Banal-Grenzinfanterieregiment nr. 2

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Origin and History

This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was raised in 1746 by the Banus (honorary title of the governor of Croatia) Fieldmarshal Carl Joseph Fürst von Batthyányi in the Banat frontier region in present-day Romania. The regiment was then known as the “Grenzinfanterieregiment Carl Joseph Fürst von Batthyányi, 2. Banal-Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment” and consisted of two companies of grenadiers of 120 men each, and of four battalions, each counting four companies of fusiliers of 240 men each, for a total strength of 4080 men.1

In 1751, the regiment was slightly reorganised and then consisted of two companies of grenadiers and four battalions, each counting five companies of fusiliers of 200 men.2

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 20 fusilier coys) for a total of 3,000 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 depot battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

Accordingly, by 1756, the regiment really consisted of two companies of grenadiers, twelve companies of fusiliers and four Landesdefensions (depot) companies. In addition, there were two companies of sharpshooters and two artillery companies. A company counted about 100 men.3

In wartime, the companies of grenadiers were detached from the regiment and converged into a Grenadier Corps (ad hoc battalions). However, these converged battalions seem to have been employed mostly as elite light troops. Only in some extreme cases would they fight among the elite line infantry battalions.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the regiment was organised as follows:

  • Regimental Staff
  • I. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 1. Grenadier Company
    • 1. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Fusilier Company
    • 3. Fusilier Company
    • 4. Fusilier Company
    • 5. Fusilier Company
    • 6. Fusilier Company
    • 1. Sharpshooter Company
  • II. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 2. Grenadier Company
    • 7. Fusilier Company
    • 8. Fusilier Company
    • 9. Fusilier Company
    • 10. Fusilier Company
    • 11. Fusilier Company
    • 12. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Sharpshooter Company
  • III. Battalion (Depot)
    • Battalion Staff
    • 13. Fusilier Company
    • 14. Fusilier Company
    • 15. Fusilier Company
    • 16. Fusilier Company

Tactically a Grenz-Husar squadron was assigned to a foot battalion of the same Generalate.4

The regiment recruited in the northern and eastern region of Banat, in the Capitanat of Petrinja (in present-day Croatia).5 Its regimental staff was located in Petrinja, its garrison place.6

During the Seven Years' War, the Chefs of the regiment were:

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • since 1755: Johann Baron von Zedtwitz
  • from 1756: Christoph Baron Orsich
  • from 1761: Count Sermage
  • from 1762: Paul von Rauch

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 70".

Service during the War7

In 1756, one battalion of the regiment joined the Austrian Reserve Corps led by Count Draskovic in Bohemia. By the end of September, this battalion had joined Field-marshal Browne's Army at Budin (present-day Budyně nad Ohří). On October 1, during the Prussian invasion of Saxony, this battalion took part in the Battle of Lobositz where it was attached to Draskovic's Reserve.

At the beginning of the campaign of 1757, the regiment was probably part of Nádasdy's Corps stationed in Moravia. On May 19, two battalions (930 men) of the regiment joined Daun in Czaslau (present-day Čáslav). By mid June, these two battalions (totalling 930 men) were part of Beck's Brigade. On June 18, they took part in the Battle of Kolin. On July 3, two battalions were present at the combat of Welmina where Lieutenant-colonel Friedrich Görlichich and Major Peter Potitzky distinguished themselves. On July 28, a detachment under Major Peter Potitzky took part in an attack on the baggage of Keith's Corps which was on its way from Linai to Nollendorf. In this engagement, the Austrians captured 1 gun, 6 ammunition carts and 40 baggage wagons. At the beginning of August, the regiment formed part of Loudon's Corps operating in Southern Saxony. On August 8, it took part in the storming of a redoubt near Gottleuba. In October and November, detachments were at the siege and capture of Schweidnitz where the commander of the regiment, Colonel Christoph Count von Orsich distinguished himself. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was attached to Nádasdy's Corps.

In April 1758, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia the regiment, led by Major Petkovich, distinguished itself in the attack of the Prussian entrenchments at Dittersbach. On July 4, a detachment of 300 men under Major Petkovich distinguished itself in the defence of a defile near Schönhengst (present-day Hrebecov), during the retreat of the Prussian Army through Bohemia.

On May 27 1759, part of the regiment fought in the engagement of Buchau in Saxony. On September 21, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Combat of Korbitz. By October 1, it was at encamped at Tannenberg as part of Hadik's Corps. On December 3 and 4, a detachment 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.

