
  • Von Voigt Cavalry (4CA)
  • Von Pentz in 1701, von Podewilles earlier? (4CB)
  • Von Buelow Dragoons (7C)
  • Von Schulenburg, in 1701, Dragoons (8C)

Combined Regiments:

A cavalry unit raised jointly by both states.

Von Goeden Cavalry (2CB)

Duchy of Luneburg-Celle:

The Duchy of Luneburg-Celle contributed a combined Guard Horse and Dragoon squadron, 2 Horse regiments, 2 Dragoon regiments and 5 Foot regiments with a total of 7 battalions. Once again there appears to be a significant difference between the 'official' strength and what was sent, perhaps for the reasons discussed above.

Infantry:

The De La Motte, De Luc, Rantzau, Carl (probably De Charles, 1A) and Bernstorff regiments of foot were sent by Luneberg-Celle to Holstein in 1700. De La Motte's and De Luc's regiments had 2 battalions and the others only one. Unfortunately it is not clear which of the two battalions of Von Rantzau·s regiments was involved.

Battalions involved: 1A, 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B, 7B and either 5B or 6B. Also possibly the Guard battalion (G.R) see below in Hanover-Calenburg infantry.

The organization of the 1700 - 2 period called for each battalion to have 6 Musketeer companies of 110 men and one of Grenadiers with 96 men. Giving a battalion strength of either 781 or 742 depending on the source. Yet once again a different organization appears to have been used in Holstein. Here they appear to have had 6 companies of about 85 men, giving a battalion strength of 500 - 510.

In total about 3,550 Luneburg-Celle infantry served in Holstein.

Cavalry:

Horse: Squadrons of Horse were supposed to have 3 companies, 2 in the combined Guard Horse and Dragoon squadron, of 73 men. There were 2 squadrons in a normal unit and 1 in the combined Guards, giving a nominal strength of about 450 each for the Horse regiments and about 150 for the Guards. Yet again though in Holstein a different picture emerges. The same structure appears to have been used, but with only 50 per company. This gives the two Horse regiments, Boisdavid's and Frechapelle's, a strength of about 300 men each in this campaign.

Dragoons: Two regiments of Dragoons were sent to Holstein in1700, De Villier's and Von Bothmer's. They had a similar regimental structure to the Horse, but with an official strength of 89 men per company. Giving an official total of about 550 men for each regiment. These units also appear to have been under strength during this campaign, but only perhaps by the normal wastage a unit suffers on campaign. They had 80 men per company during the campaign, giving each regiment about 480 men.

In total about1,760 Luneburg-Celle cavalry were sent to Holstein.

Mounted units involved: 2CA, 3CB, 5C and 6C. Also possibly the Garde du Corps regiment (LAG), see below in Hanover-Calenburg mounted units.

Duchy of Hanover-Calenburg:

The Garde du Corps Squadron, 4 or 5 Horse regiments (including the Leib and Garde du Corps (one squadron only?) regiments) and 4 infantry regiments with a total of 5 battalions (including 2 from the Foot Guard) were sent on this campaign by the Duchy. In contrast to the other contingents these units appear to be at or near their listed strength, the difference perhaps being explained by the normal campaign wastage.

Infantry:

Infantry battalion consisted of 7 companies of 112 men, giving a battalion approximately 800 men. In the campaign though the battalions appear to have had about 700 men. A reasonable total for such a unit while in the field. 4 regiments were sent to Holstein, the Foot Guards, St. Pols, d'Herleville's and von Schlagel's. The Foot Guards had 2 battalions and the others only one. This though poses a problem as Hanover-Calenburg did not have two guard battalions! The most obvious answer is that the second guard battalion is the Luneburg-Celle battalion. I have assumed this but if you have better information please contact me.

A total of about 3,500 Hanover-Calenburg foot served in Holstein.

Battalions involved: Garde zu Fuss (G.R.), 5A, 7A and 10A. The fifth battalion is the Luneburg-Celle guard battalion.

Cavalry:

The Garde du Corps, Leib regiment, von Podewille's Horse, von Voight's Horse and de Noyelle's Horse were sent to Holstein.

Von Podewile·s regiment is a minor problem as he is not listed as the commander of any of the cavalry regiments. But as there is only one other regiment that can not be identified it is likely that this is unit 4CB, commanded by von Pentz in 1701. While the Garde du Corps is actually a Luneburg-Celle unit. As a similar thing appears to have happened with the guard infantry it may be that all the guard units were kept together. Thus mistakenly being thought to be Hanover-Calenburg units. Once again this seems the most likely answer but please contact me if you know more.

Mounted units involved: 1CA, 3CA, 4CA and 4CB.

The regiments had 2 squadrons each, except for the Garde du Corps which had only one. Squadrons had 3 companies of 75 men each. This would give the regiments about 450 men or 225 men for the Garde du Corps, a total of approximately 2,000 men. They are though listed as having a total of 1,500 men. This would give companies about 55 to 60 men each and regiments of about 320 to 350, or 150 to 170 for the Garde du Corps.

Sweden:

The Swedish army also provided a contingent to the relief force, in addition to those Swedish units serving as part of the Holstein force, see The Holstein-Gottrup Army . A total of 2 regiments of Horse, 1 of Dragoons and 5 or 6 infantry regiments (10 or 12 battalions) were in this force.

Infantry:

Swedish infantry regiments normally consisted of 2 battalions of 4 companies each. A company had 150 men, including 50 pike armed men. Giving a battalion about 600 men. The units sent to Holstein on 1700 seem to have complied with this organisation. They were the Skaraborgs, Sodermanlands, Kronobergs, Ostgota and Riksankedrottningens Livregemente i Pommern units. All but the last of these were Indelt regiments, while the last was a Varvat unit. There is a strong possibility that another Indelta regiment was also present, the Jonkopings regiment, but my sources do not agree on this.

Cavalry:

Swedish cavalry regiments had an official strength of 1000 men, divided into 8 companies of 125 men. It is though extremely unlikely that the units that participated in this campaign were ever that strong. The maximum recorded strength of these units was 800 men