Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer

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Origin and History

This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was raised in May 1746 by Sigmund Benevenuto Count von Petazzi as the “Karlstädter Szluiner Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.1 The regiment was then known as the “Sigmund Benevenuto Graf von Petazzi ‚Karlstädter Szluiner Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment” and consisted of four battalions totalling 5,000 men.2

In 1751, the regiment was reorganised and then consisted of two companies of grenadiers and four battalions, each counting five companies of fusiliers of 200 men.3

From 1753, the regiment had no Chef', reporting directly to the Generalate of Karlstadt., and was only known as the “Szluiner Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.4

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 3 battalions (2 grenadier coys and 18 fusilier coys) for a total of 2,800 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 depot battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

Accordingly, by 1756, the regiment really consisted of two companies of grenadiers, twelve companies of fusiliers and four Landesdefensions (depot) companies. In addition, there were two companies of sharpshooters and two artillery companies. A company counted about 100 men.5

In wartime, the companies of grenadiers were detached from the regiment and converged into a Grenadier Corps (ad hoc battalions). However, these converged battalions seem to have been employed mostly as elite light troops. Only in some extreme cases would they fight among the elite line infantry battalions.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the regiment was organised as follows:

  • Regimental Staff
  • I. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 1. Grenadier Company
    • 1. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Fusilier Company
    • 3. Fusilier Company
    • 4. Fusilier Company
    • 5. Fusilier Company
    • 6. Fusilier Company
    • 1. Sharpshooter Company
  • II. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 2. Grenadier Company
    • 7. Fusilier Company
    • 8. Fusilier Company
    • 9. Fusilier Company
    • 10. Fusilier Company
    • 11. Fusilier Company
    • 12. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Sharpshooter Company
  • III. Battalion (Depot)
    • Battalion Staff
    • 13. Fusilier Company
    • 14. Fusilier Company
    • 15. Fusilier Company
    • 16. Fusilier Company

Tactically a Grenz-Husar squadron was assigned to a foot battalion of the same Generalate.6

The regiment recruited in the north-eastern part of the Generalate of Karlstadt, in the Capitanate of Thurn, Barilovic, Szluin and Sichelburg.7 Its regimental staff was located in Szluin (present-day Slunj) in Croatia.8

During the Seven Years' War, the Chefs of the regiment were:

  • since 1753: vacant

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • in 1756: Wenzel Baron Hnogek von Kleefeld
  • from 1758: Peter Vukassovich
  • from 1761: Johann Kallinic
  • from 1762: Joseph Baron von Lezzeny

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 63".

Service during the War9

In 1756, one battalion of the regiment joined the Austrian Reserve Corps led by Count Draskovic in Bohemia.

On January 1 1757, Lacy, who was posted in the region of Reichenberg (present-day Liberec), detached six combined coys of Karlstädter-Szluiner Grenzer and Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer under the command of Colonel Kleefeld seconded by Lieutenant-colonel Herberstein and Lieutenant-colonel Loudon along with 200 Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars under Colonel Count Mitrovsky and Lieutenant-colonel Knezevic to attack a Prussian outpost in Ortric, defended by 400 men. In the ensuing combat, Major Blumenthal, commanding the Prussian detachment was killed, and most of his detachment wounded or taken prisoners. In the night of February 19 to 20, a large detachment of the regiment (about 600 men) took part in the attack of the Prussian positions on the left bank of the Neisse (present-day Noteć River). The main attack was directed against the town of Hirschfelde, occupied by 800 Prussians; while smaller detachments attacked Herbsdorf (unidentified location), Zittau and Ostriz. The detachment supported the frontal attack against the Prussian regular infantry covering the bridge in front of Hirschfelde. Incomprehensibly, the Austrian troops conducting this frontal attack withdrew. On April 21, one battalion of the regiment was in the vanguard of Count von Königsegg at the Combat of Reichenberg. On May 6, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was attached to Count Petazzy's Reserve. After the battle, it managed to escape and to eventually join the incoming Austrian relief force. The same day, the other battalion was part of Beck's force who stormed Altbunzlau (also known as Brandeis, present-day Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav), it attacked the left gate. By mid June, the two battalions and 1 grenadier coy of the regiment (totalling 1,320 men) were part of Beck's Brigade. On June 18, these two battalions took part in the Battle of Kolin. They were deployed in the village of Chotzemitz in the first line of the extreme right wing under Nádasdy. On July 19, during the Austrian invasion of Silesia, detachments of the regiment took part in the engagement of Kaltenberg, between Kamnitz and Kreiwitz, with the rearguard of the Prince of Prussia. In October, detachments of the regiment took part in the raid on Berlin under Count Andreas Hadik. On November 22, a detachment of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it belonged to Beck's detachment. On December 21, part of the regiment (411 men) was taken prisoners after the siege and capture of Breslau by the Prussian Army. During this campaign, the commander of the regiment, Wenzel Baron Hnogek von Kleefeld, distinguished himself on several occasions.

On September 22 1758, Major Passée's battalion successfully fought in an engagement near Glasen in Silesia, storming a redoubt and nailing two guns. On November 15, another battalion of the regiment was involved in the engagement at Eulenburg in Saxony.

