Hanseatic Legion

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Hanseatic Legion
Hanseatische Legion
Image of military unit
Hanseaten. Hamburg contingent of the Hanseatic Legion and Hamburger Bürgermilitär. 1813–14
Active 1813 (1813)–?
Country Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck
Nickname(s) Hanseaten
Engagements Battle of the Göhrde
in the Napoleonic Wars
Karl August Friedrich von Witzleben

The Hanseatic Legion was a military unit, first formed of a group of citizens from Hamburg. They had met in 1813 on the instigation of General Friedrich Karl von Tettenborn, in order to fight in the War of the Sixth Coalition. This association of volunteers was joined immediately by volunteers from Hamburg's sister cities Bremen and Lübeck.

The Legion should not be confused with the Hamburger Bürgermilitär (Hamburg Citizen Militia). During their time of coexistence, the militia restricted itself to ejecting the French garrisons of Hamburg and the other Hanseatic League cities, whereas the Legion also participated in the rest of the campaign under Russian overall command.


The Legion defended the Hanseatic cities against Davout's and Vandamme's troops until Tettenborn completed the raising of their sieges in the night of 29/30 May 1813. The Legion and the Hanseatischen Bürgergarden went with Count Tettenborn and in Mecklenburg joined the Allied northern army under Wallmoden's command, later taking part in the fighting in the area around Mecklenburg and in parts of the Duchy of Schleswig.

The members of the Legion returned to Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck on 30 June 1814, and all received the "Kriegsdenkmedaille der drei Hansestädte" (War-Medal of the three Hanseatic-League cities) in 1815.

See also


  • Perthes: W. Perthes Leben. Bd. 1 Gotha (1892)
  • Heilwig Prosch: Die Hanseatische Legion 1815 nach Senatsakten und Familienbriefen. In: Der Wagen 1960, S. 66–77.
  • Uniforms of the Legion

External links