Botta Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Botta Infantry

Origin and History

Grenadier of Botta Infantry in 1762 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was raised in 1702 for the Duke Johann Adolph von Holstein-Plön, recruiting troops in Wolfenbüttel and Hanover. These troops were originally destined to form two regiments but during their march to Northern Italy, desertion was so important that they were finally merged into a single regiment. At its arrival at San Benedetto the regiment counted 12 companies for a total of 1,480 men. At the death of the Duke von Holstein-Plön, on July 2 1704, the regiment was given to General Hubert Dominicus Baron du Saix d'Arnant. On August 15 1728, he was succeeded by General von Kettler at the head of the unit; in 1731 by Franz Iganz Count von Kumpf ; in 1736 by Gottfried Ernst Baron von Wutgenau; in 1737 by Friedrich Ernst von Keitzenstein. In 1739, Anton Otto Marquis von Botta d'Adorno became Chef of the regiment.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment campaigned in Italy against France and later in Hungary against Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary.

During the War of the Polish Succession, in 1734 and 1735, the regiment served on the Rhine.

In 1738, the regiment served in Hungary.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the battles of Mollwitz (April 10, 1741), Hohenfriedberg (June 4, 1745), and Soor (September 30, 1745).

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 January 1 1739 till 1775: Anton Otto Marquis von Botta d'Adorno

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • 1757: Fürst Franz Friedrick von Kinsky
  • 1759-60: Elmendorff
  • 1762: Friedrich Wilhelm Baron von Kieben
  • 1762: Lattermann

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 12".

Service during the War

In September 1756, two battalions of the regiment were in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the Königshof-Kolin region.

On June 18 1757, the regiment took part in the battle of Kolin. It was deployed on the left of the second line in Plonquet’s Brigade. After exhausting all its ammunition, the regiment bravely defended its position at the point of the bayonet, until its colonel managed to retrieve an ammunition wagon, allowing his soldiers to drive back the Prussian attackers. The regiment also saw action at Gabel, Zittau (September 23) and Kolschwitz (October 25). At the end of October, the regiment was at the first siege and capture of Schweidnitz. On November 22, the regiment took part in the battle of Breslau where two of its battalions were deployed in Unruhe's brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul, while a third battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, two battalions of the regiment were deployed in Andlau's brigade in the first line of the infantry right wing under Kheul.

By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia. On October 10, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the right column (under Count d'Arberg) of Arenberg's corps on the Austrian right wing to the east of Rodewitz.

By mid-August 1759, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment was attached to Hadik's corps. On September 21, it probably took part in the combat of Korbitz where it was deployed on the right wing of Hadik's corps. It also saw action at Pretzsch (October 20). On November 20, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Maxen where one battalion was deployed in the first line of the second column of Sincère's corps under the command of under Lieutenant-general Dombasle while the other battalion was attached to Major-general baron Seckendorf's detachment occupying the heights of Malter near Dippoldiswalde.

On November 3 1760, as part of Daun's main army, the regiment took part in the battle of Torgau where it was deployed in Browne's brigade in the second line of the infantry centre.

In October 1761, one battalion of the regiment took part in the storming of Schweidnitz.

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

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, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined blue (therefore blue turnbacks), and the waistcoat and breeches were blue.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

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; yellow within blue rosette; blue pompoms in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a blue bag probably 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 blue fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels blue with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs blue with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white fastened with a blue/white fastener
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small yellow buttons (3-3-3) 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 while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

NCOs

no information found yet

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
  • 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

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.

Musicians

As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by 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 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, pp. 23-24

Other sources

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

Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 49-53

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

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

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