Alt-Colloredo Infantry

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Origin and History

On 14 March 1681, Ludwig Anton Prince of Pfalz-Neuburg, bother-in-law of Emperor Leopold I offered him to raise an infantry regiment at his own expenses. On 18 March in Linz, the emperor issued the relevant decree. The “Hofkriegsrat” (War Council) decided, that 7 companies of recently enlisted recruits initially destined to Starhemberg Infantry and Souches Infantry should rather be given to the new regiment. The “Leibkompanie” should be enlisted in Salzburg.

On 27 May 1681, Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Baron Areizaga notified the proprietor of the regiment that 3 coys had been enlisted in Philippsburg. By 8 October, the complete regiment was at Günzburg. It consisted of 2 battalions, each of 5 companies.

By 1682, 5 coys of the regiment were stationed at Philippsburg and 5 coys in the western part of the Monarchy (Österreichische Vorlande). On 12 March, the latter 5 coys were sent to Villingen. In April, a battalion (5 coys) was transported to Austria by boats. Financial problems forced the officers of the regiment to pay 800 fl. to their men by themselves. The battalion, under the command of Major Baron Röder finally joined the army at its camp near Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK) on the right bank of Danube.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, Röder's battalion took part in the defence of Vienna. The other battalion, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Areizaga fought under the Prince of Lorraine against Thököly's rebels in Hungary. In September, after the victory at Vienna, the regiment assembled at Schwechat. In January 1684, 500 recruits arrived from Silesia. The regiment was thus increased to 3 battalions, each of 4 coys. However, in the ensuing campaigns, it formed only 2 battalions. On 16 March, Franz Christoph Baron Areizaga was promoted to colonel and appointed commander of Leopoldstadt (present-day Leopoldov/SK). Baron Röder was then appointed lieutenant-colonel. During the following years, the regiment fought against Turks and Thököly's rebels in Hungary. In 1685, the regiment was at the siege of Neuhäusel and at the Battle of Gran; in 1686, at the siege of Ofen; in 1687, at the Battle of Mohacs. In 1687 and 1688, there were 7 coys campaigning with the main army while 3 coys assumed garrison duty in various fortresses.

In October 1689, the regiments (now 2,100 men strong) was sent against the French on the Rhine. It took part in the storming of Mainz and then formed part of the garrison of this fortress.

On 4 May 1694, the proprietor of the regiment, Ludwig Anton Prince Pfalz-Neuburg, died in Liège (in present-day Belgium). On 2 July, GFWM Hans Karl von Thüngen, commander of the Fortress of Mainz, was appointed proprietor. On 11 August, the regiment contributed 4 companies for the creation of Deutschmeister Infantry.

In 1698, the regiment (12 coys for a total of 1,800 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Tocika) was sent to Philippsburg where it assumed garrison duty until 1701.

In 1702, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Landau and in the Battle of Friedlingen; in 1703, in the defence of the Lines of Stollhofen; in 1704, in the Battle of the Schellenberg (only its grenadiers), in the Battle of Blenheim, in the siege and capture of Ulm, and in the recapture of Landau. During the campaign of 1705, the regiment remained at Philippsburg. In 1706, it was sent to Hungary to quench Rákóczi Uprising where it was at the capture of Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU). In 1707, the regiment remained in Hungary and Transylvania and did not take part in any major action. At the beginning 1708, the regiment was transferred from Hungary to Germany and then to the Low Countries where it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde and the siege and capture of Lille. In 1709, it took part in the siege of Tournai and in the Battle of Malplaquet; in 1710, in the sieges of Douai and Béthune; in 1712, in the siege of Le Quesnoy and in the defence of Freiburg. In 1713, the regiment was posted in the Lines of Ettlingen.

As per the Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759 and Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760, the regiment counted 4 battalions (2 grenadier coys and 16 fusilier coys) for a total of 2,300 men. This was the administrative organisation of the regiment. However, the tactical organisation differed: 2 field fusilier battalions, each of 6 companies; 2 grenadier companies (usually converged with grenadiers from other battalions into an ad hoc unit); and 1 garrison battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

  • since 5. February 1744 till 1785: Anton Count von Colloredo zu Waldsee

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • from 1753: Colonel Franz Moriz Count Lacy (promoted to GFWM after Lobositz in 1756)
  • from October 13 1756: Colonel August Anton Prince von Lobkowitz (prisoner of the Prussians from December 1757 to 1763)
  • from 1763: Colonel Blasius Kolumbanus von Bender (interim commander since December 1757)

After the war, the regiment garrisoned Neustadt (present-day Nové Město n. Metují/CZ), Müglitz (present-day Mohelnice/CZ) and Prossnitz (present-day Prostějov/CZ).

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 20".

