The Organization of the Swedish Cavalry: 1773 - 1814
I am no military expert even though I am convinced that everyone dealing with the Napoleonic ages have to have some knowledge of military matters. My personal experience of the cavalry is that I have been riding cavalry horses from Norrlands Dragon Regemente (The Dragoon Regiment of Norrland)since 1956 until 1967 at the Riding school of Umeä as a civilian. I became a "dragoon" about 4 years after the regiment changed to a snow-specialized infantry unit 1967. Lucky enough for me they still kept horses at that time. I have been a metal worker for about 13 years, but now I am a teacher of History, Geography, Social Science and Religion for children between 13-16 years of age. My collection of Napoleonic books has grown into about 120 books during the last 2.5 years, because of my re-awakened interest in the Napoleonic age.
After inquires at Napoleon Series about some Swedish cavalry formations I decided to try to sort things out. I have tried to describe the organization of the Swedish cavalry during the Napoleonic age according to my two sources and limited my work to two questions name and origin of the Swedish cavalry units that were active or could have been active, during the Napoleonic wars.
This work is limited to the questions of the origin and names of the regiments. I have not dealt with: Numbers and usually not commanders and any campaigns other than the 1813 campaign in Germany.
As a header for each unit I have used the unit-name that was used during 1813.
Konglig Majestaets Lifgarde till haest (Royal Majesty's Life Guard at Horse)
In 1773 Laetta Dragoner af Konungens Lifgarde (Light Dragoons of the King's Life Guard) became Lifgardet till Haest (Life Guard at Horse) with about 250 men. In 1778, the name was changed to Laetta Dragonerna af Konglig Majestaets Lifoch Hustrupper (Light Dragoons of Royal Majesty's Life and House troops). In 1792, it became Laetta Dragooncorpsen (Light Dragoon Corps). In 1793, it once again changed its name to Konglig Majestaets Lifhusar-regemente (Royal Majesty's Life Hussar Regiment). In 1797, it became Konglig Majestaets Lifdragoncorps (Royal Majesty's Life Dragon Corps). In 1806, its name was changed for a final time to the Konglig Majestaets Lifgarde till haest (Royal Majesty's Life Guard at Horse). The regiment took part in the campaign in Germany 1813 (Grossbeeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig) and had about 400 men.
Kongliga Husarregementet (King's Hussars)
The Kongliga Husarregementet in 1801 became the Moernerska Husarregementet. Two of its squadrons were part of Lifhusarerna (later Lifgardets till Haest) from 1794 to 1797. They took part in the campaign in Germany in 1813 and fought at Grossbeeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig and took a "glorious" part in Bornhoeft. According to Julius Mankell its name was also Husarregementet Carl XV (Hussar Regiment Carl XV) while the Nationalencyklopedin the name Kronprinsens Husarer was used in 1822 - 1859 and 1882 - 1928, when the crown princes were:
Oscar Bernadotte (1799 - 1859), Crown-Prince Oscar (1818 - 1844), later King Oscar I (1844 - 1859)
Carl Bernadotte (1826 - 1872), Crown-Prince Carl (1844 - 1859), later King Carl XV of Sweden (1859 - 1872)
Oscar Bernadotte (1829 - 1907), Crown-Prince Oscar (1859 - 1872), later King Oscar II (1872 -1907)
Gustaf Bernadotte (1858 - 1950), Crown-Prince Gustaf (1872 - 1907), later King Gustaf V (1907 - 1950)
Gustaf Bernadotte (1882 - 1973), Crown-Prince Gustaf (1907 - 1950), later King Gustaf VI Adolf (1950 - 1973)
This means that the regiment was named "Kronprinsens Husarer" during the period that Oscar I was Crown-Prince, thereafter named "Husarregementet Carl XV" as a homage to the father of King Oscar I. The same year as Prince Gustaf (V) was born it was renamed "Kronprinsens Husarer" and kept that name during the last 25 years (of 35) that Gustaf (V) was Crown-Prince and the during the first 21 years (of 43) that Gustaf (VI) Adolf was Crown-Prince.
The Skanska Regiments
After 1779, Skanska Ryttarna (Skanska Riders) became Norra Skanes Kavalleriregemente (Northern Skane's Cavalry Regiment.) In 1801, the name became Skanska Liniedragonerna (The Skane Line Dragoons) or Laetta Dragon regementet (Light Dragoon Regiment). In 1806, the name was changed to Skanska Husar-Regementet (The Hussar Regiment of Skane ) and took part of the campaign in Germany 1813 (Grossbeeren, Dennewitz and Leipzig, however only one squadron took part in Bornhoeft).
