Dated: February 15, 2004.
Sweden-Finland in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and
Swedish-Finnish infantry uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars
by Björn Bergérus
Stockholm, Sweden, February 12th 2004
Sweden-Finland in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
As part of the Third Coalition Sweden fought France in and around Swedish Pomerania, North Germany 1805-1810. Swedish-Pomeranian losses were some 6.000 killed or taken prisoner. As a result of the treaty of Tilsit in 1808 between Napoleon and tsar Alexander, Russia and Denmark declared war on the joint kingdom of Sweden-Finland. The war was fought in Finland, on the islands of Åland and on the eastern coast of Sweden. Border clashes also occurred along the Swedish-Norwegian border. Swedish-Finnish casualties accumulated to some 20.000. In 1813, as part of the Northern Army, led by the newly elected Swedish Crown Prince and former French Marshal Bernadotte, the Swedish fought France and her allies in Germany. The Swedish single-handedly repulsed Ney's French around Dessau and Rosslau and took part in the storming of Leipzig, but where otherwise largely kept in the background. Total Swedish losses were only some 500. As allied to France, Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden. To enforce the agreement Sweden invaded Norway in 1814, which became Sweden's last war till the present day.
The Swedish-Finnish infantry uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars
Dark-blue greatcoat with gilt buttons. White leather gauntlets. Black riding-boots with gilded spurs. Black bicorne with gold lace, a gold-yellow cockade, probably with a blue centre under two gold straps attached with gilt buttons. The plume's lower half is mid-blue and the upper half in yellow. Belt most likely in black with gold buckle. Black leather scabbard with gilt fittings. Sword handle in gold and the sword-strap striped in gold and mid blue.
By swapping heads with the infantry figures you would have an officer of that type. The upturned facings at the front should in such a case be in the same facing-colour as used by the troops.
The uniform is as shown on the box cover; 1812-regulation of the Svea Life Guards (“Svea Livgarde”). For parade the gaiters were white, as shown, but for campaign black with brass buttons. The ammunition pouch is in plain black leather.
The Second Guards Regiment or before 1809 the Finnish Guards (“Andra gardet” or “Finska gardet”) had the same uniform, but with lapels and turnbacks in scarlet. The cuffs, collar and perhaps even the epaulettes may also have been scarlet from 1813.
Sharpshooters of the regiment possibly wore deep green coats and breeches with plume and crest in green, belting in black and black gaiters ending just below the knee.
The uniform is as shown on the box - the Grenadier Corps of the Life Regiment Brigade (Livregementsbrigadens grenadjärkår). The ammunition pouch is in plain black leather.
The sharpshooters of the regiment had the same uniform, in the same colour, but with green plume and crest and black belting.
The uniform has the same colour scheme as the line-infantryman showed on the box, but with the scarlet lace on the overalls trimmed in gold. The epaulettes are in gold. The overalls could either be grey, as for the line-infantryman, or dark-blue. The belt is black with a gold buckle.
The uniform is as show on the box - 1810-regulation, which is what the Swedish line infantry would have looked like at the start of the Leipzig-campaign in 1813. The flask/container on the backpack is in copper.
The sharpshooters of the line regiments wore the same uniform but with a headgear like the Life Guards with plume and crest in green.
The shako is in deep green with a black upturned peak and green plume. The coat is in mid-grey with lapels, collar, cuffs and turnbacks in deep green piped white, buttons in brass. The front tips of the collar are decorated with a thin semicircular white round lace that would form a complete circle if the collar were pressed together. The gaiters are black with brass buttons. The belt either painted black with a brass buckle or a yellow sash with two mid blue stripes, as made on the figure.
There were three Finnish sharpshooter regiments: the Savolax Rifle Regiment (Savolax jägarregemente), the Nyland Rifle Batallion (Nylands jägarbatalion) and the Carelian Rifle Corps (Karelska jägarkåren).
The coat and breeches are in deep green, brass buttons. The collar, cuffs, turnbacks are in very dark green - resembling black - piped white. The gaiters are black with brass buttons. The headgear is black with a green plume and crest. The belting is black. The waist sash is yellow with two mid blue stripes.
The “Värmlands fältjägare” was the only Swedish sharpshooter-regiment.
Stockholm, Sweden, February 12th 2004
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