Joseph Esterházy Infantry

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Origin and History

Private of Joseph Esterházy Infantry in 1762 - Source: Brauer-Bogen

The regiment was raised in Hungary by Colonel Thomas Szirmay in 1742. In 1743, Joseph Esterházy became inhaber (owner) of the regiment.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1742, the regiment had barely been trained a few weeks in Olmütz before it had to leave Moravia to take part to the relief of Prague. On August 22 of the same year, it distinguished itself in the attack against French troops occupying the outskirts of Prague.

After the signature of a peace agreement, Joseph Esterházy Infantry assumed garrison duty from December 1749. The staff and 11 companies were posted at Olmütz (present-day Olomouc), 3 companies at Ungarisch Gradisch (present-day Uherské Hradiště) and the rest of the regiment at Prerau (present-day Přerov).

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 owners of the regiment were:

  • since 1743: Joseph Count Esterházy de Galantha
  • from 1762 to 1763: Joseph Baron von Siskovics

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

  • since 1756: Colonel F. A. Count Karolyi
  • from 1759: Colonel de Weiss
  • from 1760: Colonel Nicolaus von Lumaga

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 37".

Service during the War

On October 1 1756, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lobositz where it was deployed in the second line of the centre under General C. Kollowrat in the brigade of Major-General Krottendorf.

On May 6 1757, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where they were deployed in Count Lacy's Brigade, in the first line of the left wing of infantry under Baron Kheul. On November 22, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Browne's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, two battalions of the regiment were deployed in Angern's Brigade in the first line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo.

By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the second line of the Austrian Main Army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 10, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the vanguard of the right column of Daun's main army directly south of Hochkirch.

By mid August 1759, the regiment was part of Buccow's Corps posted in Lusatia. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. On December 3 and 4, the regiment formed part of Beck's Corps who attacked an isolated Prussian force and captured part of it in the Combat of Meissen.

In early June 1760, the regiment was attached to the Austrian Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Ernst Gideon Baron Loudon encamped near Frankenstein. It was deployed in the first line of the centre. On June 23, 2 battalions of the regiment fought in the Battle of Landeshut where they formed part of the third column under Major-General Ellrichshausen, from Gaisruck's Corps, who attacked the Buchberg. On August 15, 2 battalions of the regiment fought in the Battle of Liegnitz where it was deployed in the first line. On September 17, 2 battalions were present at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.

On October 1 1761, one battalion of the regiment took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where it was attached to the fourth column under Lieutenant-Colonel Baron de Vins.

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 Wrede, 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 Raspe, 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; red within gold cockade; one red within gold tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a red bag probably laced yellow with 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 red with 6 red laced buttonholes with red tassels arranged 1-2-3, on each side; 6 yellow buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white edged red fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without buttons
Cuffs red pointed cuffs without buttons
Turnbacks red, each fastened with a white tab edged red and a small yellow button
Waistcoat red dolman edged dark green with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with dark green brandebourgs
Trousers red Hungarian trousers decorated with a dark green lace
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt red and dark green 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.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 depicts a tricorne without tassels and with a red within white pompom; a white and red barrel sash.

Donath and Schirmer describe a red shoulder strap, and a white and dark green barrel sash. Furthermore, Donath illustrates a “v” shaped lace on the trousers.

NCOs

Sergeants and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.

Officers

As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, the officers wore a uniform similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no laced buttonholes on the coat, just plain yellow buttons on the right side and golden trimmed buttonholes on the left side
  • no brandebourg on the dolman which was simply edged gold
  • no turnback
  • vertical pockets with 3 yellow buttons
  • white waistbelt
  • red trousers decorated with a golden lace
  • yellow cavalry 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 red 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, pp. 38-39

Other sources

Anon.: 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: Raspischen Buchhandlung. 1762

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