Batthyányi Infantry

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Origin and History

On November 14 1733, Colonel Ladislaus Baron Kökényesdy de Vettés received a decree signed by Emperor Karl VI authorising him to raise a Hungarian infantry regiment of 3 battalions à 700 men and 2 grenadier companies à 100 men. Anton Baron Beneda was appointed as lieutenant-colonel; and Johann von Teutleben, as major.

On February 2 1734, Baron Vettés was promoted to general. Accordingly, Johann Baron Bärnklau was promoted colonel and commander of the regiment. At the end of May 1734, when the regiment was reviewed, it consisted of 1 battalion and one grenadier company at Kaschau (present-day Košice/SK), 1 battalion at Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO) and 1 battalion and the second grenadier company at Arad.

At the end of July 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the entire regiment was sent to Italy, reaching Mantua at the end of October. It campaigned in Italy until the end of the war and then remained stationed there until October 1741.

In October 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was allocated to Khevenhüller's Army in Austria and fought against Bavarian troops. In 1742, the regiment was sent to Bohemia and arrived on March 26 at Budweis (present-day České Budějovice/CZ). It then took part in the siege of Prague and in the Battles of Chotusitz (May 17 1742). In July 1744, a fourth battalion was enlisted in Transylvania; it then remained in Hungary as a garrison battalion. In 1745, the three field battalions of the regiment fought in the battles of Hohenfriedberg (June 4) and Soor (September 30). In January 1746, the regiment sent back to Italy where it joined FML Bärenklau's Corps. The regiment then took part in the Battle of Piacenza (June 16, 1746) where it lost a total of 157 men.

After the war, in 1749, the regiment garrisoned Cremona. Then in 1753, it was transferred to Monza, Trezzo and Milan. Meanwhile, its fourth battalion was stationed in Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK) and Trentschin (present-day Trenčín/SK).

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 chefs of the regiment were:

  • from July 17 1756 till his death in 1787: Count Adam Batthyányi-Strattmann

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

  • from December 23 1751: Johann (Friedrich) Harteneck (promoted to major-general in 1758)
  • from January 31 1758: Colonel Franz Baron Kökényesdy de Vettés (died in March 1759)
  • from April 18 1759: Colonel Ignaz Sigismund Baron Rosin d´Oresil (retired in 1771)
  • from July 24 1773: Philipp Count Kinsky

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 34".

Service during the War

In June 1756, the regiment was sent from Milan to Cernusco and Como. Meanwhile, its garrison battalion remained at Trentschin and Pressburg. On October 10, the first field battalion and the two grenadier companies set off from Cernusco, under the command of Major Johann von Kiss, and marched towards Bohemia where they arrived in November. The battalion and the grenadiers took up their winter-quarters around Kaurzim (present-day Kouřim/CZ) and Böhmisch Brod (present-day Český Brod/CZ). The regiment then abandoned its administrative organisation in favour of the usual tactical organisation: two field battalions were built from the three former field battalions. Each of the new battalions consisted of 6 fusilier companies à 116 men. Therefore, the regiment now consisted of 2 field battalions and one garrison battalion (the latter counted only 4 companies).

On May 3 1757, the first field battalion and both grenadier companies entered into Prague where they formed part of a garrison of 17 battalions and 16 grenadier companies under FML Thürheim. From May 6, it then took part in the defence of Prague. On May 24, the first battalion and the grenadiers took part in a sortie where they lost 13 men killed and 120 wounded. On June 2, one grenadier company took part in another sortie, losing 2 men killed and 4 wounded. On June 20, after the victory of FM Daun in the Battle of Kolin the first battalion and the grenadiers took part in the big sortie against FM Keith's troops on the Weisserberg. During the Prussian retreat towards Saxony, the first battalion and the grenadiers (1,027 men) were deployed in G.d.C. Nádasdy's Corps. On September 7, when Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps in the Combat of Moys, the first battalion was part of the Reserve under Lieutenant-General Forgách kept behind the three columns of infantry destined to the attack. Only the grenadiers participated in the fight where they lost 12 men killed and 87 wounded. In October and November, the first battalion took part in the siege and capture of Schweidnitz. The battalion led by Major Kiss was in the column which attacked the Bögenfort and lost 7 men killed and 48 wounded. On November 22, the first battalion and the grenadiers took part in the Battle of Breslau. The battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps de Reserve, in the second column led by Major-General Count Stolberg. In was not involved in combat. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the first battalion was deployed in the second line of the Reserve of the left wing under Marshal Forgách as part of Nádasdy's Corps. In this battle, it lost 12 men killed, 69 wounded and 177 taken prisoners of war. This first battalion and the grenadiers then took up their winter-quarters at Prague. By the end of December, the fusiliers and the grenadiers counted only a total of 187 men! However, another detachment of 133 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Kiss had been allocated to the garrison of Schweidnitz.

