Difference between revisions of "De Ligne Infantry"

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Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.
 
Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.
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 +
N.B.: Bleckwenn reports (''Die Regimenter der Kaiserin'', in: Schriften des HGM Vol. 3) a statement by the Prince of Prussia in 1762, who had seen a dead officer of the regiment wearing - obviously Hungarian - pink trousers and half boots, a quite unusual attire. (''anecdote contributed by Klaus Roider'')
  
 
'''Other interpretations'''
 
'''Other interpretations'''

Latest revision as of 10:37, 7 August 2020

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

Origin and History

In 1706, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13) after the defeat of the French army at Ramillies, several Belgians faithful to Philippe V of Bourbon emigrated to Spain. However, several other ones chose to enlist in the army raised in the Spanish Netherlands by Charles of Habsburg. The Belgian unit of this army took part in the war, fighting at Oudenarde (July 11, 1708) and Malplaquet (September 11, 1709).

In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht attributed the southern part of the Spanish Netherlands to Austria. The same year, the regiment was created by the amalgamation of three former regiments:

  • Duke Ernst Leopold von Holstein-Norburg;
  • Gent;
  • Prince Claude de Ligne.

Its first Chef was the former owner of the third regiment: Prince Claude de Ligne. The regiment served mostly in the Netherlands.

In 1717, Austria sent the so called “Walloon units” (in fact composed of natives of all provinces of the Austrian Netherlands) to fight against the Turks in the Balkans.

In 1725, immediately after the Treaty of Vienna, by which Spain relinquished its claims to the Southern Netherlands, the interim governor of the Netherlands, FM Wirich Philipp Lorenz Count Daun, received orders to reorganize the troops of the Austrian Netherlands. At that time, the national troops of the Austrian Netherlands comprised 7 infantry regiments and 1 cavalry regiment. The infantry totalled 267 officers and 4,203 men and consisted of:

  • Marquis los Rios (36 officers and 621 men) stationed in Antwerp
  • Prince Claude de Ligne (37 officers and 505 men) stationed in Antwerp
  • Count Bournonville (38 officers and 626 men) stationed in Mons
  • Count Maldeghem (39 officers and 696 men) stationed in Oudenarde
  • Count Lannoy (39 officers and 517 men) stationed in Mons
  • Marquis de Prié (39 officers and 602 men) stationed in Mons
  • Comte de Gand (39 officers and 606 men) stationed in Termonde

The present regiment was formed with the remnants of the regiments Claude de Ligne and Comte de Gand and was officially incorporated in the Austrian forces in the Austrian Netherlands. It was given to Lieutenant-General Prince Claude-Lamoral de Ligne. At his creation the regiment was briefly commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Amant de Rumigny-Peissant.

Recruitment was made on a voluntary basis and was reserved exclusively to Belgians. Theoretically, enrollment was for life or at least for an unlimited period. However, with the urgent need of manpower during wars, volunteers could enroll for a period of three to nine years.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment joined the army assembled on the frontier under the command of the Duke von Arenberg. On June 27, 1743, two battalions and the two grenadier companies of the regiment took part in the Battle of Dettingen. On May 11, 1745, they fought in the Battle of Fontenoy. In May 1748, a detachment of the regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Hottero took part in the defence of the Castle de La Roche.

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:

  • from 1713 to 1766: Prince Claude-Lamoral de Ligne

The successive colonel-commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 1725: Amant de Rumigny-Peissant (as lieutenant-colonel)
  • from 1726: Charles-Urbain de Chanclos de Rits-Breisuela (promoted to general in 1735)
  • from 1735: Amant de Rumigny-Peissant (retired in 1748)
  • from 1748: Charles Winterfeld
  • from 1752: Maximilien-Casimir, Comte de Bournonville

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 38".

Service during the War

In 1756, one battalion and the two grenadiers companies of the regiment were ordered to join the main Austrian army assembled in Bohemia. In the spring of 1757, another battalion and a newly raised grenadier company were sent to assist the French army on the Lower Rhine. In the following sections, the feats of arms of these two distinct contingents are followed separately until their reunification.

