Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars

Origin and History

This Grenzhusarenregiment (Frontier Hussars Regiment) was raised in January 1746 by FZM Joseph Prinz von Sachsen–Hildburghausen as the “Carlstädter Grenz–Husaren–Regiment” 1. It initially counted four squadrons2 3 and was stationed in Grahacz. It had no Chef and came under the direct jurisdiction of the Generalate of Karlstädt4. In 1751, the regiment had five companies, each counting 100 men5.

The regiment recruited in the Generalate of Karlstädt10 and garrison the town of Karlstadt (present-day Karlovac) in Croatia11.

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 squadrons (8 coys) for a total of 1,094 men. Grenzer units were mainly destined to wars against the Turks. For wars on other theatres of operations, they had to supply only a third of their total forces. However, this ratio was exceeded on several occasions during the Seven Years' War when the third who had served in the previous campaign was gradually replaced by another third provided for the incoming operations.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, in 1756, the regiment contributed two squadrons6 to the Austrian Army. The first rank carried lances decorated with a black and yellow quartered pennant7.

Tactically a Grenz-Husar squadron was assigned to a foot battalion of the same Generalate.8

During the Seven Years' War, the Chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1746: vacant

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • since 1746: Max Joseph Baron von Mittrowsky
  • from 1757 to 1773: Martin von Knesevich

In 1763, the regiment was augmented to three squadrons.9

The regiment was disbanded in 1780.

Service during the War12

In 1756, the regiment was sent to Bohemia. In September, it took part in the attempt to relieve the Saxon Army blockaded in Pirna. On October 1, it fought in the Battle of Lobositz. It was also present at the attack on Tetschen.

In 1757, the regiment, led by Colonel Max Joseph Baron von Mittrowsky, distinguished itself in the attack on Hirschfelde. During the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, on May 5, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague. By mid June, 2 sqns totalling 150 men were part of Nádasdy's Corps where they were attached to Erdrödy's Brigade. A few weeks later, on June 18, it also fought in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the first line of the extreme right wing in Morocz's Division. In October, it took part in the Austrian raid on Berlin under the command of General Hadik.

In 1758, the regiment served in Silesia and fought in engagement near Troppau and was present at the siege of Neisse.

At the beginning of the campaign of 1759, part of the regiment was attached to de Ville's Corps who was protecting Moravia. On May 6, part of the regiment successfully repulsed a Prussian force who had attacked Graf Renard Uhlanen at Hennersdorf (probably Dolní Branná).

In 1760, the regiment joined the Austrian Main Army for its campaign in Saxony.

In 1761, the regiment took part in a victorious engagement near Hartmannsdorf in Saxony for which its commander, Colonel Martin von Knesevich reveived the den Maria-Theresien Order.

In 1762, the regiment took part in a combat near Heidersdorf in Silesia.

Notable names

Knesevich, Martin von13 Lieutenant-Colonel14 Colonel15

Mittrowsky, Max Joseph Baron von16 Lieutenant-Colonel17 Colonel18

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1762
Source: David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift
Headgear light brown kolback with yellow cords and tassels and a red bag
Neck stock black
Pelisse dark blue lined with black sheepskin
Fur trim black
Lace 12 rows of yellow braids
Buttons yellow
Dolman dark blue edged yellow with 15 rows of yellow braids and yellow buttons
Collar dark blue edged yellow
Cuffs red pointed cuffs edged yellow with an intricate yellow lace on each sleeve
Trousers dark blue decorated with an intricate yellow lace on each thigh
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt white with brass fittings
Waist-sash yellow and white barrel sash
Scabbard black leather with brass fittings
Gloves white
Boots black Hungarian boots edged yellow with a yellow tassel
Horse Furniture
Saddle-cloth red edged yellow22 with a yellow crowned double-eagle in each rear corner
Sabretache blue edged yellow decorated with a yellow crowned double-eagle


Troopers were armed with a short curved sabre (brass fittings, 1,2 kg, 79 cm)19, a carbine (3,2 kg, 90 cm)20 and two pistols21.

Hussars wore a large moustache and long hair in natural colour over his ears, tied together at the neck.

