Swedish Uniforms in the battle of Narva
At the battle of Narva the
Swedish Regiments probably had the following uniforms and strengths.
The uniform information comes from Lars-Eric Höglund's book while the
strength reports comes from the work by the Swedish General Staff "Karl XII på slagfältet"
and Margus Laidre's book "Segern vid Narva". Höglund's book
only mentions the colours on the uniforms and not so much about how they
were cut. I have with a few exceptions illustrated the regiments with the
same cut as the classic Carolean uniform (also called the younger Carolean
But as early as 1700 the real uniforms could still have retained older
features such as floppy hats and coats without turnbacks. The Drabant
Corps is depicted with an older hat because an engraving of a dinner
attended by Charles XII and Augustus the Strong at Altranstädt show that the
Drabants had as late as 1706 hats with only one side folded up. It is likely
that many more regiments had this older type of hat at the time of the
battle of Kliszow.
Among the individual regiments
are the uniforms of the Finnish 3-männing infantry those that are most
uncertain. Höglund only mention that Åbo, Björneborg & Nyland's 3-männings
had grey "vadmal" (coarse wool, usually undyed) cloths and grey stockings. Tavastehus, Viborg and Savolax
3-männings had in 1702 blue coats and yellow facings but by then Åbo, Björneborg & Nyland's
3-männings also had the same blue uniforms. It is therefore probable that both 3-männing
regiments had grey vadmal cloths in 1700. In Höglund's book Åbo, Björneborg & Nyland's
3-männings are illustrated with all-grey uniforms but I am sceptical to having
all details of the uniform grey. By comparing other regiments of the same
type it is possible to gain some extra clues. All Finnish double regiments
which were raised in the same manner as the 3-männings (but later in the
year) had vadmal breeches which make it likely that also the 3-männings had
grey vadmal breeches. Information about waistcoats is remarkably rare for
Finnish infantry regiments, but in the Swedish army they were usually made of
animal hide so I have illustrated them with that. They can however also have
had grey waistcoats since they had grey breeches, which also usually were
made of animal hide in the Swedish army. On the other hand I do not believe
that the facings and lining were grey since all-grey uniforms were very
uncommon and hardly desirable. They probably had a contrasting colour and the
question really is just if it was blue or yellow. Both colours are equally
good candidates. 3-männing regiments in Sweden proper had in all cases blue
facing while all Finnish double regiments had yellow facings.
But the fact that also the Finnish 3-männing cavalry and one double cavalry
regiment (Nyland) had yellow facing would suggest that yellow was the facing
colour used for all Finnish regiments of this type (Karelska Double Cavalry
Regiment had however blue facings). The headgears are completely unknown for
both the Finnish 3-männing infantry and the double infantry regiments. The
3-männing Regiments in Sweden proper seems however to have in every case
been issued hats, regardless if their parent regiment had "karpus". I have
depicted the hats with a white trim which is what I always do when the
colour is not mentioned. During the Great Northern War there were however
many different colours on the 3-männing's hat trims. White, yellow, blue and
blue-yellow hat trims are all documented.
1 400 men
"a small number"
2 captains in command
Narva's garrison was estimated by themselves to be between 1 800 and 1
900 men. Apart from the units above this force also included 400 armed
townspeople. The commandant could also dispose of over 300 peasants who had
been sent there from Viborg County as labour to improve the fortifications.
The Ingermanland Garrison Regiment was originally recruited from the
formerly Danish province of Scania (Skåne) and at the muster in June 1699
there were still 216
Scanians serving in the regiment. The main part was however composed of 592
Finns and 416 Ingrians. Apart from these there were also 84 "Swedes", 74
Livonians and 53
Estonians as well as a few Reich-Germans, Courlanders, Danes and finally one
person each from Norway, Prussia and Poland. The average age was as high as 36
years (The Scanians were probably among the more older soldiers).
Read also about Russian uniforms
or the Swedish order of battle.