In 1759, during the invasion of Saxony, the regiment took part in an engagement near Buchau on May 27. By mid-August, 1 battalion of the regiment was attached to Hadik's Corps. On August 17, this battalion gave effective support to an attacked Austrian outpost near Dresden. At the end of August, it was present at the siege of Dresden where Lieutenant-colonel Leopold Count Herberstein and Major Du Quenois distinguished themselves. In September, part of the regiment was with Wehla's Austrian Light Division (3,460 men). By September 25, after the capture of Dresden, this division had taken position at Hoyerswerda where it was attacked by a Prussian Corps under the command of Prince Henri. The Austrians lost 600 men killed and 1,785 men were taken prisoners including Wehla. Meanwhile, another battalion was attached to Hadik's Corps. By October 1, a battalion was at encamped at Tannenberg as part of Brentano's Corps. On November 20, the regiment fought in the Battle of Maxen. On December 3 and 4, a detachment of the regiment formed part of Beck's Corps who attacked an isolated Prussian force and captured part of it at the Combat of Meissen.

On August 20 1760, during the Austrian campaign in Saxony, the regiment took part in the Combat of Strehla. At the end of September, it was present at the siege and capture of Torgau.

In 1761, the regiment campaigned in Saxony with the Austrian Main Army.

On September 27 1762, during the campaign of Saxony, the battalion of Majors Wilhelm Count Wartensleben fought in the engagement of Pretzschendorf. The same year, Feldmarschallleutnant Wenzel Baron Hnogek von Kleefeld and Captain Christoph Baron Wallisch received the Maria-Theresien Order.

Notable names

Du Quenois10 Major11

Herberstein, Leopold Count12 Lieutenant-colonel13

Kallinic, Johann14 Colonel15

Kleefeld, Wenzel Baron Hnogek von16 Colonel17 and Feldmarschallleutnant

Lezzeny, Joseph Freiherr von18 Colonel19

Passée, Bartholomeus30 Major21

Vukassovich, Peter22 Colonel23

Wallisch, Christoph von24 Captain25

Wartensleben, Wilhelm Count26 Major27

Uniform

Privates

Uniform during the Seven Years War - Source: Richard Couture from a template by David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details in 1762 as per the Albertina Handschrift
Headgear
Fusilier black felt shako with a brass plate decorated with the Double-eagle surmounted by a crown
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat light blue edged yellow with 3 rows of small brass buttons and 18 yellow braids
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs red pointed cuffs edged yellow without button
Dolman red edged yellow with 3 rows of small brass buttons and intertwined yellow braids
Cape red edged yellow
Trousers light blue Hungarian trousers decorated with an intricate yellow lace (Schoitasch)
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt light blue, yellow and black barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a large overhanging cover
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear sandals or short black boots


Privates often wore a mustache.

Privates were armed with a slightly curved 58 cm long brass hilted sabre28 with a white knot and a cord of a different colour for each company; a Model 1754 musket (151 cm long, 112 cm long barrel, 18,3 mm calibre, 4,9 kg); and a bayonet. Each trooper carried 36 musket balls and 6 shrapnel bullets.29 Privates also carried a haversack and a canteen. Additional ammunition and kettles were transported in the wagons of each company.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a very different uniform, the differences were:

  • black felt shako without cockade
  • black coat with red pointed cuffs
  • red Hungarian trousers
  • red and white barrel-sash

Richard Knötel illustrates a light blue and yellow barrel sash.

Donath illustrates light blue Hungarian trousers without any lace decoration and a yellow and white barrel sash.

NCOs

no information available

Officers

Officers wore uniforms of the same colour as those of the privates but were distinguished by a black tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade; a Western style coat with vertical pockets, square cuffs; and black cavalry boots.

Officers wore a black and gold sash or a gold sash with tassels at the waist, over the dolman and under the coat. The black and gold sash could be made of strictly separated layers and then intertwined in knots or in a kind of knitwear; while the entirely gold sash was made of heavy knit of fine shiny silk.30

Musicians

no information available

Colours

When the Grenzer Regiments where formed they adopted the yellow 1745 pattern flag, with the black Doppeladler carrying the Imperial shield and edged in black/red/yellow/white flames, which measured 1.8m x 1.4m. The senior company carried a white Leibfahne displaying the Madonna and Christ on the obverse.

From 1756 each battalion carried two yellow Ordinarfahnen, except the first battalion which carried a white Leibfahne and one Ordinarfahne.

However, it seems unlikely that any were carried in the field

Footnotes

1. Ref. Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1. Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986, p. 53, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2. Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993, Kaiser und Reich Nr. 18, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3. Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995, p. 246, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 269

2. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 53, Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr. 18, Tessin, Part 3, p. 246 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 215, 269 and 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, p. 94.

3. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 214

4. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 269 and Kornauth, p. 94

5. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

6. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

7. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 215, 269 and Kornauth, p. 94

8. Ref. Kornauth, p. 94

9. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

11. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

18. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

19. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

20. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

21. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

22. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

23. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

24. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

25. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

26. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

27. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 270 and Kornauth, p. 94

28. Ref. Kornauth, p. 26

29. Ref. Kornauth, p. 25f

30. Ref. Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II.), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. Jahrgang 1987, pp. 66-72, 69

References

Anon.: Diarium der Belagerung von Breslau und Capitulations-Puncte, Berlin, 1758

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, p. 43

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

Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. 1987, pp. 66-72.

Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985

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.

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 71

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1 Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2 Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3 Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995.

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

Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 402-488

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905.

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgments

Mathias Kussmann for the initial version of this article