Kaiser Infantry

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Origin and History

Grenadier of Kaiser Infantry in 1762, wearing a tricorne - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was raised in 1715 in the electorate of Trier as regiment “Carl Herzog zu Lothringen und Bar, Kurfürst von Trier”. In 1716, it was transferred to Imperial service as “Alt-Lothringen”. In 1726 Franz Stephan Herzog zu Lothringen, husband of Maria Theresa, became Inhaber (owner) of the regiment. In 1745, he was crowned as Franz I Holy Roman Emperor of German Nation. Since then, the successive emperors of the house of Habsburg Lothringen were regimental Inhaber. The recruiting area of the regiment area was the entire Reich (empire).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the battles of Mollwitz (April 10, 1741), Chotusitz (May 17, 1742), Hohenfriedberg (June 4, 1745) and Soor (September 30, 1745).

As per the 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:

  • 1745 to 1765: Kaiser Franz I

Colonel-commanders during the Seven Years' War:

  • since 1756: Leopold Baron von Lagelberg (killed in action at the battle of Leuthen)
  • from 1758: Engelbert Baron von Leeuven

In 1763, after the war , the regiment garrisoned Olmütz in Moravia and Öfen (actual Budapest) in Hungaria.

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 1". It existed till 1918, always as "I.R. Kaiser Nr. 1".

Service during the War

At the beginning of 1756, the regiment was garrisoning Pilsen 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. Kolowrat in the brigade of Major-general Wied.

On May 6 1757, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Prague where they were deployed in Count d'Ursel's brigade, in the first line of the right wing of infantry under count Königsegg, distinguishing themselves. On November 22, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Breslau where they were deployed in d’Ursel's brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul, suffering heavy losses. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, two battalions of the regiment were deployed in Andlau's brigade in the first line of the infantry right wing under Kheul, suffering heavy losses once more. The regimental commander Leopold Baron von Lagelberg was killed.

From May to July 1758, a battalion took part in the defence of Olmütz. By August 2, one battalion of the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Count Leopold Daun near Jarmeriz. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia. On October 10, two battalions of the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the right column (under Count d'Arberg) of Arenberg's corps on the Austrian right wing to the east of Rodewitz.

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.

In 1760, the regiment distinguished itself by repeated sorties in the defence of Dresden. On November 3, it was nearly annihilated at the battle of Torgau.

To do: campaigns from 1760 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 of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener, (in addition in 1762: a small yellow button and a yellow pompom and 2 smaller blue within yellow pompoms)
Grenadier bearskin with a small brass front plate and a scarlet bag
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined scarlet (lined white from 1760) with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels scarlet with 7 yellow buttons (2 groups of 3 and an isolated one at the top)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs scarlet with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks scarlet with yellow fasteners (white with white fastener from 1760)
Waistcoat scarlet (white from 1760) with 2 rows of 9 yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets (each with 3 yellow buttons)
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
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

Other interpretations

Raspe illustrates scarlet within yellow small pompoms

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no shoulder strap
  • yellow and black silk sash

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 ???blue??? 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 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

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

Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

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

Duffy, Christopher; "By Force of Arms." Volume II of The Austrian Army in the Seven Years War. Emperor's Press, Chicago 2008

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

Kessel, Eberhard; Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, comissioned by the (German Army) Research Departement of Military History [Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt – MGFA], edited by Thomas Lindner, Paderborn 2007 – the recent reedit of the missing volumes of the early 20th c. Großer Generalstab publications above

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

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 30

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.

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