Harsch Infantry

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Origin and History

This regiment was raised in 1620, during the Thirty Years' War. The same year, it took part in the Battle of White Mountain near Prague. In 1631, it was present at the siege of Magdeburg and at the Battle of Leipzig. In 1632, it fought in the Battle of Lützen; in 1634, in the Battle of Nördlingen; in 1637, in the siege of Iglau.

In 1657, the regiment was at the siege of Cracau. In 1658, it campaigned in Prussia; in 1659, in Pomerania.

In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the Battle of Seneffe; in 1675, in the Battle of Altenheim; in 1676, in the storming of the contrescarpe of Philippsburg; and in 1678 in the engagement of Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment under the command of the Count Souches took part in the defence of Vienna; in 1685, in the siege of Neuhäusel and in the Battle of Gran; in the siege of Ofen; in 1687, in the Battle of Mohacs and in the expedition in Slavonia; in 1688, in the storming of Belgrade; in 1689, in the engagements of Patacin and Nissa; in 1691, in the Battle of Slankamen where its proprietor, Count Souche the Younger was mortally wounded. The regiment then became the property of Leopold Count von Herberstein. The same year, it took part in the siege of Grosswardein; and in 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1700, the regiment was stationed in Bohemia when it received orders to march towards Tyrol where an Imperial army was assembling.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1701, the regiment marched through the Electorate of Bavaria to Kufstein and Inssbruck and then to Rovereto. At the end of March, it had joined the Austrian troops destined for the invasion of Northern Italy who had assembled in South Tyrol. On September 1, three bns of the regiment fought in the Battle of Chiari. In December, the entire regiment took up its winter-quarters at Campitello, Castellucchio, Piubega, Canicossa and Curtatone On 1 February 1702, the regiment took part in the failed attempt to capture Cremona. On August 15, three bns of the regiment took part in the Battle of Luzzara. On August 16 1705, it fought in the Battle of Cassano; on September 7 1706, in the Battle of Turin; in 1707, in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon. In 1712, the regiment was at the siege of Porto Ercole.

In 1728, Count Casimir Heinrich von Wurmbrand became proprietor of the regiment which he kept till his death on January 20 1749.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1735 but was soon recalled to fight the Turks, taking part in the engagement of Grotzka.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Bohemia and Silesia in 1741 and 1742. On September 30 1745, it fought at the battle of Soor, and on December 15 of the same year, it took part in the battle of Kesselsdorf.

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 1749 1o 1766: Ferdinand Philipp count von Harsch

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

  • in 1759: baron Weichs
  • in 1760: Andreas count Poniatowski

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 50".

The regiment was disbanded in 1809.

Service during the War

In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the depot of the regiment was located in Bohemia. On October 1, it took part in the Battle of Lobositz where it was deployed in the first line of the centre under General C. Kollowrat in the brigade of Major-General Wied.

On May 6 1757, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where they were deployed in Count Campitelli's Brigade, in the second line of the right wing of infantry under Count Königsegg. On November 22, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where they were deployed in Gemmingen's Brigade, in the second line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, 2 battalions of the regiment were deployed in Haller's Brigade in the second line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo.

By August 2 1758, the regiment was part of the reserve of the main Austrian army under the command of Count Leopold Daun near Jaromirs. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 10, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the first line of the right column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch.

On November 20 1759, 2 battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where they were deployed in the first line of the second column of Sincère's Corps under the command of Lieutenant-General Dombasle.

In early June 1760, 2 battalions of the regiment were part of Daun's Grand Army during its campaign in Saxony. In July, 1 battalion of the regiment formed part of the garrison of Dresden and took part in the defence of Dresden. On November 3, 2 battalions of the regiment fought in the Battle of Torgau.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
as per the Delacre Bilderhandschrift of 1757
and the Albertina Handschrift, Bautzener Bilderhandschrift and Raspe of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener on the right side (on the left side with a small white button in 1762); no pompom (white within scarlet pompoms in 1762)
Grenadier bearskin with a metal front plate and a scarlet bag laced white
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white (line scarlet in 1762) 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 scarlet fastened by a white button and a white buttonhole with tassel (left shoulder only)
Lapels scarlet with 7 white buttons (1-3-3) (in addition: 7 white buttonholes with white tassels in 1762)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs scarlet with 3 white buttons (in addition 3 white buttonholes with tassels in 1762)
Turnbacks white (scarlet in 1762)
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of white buttons (1 row in 1762) and with horizontal pockets
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 and a bayonet while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandscrhift illustrates yellow buttons and a grenadier bearskin with a yellow metal front plate.

NCOs

no information found yet

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
  • a silver aiguillette on the left shoulder
  • no turnbacks (Weyr illustrates scarlet turnbacks)
  • scarlet sash with two wide silver braids

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 scarlet swallow nests edged silver on the shoulders. In addition, Donath illustrates the following differences:

  • scarlet cuffs edged with a wide silver braid

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:

  • 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. 215-220
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 10-11

Other sources

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 auf Kosten der Raspischen Buchhandlung. Ao. 1762

Bilderhandschrift Delacre: Militair Etat der Ganzen Kayl., Königl. Armee Wienn 1757

Bleckwenn, Hans; Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967

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

Friese, Ulf-Joachim, Quellen zur Uniformierung der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee 1740-1763

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

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

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

Weyr, Leutnant des Inf.Regts. Harsch 1762, in Das Kasket, plates 75, 122

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