On January 14 1758, the second field battalion (548 men), who had been left in garrison in Italy, marched towards Bohemia to reinforce the main Austrian army. It marched by Linz and Budweis to Prague. From there, it joined the Corps de Reserve of Prince Ahremberg at Böhmisch Skalitz (present-day Česká Skalice/CZ) where it arrived on April 12. The first field battalion and the grenadiers joined the second battalion there and the regiment was reunited after two years. In April, Lieutenant-Colonel Kiss' detachment became prisoners of war after the surrender of the Fortress of Schweidnitz. In June, a detachment of 35 men of the regiment was in FML Bülow's troops sent to the relief of Olmütz besieged by the Prussians. By August 2, the regiment served in the second line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 14, the two field battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the second line of the right column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch. During this battle, Lieutenant-Colonel Kiss was killed during the first attack against the churchyard; Major Ignaz von Rosin immediately assumed command of the first battalion and of the grenadiers and captured the churchyard, taking 18 officers and 300 men prisoners of war and capturing 4 Prussian colours and 4 guns. In addition to Lieutenant-Colonel Kiss, 5 other officers, 11 grenadiers and 41 fusiliers were killed; 11 officers, 29 grenadiers and 148 fusiliers wounded; and 37 fusiliers missing. The regiment took up its winter-quarters around Böhmisch Brod (present-day Český Brod/CZ).

During the campaign of 1759, the regiment saw no action. It was deployed in the corps of FZM Harsch. In September, it formed part of the reinforcements sent, under generals de Ligne and Voglesang, to support FM Loudon. At the end of November, it returned to Silesia to take up its winter-quarters.

On January 23 1760, Ignaz de Rosin von d´Oresil, the colonel-commander of the regiment, was part of the fifth promotion to receive the Maria-Theresia-Order for his conduct at the battle of Hochkirch. According to the order of battle of March 26, the first field battalion and the grenadiers were under the command of Major-General Baron Elrichshausen; while the second battalion was under FML Plunquet. The two field battalions together counted a total of 1,500 men. On May 29, the regiment reached Roth-Kosteletz (present-day Červený Kostelec/CZ) where it effected a junction with Loudon's Corps. Loudon had now 34 battalions, 42 grenadier companies (converged in 8 battalions), 60 squadrons and 44 guns. On May 30, Loudon marched to Silesia which was occupied by a Prussian Corps under G.d.I. Fouqué. On June 23, the two field battalions and the grenadiers of the regiment took part in the Battle of Landeshut where they formed part of the fourth column under Jahnus and Wolfersdorf who attacked Blasdorf. In this battle, the grenadiers lost 7 men killed and 22 wounded. The two field battalions then took part in the Siege of Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL). On July 26, Major Czecherini and his battalion were the first to enter into the fortress, capturing guns inside. During the siege, the regiment lost 6 men killed and 33 wounded. After the surrender of Glatz, the regiment went with some other troops to Breslau (present-day Wroclaw/PL) and from there with Loudon's Corps to Striegau. On August 15, the two field battalions of the regiment fought in the Battle of Liegnitz where they were deployed in the first line and lost nearly 50 % of its men (54 men killed; 11 officers and 126 men wounded; 10 officers and 740 men taken prisoners of war). Loudon (accompanied by the remnants of the regiment) marched to Cosel (present-day Kozle/PL). After the short and unsuccessful Siege of Cosel, the regiment took up its winter-quarters at Hotzenplotz (present-day Osoblaha/CZ).

For the campaign of 1761, the regiment was once more part of Loudon's Silesian Army, belonging to the corps of Major-General Bethlen. In March, the regiment received 500 new recruits sent from the garrison battalion. In April, an additional 150 recruits arrived. In May, the regiment (now 1.188 men) was attached to Major-General Botta's Corps at Bohrau (present-day Borowa/PL). On October 1, one battalion and the grenadiers of the regiment, led by Major Czecherini, took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where they were attached to the fourth column under Lieutenant-Colonel Baron de Vins who had received orders to capture the Bögenfort (IV.). After the capture of the fort, Czecherini and his battalion immediately penetrated into the town. At 5h30, the regimental colours were planted on the town walls. In this action, the regiment lost 2 officers and 57 fusiliers killed; and 10 officers, 23 grenadiers and 87 fusiliers wounded. Major Czecherini was among the wounded. The regiment took up its winter-quarters to the south of Schweidnitz.

