The Invasion of Rugen and Battle of Stresow in 1715
was part of the anti Swedish alliances efforts against the stronghold
of Stralsund. The island of Rugen was the naval source for supplies,
etc into and out of this important fortification. Therefore it was
decided to invade and close this supply route. Further details of
the events can be found at
Schorr's Battles and Campaigns. On this page I will give
the units involved in the battle and invasion.
Swedish Army: King Charles XII
At the time of the invasion there were 4,500 Swedish
troops and 12 guns on the island. Of these 2,000 participated in
the battle of Stresow under the command of the Swedish King Charles
XII. Unfortunately not many of the units available have been identified
at the battle, those that have I have put in italics.
The following units were on the island, although as
you will see one at least almost certainly wasn't. I have also given
a guide / guess to the possible strength of the unit. This is necessary
as many of the units had lost portions in various capitulations
and other events.
Drabantkaren: A squadron sized
bodyguard unit nominally of 200 men.
Bremiska kavallerireg:te: A
maximum of 4 companies remained with a nominal strength of 400
A Holstein regiment in Swedish service, 395 men.
Pommerska regementet till
häst: A maximum of 4 companies remained with a nominal strength
of 400 men.
A Holstein regiment in Swedish service, 562 men.
Bremiska dragonreg:te: A unknown
portion left probably in the region of 100 to 200 men.
Verdiska dragonreg:te: A unknown
portion left probably in the region of 50 to 100 men.
Bassewitz or Wismarska dragonreg:te:
Nominal strength 222 men
Vietinghoffs or Barthska dragonreg:te:
Nominal strength 300 men
Benderska dragonreg:te: Unknown
size but probably less than 100 men.
Niesterska dragonreg:te (formerly
the Polska regementet till hast): Unknown size but probably
less than 100 men.
Franska dragoner or Grenadjarerna
till hast: This unit is listed as part of the Swedish forces
on Rugen but it was disbanded in 1709. Possibly included by
mistake for the unit below.
This unit is not listed as present on the island, but it took
part in the battle and suffered heavy losses there. It had a
nominal strength of 1000 men and may have been something approaching
this strength, i.e 600 to 800.
The following units were on the island. I have also
given a guide / guess to the possible strength of the unit. This
is necessary as many of the units had lost portions in various capitulations
and other events.
Size of the defending force:
Jönköpings regemente: Nominal
strength of 1100 men.
Only 6 companies remained with a nominal strength of about 900
A Holstein regiment in Swedish service, 600 men.
A unit raised in Zweibrucken with 534 men but only a few hundred
managed to make it to Sralsund / Rugen. So probably about 200
to 250 strong.
Rügenska Lant or Marinereg:te:
Nominally 500 men strong earlier in 1715.
Not listed as present but the regimental history says small
numbers left in Stralsund & Rugen, probably less than 50
The above gives us a Swedish army on the island of
approx. 4,000 infantry and 3,500 cavalry. Yet the actual total was
something like 4,500 men. So it is likely that many of the units
would be well under this strength, perhaps in the order of 40 to
60% under strength.
Allied Army: Prince Leopold of Anhalt
The Allied army consisted of Danish, Norwegian, Saxon and Prussian
troops all under the command of the Prussian general Prince Leopold
of Anhalt-Dessau. It is supposed to amount to about 19,000 infantry,
3,500 cavalry and 26 field guns, the total given in the translated
Schorr's Battles and Campaigns site. The following are
the units that were involved in the invasion. Those in italics
were actively involved in the battle of Stresow. At this battle
all the infantry was present but those in italics are most
likely to have actually participated. While for the cavalry only
those in italics were present on the island at the time of
the battle and all of them fought.
There were 8 Danish infantry battalions and 8 cavalry regiments
in the invasion force. Each of the cavalry units had 2 squadrons.
Infantry: 1 battalion each from the following regiments
- Garden Til Fods
- Dronningens Liv
- Prinds Georgs
- Prinds Carls
- Oldenborgske battalion
Eight battalions at approx. 600 to 700 men each gives about 5000
men in theory.