Battalions serving with the Austrian Army of Bohemia

In December 1756, one battalion and the two grenadier companies of the regiment left the Austrian Netherlands to join the army of Field Marshal Daun in the region of Königsgrätz in Bohemia.

On June 18, 1757, the battalion was in Bohemia with Count Leopold Daun at 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 the isolated Prussian corps of Winterfeldt in the combat of Moys, this same battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry left division under the command of Lieutenant-General Clerici; while the two grenadier companies were converged with other grenadier companies. These grenadiers, formed in three columns, stormed the Jäckelsberg at the point of the bayonet. Charles-Joseph, Prince de Ligne, a captain in this regiment distinguished himself in this combat. Captain Marquis d’Assche was killed in action. On November 22, this battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was part of the Reserve Corps in Baron Wolff's brigade. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, this battalion of the regiment was deployed in the third line of the far right Reserve under Major-General von Luzinsky. In this battle, it lost 170 men killed or wounded, including Lieutenant-Colonel de l’Aman and 9 officers killed.

By the end of 1757, the six Walloon battalions serving in Bohemia had suffered so heavily that their remnants had to be temporarily converged in a single battalion, which took up its winter-quarters near Reichenbach (unidentified location) and Czernilow (present-day Černilov/CZ) in Bohemia.

On January 25, 1758, Empress Maria Theresa issued a decree to levy a large quantity of recruits for her Walloon infantry regiments. By August 2, one battalion of the regiment was part of the reserve 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 4, this battalion was joined by the battalion which had previously served with the French army on the Lower Rhine. (for the following campaigns, see the section “Reunited regiment”)

Battalion serving with the French Army of the Lower Rhine

In April, 1757, one battalion and a newly raised grenadier company (the 3rd) formed part of a second contingent under Major-General Dombasle sent to join a French army for the planned invasion of Hanover. The four battalions strong Austrian contingent assembled at Roermond. At the beginning of April, the Prince de Soubise ordered the Austrian contingent to move into the Duchy of Cleves and Guelders and occupy them. On April 6, 3 battalions of the Austrian contingent, under Comte Dombasle, entered into Cleves. In June, the battalion of the regiment was in the camp of Bielefeld with the French Lower Rhine Army under Comte d'Estrées. On July 26, this battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Maximilien d’Espitael, was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the right wing under d'Armentières. After the victory, the battalion encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the French Lower Rhine Army from July 31 to August 2. At the end of the year, the battalion took up its winter quarters in the first line of the French Army at Duderstadt.

On March 11 and 16, 1758, the battalion of the regiment took part in combats near Herstelle at the junction of the Diemel and Weser rivers, managing to hold its positions. In March, it took up its winter-quarters in the vicinity of Kleve. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, this battalion was stationed in Wesel. At the end of May, it formed part of the contingent under the Baron de Dombasle which had been ordered to join the Austrian army assembled in Bohemia. On its way, this contingent was instructed to join the Reichsarmee which was marching towards Bayreuth and Saxony to fight the Prussians. In September, the contingent took part in the siege of Pirna and in the capture of the Fortress of Sonnenstein. On 4 October, the battalion was finally reunited with the rest of the regiment which was serving under Daun in the main Austrian army. (for the following campaigns, see the section “Reunited regiment”)

Reunited regiment

On October 4, 1758, after the arrival of the battalion which had previously served with the French, the regiment was then reorganised in 2 battalions of 6 companies each and a grenadier division. On October 14, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the vanguard of the leftmost column under O'Donnell, to the west of Steindörfel. It then bitterly fought to keep control of the village of Hochkirch. For his conduct, the Lieutenant-Colonel Prince de Ligne was promoted to colonel (he would remain with the regiment and act as colonel in second). In November, the regiment and its grenadiers took part in the unsuccessful siege of Dresden. On November 9, they took part in a combat against elements of Finck’s Corps in the zoological park. At the end of November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters at Janowitz (present-day Janovice, Rýmařov) in Bohemia where it would remain until June 1759.

