Erzherzog Carl Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in Hungary by Baron Ladislaus von Uyvari in 1742.

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:

  • since February 26 1749: Erzherzog Carl
  • from 1761 until 1763: Erzherzog Ferdinand

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

  • in 1756: Colonel Baron von Siskovics
  • in 1757: Colonel Baron des Vettes, killed on October 10 1757 during a skirmish against the Prussian Jägers near Meuselwitz
  • from 1758: Colonel Ignaz von Szaloghi
  • from 1760: Colonel Baron de Caieser

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 2".

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, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the on the right of the first line in Esterházy's Brigade. During the battle, the regiment repulsed five attacks. During the last attack, Colonel Siskovics was severely wounded. However, he remained with his regiment till the Austrians gained a shining victory. In this battle, the regiment lost 2 captains and 37 men dead and 13 subalterns and 100 men wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Vettes was charged with the honourable task of bringing news of the victory to Vienna. He was promoted to colonel, every man of the regiment got a Douceur (gift) of 20 ducats from Maria Theresa. For his part, Josef Baron Siskovics was retroactively to June 6 1757 promoted to Generalfeldwachtmeister (GFWM) and proposed by the officers of his regiment for the Maria Theresa Order. After Siskovics' promotion, Colonel Vettes replaced him a commander of Erzherzog Carl Infantry (he fell on October 10 1757 in an engagement againt Prussian Jägers near Meuselwitz in Saxony).

In October and November, 1 battalion took part in the siege and capture of Schweidnitz. On November 22, the entire regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where two of its battalions were deployed in the Marquis d'Aynse's Brigade, in the extreme left wing of infantry under Count Puebla, 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 Puebla's Brigade in the first line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo.

On October 10 1758, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the vanguard of the left column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch.

In 1760, the regiment took part in the Austrian campaign in Saxony. In early June, it was attached to Daun's Grand Army, encamped near Dresden, and was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. On September 17, 2 battalions were present at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf. On November 3, they distinguished themselves at the Battle of Torgau were they were captured almost whole in the confused final stages of the battle.

On October 1 1761, one battalion of the regiment took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where it was attached to the second column under Major Koppernzelle.

From August to December 1762, 1 battalion 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.

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 almost identical to the uniform of 1762.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1762
as per 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; lemon yellow cockade; one lemon yellow tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a lemon yellow bag probably laced white with 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 lemon yellow with 6 lemon yellow laced buttonholes with lemon yellow tassels arranged 1-2-3, on each side; 6 yellow buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without buttons
Cuffs lemon yellow pointed cuffs without buttons
Turnbacks lemon yellow
Waistcoat royal blue dolman edged lemon yellow with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with lemon yellow brandebourgs
Sabretache royal blue edged yellow and decorated with a white eagle
Trousers royal blue Hungarian trousers
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt royal blue and 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.

NCOs

Sergeants and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.

Officers

As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, the officers wore a different uniform in 1762:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • dark blue waistcoat edged in gold with golden brandebourgs
  • brandebourgs only on the left side of the coat
  • 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 lemon yellow 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:

  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 38

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

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

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