Other interpretations

Raspe's publication ( Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlichen...) shows the following differences:

  • white braid edging the cuffs of the pelisse
  • 8 rows of white braids on the pelisse
  • white braid edging the dolamn
  • 7 rows of white braids on the dolman
  • black Hungarian boots edged white with a white tassel

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates a completely different uniform:

  • black kolback with yellow cords and tassels and a red bag
  • yellow pelisse with 6 golden braids and yellow button edged with light brown fur
  • yellow trousers
  • red Hungarian boots edged gold
  • red saddle-cloth edged gold
  • yellow sabretache edged gold and decorated with a golden “C”

Knötel shows only slight differences:

  • an entirely yellow barrel-sash
  • a yellow stripe on the outer side of each leg of the trousers

Donath depicts a uniform similar to those of the troopers with the following differences:

  • dark brown kolback with yellow cords and tassel and a yellow bag
  • white fur on the pelisse
  • a yellow stripe on the outer side of each leg of the trousers

Schirmer mentions a light blue kolback (this seems to be a simple error) with a red bag.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers but made with better material and of a better cut. Occasionally, officer also carried a mace or an ax.30 Officers wore a gold and black sash around the waist, under the pelisse but above the dolman.31 The sashes of staff and high ranking officers differed from each other. The neck stock of officers were white.

Officers were armed with a sword with a golden sword knot. The sword measured 80 cm and had gilt fittings.

Officers did not wear any cross-belt or cartridge box.

Officers wore a large moustache as the troopers.

The most important mark of command was the spanische Rohr (commander baton): “He who can carry the spanische Rohr may command”.31 This baton was decorated differently depending on grade.

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift depicts an entirely different uniform:

  • black kolback with golden cords and tassels and a yellow bag
  • yellow pelisse with 6 golden braids and yellow button edged with grey fur
  • yellow trousers
  • black Hungarian boots
  • red saddle-cloth edged and embroidered in gold
  • yellow sabretache edged gold and decorated with a golden “C”

NCOs

NCOs did not carry carbines and, accordingly, no bandoleer for the carbine. However, they wore a bandoleer for their cartridge box. They also carried a stick which could be fastened to the left side of the pelisse by a sling. They also had black and yellow sword knots.

Musicians

Musicians wore a long coat and a black tricorne.23

The regiment had kettle-drums and trompets.24

The hemispherical drums of each pair were differently tuned and for this reason were of different sizes (diameters of 40 and 80 cm). They were usually made of copper but some honorary kettle-drums could be made of silver. The drumhead was held in place by cords and by an iron ring.25

The largest drum was carried on the left side of the horse and the smallest on the right side. To play, the kettle-drummer used two mallets whose heads were covered with leather. The extremities of the mallets were fastened together with a strap worn around the neck of the kettle-drummer.26

The kettle-drums were decorated with aprons. Aprons were usually lined with dark blue canvas, trimmed with braids and lace and decorated with the initials of the regiment owner. For parade, silken aprons richly decorated with gold or silver embroidery were used. They were usually paid for by donations of high ranking officers.27

In the quartiers of the regiment, the kettle-drums and guidons were constantly guarded. Their loss Pauken kamen im Quartier zur Standartenwache, ihr Verlust was considered shameful.28

The trompets of the regiment had banners at the livery of the owner of the regiment carrying his cipher.29

Guidons

The swallow-tailed squadron guidons were dark blue33.

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, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 335 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, S.150.

2. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335

3. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335

4. Ref. Kornauth, p. 150

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

6. Ref. Kornauth, p. 335

7. Ref. Wrede, Vol. III, p. 61 and Kornauth, p. 92

8. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

9. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335

10. Ref. Kornauth, p. 150

11. Ref. Kornauth, p. 150

12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335 and Kornauth, p. 150

13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335 and Kornauth, p. 150

14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335

15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335 and Kornauth, p. 150

16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335 and Kornauth, p. 150

17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335

18. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 335 and Kornauth, p. 150

19. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

20. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

21. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

22. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

23. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

24. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

25. Ref. Ottenfeld, p. 695

26. Ref. Ottenfeld, p. 695

27. Ref. Kornauth, p. 105 and Ottenfeld, p. 696

28. Ref. Ottenfeld, p. 696

29. Ref. Kornauth, p. 105

30. Ref. Kornauth, p. 140f

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

32. Quote from Kornauth, p. 25

33. Ref. Kornauth, p. 141

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)

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

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

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

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

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”, Vienna 1973.

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 72

Skala H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte

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

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

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geshichte der K und K Wehrmacht, Vienna 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