Löwenstein Dragoons

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Origin and History

Löwenstein Chevauxlegers wearing the casquet illustrated in the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift - Copyright: Harald Skala

On February 1 1758, G.d.C. Benedikt Daun exchanged his dragoon regiment (Benedikt Daun Dragoons) for the Löwenstein Cuirasiers belonging to Christian Philipp Fürst zu Löwenstein-Wertheim. Löwenstein immediately added 12 companies of "Light Dragoons" to his new regiment (Alt-Löwenstein Dragoons). The exchange and the addition of these companies had both been authorised by a decree of the Hofkriegsrat (War Council) also dated February 1. The 12 new companies, organised in 6 squadrons, had their own staff and their own colonel but were still part of the Alt-Löwenstein Dragoons.

The light dragoons of these new companies were raised in Vienna and Prague. Jaques Marquis Stainville-Choiseul-Beaupré, formerly from Kolowrat-Krakowski Dragoons, was appointed colonel; Johann Duke Liechtenstein, formerly from Prinz Savoyen Dragoons, as lieutenant-colonel; and Karl Baron Voith von Salzburg, formerly from Liechtenstein Dragoons, as Obristwachtmeister.

This (part of the) regiment was called "Jung-Löwenstein" to distinguish it from its parent unit, but it always fought alongside "Alt-Löwenstein" (therefore it was the strongest cavalry regiment of the Austrian Army at the Battle of Hochkirch).

In a letter dated January 6 1759, the Fürst Löwenstein asked for the authorisation to increase his 12 companies of light dragoons by 8 additional companies and thus form a full dragoon regiment. His request was accepted through a letter dated January 14. This same letter also promoted Count Stainville to major-general; Karl Baron Voith to colonel and commander; and Major Reischach was promoted to second lieutenant-colonel (the appointed lieutenant-colonel, Duke Liechtenstein, was at that time in Prussian prison). In January, the new regiment counted 1,640 men and 1,640 horses. By a decree dated March 22 of the same year, the unit was separated from its parent regiment (Alt Löwenstein). By the same occasion, the unit was transformed into chevauxlegers. With 10 sqns, the new chevauxlegers regiment was stronger than a usual regiment of dragoons. The Fürst of Löwenstein-Wertheim remained proprietor of this new chevauxlegers regiment while Johann Anton Josef Count Saint-Ignon was appointed proprietor of the former Alt-Löwenstein Dragoons.

From this moment the name "Alt-Löwenstein" and "Jung-Löwenstein" disappeared, the new designations being: "Löwenstein-Wertheim Chevauxlegers Regiment" and "Josef Saint-Ignon Dragoner-Regiment".

In 1761, the "Löwenstein-Wertheim Chevauxlegers Regiment" was reorganised as a regular dragoon regiment with 6 squadrons and a horse grenadiers company.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was:

  • from 1758 to 1781: General of Cavalry Christian Philipp Fürst zu Löwenstein-Wertheim

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • 1758: Colonel Jakob Marquis de Choiseul-Stainville
  • 1759: Carl Baron Voith


Service during the War

In June 1758, immediately after its creation, the regiment joined the Corps of General Count St. Ignon in Moravia. It distinguished itself during the Siege of Olmütz when, on June 17, it fell on 7 squadrons of the Prussian Bayreuth Dragoons near the town of Wisternitz. In this engagement, it captured a pair of silver kettledrums, 8 officers and 257 troopers. For this feat of arms, the regiment received the privilege to carry the captured kettledrums while other Austrian dragoons carried only ordinary drums. Thanks to the glorious behaviour of the regiment in this occasion, its commander Colonel Marquis de Choiseul-Stainville, was particularly appreciated. He was promoted general in 1759 and field marshal lieutenant (FML) in 1760 and entered into the French service. After the encounter of Wisternitz, the regiment took part, on June 30, in the attack against a Prussian convoy heading for Olmütz during the Combat of Domstadl where Captain Sauer of the regiment attacked the Prussian escort with 100 troopers. They captured all their flags, 5 guns and some 600 prisoners. After the capture of most of the convoy, General Siskovitz sent Major Baron Voith of the regiment to carry the news to Field-Marshal Daun and then to the court at Vienna. On September 16, the regiment was also involved in the combat of Ahrensdorf not far from Stolpen. On October 11 at Radeberg, Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Joseph Fürst Liechtenstein and 30 troopers were captured and brought into captivity. On October 14, at the Battle of Hochkirch, the regiment was one of the most active unit during the pursuit of the defeated Prussian army.

In the campaign of 1759, the regiment under the good leadership of Colonel Baron Voith, took part in the enterprise on Liebau on May 21 but it was unable to attack the enemy in the rear as planned because of the presence of many swamps. In July, Major Sauer of the regiment was sent as courier to the Russian army by Loudon to bring them the news that Frederick II was on his way with his army. On August 12, at the Battle of Kunersdorf, the regiment played an important role and captures two 12-pdr guns. At the decisive moment of the battle, while the Russians were fighting on their left flank and falling into disorder, General Loudon led the Austrian infantry in action. Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Count Kinsky (the colonel being wounded) charged at the head of the regiment. They hit the Prussian cavalry in flank and threw it into disorder. They rapidly reformed and launched an attack on the Prussian infantry, disordering them as well. Major Sauer was the first, at the head of the squadrons of the regiment, to reach the entrenched Russian, after attacking the Prussian cavalry five times. The regiment distinguished itself very much in this battle but it also suffered very heavy casualties. Lieutenant Scotti and 25 men were killed while Colonel Baron Voith, Major Klemens Baron Plettenberg, Captain Petterneck, Lieutenants von Veld, von Dahl, Grünagel and Hartmann and 78 men were wounded. Furthermore, Captain Aldegonde, Lieutenants Fishhagen, Rothern and Sabiersky and 59 men were reported missing. Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsky was charged by General Loudon to bring the news of the victory to the Imperial Court at Vienna. In November, the regiment accompanied Loudon's Corps when it left the Russian army and retired to Moravia. The regiment was among the vanguard under Major-General Count Bethlen.