Service during the War

On 25 September 1756, Colonel Lacy was sent with 2 bns of the regiment, 2 bns of Browne Infantry, 400 Grenzer light troops, 4 carabinier coys and 8 guns to Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ) to defend the region near Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem/CZ). Prior to thebattle of Lobositz. Lacy returned to the main army and was assigned to the vanguard. On 1 October during the battle, Lacy with this regiment, Browne Infantry and 6 grenadier coys attacked the Lobosch hill. After a heroic fight which lasted for two hours, Lacy retreated. He was wounded in Lobositz where most houses were afire. The regiment managed to rejoin the main army behind Lobositz. In this battle, the regiment lost 2 officers and 73 men killed; 2 officers and 62 men wounded; and 46 men missing. On October 13, Lacy was promoted to GFWM while August Anton Prince Lobkowitz was promoted to colonel-commander of the regiment. In November, when the regiment was reviewed, it counted two grenadier coys and 2 bns for a total of 1,817 men excluding NCOs. Its third (depot) battalion was stationed in Brünn (present-day Brno/CZ).

In March 1757, when an Austrian army concentrated in Bohemia, the 2 field bns and the grenadiers of the regiment (a total of 1,650 men) were attached to FM Browne's Corps posted near Prague. On May 6, these two battalions took part in the Battle of Prague where they were deployed in Count Peroni's Brigade, in the second line of the left wing of infantry near the village of Hrtloczes (present-day Hrdlořezy, a part of the city of Prague) under Baron Kheul. During the battle, along with 1 bn of Sprecher Infantry, it defended the Tabor Hill against superior Prussian forces. General Peroni and his adjutant were killed. In this battle, the regiment lost 72 men killed; 3 officers and 256 men wounded; and144 men missing. The rest of the regiment took refuge in Prague. In June, at the end of the Siege of Prague, it participated in a big sortie (24,000) against Marshal Keith's Corps. After this engagement, 2 coys of its depot battalion were transferred to Botta Infantry. The regiment, as part of FM Daun's Army, then followed the retreating Prussians. On September 7, when general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated Corps in the Combat of Moys, the first battalion of the regiment was deployed in the second line and the second battalion in the third line of the infantry right division under the command of lieutenant-general Wied. In this action, Lieutenant-Colonel Colloredo and 52 men were wounded and 21 men killed. On November 22, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where they were part of the Reserve Corps in baron Blonquet's Brigade. They attacked the village Höfchen. In this battle, the regiment lost 31 men killed and 147 wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Colloredo was wounded once more. After the capitulation of Breslau, the regiment was assigned to the garrison of the place which was under the command of FZM Salomon Sprecher von Bernegg. On December 21, at the end of the siege of Breslau, when it surrendered to the Prussians, the two field bns and their colonel, Lobkowitz, became prisoners of war.

In April 1758, the captive soldiers of the regiment were exchanged (but not the officers). The regiment was then completed with new recruits coming from its depot battalion in Brünn. At the end of May, it joined Daun's Army at the camp of Protiwanov (present-day Protivín/CZ). By August 2, one battalion of the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz (actual Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. The grenadiers of the regiment were attached to Daun's vanguard commanded by Lacy. On July 7, this vanguard attacked a Prussian column near Krönau (present-day Krenov/CZ). In this action, the grenadiers of the regiment lost 13 men killed and 22 wounded. On October 10, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in the second line of the right column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch. This column attacked the big Prussian battery on the Prussian right wing in front of the village. After capturing the battery, the column stormed the village of Hochkirch. After this great victory, Daun's Army encamped at Wurschen.

Until June 1759, the regiment remained at the camp of Wurschen where it was attached to Lieutenant-General Simbschen's Brigade. Once more, its grenadiers were incorporated into a grenadier corps. On June 28, the army left its camps and marched by Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ) to Silesia where it took position near Lauban. By mid August, the regiment was part of Buccow's Corps posted in Lusatia. On September 2, it was at the combat of Sorau. On October 6, the regiment was with Daun's Army, encamped at Riesa in Saxony. On December 3 and 4, 1 battalion of the regiment formed part of Beck's Corps who attacked an isolated Prussian force and captured part of it in the Combat of Meissen. On December 11, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Saxony.

During the harsh winter of 1759-1760, the regiment suffered due to its inappropriate accommodations, many soldiers fell sick. Its depot battalion had to send 300 men while 400 recruits were enlisted in Bohemia. One battalion of the regiment, under Major Materna von Kwietnitz was sent to garrison Dresden which was commanded by FZM Maquire. This battalion then took part in the defence of Dresden. On July 28, Frederick II finally raised the siege. In August, the field battalions joined Lacy's Corps. At the end of August, they were encamped at Kratzau (present-day Chrastava/CZ). On September 13, they marched to Hartau. By September 30, Lacy's Corps was at Bunzlau in Silesia. In October, the regiment participated in Lacy's raid on Berlin, occupying the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor). From Berlin, Lacy's Corps marched back to Torgau. On November 3, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Torgau where it was initially deployed near Groswig. It was later posted behind the pond of Torgau where it remained until the end of the battle. During the retreat, the regiment lost 11 men wounded and 22 taken prisoners. On November 28, when the Austrian army took its winter-quarters, the regiment went to Dippoldiswalde and Dresden.

