Jägers, also colloquially referred to as Hessians, were a detachment of troops of German mercenaries that were contracted by the British to fight in the American Revolutionary War. However, they operated independently of most British protocols.
Disciplined and well trained in the woodlands of Southwestern Germany, Jägers specialized in deep forest and wilderness combat, tactics and reconnaissance, as well as unconventional warfare. As such, they were regarded as an elite scouting unit, used for surveying an area ahead of a body of troops or leading the way on the front lines.
The Jägers gained a fierce reputation as fearsome warriors and reliable, disciplined troops, and they were well respected within the ranks of the British Army.
There were two types of Jägers located in Colonial America during the American Revolutionary War.
- Loyalist Jägers, found within the British Army, wore a olive-green coat with red trim, black boots and a tricorn hat with a red feather.
- Patriot Jägers, found within the Continental Army, wore a green coat with gold trim, black boots, and a metal helmet with black horsehair trim.
During the American Revolutionary War, Jägers were the toughest enemies in that they could not be directly attacked, counter-attacked, or thrown. Whenever Connor attempted to do so, it would result in a parry or a retaliatory counter. The only known ways to kill them were to use the environment, lethal tools, turning them into human shields, or through disarming them and repeatedly attacking the Jägers while they were vulnerable.
Jägers were not altogether common in the cities of Boston and New York; however, when Connor became notorious, they would comb the city, actively searching for him. As a guard archetype, Jägers were smarter and much more aggressive than plain British Regulars, and would employ advanced tactics and detection skills. Accompanying this, Jägers were highly agile and could chase Connor across rooftops.
In terms of weaponry, Jägers were commonly seen using sabers and flintlock pistols, and would punch and lunge their weapons in close quarters, as well as attacking from a distance. Usually, Jägers would attack in quick succession, of 3 to 4 thrusts, making it harder for them to be countered. They also carried some grenades, and would occasionally throw them during combat. Some soldiers would use muskets in battle.
- In German, Jäger means "huntsman" or "hunter".
- On a historical note, Jägers were a type of skirmisher, meaning that they were, like most other Hessian auxiliaries, suited to the use of muzzle-loading firearms. However, Jägers were also trained in the basics of melee infantry, and thus, they carried sabers on their person in case the need arose for close quarters combat. This is ironic, given their in-game efficiency at close distances and their seemingly proficient approach to swordsmanship. They were not however, trained in the use of grenades, contradictory to their in-game ability to toss them at the player. As Jägers were only a small division of Hessian troops, other divisions such as Hessian Grenadiers were trained to use such weapons.They were armed with rifles or muskets and were used to snipe, raid, or skirmish. Contradicting the game, Jägers never used pistols unless they had the rank of an officer; since they were armed with muskets or rifles in reality, they would not be able to chase at such a speed. Additionally, Jägers were not the only kind of Hessian who wore blue uniforms.
- Seemingly ironic, Jagers in real life did not fare well against Patriot forces and were subjected to heavy casualties that resulted several battles being lost. In fact, many were inexperienced by the time of the revolution, contrasting them to their game counterparts.
- While the Continental Army had their own variant of Jägers in-game, the Patriot forces never actually hired any Hessian mercenaries during the American Revolutionary War. However, the Patriots did give land and compensation to any Hessians who deserted the British Army.
- Jägers commanded forts that were under British control, and were required to be killed for the fort to be captured by the Continental forces.
- Jacob Zenger, a recruit of Connor's and later an Assassin, was a Hessian soldier until he arrived in the British colonies of America.
- The term "Hessian" originated from Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. Since the British Army required additional troops, Frederick II rented out his Hessian regiments to Great Britain, in which he raised a substantial fortune. Regiments from Hesse-Kassel also served the British in the suppression of the Rebellion of 1798 in Ireland. The term was used later to informally describe those of the King's German Legion in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
- French and British Captains during the Seven Years' War in Assassin's Creed: Rogue wear an outfit similar to the Jägers and fought in the same manner, albeit they were weaker in combat, as they were easily countered and incapacitated.