Kálnoky Hussars

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Origin and History

In the first years of the War of the Austrian Succession, Hungary promised to raise 6 infantry and 3 hussar regiments. Similarly Siebenbürgen (present-day Transylvania) offered to raise a hussar regiments of 1,000 men. The relevant decree was issued on April 17 1742. Colonel Anton Count Kálnoky was appointed commander (not proprietor) of the regiment. Count Kálnoky had been previously serving as lieutenant-colonel in Pestvárgemy Hussars. Kálnoky was received in audience by Maria Theresa in Vienna. He then set off for Transylvania where he found a very bad situation, plague being in the country. Recruitment took a long time.

In April 1743, the regiment was finally completed. On April 18, it was reviewed at Hermannstadt (present-day Sibiu/RO) and then immediately marched from Hermannstadt to the Rhine River. At the end of August, the regiment received its baptism of fire against the French near Breisach. At the end of September, when the Austrian army had to abandon its campaign on the left bank of the Rhine, the regiment was deployed along the Rhine between Laa and Heitersheim.

In 1744, the regiment was instructed to rejoin the main army at Heilbronn. On May 27, it arrived at Sontheim (60 hussars were left behind at Alt Breisach). At the end of May, Nádasdy at the head of 4 hussar regiments (including Kálnoky Hussars) and the Pandours went to the Rhine River to reconnoitre the situation. On June 13, Nádasdy with 100 Kálnoky Hussars, 100 Ghilányi Hussars and 200 Warasdiner Grenzers attacked the garrison of Huttenheim (Hessian and Bavarian troops), stormed an entrenchment and took the garrison prisoners. On July 2, the Pandours attacked a Bavarian detachment near Kuhardt. The Bavarians received support of some French troops and only the furious attack of the entire Kálnoky Hussars avoided the destruction of the Pandour regiment. When Frederick II invaded Bohemia, the Austrian army was forced to immediately return to Bohemia. On August 23, the Austrian army repassed the Rhine. On August 25, three hussar regiments (including Kálnoky Hussars) were sent forward as vanguard. They marched by Mühlburg, Neresheim and Waldmünchen. On October 1, they arrived at Mirotitz (present-day Mirotice/CZ) where they rejoined the main army. Then 100 hussars were sent to the Pandour Corps of Franz von der Trenck, operating around Prague. At the end of October, the regiment (now in Nádasdy's Corps) attacked a Prussian supply convoy, capturing all wagons, 60 horses and, the next day, the quartermaster of the Prussian army: Lieutenant-Colonel von Arnstein. At the beginning of December the regiment took its winter-quarters at Tannenberg (present-day Jodlow/PL).

On January 25 1745, the regiment was sent to Römerstadt (present-day Rýmařov/CZ). The regiment with Beleznay Hussars was directed to join the Hungarian Insurrection troops in Silesia under FM Esterházy. By February, 4 coys (some 200 men) were at Freudenthal (present-day Bruntál/CZ) and 6 coys at Hof. In March, the regiment was deployed near Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ). On May 4, a patrol of Kálnoky hussars spotted a Prussian convoy of 400 wagons supported by 2,000 foot. The hussars followed the convoy up to Mochbern in the suburbs of Breslau (present-day Wroclaw/PL), skirmishing with the escort. Meanwhile, they were joined by Colonel Buccow with the Pandours. They then attacked the convoy. When the Prussians finally received some support, the Austrians retired. In this action they captured some 100 wagons, 262 horses and a number of oxen. Erdödy Hussars and Kálnoky Hussars later supported Insurrection infantry in a fight against Prussian troops under General Schwerin near Jägerndorf (present-day Krnov/CZ). During Autumn, most of the Insurrection troops returned to Hungary. On November 11, Count Kálnoky was promoted to major-general, the new commander of the regiment was Colonel Wolfgang Makhászy (sometimes written Macskassy). The regiment took its winter-quarters around Sternberg (present-day Moravský Šternberk/CZ).

At the end of May 1746, an Austrian corps (including Kálnoky Hussars) was sent to the Netherlands to support the “Pragmatic army”. On July 23, the first column (Kálnoky Hussars, Beleznay Hussars and Nádasdy Hussars) under Major-General Duke Esterházy arrived at Peer (near Maastricht/NL) and was directed to the corps of FML Trips. On August 2, these hussars took part in a first fight near Namur, killing nearly 800 Austrian deserters serving in a French corps of pandours and hussars. On October 11, these hussar regiments took part in the Battle of Rocoux but were not directly involved in any combat, being deployed in the second line of the left wing. The regiment spent winter near Rheydt and Ödenkirchen, to the north-west of Colonia in Germany.

In 1747, along with Esterházy Hussars and Nádasdy Hussars, the regiment formed the vanguard of Trips' Corps and campaigned in the Netherlands once more. On May 10, Colonel Macskassy at the head of 6 coys of his regiment and some grenadiers and Pandours attacked the French near Mechelen. The French were defeated, throwing away their weapons, they took refuge behind the walls of Mechelen. In this action, the French lost 100 men, 1 officer and 21 men taken prisoners. At the beginning of November, the regiment took its winter-quarters near Essen in Germany. By then, the regiment counted 11 coys for a total of 32 officers, 7 aggregiert and 886 men.

