January 17, 2010


After several questions on other sites where I posted the pic, I realized the Legion Hanoverienne was not a very well known unit!

The Legion Hanovrienne was created by General Mortier, Governor of Hanover, on 12 August 1803 following the French occupation. it was established as a regiment of light infantry in two battalions and a regiment of chasseurs a cheval in four squadrons. 

Desertion, sickness, and the consequences of campaigning in general, meant that neither the infantry nor cavalry elements ever realised their establishmeets. The Legion Hanovrienne was posted to the 3rd Division of Junot's Army of Portugal in 1807, where it served alongside the Legion du Midi (Which I will be adding to my collection next month). 

This Formation became the 3rd Division, VIII Corps, Army of Spain, later transferred to Soult's II Corps, where it became the 4th Division. The unit continued to serve with the Legion du Midi and both were joined in the 4th Division by the Detachement de marche of the Garde de Paris. By the beginning of 1810 the unit, still with the Legion du Midi, was in the 3rd Division of Ney's VI Corps. On 10 March 1810 the remains of the disbanded Bataillon de Westphalie, which had been combined with the Legion Hanovrienne in 1809, were used to form a second battalion.

Nevertheless, the effects of the war in Spain were such that the Legion Hanovrienne had to be disbanded on 11 August 1811. The remaining personnel were distributed amongst other German speaking regiments of the French army, 3e and 4e Etrangers, 127e, 128e and 129e de ligne. 

This information was pulled from an article by John Cook in the Age of Napoleon magazine, issue 21.

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