Arberg Infantry

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Origin and History

This regiment was raised in the Austrian Netherlands in 1742 for Carl Anton count von Arberg.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the campaigns in Flanders.

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 1742 to 1768: Carl Anton count von Arberg

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commanders were:

  • from ???: colonel Carl August von Dinchant, count de Gontrevil
  • from at least 1759: colonel chevalier Orlandini

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 55".

The regiment was disbanded in 1809.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment contributed its 3rd Battalion (garrison battalion) to the Austrian Contingent sent to the assistance of the French Army during the invasion of Hanover. The four battalions strong Austrian Contingent assembled at Ruremonde. At the beginning of April, the prince de Soubise ordered the Austrian Contingent to move into the Cleve and Gueldre Duchies and occupy them. On April 6, 3 battalions of the Austrian Contingent, under the comte de Dombasle, entered into Cleve. On April 8, the battalion occupied Wesel where it remained as garrison. At the end of the year, this battalion took its winter quarters in the first line of the French Army at Duderstadt.

Meanwhile, on May 6 1757, the two other battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Prague where they were deployed in count Campitelli's brigade, in the second line of the right wing of infantry under count Königsegg. On June 18, one battalion of the regiment took part in the battle of Kolin where it was part of Müffling’s brigade in the corps of count Colloredo, held in reserve behind the centre. On September 7, when general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's corps isolated during the combat of Moys, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre division under the command of lieutenant-general Nicolaus Esterházy. On November 22, one battalion of the regiment took part to the battle of Breslau where it was part of the Reserve Corps in baron Blonquet's brigade. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in the second line of the far right Reserve under major-general von Luzinsky.

In April 1758, when the comte de Clermont redeployed the French army along the Rhine, the 3rd battalion was stationed in Wesel. A few days later, it was recalled to reinforce the Austrian army in Bohemia. On October 10, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in Loudon's corps, to the southwest of Hochkirch. On October 16, the regiment distinguished itself for its courage in a skirmish near Bischofswerda, capturing 3 pieces.

On August 15 1760, a battalion of the regiment took part in the battle of Liegnitz.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1748 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture.
Uniform Details in 1757
as per the Albertina and Bautzener Handschriften and the Raspischen Buchhandlung publication

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener on the right side (left side in 1762) and a small yellow button on the left side; no cockade nor pompoms (yellow within red cockade or, as per the Albertina Handschrift, black within white within black cockade and yellow within red pompoms in 1762)
Grenadier bearskin with an poppy red bag laced yellow and a yellow 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 edged red fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels poppy red with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs poppy red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white (poppy red fasteners as per the Bautzener Handschrift)
Waistcoat white with 1 row of yellow buttons 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 and a bayonet while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

NCOs

NCO of Arberg Infantry in 1762 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

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
  • black neckstock
  • a golden aiguillette on the left shoulder
  • 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 wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests edged yellow, white cuffs edged yellow, white turnbacks and red waistcoat. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with 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, p. 36

Other sources

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 auf Kosten der Raspischen Buchhandlung. Ao. 1762

Bilderhandschrift Delacre: Militair Etat der Ganzen Kayl., Königl. Armee Wienn 1757

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

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

Friese, Ulf-Joachim, Quellen zur Uniformierung der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee 1740-1763

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

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

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

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

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

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

Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23.

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

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

Acknowledgments

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

Dr. Marco Pagan and Franco Saudelli for the plates