Tuesday 1 February 2022

Willz Harley's Hanoverian Légion Britannique with some of my flags

The Légion Britannique was raised for service in the Hanoverian Army in 1760. It was paid for by the British government and apparently carried flags of British pattern, although its officers were Hanoverian. It consisted of 5 battalions, each of 4 infantry companies and a dragoon squadron; the strength of each battalion was intended to be 500 infantry and 101 dragoons.

As the Légion was raised from deserters, foreigners and sometimes prisoners of war, its quality can be imagined, and losses from desertion and capture were many. Despite its inauspicious make up, units of the Légion were capable of distinguished service, as with the 3rd battalion which fought well in the defence of Hamm in 1761 and the 2nd battalion which was overcome at the defence of Meppen only after a fierce resistance. French prisoners taken at Warburg in July 1760 were later enlisted in the Légion's light companies.

I created a sheet of infantry flags for the Légion based on the description in Niemeyer and Ortenburg's text on the Hanoverian Army, which states that the flags were those of British pattern, using the facings as depicted in the book as a guide to the regimental colours. Willz Harley has painted up units of the Légion and used my flags, and he gave me permission to show these pictures of his splendid troops with my flags.