Minden Day

On this day in 1759 the British Infantry won immortal glory at the Battle of Minden.
To the 'Minden Regiments'., The Royal Anglians (12th Foot), Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (20th Foot), Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd Foot), Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (37th Foot), King's own Scottish Borderers (25th Foot) and the Light Infantry (51st Foot), Happy Minden Day!


Book Reviewer
You appear to have forgotten the role of the Royal Regiment, of which some members can also wear the rose.

(c) www.12regtra.com

12 (Minden) Battery Royal Artillery History

12 Minden Battery Royal Artillery is the senior Battery of 12th Regiment Royal Artillery


THE SEVEN YEARS WAR broke out in 1756 with no British Army units taking part in Germany until 1758, when a contingent of about 12,000 men joined the Allied Army defending Hannover. The Allied Commander-in-Chief was one of the ablest generals of his day; General Field-Marshal Ferdinand, Prince of Brunswick and Luneburg, his uncle Frederic the Great. By the time the campaign opened in 1759 the British contingent consisted of six Cavalry Regiments, six Infantry battalions and the following companies of the Royal Artillery:-

W.Phillips´Coy - 1st Bn - now 32 (Minden) Bty RA

S. Cleaveland´s Coy - 1st Bn - reduced 1819

F. Macbean´s Coy - 1st Bn - now 12 (Minden) Bty RA

Here under Ferdinand the Artillery trialled a new method of applying themselves, it was in fact the emergance of the Field Battery as we now know it, as the tactical fire unit.With guns of such limited range, concentration of fire could only be achieved by enhanced mobility and though this had been realised by Frederick the Great, who introduced “Horse Artillery” into the Prussian Army, the British Army was ill equipped to achieve it.

The Allies slowly being defeated withdrew before the superior numbers of the French, now commanded by Marshal de Contades, until Minden was captured by de Broglie on the 9th july and the whole French Army concentrated in the vicinity. Ferdinand realised that if Hannover was to be saved, the French must be defeated. Just before midnight on the 31st July, the whole French Army began to defile through Minden, this information quickly reached Ferdinand who gave the order for his columns to move east at 4am on the 1st August. The French were slow at deploying and at about 6.30 am just as de Broglie began his attack on Wagenheim, the Allies formed the general line Hartum-Stemmer.

The Light Brigades of Foy and Drummond had already come into action 300yds west of Hahlen and the former had detached his two Howitzers to support an attack on the village. Facing them was the French left wing mainly comprising of Saxon troops supported by a Battery of 30 guns. On their right and holding the French centre was the dark mass of French Cavalry and forming in front of them were six British and three Hanovarian Battalions.

Macbean was hurrying up on their right, even “putting his teams to the trot” when the six British Infantry Battalions began their amazing attack against the 63 Squadrons ranged against them. Controversy surrounds the launching of their attack but nothing can detract from the glory they won that day, which was summed up by M. de Contades in these words:-

“I never thought to see a single line of infantry break through three lines of cavalry ranked in order of battle and tumble them to ruin”

As the British infantry began to advance in two lines with three battalions in each, the enemy swung 18 guns to rake the front line, but macbean dropped into action about 200 yds to the north-east of the eastern end of the long fir wood and engaged them and for the loss of two guns eventually managed to silence them.

When the last French Cavalry had been repulsed, Macbean swung his guns on the cavalry attempting to reform and when the enemy altered formation to attack the leading British line in flank, engaged them and prevented any such attack developing. With the French Cavalry in disorder and the centre of their line breached, now was the time for the British Cavalry to attack and turn victory into a rout, but Lord George Sackville commanding the Cavalry appeared unable to understand the repeated messages which he received from Ferdinand to this effect and they remained uncommitted. So it fell to the Artillery to gather the laurels of persuit:-

“limbered up their guns and moved with astonishing rapidity along the border of the marsh, halting from time to time to pound the retreating masses of the enemy; till at last they unlimbered for good, opposite the bridge of the Bastau, and punished the fugitives so heavily that they could not be rallied until they had fled far beyond their camp”

The French Army of 51,000 had ben defeated by Prince Ferdinand and had suffered the loss of 7,000 casualties and 43 guns. The Allies numbering 33,000 had lost 2,800 casualties of which the British total was 1,394 and of this the Royal Artillery lost 2 other ranks killed.

On the 2nd August, Prince Ferdinand issued a “Compliment of Thankd” in which the following passage appears:-

“His Serene Highness is ectremely obliged to the count of Buckbourg (Grand Master of the Artillery in the Allied Army) for all his care and trouble in the management of the Artillery, which was served with great effect, likewise to the Commanding Officers of the several Brigades of Artillery, viz- Colonel Braun, Lt Colonel Hutto, Major Hasse and the three English Captains Phillips, Drummond and Foy”.

There can in fact be little doubt that if the part played by the British Infantry in this battle was decisive and unique, the other feature worthy of note was the efficiency of the British Artillery. Next to the unprecedented feat of the Infantry in attacking Cavalry, the feature that seems to have attracted most attention among both contemporary and modern critics was the remarkable efficiency of the British Artillery. Sharnhorst wrote in 1806:-

“The English Artillery have always been distinguished by their bravery in spite of the want of a judicious and systematic organisation. Their conduct at Minden gained for the them the special thanks of Prince Ferdinand”.

The Battery was also represented at the British Army´s other great victory of 1759 - Quebec. A detachment of four other ranks under Fireworker Thomas Hosmer (later to command the Battery) served on bomb vessels in the operations leading up to and culminating in the capture of the city by General Wolfe.

The Battery next saw a major action at Warburg in 1760, where as there were no infantry immediately available, the Cavalry and the Artillery were used to attack 20,000 French. The attack led by Marrquis of Granby (perhaps best known to the general public by the number of public houses named after him) was extremely succesful and the French were routed.
Happy Minden Day to you all.
Minden Day greetings to

The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
The Royal Anglian Regiment
The Royal Welch Fusiliers
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
The Light Infantry
12 (Minden) Battery, Royal Artillery

Today as on every Minden day I am wearing my old regimental tie.
Another Happy Minden Day.
you all go on about the honour, but how many of you were actually posted there when it was a military post????? Then the rest of you probably wouldn't know where it is. Look for Herford on the map and glance slightly right and you will find it. I was there for 5 years and had to run the bloody ridge every week. So I remember it for real, you lot just look in the history books

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