Althann Dragoons

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Origin and History

Andreas Joseph Count Kohary de Csábragh (1694-1757) started his military career in 1715 in the Cuirassier Regiment “Adam Comte Gondrecourt” (later Serbelloni Cuirassiers) where he reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1730.

In 1733, on the eve of the War of the Polish Succession, Count Kohary offered to the Emperor to raise a new dragoon regiment of 8 companies at his own expense. The corresponding Capitulation (contract) was issued on November 4 1733 and included also his promotion to colonel and commander of the new regiment. Count Kohary invested some 150,000 'gulden in his new regiment. The staff and part of the NCOs came from his former cuirassier regiment (captains Karl Teutscher and Franz von Hochberg) and from various other regiments (Bevern Cuirassiers, Galbes Cuirassiers, Hessen-Darmstadt Cuirassiers, Jung Savoyen Cuirassiers, Hohenzollern-Hechingen Cuirassiers, Podstatzky Cuirassiers, A. von Württemberg Dragoons and Ferdinand von Bayern Dragoons.

In 1734, after completion of the regiment, it was sent to Transylvania where it remained idle until 1737.

In 1738 and 1739, the regiment was used to quench rebellion in Wallachia.

On March 5 1739, Count Kohary was promoted to General Feldwachtmeister (GFWM, an equivalent to major-general) and Lieutenant-Colonel Mladota von Solopysk became the new commander of the regiment.

In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the siege of Prague occupied by the French and was later sent to Italy.

In 1744, the regiment formed part of the troops fighting at Naples.

In 1745, the regiment returned to Northern Italy.

On June 16 1746, the regiment distinguished itself in the Battle of Piacenza. After this Austrian victory, under its commander Colonel Philippe Christian Prince Löwenstein-Wertheim, the regiment followed up and harassed the retreating Spanish army.

In 1747, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Genoa, distinguishing itself at Bocchetta. It later garrisoned Cremona.

In 1748, the regiment was transferred to Hungary where it assumed garrison duty in various places till 1753.

From 1753 to 1756, the regiment garrisoned Požega in Slavonia.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons and a company of horse grenadiers. For battles, the latter was usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.

Portrait of Andreas Joseph Count Koháry – Source: photo by Harald Skala

The regiment successive inhaber were:

  • since its creation in 1733: Andreas Joseph Count Koháry
  • from 1758 to 1768: Michael Count Althann

The regiment was successively commanded by:

  • since 1733: Andreas Joseph Count Koháry
  • from 1734: Franz Xaver Count Forgách
  • from 1739: Mladota von Solopysk
  • from 1742: Ludwig Count Gross
  • from 1744: Philipp Christian Prince Löwenstein-Wertheim
  • from 1752: Gabriel Count Kegelevich
  • from 1759: Caspar Baron Rummel von Waldau
  • from 1768: Gundacker von Wolff

After the Seven Years' War, in 1763, the regiment was stationed in Vienna.

From 1766 to 1768, the regiment garrisoned Güns in Hungary.

The regiment was disbanded in 1768. Its carabinier company was transferred to the newly established “2. Carabinier Regiment” while its squadrons were distributed among various dragoon regiments. For his part, Count Althann was appointed commander-proprietor of the “2. Carabinier Regiment”.

Service during the War

In June 1756, at the beginning of the war, the regiment was stationed in Slavonia and counted 759 men and 776 horses.

In 1757, the regiment was stationed at Vienna where it formed part of the garrison. Count Kohary died on December 21 at his castle in St. Anton/SK. FML Michael Count Althann was then appointed proprietor of the regiment.

By August 2 1758, the regiment was part of the reserve of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jaromirs. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia. It later took part in the Siege of Neisse.

N.B.: Some sources (A. v. Wrede, ALBERTINA) mentioned the regiment also at the Battle of Hochkirch but the relevant “Ordre de bataille” does not mention it; so its participation is uncertain.

In 1759, the regiment was attached to the corps of FML Harsch operating in Upper Silesia.

In 1760, the regiment was part of FZM Loudon's Corps. On June 23, the regiment fought at the Battle of Landeshut. In July, it took part in the siege and capture of Glatz. On August 15, it took part in the Battle of Liegnitz where it suffered heavy losses. On September 17, it was present, as part of Loudon's Corps, at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.

In 1761, the regiment was stationed in Silesia and saw no action.

On August 16 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Reichenbach.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat white with 3 yellow buttons under the lapel on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder strap left shoulder: red fastened with a white button
right shoulder: yellow with a yellow aiguillette
Lapels red with 7 yellow buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat white with one row of small yellow buttons and horizontal pockets (each with 3 yellow buttons)
Breeches white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red laced with a wide white braid bordered with thin red braids and decorated with a red braid in the middle (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Housings red laced with a wide white braid bordered with thin red braids and decorated with a red braid in the middle (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll red and white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Other interpretations

Raspe shows two rows of buttons on the waistcoat.

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift shows a yellow laced tricorne, buff breeches and a red waistcoat.

Brauer's plate shows a red aiguillette, buff breeches and a red waistcoat.

Donath's plate shows a red aiguillette, a red waistcoat with two rows of buttons and buff breeches.

Officers

The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade
  • gold aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • green saddlecloth and sabretache both laced and fringed in gold

Musicians

Drummers of the regiments of dragoons usually wore the same uniform as the troopers heavily laced with yellow and black braids or a uniform with inverted colours.

Colours

Leibstandarte: White and heavily embroidered

  • one side with the Blessed Virgin
  • other side with the double eagle
Colonel Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert


Ordinair-standarte: Swallow tailed with gold fringes and gold embroideries

  • obverse: Red pennant, central device consisting of a stylized "A" with a crown
  • reverse: White field pennant, central device consisting of the imperial eagle bearing the red-white-red shield on its breast and the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Regimental Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Bleckwenn, Hans; Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967

Brauer, H.M., Uniformbogen and Fahnentafeln, plate 95

Donath, Rudolf, Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Teil III Blatt 3

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

Grosser Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

Kornauth, Friedrich, Das Heer Maria Theresias: Faksimile-Ausgabe der Albertina-Handschrift, "Dessins des Uniformes des Troupes I.I. et R.R. de l'année 1762", Wien: 1973

Raspe, Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlichen KAYSERLICH KOENIGLICHEN ARMEEN zur eigentlichen Kentnis der UNIFORM von jedem Regimente. Nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke, und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird., Nürnberg: 1762

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

Skala H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte

Thadden, Franz-Lorenz v., Die theresianische Kavallerie - II. Teil, Die Zinnfigur, Klio, 1968

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

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, fol. III. 1. part, Vienna 1898–1905

Zahn, Michael, Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988

Zborník muzea vo Svätom Antone, pp. 42-44, Banská Bystrica/SK, 2006

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the origin and service of the regiment.