In 1748, the regiment did not take part in any major action. In November, all Austrian troops returned home. The regiment marched towards Transylvania and arrived Thorda where, on December 27, it was reviewed.

On May 10 1749, Count Kálnoky was appointed proprietor of the regiment.

In 1752, Colonel Macskassy retired and was replaced by Colonel Csedö who died in 1753. Baron Josef Jósika de Branyicska then assumed command of the regiment.

In 1754, the regiment was at Homonna (present-day Humenné/SK).

From its creation, the regiment was under the nominal command of:

  • since 1742: no proprietor
  • from 1749 to 1784: Anton, Count Kálnoky

From its creation, the regiment was under the effective command of:

  • since 1742: Anton Count Kálnoky
  • from 1746: Wolfgang Macskassy (Makhászy)
  • from 1753: Colonel Baron Josika von Branyicska
  • from 1757: Colonel Joseph Adam Count Bethlen
  • from 1759: Colonel Georg von Simony
  • from 1771: Adam count Bethlen

In 1798, the regiment was designated as the Husaren Regiment Nr. 2.

Service during the War

In June 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Hungary and counted 559 men and 255 horses. During the winter of 1756-57, the regiment received a sixth squadron.

On March 2 1757, the regiment (702 men) left Thorda. On April 15, it arrived at Bärn (present-day Moravský Beroun/CZ). On May 19, as part of Major-General Morocz's vanguard, the regiment arrived at the camp of the main army at Kuttenberg (present-day Kutná Hora/CZ). On June 18 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the first line of the extreme right wing in Hadik's division. After the victory, Morocz followed the Prussian Army during its retreat towards Silesia. On September 7, when General Nádasdy attacked the isolated corps of Winterfeldt in the Combat of Moys, the regiment was part of the vanguard in front of the right wing under the command of Lieutenant-General Kálnoky whose brigade supported Grenzer troops. When the main Austrian army marched towards Breslau, a corps under FZM Marschall (11 grenadier coys, 6 cavalry regiments including Kálnoky Hussars) remained in the region of Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) . During G.d.C. Hadik's raid on Berlin, Marschall's Corps was sent to Bautzen in Saxony. On November 14, it was at Löbau; on November 24, at Grottau (present-day Hrádek nad Nisou/CZ). Marschall's Corps was later recalled to Bohemia where it arrived on December 11, taking its winter-quarters near Melnik (present-day Mělník/CZ).

In 1758, Colonel Josef Count Bethlen was appointed new commander of the regiment which was posted near Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ). It remained in this region for the whole year, distinguishing itself in several skirmishes among which engagements near Landeshut and Königrätz. It took its winter-quarters in and around Rumburg (present-day Rumburk/CZ).

By March 1759, the regiment was part of FML Beck's Corps posted near Landeshut (present-day Kamenia Gora/PL) in Silesia and was involved in “Klein Krieg” (guerilla warfare), taking part in engagements at Greifenberg and Liebau. In July, Count Bethlen was appointed general and Colonel Georg von Simonyi succeeded him as commander of the regiment. At the end of July, the regiment was part of a corps of 24,000 men placed under the command of FML Loudon by Field-Marshal Daun. Loudon was instructed to make a junction with the Russian army. On August 12, the regiment fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the reserve of the left wing as part of Loudon's cavalry corps. The regiment was not directly involved during the battle but, along with Nádasdy Hussars, it pursued the retreating Prussians and captured 100 men and 2 guns. After the battle, each men of Loudon's Corps received one ruble from Empress Elizabeth. Loudon then returned with his corps through Silesia to the Moravian border. The regiment took its winter-quarters near Freudenthal (present-day Bruntál/CZ).

In 1760, the regiment served in Silesia for the whole year. In March, it took part in an engagement near Schlesisch-Neustadt. In early June 1760, it formed part of Loudon's Army of Silesia where it was deployed in Drašković's Corps in Upper-Silesia. While Loudon was besieging Landeshut (present-day Kamenia Gora/PL), he sent Major-General Bethlen with Kálnoky Hussars, 1 sqn of chevaux-legers and 1 bn of Grenzer to reconnoitre the fortress of Neisse (present-day Nysa/PL). In July, the regiment was present at the Siege of Glatz. On July 26, the fortress surrendered and 100 men of Kálnoky Hussars remained in the fortress as garrison. On September 30, the regiment formed part of a detachment (Kálnoky Hussars and 200 men of Löwenstein Dragoons) under Major-General Bethlen. This detachment took part in a bloody engagement at Lindewiese against a Prussian force under General Neuwied (Krockow Dragoons, 2 sqns of Alt Platen Dragoons, 4 hussar sqns of various regiments and some infantry). In this action, the regiment lost 19 men dead, 25 men wounded and 7 captured taken prisoners. On November 20, the regiment took its winter-quarters around Hotzenplotz (present day Osoblaha/CZ).

