Freicorps - Luckner's Hussars

1757 Luckner

Unit History
Raised in 1757 from men in the Dutch service by Rittmeister Nicolas v. Luckner, the unit was increased in size over the years, until, in 1760, it contained four squadrons. The first officers were Hungarian and most of the enlisted were foreigners. However, as the reputation of the unit began to grow, natives of Hanover began entering. The unit was heavily involved in the kleinkrieg in the Western theatre. The uniform worn here is from around 1760 and changed soon after. The unit was present at Warburg incurring the wrath of the British command because it stayed to pillage the baggage of the retreating French.
At Krefeld, June 1758, the regiment was located in the left wing along with the cavalry regiments Hammerstein (No. 2B), Dachenhausen Dragoons (No. 5C), Ruesch Hussars (No. 5), and Grothaus (No. 3A) as part of the brigade under Lt.-Gen. Spörcken.

The inhaber, Johann Nickolaus Luckner, was born the son of an innkeeper and hop dealer on January 12, 1722 in Charn which is located in the poor, heavily forested Upper Palatinate. Entering the Bavarian Army in 1737, he served with the Infantry Regiment Morawitzky. By 1745 he was an Oberleutnant in the Ferrari Hussars. In 1757, Luckner entered the Hanoverian army. First, as Rittmeister, he raised a troop of hussars, which took his name. Luckner rose in rank each year, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1758, Colonel in 1759, Major-General in January of 1760 (adding the title "von") and Lieutenant-General in 1761. After the war, he accepted an appointment in the French Army as Lieutenant-General and command of the Regiment Burgundy. With the French Revolution, he was promoted to Marshal of France and took command of the Revolution's Northern Army in the Flanders. After resigning he pressed his claim for pension on a bankrupt regime and headed to Paris in 1792. Under suspicion with the radicals, who were now in power, and, having become a Danish Count in 1784, he suffered the fate of many who held a title - meeting the guillotine on January 4,1794 aged 71.

The perfect unit for Hussars – a reputation for looting and pillaging is all you can ask. I painted the unit in the early colours and used Dixon’s Prussian Hussar as the figure. The uniform change in 1760 changed both the hat worn (from a militron to a busby) but also changed the uniform from a green coat with yellow braid and red trousers to an almost all white uniform with yellow braiding which is the uniform shown in the Knötel card image. Unit painted in the fall of 2005.

Text: K. Bunger, Graf Nikolaus Luckner A Short Biography, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. XI No.4
Pengel & Hurt, German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press
J. Mollo, Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63, Blandford Press, page 190.
Images: Knötel cards at

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