De Ville Cuirassiers
Origin and History
The regiment was raised in Bohemia in 1682 by GFWM Hermann Otto, Count Limburg-Styrum who got the relevant decree on 8. March 8 1682. Two companies were transferred from Montecuccoli Cuirassiers and Pálffy Cuirassiers to form the kernel of the new regiment.
From its creation in 1682 to 1698, the regiment fought in Hungary against the Turks and Thököly's rebels (in 1683, in the Battle of Vienna; in 1686, in the second siege of Ofen; in 1687, at Mohács/Harsány; in 1691, at Szlankamen). Between 1698 and 1701 the regiment garrisoned in Hungary.
In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was attached to the army of Prince Eugène who proceeded to the invasion of Northern Italy. In 1701, the regiment took part in the Combat of Carpi and in the Battle of Chiari; in 1702, in the combat of Santa Vittoria and in the Battle of Luzzara; in 1703, in an engagement near Ostiglia. A detachment then participated in the raid in Piedmont. In 1704, three squadrons were sent to Piedmont while the other three squadrons remained encamped on the Po River. In 1705, three squadrons remained stationed in Piedmont while the three other squadrons took part in the Battle of Cassano. From 1707 to 1712, the regiment remained stationed in Northern Italy where it saw no action. In 1713, it was transferred to the Rhine but saw no action.
In 1716, the regiment rejoined the main army in Hungary and took part in the Battle of Peterwardein and in the siege of Temesvár. In 1717, it was at the siege and battle of Belgrade. In 1718 and 1719, the regiment was in garrison in Moravia. It was then transferred to Transylvania and Hungary for a few years.
In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment campaigned in Italy and took part in the Battle of Guastalla. In 1735, during the Battle of Marengo, its colonel, Saint-Pierre Chevalier de Montfalcon, distinguished himself.
In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment fought at Camposanto. In 1744, it participated in the raid on Naples. In 1744, it took part in the surprise attack on Velletri. In 1746, it fought in the battles of Piacenza and Rottofredo, and later on in the raid in Provence.
The regiment counted 6 squadrons and a company of carabiniers. For battles, the latter was usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was:
- since 1751: Carl Ludwig Baron von Gelhay (resigned from his function in 1758)
- from 1759 to 1768: Carl Marquis de Ville
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- from 1751: Max Ferdinand Baron von Berlichingen
- from 1757: Ferdinand Grana, Marquis del Carreto, Savona and Millesimo
After the Seven Years' War, the regiment garrisoned Csakova (Banat).
The regiment was disbanded in 1768 and its squadrons incorporated into other regiments. Its carabiniers were transferred to the newly established 2. Carabinier Regiment “Althann”
Service during the War
In June 1756, at the beginning of war, the regiment was stationed in the County of Arad in Hungary and counted 749 men and 779 horses.
On June 18 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing under Count von Stampach. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the Prince Hohenzollern's Brigade, in the first line of the cavalry left wing under Count Serbelloni. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in the Hohenzollern's Brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing under General Serbelloni.
By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Daun near Jaromirs. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 14, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in Loudon's Corps, to the south-west of Hochkirch. The Major Prince Nassau-Usingen would later receive the Maria-Theresia-Order for his conduct in this battle.
In 1760, the regiment was allocated to the “Reichsarmee”.
On May 12 1762, the regiment was engaged in the Combat of Döbeln where its six squadrons were taken, along with the entire corps of FZM Zedtwitz, as prisoner of war. In this action, the regiment also lost its kettle-drums.
|Coat||white lined red with 12 brass buttons (right side) and with a red strap at the collar fastened by 2 brass buttons
|Waistcoat||white with two rows of 12 brass buttons (partly hidden by the coat in our plate) and horizontal pockets (each with 3 brass buttons)|
Troopers were armed with a black breastplate (worn over the coat), a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols. Carabiniers also carried a carbine and had a sabre instead of a sword.
The Albertina Handschrift shows 13 buttons on the coat. Raspe along with several other sources shows only 12 buttons.
The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift shows a laced tricorne, a red neckstock
The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade
- blue saddlecloth and sabretache both laced in red and fringed in gold
The aprons of the trumpets were yellow and carried a cipher. The aprons of the kettle drums were probably red.
Leib Standard: no information available yet
Regimental Standard: red
- Obverse: double eagle, red/white/red escutcheon surmounted by a crown
- Reverse: silver eagle feeding its four eaglets, surmounted by a silver scroll with the motto “Dominus duovidevie” in black
Bleckwenn, Hans; Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967
Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Grosser Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913
Gundram, R.: Das Gefecht bei Döbeln am 12. Mai 1762, in “Sächsische Heimat Blätter” 4/5, 2002
Knötel, Richard: Uniformkunde. Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, 18 Bde., Rathenow 1890-1919
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
Raspe, 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: 1762
Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993
Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file III. second part, page 570ff, Vienna 1901
Zahn, Michael, Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988
Harald Skala for the sections on origins and history and service during the war