Soedra Skanska Kavalleri Regementet (Southern Skanska Cavalry Regiment .) In 1805, it became Skanska Karbinier-Regementet (The Carbinier Regiment of Skane.) In 1813, it took part in the campaign in Germany (Neu Buckow, Wismar, Bornhoeft (two squadrons)). In 1822, the name was changed to Skanska Dragon-Regementet (Skanska Dragoon Regiment.)
The Kronprinsens Husarer, Skanska Husar-Regementet, and Skanska Dragon-Regementet were joined 1928 into Skanska Cavalry Regementet (the Skane Cavalry Regiment.)
Lifregements-Brigaden (Life Regiments Brigade)
At the beginning of the reign of Carl XI, the Upplands Ryttare (Riders of Uppland) name changed to Konungens Lifregementete (The King's Life Regiment.) They had 12 companies of 150 men each. In 1792, the regiment was reorganized by dividing it into three corps, each consisting of a battalion of 500 men. They were called the Lifregements-Brigaden. Their Commander was Duke Carl, who in 1809 was crowned King Carl XIII. The first part, which was recruited mostly in Uppland, was called Lifregements-Brigadens Cuirassier-Corps and was commanded by Colonel Nils Silfverskoeld. The second part, mostly from Westmanland and Soedermanland, was transformed to infantry and called the Lifregements-Brigadens Laetta Infanteri-Corps (Light Infantery). Its commander was Colonel Ulrik Freitag. The third corps, mostly from Nerike and Westergoetland, was called Lifregements-Brigadens Laetta Dragon-Corps (light dragoons) and its commander was Colonel Peer Lagerhjelm.
Lifregements-Brigadens Cuirassier-Corps served in Germany from 1813 - 1814 (Grossbeeren, Dennewitz and Leipzig, but not Bornhoeft). In 1815, it became the Lifregementets Dragon-Corps. Lifregements-Brigadens Laetta Infanteri-Corps in 1808, became the Lifregementets Grenadier-Corps. They took part in the campaigns in Germany and Norway 1813 - 1814 (Grossbeeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig and Landtwehr close to Lubeck). Lifregements-Brigadens Laetta Dragon-Corps in 1796 became the Lifregementets Husar-Corps. They took part of the small battle of Steinhagen on 14 July 1807. They went home the same year. They took part of the "revolution" 1809, but never were in Germany or Norway.
Smaalands Laetta Dragoner (The Light Dragoons of Smaaland)
Smaalands Ryttare (Smaaland Riders) changed its name to Smaalands Kavalleriregemente (The Cavalry Regiment of Smaaland) 1709 and than changed its name again 1801 to Smaalands Laetta Dragoner (The Light Dragoons of Smaaland). Some Squardons were in Swedish Pommerania 1806 to 1807 and took part in the siege of Launenburg and the bloody battle of Alt Kosenow 1807. The regiment was divided into two corps 1812, one became infantery and the other kept the name Smaalands Laetta Dragoner and continued as cavalry. They took part of the campaign of 1813 in Germany (Grossbeern, Dennewitz, and Leipzig). In 1822 the unit changed its name once again to Smaalands Husar-Regemente (The Hussar Regiment of Smaaland).
Jemtlands Häst-Jägare-Corps (The Chasseur Corps at Horse of Jemtland)
Jemtlands Cavaleri Sqvadron (Jemtlands Cavalry Squadron) was part of Jemtlands Regemente (The Regiment of Jemtland), a infantery regiment, from the middle of the 17th century. The name was changed to Jemtlands Hästjägare-sqvadron (The Royal Chasseur Corps at Horse of Jemtland) in 1802. The unit never took part of the Napoleonic wars. In 1830(1834 according to Nationalencyklopedin) a new organization led to a change of the name to Jemtlands Häst-Jägare-Corps (The Chasseur Corps at Horse of Jemtland). 1893 the corps became a regiment and got the name Norrlands dragonregemente (The Dragoon Regiment of Norrland), 1901 it was moved from Jemtland to Umeä in Vaesterbotten
Mankell, Julius. Anteckningar Roerande Svenska Regementenas Historia (Notes About the History of the Swedish Regiments) Oerebro: N. M. Lindh; 1866. (Mankell was a well-known Swedish military historician and an active officer in the Swedish Army during the 19th century.)
Nationalencyklopedin #1 - 22, A - 1997, editor Kari Marklund, Bokfoerlaget Bra Boecker AB, Belgium, 1989-1997.(Nationalencyklopedin is the new Swedish national encyclopediawhich was begun on the initiative of the Swedish government.)