Home Forums Horse and Musket 18th Century C18 British Light Infantry Units

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  • #154402
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    What were the earliest light infantry units  raised and/or employed by Britain (or England and Scotland before the Act of Union) in European wars?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #154410
    Hwiccee
    Participant

    A tricky question and it depends on what exactly you are after.

    In the WSS in Spain the Spanish/Catalan allies had Miquelets – this is from 1705 to 1712. They were not raised or employed by Britain & didn’t fight in actual battles but might have operated together in sieges and skirmishes.

    In the WAS then British were often operating with the Austrians who of course had lots of Grenzers/Croats with them. But again they were not really raised/employed by Britain.

    If you don’t count the above I would say the first are in the SYW. All the Germans (Hanover, Hessse Kassel, Brunswick) that made the majority of the ‘British army’ in German had jagers and similar and they were arguably ’employed’ by Britain. In addition there was a unit called the Legion Britannique which was raised by Hanover but I think paid for directly by Britain and was kind of a light unit – it was basically rubbish so it is difficult to tell 🙂 Finally there was an ad hoc unit called Fraser’s Chasseurs which was made up of selected personnel/volunteers from the ‘Line’ units fighting in Germany. It operated in a group called Cavendish’s Chasseurs which had 1 unit of ‘jagers’ from each of the 4 main contingents in the army in Germany.

    In the SYW the first ‘proper’ British light units were raised and fought in America. After the war more were raised.

    #154413
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much Hwiccee, perfect.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #154417
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Leaving aside North America, where there were a number of Ranger units and the 80th (Gage’s) Light Infantry, Loyalist Highlanders were used as light infantry during the Battle of Culloden and the 87th and 88th Highlanders were also very effective in the Petit Guerre (scouting and raiding) during the SYW in Germany.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #154439
    Brendan Morrissey
    Participant

    Yes, Highlanders were originally regarded as the British equivalent of Grenzers/Croats/Pandours.

    You also had “picquet” companies, composed of men chosen from the 8 “hat” companies, predominantly used during the French & Indian Wars (although the Chasseur unit referred to in Germany earlier may well have been raised along similar lines).

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