By June 1759, the regiment was attached to Daun’s main army which marched to Marklissa in Lusatia. By mid August, it was part of Aynse's Corps. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. On October 25, the regiment was detached under the Duke von Arenberg and marched to Dommitzsch. On October 29, Arenberg’s detachment was on the march towards Wittenberg when it was attacked by a Prussian force near Sackwitz. Arenberg, retired to Düben. On November 4, Arenberg’s detachment rejoined the main army at Naundorf. On November 7, 1 battalion of the regiment took part in an engagement near Zehren. On November 20, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where they were deployed in the second line of the first column of Sincère's Corps under the command of Lieutenant-General Aynse. The regiment and its grenadiers took their their winter-quarters in Gompsen (unidentified location), Seyda and Lungwitz (unidentified location).

In the spring of 1760, 1 battalion was recalled to the Austrian Netherlands. Only 1 battalion and the grenadiers of the regiment remained in Saxony. By August, they were attached to Lacy’s Corps. On November 3, one battalion and the grenadiers of the regiment took part in the Battle of Torgau.

In 1761, the regiment served with Daun’s main army in Saxony. It took up its winter-quarters at Coswig, Weinbohla and Gohleis.

For the campaign of 1762, one battalion and the grenadiers were attached to Lacy’s Corps. On the night of August 10 to 11, they took part in a combat, where they lost Lieutenant Saint-Genia. A contingent of the regiment (7 officers and 223 men) under Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Horger, including the grenadier company of Captain Jean, Comte de Rutant, formed part of the garrison which took part in the defence of Schweidnitz and was forced to surrender as prisoners of war.

In February 1763, the regiment was instructed to return to the Austrian Netherlands.

Uniform

Until recently we had a very vague description of the uniform at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War. Thanks to the kind authorisation of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, Dal Gavan, a member of our group, has had access to the Delacre Bilderhandschrift, a rare contemporaneous manuscript depicting the uniforms of the entire K. K. Army around 1756-57. For this reason, we present the uniforms of privates circa 1757 and in 1762.

Privates 1757

Uniform in 1757 - Copyright: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture.
Uniform in 1757
as per the Delacre Bilderhandschrift of 1757, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener and a small white button
Grenadier bearskin perhaps with a rose bag probably laced white and a white 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 white buttons under the right lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back on each side
Shoulder Straps none visible
Lapels darkish rose pink with 7 white buttons (arranged 1-3-3 from the top)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs darkish rose pink, each with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of 9 white buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets (each with 3 white 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
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black
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.

Privates 1762

Uniform in 1762 - Copyright: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture.
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white button on the left side; white within light rose cockade
Grenadier bearskin with a light rose bag probably laced white and a white 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 white buttons under the right lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps light rose fastened by a white button (left shoulder only)
Lapels light rose with 7 white buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs light rose with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white attached with a light rose fastener
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small white buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 white 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.

N.B.: Bleckwenn reports (Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, in: Schriften des HGM Vol. 3) a statement by the Prince of Prussia in 1762, who had seen a dead officer of the regiment wearing - obviously Hungarian - pink trousers and half boots, a quite unusual attire. (anecdote contributed by Klaus Roider)

Other interpretations

Knötel illustrates the following differences:

  • tricorne without cockade or pompoms
  • a light rose fastener with 1 white button at each turnback
  • only one row of buttons on the waistcoat

NCOs

NCO of de Ligne Infantry in 1762 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd and had silver edgings on their lapels and cuffs.

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced silver with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • black epaulette 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 probably wore coats of reversed colours with a white shoulder strap on the left shoulder, white swallow nests, white lapels, white cuffs and white turnbacks. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with light rose 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: 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 (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: 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:

  • Guillaume, G.: Histoire des Régiments Nationaux Belges pendant la Guerre de Sept Ans Bruxelles: 1854
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 28

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

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