In 1760, the regiment took part in the Austrian campaign in Saxony. On August 20, the regiment fought in the Combat of Strehla. On September 26, it was present at the capture of Torgau. On October 2, it also fought in an engagement near Jessen.

In 1761, the regiment served in Saxony and Colonel Christoph Count von Orssich distinguished himself once more during the retreat from Plauen.

In 1762, part of the regiment served in Saxony and part in Silesia, none of them taking part in any major combat.

Notable names

Batthyányi, Carl Joseph Fürst von8 Fieldmarshal9

Görlichich, Friedrich10 Lieutenant-colonel11

Nádasdy auf Fogaras, Franz Leopold Count von12 Generalfeldwachtmeister and General of Cavalry13

Orsich, Christoph Baron14 Colonel15

Petkovich,16 Major17

Potitzky, Peter,18 Major19

Rauch, Paul von20 Colonel21

Sermage, Count22 Colonel23

Zedtwitz, Johann Baron von24 Colonel25

Uniform

Privates

Uniform during the Seven Years War - Source: Richard Couture from a template by David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details in 1762
Headgear
Fusilier black felt shako without cockade
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue edged yellow with 6 red and white brandebourgs with red and white tassels on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs red pointed cuffs edged yellow without button
Dolman red edged yellow with 3 rows of small yellow buttons and yellow braids
Cape red
Trousers red Hungarian trousers decorated with an intricate yellow lace
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt blue and red barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a large overhanging cover
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings ???
Scabbard black with iron fittings
Footgear short black boots


Privates often wore a mustache.

Privates were armed with a slightly curved 58 cm long brass hilted sabre26 with a white knot and a cord of a different colour for each company; a Model 1754 musket (151 cm long, 112 cm long barrel, 18,3 mm calibre, 4,9 kg); and a bayonet ???. Each trooper carried 36 musket balls and 6 shrapnel bullets.27 Privates also carried a haversack and a canteen. Additional ammunition and kettles were transported in the wagons of each company.

Other interpretations

Raspe illustrates a rather different uniform:

  • yellow pointed cuffs
  • dark blue dolman
  • dark blue trousers

Finally, the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a totally different uniform:

  • red coat and trousers decorated with white edging and braids
  • black dolamn with white edging and braids
  • black pointed cuffs
  • red and white barrel-sash
  • sandals

NCOs

no information available

Officers

Officers wore uniforms of the same colour as those of the privates but were distinguished by a black tricorne laced gold; a Western style coat with vertical pockets square cuffs; and yellow Hungarian boots.

Officers wore a black and gold sash or a gold sash with tassels at the waist, over the dolman and under the coat. The black and gold sash could be made of strictly separated layers and then intertwined in knots or in a kind of knitwear; while the entirely gold sash was made of heavy knit of fine shiny silk.28

Musicians

no information available

Colours

When the Grenzer Regiments where formed they adopted the yellow 1745 pattern flag, with the black Doppeladler carrying the Imperial shield and edged in black/red/yellow/white flames, which measured 1.8m x 1.4m. The senior company carried a white Leibfahne displaying the Madonna and Christ on the obverse.

From 1756 each battalion carried two yellow Ordinarfahnen, except the first battalion which carried a white Leibfahne and one Ordinarfahne.

However, it seems unlikely that any were carried in the field

Footnotes

1. Ref. Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1. Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986, p. 54, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2. Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993, Kaiser und Reich Nr.2, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3. Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995, p. 18, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, pp. 219, 296 and 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, p. 102.

2. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 214

3. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

4. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

5. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, pp. 219, 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

6. Ref. Kornauth, p. 102

7. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297 and Kornauth, p. 102

8. Ref. Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich No. 2, Tessin, Part 3, p. 18 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

9. Ref. Tessin, Part 3, p. 18 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

11. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

12. Ref. Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.17, Tessin, Part 3, p. 225 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

18. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

19. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 297

20. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

21. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

22. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

23. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296 and Kornauth, p. 102

24. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

25. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 296

26. Ref. Kornauth, p. 26

27. Ref. Kornauth, p. 25f

28. Ref. Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II.), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. Jahrgang 1987, pp. 66-72, 69

References

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

Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. 1987, pp. 66-72.

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.

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 73

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1 Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2 Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3 Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995.

Thümmler, Lars-Holger: Die Österreichische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg. Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993.

Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 402-488

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905.

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

Acknowledgments

Mathias Kussmann for the initial version of this article