Until July 1761, nothing important happened. The regiment was attached to Loudon's Corps posted near Neustadt (present-day Prudnik/PL). On July 25, 3 sqns of the regiment and 1 bn of Grenzers, led by Colonel Barcó, occupied Oppeln (present-day Opole/PL). By the end of the campaign, the regiment was distributed among the fortresses of Neisse and Cosel. On October 31, it went to Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ). It then took its winter-quarters in Leobschütz (present-day Glubczyce/PL), Ziegenhals (present-day Glucholazy/PL) and Neustadt (present-day Prudnik/PL).

Until July 1762, the regiment remained with the main army. In July, it was assigned to Brentano's Corps and went to Adersbach (present-day Adršpach/CZ) and from there to Friedland (present-day Frýdlant/CZ). On July 21, the regiment took part in the Battle of Burkersdorf. In a combat with troops of Lieutenant-General Neuwied, 3 officers and a few hussars of the regiment were taken prisoners. On August 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Reichenbach, its last combat of the war. In October, after the surrender of Schweidnitz the Austrian army took its winter-quarters, the regiment went to Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ).

At the beginning of 1763, the regiment marched back to Transylvania, arriving at Deva on June 6 where it assumed garrison duty.

Uniform

Privates

The 1757 reform, stated that all hussar regiments should be dressed in dark blue uniform with yellow distinctives. However, this regulation seems to have been followed only by Kaiser Franz I Hussars. The present regiment retained its former uniform.

Uniform in 1757
Source: David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details as per the Albertina Handschift completed where necessary with other sources
Headgear brown kolback with yellow cords and tassels and a red bag
Pelisse light blue lined with black sheepskin
Fur trim black
Lace 12 rows of yellow braids
Buttons yellow
Dolman light blue edged yellow with 17 rows of yellow braids (some hidden by the sash) and yellow buttons
Collar light blue edged yellow
Cuffs light blue pointed cuffs edged yellow
Trousers red decorated with an intricate yellow lace on each thigh
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waist-sash yellow and light blue barrel sash
Scabbard black with copper fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots edged yellow with a yellow tassel
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red shabraque edged yellow
Sabretache red edged yellow and decorated with a yellow “K” surmounted by a golden crown and surrounded by golden palm leaves


Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, a musket and two pistols.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates a very different uniform:

  • brown kolback with a medium blue bag
  • medium blue pelisse with grey fur trim
  • medium blue dolman and trousers
  • medium blue sabretache edged gold and decorated with a golden “K”
  • medium blue saddle cloth edged gold and heavily decorated with golden laces
  • white cross belts
  • yellow Hungarian boots

Knötel illustrates a light blue sabretache edged gold, decorated with a golden “K” surmounted by a golden crown and surrounded by golden palm leaves.

Donath illustrates an entirely different uniform:

  • brown kolback with a red bag
  • white pelisse trimmed with black fur
  • white dolman
  • red trousers

Officers

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

  • brown fur trim on the pelisse
  • yellow Hungarian boots edged gold
  • dark green saddle cloth edged gold

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

As per Knötel, trumpeters wore a uniform similar to those of the regular cavalry:

  • black tricorned scalloped silver with a black cockade on the left side
  • scarlet coat (not a pelisse) laced and trimmed in silver with blue cuffs edged silver
  • blue dolman with silver braids
  • pink trousers
  • silver trumpet with a blue apron

blue saddle cloth and holster covers

Colours

The regiment received guidons, trumpet and kettle drum banners. These showed the crest of Siebenbürgen, with the red-white-red Austrian badge in the heart shield. The standards were also decorated with the motto on scrolls: “MARIA. TH(e)RES(ia). R(egina). H(ungariae). B(ohemiae). A(rchiducissa). PRINC(eps). TRANSIL(vaniae)”.

These guidons are depicted in Magyar Huszar Kálnoky-Huszárezred.

References

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 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt Halle, Universitätsbibliothek Kiel, Landesbibliothek Darmstadt)

Albertina-Handschrift Dessins des Uniformes des Troupes I.I. et R.R. de l'année 1762 (Bibliothek des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien)

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

Grosser Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

Magyar Huszar

Hausmann, Friedrich: Die Feldzeichen der Truppen Maria Theresias; in Schriften des HGM, Vol III; Vienna and Koeln, 1967; pp. 129-174

Klimek, St.: Oesterreichische Kavalleriestandarten aus dem 18. Jahrhundert im Heeresmuseum zu Wien, Die Zinnfigur, Clio: 1927

Knötel, Herbert d. J. and Hans Brauer:: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Uniformbogen No. 7, 23, 71, 95, 97

Pizzighelli, C.: Geschichte des K. U. K. Husaren-Regimentes Friedrich Leopold Prinz von Preussen Nr. 2, Kronstadt 1905

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 69

Skala H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte

Thümmler, Lars-Holger: Die Österreichische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

Wrede, A. V.: Geschichte der K. Und K. Wehrmacht, Vol. III, Part 1, Vienna 1898-1905

Acknowledgments

Digby Smith for the initial version of this article, Harald Skala for additional information on origin and history and User:Zahn for information on the uniform