The Hompesch Hussars--Jaeger Regiment zu Pferd Des Herrn

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Pat Holscher
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Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:53 pm

The Hompesch Hussars--Jaeger Regiment zu Pferd Des Herrn, 1794-1802 by Michael Robinson, Military Collector and Historian, Vol. 64, No1, Spring 2012

This really interesting CMH articles discusses a unit raised by Baron Charles von Hompesch and his brother which served with the British against revolutionary France from 1794 to 1802. The unit was comprised of German volunteers (with quite a few French Royalist officers at first) and started off as a Hussars unit, but which ultimately became a mounted rifleman regiment.

Its a really fascinating treatment. I had no idea that non British units even served in the British Army in this period, or that anyone raised a volunteer mounted unit to serve with the British. The examination of equipment is fascinating, giving us a very early look at a mounted rifles type unit. And the article makes it plain how wars between France and the UK in this period were really world wars. This unit, for example, saw amazingly far flung service, having been used not only on the Continent against the French, but also on Santo Domingo, in Ireland (against Irish revolutionaries) and in Egypt. It suffered from high attrition in this time period, which doesn't seem to have kept Germans from volunteering for it.

A very interesting look at armies of this period, and of the global nature of the war between England and France.
Pat

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Kelton Oliver
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Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:56 pm

Pat Holscher wrote:The Hompesch Hussars--Jaeger Regiment zu Pferd Des Herrn, 1794-1802 by Michael Robinson, Military Collector and Historian, Vol. 64, No1, Spring 2012

I had no idea that non British units even served in the British Army in this period...
Bear in mind that George III of England was also prince-elector (later king) of Hanover. In a museum in Hanover, I saw a uniform from a Hanoverian unit of Englishmen and another from a Hanoverian unit of Highlanders, so a German unit in the British army wasn't a very big stretch. The English monarch's German connection was the reason he was able to easily rent units from his cousins and fellow prince-electors in what is now Germany for the American Revolution.

According to Émigré and Foreign Troops in British Service (1): 1793-1802 By René Chartrand and Patrice Courcelle, Hompesch's Hussars were raised in 1794 by Baron Charles Hompesch at Schwarm, Hanover. Although nominally under British command, they weren't "foreign" troops, but loyal Hanoverians serving their monarch.
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unclearthur
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Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:19 am

I seem to remember Norbert Landsheit of the 20th LD was ex-Hompesch Hussars, and a good number of their rankers transferred to or re-enlisted in British regiments.

Interesting that, because I'd have thought the Kings German Legion more appropriate. 'Foreign' regiments were supposedly not allowed on the British mainland (the Isle of Wight was okay, though!) but maybe after the resumption of hostilities with Napoleon in 1803 that wasn't an issue - the government just wanted as many experienced soldiers as it could get.
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