Artillerie-Füsiliere

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Origin and History

Maximilian August Baron Zorn von Blovsheim was born 1715 in Strasbourg in an old Alsacian aristocratic family. Their original name was Plobsheim. In 1735, Maximilian joined Leopold Daun Infantry as volunteer and later reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1758, he distinguished himself during the defence of Schweidnitz and was decorated with the Order of Maria Theresa and promoted to colonel of the "Artillerie-Füsilliere". After the Treaty of Hubertusburg, he was transferred to Salm Infantry. In 1771, Maximilian was promoted to major-general and, in 1774, to Feldmarshall Lieutenant. He died in 1774 at Przemysl (in present-day in Poland).

The regiment was raised during the winter of 1757-58 to provide escorts for the guns and to act as assistants in moving the pieces in the field. It initially counted a single battalion but as soon as 1759 was increased to a total of 3 battalions, each of these battalions consisted of:

  • 8 companies, each totalling 116 men and consisting of:
    • 1 captain
    • 1 first lieutenant
    • 1 sub lieutenant
    • 1 adjutant
    • 4 corporals
    • 4 carpenters
    • 2 drummers
    • 2 fifers
    • 1 quartermaster
    • 2 assistant-quartermasters
  • 1 surgeon
    • 96 fusiliers

Even taking into consideration the Artillery Fusilier Regiment, there were too few men for the tasks in the field and infantrymen still had to be detached to the guns, to make up the numbers needed.

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

  • from 1757: Maximilian August Baron von Blovsheim

After the Peace of Hubertusburg in 1763, the Artillery Fusilier Regiment was reduced to a single battalion of six companies.

Service during the War

From 1758, detachments of this regiment escorted various detachments of Austrian artillery.

Uniform

Introduction

There are so many conflicting sources on the uniforms of the Austrian artillery that we consider important to have an introductory texts to the present section.

The history of the Austrian army (Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, Vol. IV) edited by Major Anton Semek and published in Vienna in 1909 clearly states that, from 1748, the regulations specified a white coat for the artillery. The same source also mentions that, till 1772, the artillery had to procure their uniforms by themselves.

However, all contemporaneous iconographic sources from 1756 to 1762 (Delacre, Bautzener Biderhanschrift, Albertina Handschrift, Raspe...) illustrates uniforms of various shades of grey or brown. More precisely:

  • the Delacre Handschrift, given to FM Daun in 1757, illustrates a rather dark brown uniform.
  • the Übersicht of all Austrian units, published in 1760, illustrates a grey uniform.
  • the Albertina Handschrift of 1762 illustrates fawn (Rehbraun) uniforms for the German and Netherlander artillery.
  • the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a dark grey uniform
  • Raspe publication (probably taking its inspiration from the Albertina Handschrift) of 1762 illustrates a fawn uniform
  • Contemporary paintings kept at the Heeresgeschichtliche Museum Vienna, depicting the battles of Hochkirch and Maxen, illustrate a slightly darker brown.
  • An anonymous work depicting the Austrian artillery in action, shows grey uniforms.

An additional consideration is that the plates in the contemporaneous printed works might have faded too, although the colours illustrated in the paintings should have remained rather faithful.

Later sources made conflicting assertions:

  • Ottenfeld and Teuber mention white coats with red distinctive then say that a wolf grey uniform, was already in use since 1750 in the artillery of the Netherlands and among gunners. The brown uniform were only introduced in 1772.
  • Karger, in his book "Die Entwicklung der Adjustierung, Rüstung und Bewaffnung der österreichisch – ungarischen Armee 1700 – 1809", originally dating from 1903 but published only in 1998, mentions a white uniform from 1748 which would be replaced by a brown uniform in 1772.

It should be noted that the question was debated in the magazine Zinnfigur in 1942 and 1943 but no clear conclusion resulted.

In 1964, confronted to these numerous conflicting sources, Bleckwenn concluded that the artillery had adopted dark grey or grey brown uniforms but that the fact was not immediately recognized by regulatory offices. Furthermore, he attributed the variations observed in the various contemporaneous iconographic sources to the variability (different manufacturers, different dyestuff) and instability of dyeing in this period. Colours faded in the sun and rain or by washing.

We agree with Bleckwenn and propose hereafter a few interpretations of the variations of colour of the uniform.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 (as per the Bautzener Handschrift) - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture
Uniform in 1762 (as per the Albertina Handshrift) - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with a golden fastener on the left side and a black cockade
Neckstock black
Coat fawn brown ("Rehbraun") with 14 yellow buttons on the right side and 14 unlaced buttonholes on the left side and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps fawn brown ("Rehbraun") fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs fire red ("Feuer Rot") with 4 yellow buttons (1 in front at the top of the cuff, 3 in rear arranged vertically)
Turnbacks fawn brown ("Rehbraun")
Waistcoat fawn brown ("Rehbraun") with 2 rows of small yellow buttons and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches fawn brown ("Rehbraun") in winter, white in summer
Gaiters black with small yellow buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box white without any small brass plate
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the fusiliers with the following distinctions:

  • a black and yellow braid on the left shoulder-strap
  • a brown stick

Officers

Officers wore the same uniform as the gunners with the following exceptions:

  • fawn brown ("Rehbraun") lined fire red
  • white neckstock
  • white plastron
  • no turnbacks
  • gilt buttons
  • yellow and black silk sash
  • a sword in a brown scabbard

Staff officers wore the same uniform as the officers with the following differences:

  • 3 fingers wide lace at the tricorne
  • fire red collar on the coat
  • fire red cuffs edged gold
  • fawn brown ("Rehbraun") coat edged gold
  • fire red waistcoat edged gold

Musicians

no information found

Colours

no information found

References

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

  • Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763.
    • Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, App. 4

Haythornthwaite, Philip and Bill Younghusband: The Austrian Army 1740-80: 3 Specialist Troops, London: Osprey, 1995

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

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 74-75

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

Acknowledgments

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