In the campaign of 1760, the regiment took part in the enterprise against Neustadt in Silesia where it successfully attacked the right flank of the Prussian rearguard, consisting of 300 men under General Golze. Part of the Prussian rearguard was captured along with 5 wagons. On June 23, the regiment fought with great distinction at the Battle of Landeshut where it broke a Prussian square and captured a gun and two flags. Colonel Baron Voith with an incredible courage had boldly charged this square at the head of his regiment. General Fouqué was standing inside this square. He was wounded during the fight and captured. He gave his sword to Colonel Voith. In the same battle, Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsky was leading a party of volunteers who charged five Prussian grenadier battalions. For his behaviour during this battle as well as for his conduct at Kunersdorf the previous year, Kinsky received the Cross of the Maria-Theresien-Orden (1762). At Landeshut, the regiment lost Lieutenant Werniezek and Gillich and 11 men killed; and 16 men wounded. On July 17, Major Baron Berlichingen with a party of 70 dragoons and hussars was captured by Rittmeister Roznick of the Prussian Malachowsky Hussars. On August 15, the regiment fought at the Battle of Liegnitz where Colonel Baron Voith organised the retiring units to maintain an ordered withdrawal. During this battle, the regiment lost 1 man killed, 12 men wounded (including Colonel Voith) and 7 men missing. On September 30, a squadron of the regiment was at the combat of Lindenwiese where it behaved courageously, fighting against elements of the Krockow and Alt-Platen Dragoon Regiments.

In the campaign of 1761, a detachment of 100 dragoons of the regiment was attacked at Friedberg by the Prussian Black Hussars on May 5, 39 men were captured by the Prussians. During this campaign, Lieutenant-Colonel Sauer was detached in Saxony with a mixed unit as part of Field-Marshal Lieutenant Baron Ried's Corps. He distinguished himself by bold actions against Prussian posts at Krumbach and Beimerich. On October 1, the regiment took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where his Lieutenant-Colonel Count Kinsky particularly distinguished himself.

In the campaign of 1762, Lieutenant-Colonel Sauer was stationed on the right bank of the Elbe. He attacked the Prussian advanced posts on the other bank of the river. On August 2, the regiment took part in the encounter of Töplitz. In September, it participated in various operations of the Reichsarmee in Saxony. On October 29 at the Battle of Freiberg, Colonel Voith attacked a Prussian redoubt and captured 3 officers and 30 men.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat green with 3 yellow buttons under the lapel on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder strap both shoulders: red fastened with a yellow button
right shoulder: red aiguillette
Lapels red with 7 yellow buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red with two rows of yellow buttons and horizontal pockets (each with 3 yellow buttons)
Breeches red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red laced with a wide white braid bordered and decorated in green (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Housings red laced with a wide white braid bordered and decorated in green (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll red and white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift shows a black casquet decorated with a golden Imperial eagle and a yellow plume instead of a tricorne for troopers. It also shows buff breeches.

Raspe shows white buttons.

Officers

The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade
  • gold aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • green saddlecloth and sabretache both laced and fringed in gold

Musicians

Drummers of the regiments of dragoons usually wore the same uniform as the troopers heavily laced with yellow and black braids or a uniform with inverted colours.

Colours

Colours

Leibstandarte: White and heavily embroidered

  • one side with the Blessed Virgin
  • other side with the double eagle
Colonel Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert


Ordinair-standarte (before 1764 ?): Swallow tailed with gold fringes and gold embroideries

  • obverse: Green field pennant, central device consisting of Lowenstein coat of arms
  • reverse: Red field pennant, central device consisting of imperial eagle bearing the white-red-white shield on its breast and the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece

Ordinair-standarte (in 1764): swallow tailed silk pennant, flagpole striped red and black, golden spearhead.

  • Right side: Green field bordered with silver decorations, central scene depicting a Chevauxleger attacking a supply train. A scroll with the motto "Nos fata coronant" and "Domstatel" written underneath.
  • Left side: Red field with a black double eagle bordered gold.

Ordinair-standarte (Other variant in 1764): swallow tailed silk pennant, flagpole striped red and black, golden spearhead.

  • Right side: Green field bordered with silver decorations, central scene depicting a combat. A scroll with the motto "Palman dux captus honorat". And "Landshut" written underneath.
  • Left side: Red field with a black double eagle bordered gold
Regimental Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

This article incorporates texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:

  • Thürheim, Andreas: Die Reiter-Regiment der k. k. österreichischen Armee, vol. 3 - Die Uhlanen, F.B. Geitler, Wien: 1866, pp. 144-176

Other sources

Brauer, H.M.: Uniformbogen and Fahnentafeln, plate 95

Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Teil III Blatt 3

Dihm, Dr. Hermann: Oesterreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Klio

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

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

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

Raspe: 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: 1762

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

Thadden, Franz-Lorenz v.: Die theresianische Kavallerie - II. Teil, Die Zinnfigur, Klio, 1968

Theimer, A.: Geschichte des k. k. siebenten Uhlanen-Regiments Erzhrzg. Carl Ludwig, Vienna 1869

Thümmler, L.-H.: Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht File III, Part 1, "Ulanen" p. 345

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for explanations on the confusing origins of the regiment