The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Conflict between the Swedes and their various neighbours between 1670s and 1721. Including topics on Danes, Saxons, Saxon-Polish, Russians and anyone else the boys in blue were mixing it with!
danschorr
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by danschorr » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:23 am

Thanks Örjan. Your comments would seem to confirm what we have determined, that a Swedish cavalry unit had a mixture of soldiers with and without a cuirass. The wearing of the cuirass would probably have been most prevalent in the King’s army, as compared to those in Courland, the Baltic provinces and Finland. Officers and perhaps NCOs would more likely have worn the cuirass. As Dannie asked, it is now a question as to whether the cuirass was worn under the coat or over the coat.
Also, thank you for providing the references. They are always helpful in separating opinion from fact.
As for your 3-männing regiment horse size comment, I have read the statement before, but in my opinion it is probably a bit of an exaggeration.

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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Tacitus » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:39 pm

Dfogleman2 wrote:Tacitus,

Thanks a lot for the information. Is there any evidence that the cuirass was worn over or under the coat, or, like the Danes, was worn over a kyller, with no coat?
The kyller was abandoned in the 1690s so these would not have been in use during the Great Northern War. I have not come across any written reference describing if the cuirass was worn over or under the coat. What evidence we have are the portraits of officers, although these cannot be viewed as representative for how they were dressed during campaign. So many of them are dressed in cuirasses worn over the now obsolete kyller and some are even portrayed in full medieval armour. The desire to be viewed as the successors to the medieval knights creates a tendency to over-emphasie armour in these portraits.

When worn togeher with the blue coat, it appears to be more common in the portraits of Swedish officers to have the cuirass under the coat rather than over it. One of my informants on cuirasses, who is active in reenactment, says that he wears his cuirass under the coat when he only wear the breastplate and over the coat if he wears the backplate as well. Judging by the paintings that he sent me and others that I have found, that would be my conclusion as well.

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Drabant Corps 1701

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Charles XII

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Charles XII in Bender.

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Carl Gustaf Creutz, commander of the Swedish right wing at Poltava.

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Magnus Stenbock with cuirass over the coat

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Magnus Stenbock with cuirass under the coat

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Another painting of Magnus Stenbock with cuirass under the coat.

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Carl Gustaf Armfelt, who led the Finnish army and then the disastrious campaign in Tröndelag 1719, in full attire (blue coat, cuirass and kyller).

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Dragoon officer Zacharias Franc who fought at the battle of Fraustadt

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Field surgeon Melchior Neumann who served in the Livregemente and treated Charles XII when he was shot before the battle of Poltava.

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Abraham Bandholtz, who served as officer in both dragoon and cavalry regiments

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Malcolm Sinclair who served as a young Guard officer in the Russian campaign.
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Tacitus » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:45 pm

danschorr wrote:The wearing of the cuirass would probably have been most prevalent in the King’s army, as compared to those in Courland, the Baltic provinces and Finland.
Bengt Nilsson checked the records of Lewenhaupt's army and no cuirasses were mentioned in the lists of defect equipment when they joined the main army. He has some lists from previous years as well and there too there is no traces of any cuirasses.
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Dfogleman2 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:21 pm

I guess an alert to Clib and Barry is in order: to be completely accurate in the new GNW line, we will need Swedish cavalry figures with cuirass over the coat, under the coat and without cuirass!
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Stenbock » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:20 pm

tacitus wrote:
As far as I know the Danes did not give a reason why they thought it was a dragoon regiment.
The book where I got my info is "Skaraborgs knektar och Västgöta ryttare", roughly; "Skaraborg's footsoldiers and Västgöta riders" by Bengt P. Gustafsson. On pages 165-166 it says (from swedish) :"Afterwards danish prisoners stated that they took the männingregiment for dragoons( the unit wore no cuirasses)."
On the subject of cuirasses being bulletproof: At least ten years ago I saw an exhibition in the swedish army museum. It showed the results of testshooting on different objects with musketballs fired from flintlock guns, dating from early 18th century. I don't whether it was supposed to be bulletproof, i.e. reinforced, but it was shoot through.
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Stenbock » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:22 pm

Stenbock wrote:
tacitus wrote:
As far as I know the Danes did not give a reason why they thought it was a dragoon regiment.
The book where I got my info is "Skaraborgs knektar och Västgöta ryttare", roughly; "Skaraborg's footsoldiers and Västgöta riders" by Bengt P. Gustafsson. On pages 165-166 it says (from swedish) :"Afterwards danish prisoners stated that they took the männingregiment for dragoons( the unit wore no cuirasses)."
On the subject of cuirasses being bulletproof: At least ten years ago I saw an exhibition in the swedish army museum. It showed the results of testshooting on different objects with musketballs fired from flintlock guns, dating from early 18th century. I don't whether it was supposed to be bulletproof, i.e. reinforced, but it was shoot through.
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Dfogleman2 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:05 pm

Another detail from Oscar Sjostrom's blog (translated by Google):

"I got an email the other day from Magnus Lindskog - eg active as a writer on karlxii.se - and he made ​​me aware of some interesting details from rekryteringsrullan for Skanska company of Adelsfanan (dated February 14, 1706 ) which, inter alia, highlights the circumstances surrounding Cornet Peter Lind's death in battle [Fraustadt] that I only quickly mention in the book ( p. 194).

The scroll shows that Lind during the battle wore a breastplate (harnesk), which he borrowed from the sick rider Sven Hierpe (who had not participated in the battle)."

This shows that (1) not everyone in the Adelsfanan had a breastplate, since Lind had to borrow one, and (2) it did not do Lind any good. I will defer to our Swedish speakers as to whether the word "harnesk" could mean breastplate or full cuirass.
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by Dfogleman2 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:35 pm

A 1704 muster role from the Roslag Company of the Livregement shows 48 of 125 cuirasses as lost. The link is here: http://www.rosocken.se/Documents/GMR_LRTH4_1704.aspx
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Re: The Cuirass and Swedish Cavalry

Post by barr7430 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:51 am

Yup Dannie, we are following this thread closely 8)
"If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you are probably right"

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