Cavalry: 2 squadrons (4 companies) each from the following
- 2nd Jyske Horse
- 3rd Jyske Horse
- 2nd Fynske Horse
- Holstenske (former Bernstorffs and Oldenborgske) Horse
- Dewitz (former Dithmer) Horse
- Jydskenational Ryttar (former Jyske Landmilitia Dragoons)
- Livregiment Dragoon
- Wurttemberg - Oels Dragoon
6 Horse and 2 Dragoon regiments, 7 regiments at about 280 men and
1, Wurttemburg-Oels, at 200 men gives about 2150 Danish cavalry
One battalion each from the Norske Geworbne (800 men) and
2nd Trondhjemske (650 men) regiments were present, in total about
There were 4 infantry battalions and a single dragoon regiment
of 2 squadrons in the invasion force. The number refer to the number
on Dan Schorr's Saxon
- Kurprinz or Konigl. Prinz (Infantry regiment No 3) - 'Old' regiment
- Koningin (Infantry regiment No 4) - 'Old' regiment
- Weissenfelts or Weissenfels (Infantry regiment No 27)
- 'New' regiment
- Ansbach-Kavanagh (Infantry regiment No 33) - Mercenary regiment.
- Ansbach-Flemming (Dragoon regiment No 15) - Mercenary
In theory the infantry battalions were about 700 men each, but
in practice could be very under strength. The dragoon regiments
strength is unknown but is likely to be in the region of 100 to
150 men per squadron. So the theoretical total would be 2800 infantry
and 200 - 300 cavalry.
Prussia's contribution consisted of 10 infantry battalion, 15 cavalry
squadrons and the commanding officer. The exact composition of the
Prussian contingent is not clear. Below is the most likely interpretation
but please see the Prussian army page for more details.
Infantry: 5 'Line' battalions were present, one from each
regiment. One of the regiments was probably that of Anhalt Zerbst
(IR 8). The other 4 regiments were either what were to become Infantry
9, 11 and 21 or what were to become Infantry Regiments 4, 16, 19
and 23. One of these battalions was also likely to have been involved
in the fighting, in addition to the Anhalt Zerbst battalion.
also 5 combined grenadier battalions, those of Sidow, Prinz von
Holstein, Billerbech, Barleben and Reinach. See main Prussian army
page for details. The size of these units are unknown but i think
a theoretical strength of about 500 is likely.
this would be 5 battalions at 680 men and 5 at 500 men, giving a
total of about 6000 men.
15 Prussian cavalry squadrons were sent to Rugen. Most of them have
been identified but some are still unknown. This list gives the
most likely interpretation but see the Prussian page for details.
Horse (CR 1) - 2 squadrons.
- Leib Horse
(CR 3) - 2 squadrons.
Horse (CR 10) - 1 squadron
- Leib /
Blankensee Dragoons (CR 4) - 1 squadron.
Dragoons (CR 7) - 1 squadron.
Albrecht Dragoons (CR 11) - 2 squadrons.
Dragoons (CR 12) - 2 squadrons.
- Veyne Dragoons
(DR 1) - 2 squadrons.
Dragoons (DR 3) - 2 squadrons
These 15 squadrons would have in theory about 2250 men.
Size of the invasion force:
The above totals for troops give us additional problems, namely
the numbers do not add up! For the cavalry this is not so bad as
the above breakdown of forces gives us something in the region of
4700 mounted troops instead of the 3500 quoted above. This is explainable
by the fact that most units at any time have a lower strength in
the field than the theoretical size. So a 25% or some short fall
is reasonable to expect.
The problem is with the infantry. The above totals give us a grand
total of 15,250 infantry, well short of the 19,000 expected! It
may be that the army should be 19,000 total, i.e. 3500 cavalry,
15,500 infantry and artillery, rather than as stated above. Yet
even this is suspect because you would expect the infantry to be
similarly under strength. While the total of 15,500 infantry and
artillery would have the infantry more or less at full strength.
I have no idea what the truth might be but it does seem more likely
to me that the total size of the army was more like 19,000 rather
than the 22,500 noted above. Indeed it seems likely to me that the
infantry would be actually more like 12,000 strong in the field,
i.e. the units listed above would be 20 to 25% under strength.