Thursday, February 28, 2008

IR Prinz Wilhelm

1680 Prinz Wilhelm, 1760 Erbprinz, 1783 Prinz Friedrich, 1785 Erbprinz

Unit History
In the Seven Years War, the regiment was present at Hastenbeck, Krefeld, Lutterberg, Düsseldorf, Landernhagen, Bergen, Minden, Kloster Kamp, Brücker Mühle, and Villinghausen.
At Hastenbeck, July 1757, the regiment initially fought in the first line of the center. Later during the battle, it stormed a French battery.
On May 26 1758, the regiment was part of Wangenheim's corps encamped at Dorsten. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 23, the regiment took part to the battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (hereditary prince) of Brunswick. On October 10 at Lutterberg, the regiment fought in the first line of the centre as part of the Diepenbroick Brigade.
At Bergen, April 1759, the unit, along with the Hanoverian regiments of Linztow (7B), Post (10A) and Fersen (13A), was part of Prinz Ysenburg's corps that led the assaults on the village of Bergen. After repeated attempts to storm the village, the Hanoverian and Hessian troops withdrew. Prinz Ysenburg was killed leading repeated assaults up a steep slope against abattis around the village. The attacks went in without artillery support; the artillery was still in the rear of the baggage train. The French units in Bergen were strengthened by a reserve formed from the regiments Piémont (No. 4), Alsace (No. 36), Rohan-Montbazon, Royal-Roussillon (No. 37), and Beauvoisis. These reserves blunted the repeated attacks.
At Minden, August 1759, the regiment was located in the centre in the second line, along with the Hessian Toll, Prinz Anhalt, Gilsa, Leibgarde zu Fuss, Prinz Karl and Mansbach regiments. All units were part of Lt.-Gen. von Wutginau's brigade that supported the surprise advance of von Spörcken's corps.
At Kloster Kamp, the regiment took the heaviest losses of all the Allied units that participated.
During the American War of Independence the regiment retained the name Erbprinz after its Inhaber at the time. The regiment fought at Fort Washington and remained stationed there until 1781 once the Fort was captured. Captured at Yorktown, the regiment returned to Hessen in 1783.
The regiment was disbanded in 1806.

The regiment could easily be confused with the Prussian IR Prinz v. Preußen (No. 18). The new Hessian GMB Flags are beautiful.

Pengel & Hurt, German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press K. Trenkle, Nix wie weg… die Hesse komme, Verlanganstalt Marburg

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