On May 8 1761, the regiment (including its grenadiers) and some other troops were sent as reinforcements to FZM Loudon. On August 19, Loudon effected a junction with a Russian army at Striegau. Frederick II entrenched his army in a fortified camp at Bunzelwitz. On September 9, seeing that the Russians were not willing to attack the Prussian camp, Loudon redirected his attention on the Fortress of Schweidnitz. On October 1, he proceeded to the successful storming of Schweidnitz. In this action, the grenadiers of the regiment lost 34 men killed and 50 wounded.

On 2 April, the regiment marched by Bautzen and Ostritz to Schweidnitz. Its grenadiers were converged with those of Los Rios Infantry and Sincère Infantry in a grenadier battalion commanded by Major Keyl. Meanwhile, the 2 field battalions of the regiment were deployed in the first line, under FZM Lacy, near Schweidnitz. Two coys were detached to join the garrison of Schweidnitz. Daun's Army encamped between Dittmansdorf (present-day Dziecmorowice/PL) and Burkersdorf (present-day Burkatów/PL). Frederick II the threatened Daun's lines of communication and Daun's Army retreated to Falkenberg (present-day Sokolina/PL) and Tannhausen (present-day Jedlinka/PL). Frederick II then laid siege to Schweidnitz which surrender on October 11. At the beginning of December, when the Austrian army took its winter-quarters, the regiment initially went to Bohemia and later to the region of Dresden.

After the Treaty of Hubertusburg, concluded on February 15 1763, Colonel Prince Lobkowitz was finally freed from captivity at Magdeburg. While he was imprisoned, Second-Colonel Blasius K. von Bender had assumed interim command. Prince Lobkowitz was promoted to GFWM and Colonel Bender became the real commander of the regiment.

Uniform

For the moment we have very few information on the uniform in 1756, at the outbreak of the war. Most of our references describe the uniform in 1762. However, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined white (therefore white turnbacks), the distinctive colour was blue and the waistcoat and breeches were white.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small yellow button on the left side; blue cockade and blue pompoms in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a blue bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined white with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels blue with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs blue with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white attached with a blue fastener
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

NCOs

no information found yet

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • no shoulder strap
  • black neckstock
  • no turnbacks
  • yellow and black silk sash

Senior officers carried sticks identifying their rank:

  • lieutenant: bamboo stick without knob
  • captain: long rush stick with a bone knob
  • major: long rush stick with a silver knob and a small silver chain
  • lieutenant-colonel: long rush stick with a larger silver knob without chain
  • colonel: long rush stick with a golden knob

Musicians

Until 1760, despite the new regulation of 1755, the musicians probably wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests and white turnbacks. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with blue swallow nests on the shoulders.

The drum had a brass barrel decorated with black flames at the bottom and with a black double headed Eagle on a yellow field. Rims were decorated with red and white diagonal stripes. The bandolier was white.

Colours

All German infantry regiments carried identical colours: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The hand painted colours were made of silk and measured Size 178 cm x 127 cm. The 260 cm long flagpoles had golden finial and were decorated with black and yellow spirals of cloth.

The colonel colour was carried by the first battalion.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne):

  • field: white
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): the Immaculate Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud, crushing a snake under her foot and surrounded by rays
  • reverse (left): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
Leibfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Regimental flags (Regimentsfahne):

  • field: yellow
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
  • reverse (left): unarmed and crowned Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Hungaria and Bohemia on a shield and the initials M on the left wing and T on the right
Regimentsfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

In fact, the situation on the field was slightly more complex than this, since colours were usually replaced only when worn out. It is fairly possible that some regiment who had been issued colours of the 1743 pattern were still carrying them at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. For more details, see Austrian Line Infantry Colours.

References

This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:

  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 7-8

Other sources

Dihm, Dr. Hermann; Oesterreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Klio

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979

Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759

Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 84-90

Hausmann, Friedrich, Die Feldzeichen der Truppen Maria Theresias, Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, vol. 3, Vienna: 1967

Knötel, Herbert d.J.; Brauer, Hans M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Österreich-Ungarn – 1756-63

Muhsfeldt, Th.; Abzeichenfarben der K. und K. Regimenter zu Fuss im Jahre 1757 und früher, in Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht, No. 12, 1904

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Seidel, Paul; Nochmals österreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Clio

Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

Treuenfest, A. v.: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 20 Friedrich Wilhelm, Kronprinz von Preussen, Vienna 1878

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgements

User:Zahn and Harald Skala for gathering most of the information about this regiment