During the winter of 1761-1762, many soldiers fell sick (scurvy and other diseases) due to bad accommodations; the regiment had only some 700 men fit for service. In May, FM Daun concentrated the army around Zobten (present-day Sobotka/PL). The regiment was deployed in the second line under Major-General Amadei and FML Unruh. In July, FM Daun sent 7 infantry regiments (including the present regiment) and one cavalry regiment to Silberberg (present-day Srebrna Gora/PL) to support G.d.C. Hadik. From August to December, a detachment of the regiment (Major Nikolaus Czecherini and 138 men) took part in the defence of Schweidnitz. On October 9, after a siege of 63 days, the fortress surrendered and its garrison along with its commander became prisoners of war. On October 21, for his valour during the siege of Schweidnitz, Major Nikolaus Czecherini Baron de la Vippera was part of the eighth promotion of the Maria-Theresia-Order. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Silesia: initially in Silberberg and Neudorf; later on Heinrichswalde (present-day Laski/PL).

At the beginning of April 1763, the regiment left its winter-quarters and marched towards Northern Bohemia. It then garrisoned Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ), Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem/CZ), Böhmisch Leipa (present-day Česká Lípa/CZ), Bilin (present-day Bílina/CZ) und Lobositz (present-day Lovosice/CZ). Meanwhile, the garrison battalion still remained in Raab (present-day Györ/HU).

In 1764, the regiment garrisoned Prague.

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, the few details given by Muhsfeldt and Schirmer suggest a uniform slightly different from the the uniform of 1762: the coat had yellow cuffs, lining and turnbacks. However, the dolman and trousers seem to have been similar to those of 1762.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1762
as per Raspe, Knötel, Donath and the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener and a small yellow button on the left side; red within yellow cockade; one yellow tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a dark blue bag probably laced yellow with a yellow tassel
Neck stock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined dark blue with 6 yellow laced buttonholes with yellow tassels arranged 1-2-3, on each side; 6 yellow buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps dark blue fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without buttons
Cuffs dark blue pointed cuffs without buttons
Turnbacks dark blue
Waistcoat dark blue dolman edged yellow with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with yellow brandebourgs
Trousers dark blue Hungarian trousers decorated with yellow braids
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt yellow barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear short black boots


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers), a bayonet and a sabre.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 depicts a veru different coat with yellow collar and cuffs and white lining.

Donath illustrates a very different uniform with a tricrone with a red within white cockade and two red tassels; a white coat lined white (thus white turnbacks), white cuffs, white shoulder straps, white buttons and 6 red laced buttonholes with red tassels. The dolman and trousers are medium blue.

Schirmer mentions orange laced buttonholes.

NCOs

Sergeants and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.

Officers

As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, the officers wore a uniform similar to those of privates with the following diffrences:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no yellow laced buttonholes on the coat, just plain yellow buttons on the right side and golden trimmed buttonholes on the left side
  • no turnbacks
  • vertical pockets with 3 yellow buttons
  • white waistbelt
  • dark blue trousers decorated with a golden lace
  • yellow Hungarian boots

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

As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by dark 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 Hungarian infantry regiments were supposed to carry the same colours as the German infantry regiments: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The colours were made of silk. The 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 on the left wing and JM on the right
Leibfahne – Source: PMPdeL

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 on the left wing and JM 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: PMPdeL

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:

  • Wust, G.: Geschichte des K. K. 34. Linien-Infanterie-Regiments Prinz-Regent von

Preussen, Vienna 1860

  • Kreipner, J.: Geschichte des K.u.K. Infanterie-Regimentes Nr. 34, Kaschau 1900
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 35-36

Other sources

Anon.: 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: Raspischen Buchhandlung. 1762

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

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

Pengel, R. D. and G.R. Hurt; Austro-Hungarian Infantry 1740-1762; On Military Matters; Birmingham, 1982

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

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

Acknowledgments

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Wust's and Kreipner's work into the present article.

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