Leopold Pálffy Infantry

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Origin and History

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Leopold II Count Pálffy - Source: Harald Skala Collection

Leopold II (Stephan) Count Pálffy ab Erdöd was born on December 14 1716. His father was Count Leopold I, his mother Maria Antonia Countess Raduit de Souches. Leopold II served in the Austrian Army: from 1742 to 1743 as major-general in Bavaria; in 1751, he was promoted to Fieldmarshal-Lieutenant (FML); and in 1760, to Fieldmarshal. Leopold II died on April 9 1773 at Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK) in Hungary while he was still acting as military commander. He was first married with Maria Josepha Countess Waldstein; after her death, he married Wilhelmine Countess Ogilvy.

Acknowledgement: Harald Skala for this information

In October 1733, at the outbreak of the War of the Polish Succession, Spain declared war to Austria. It became necessary to increase the Imperial army and Emperor Charles VI asked the nobility of the Monarchy to raise new regiments at their own expenses. One of the first aristocrats to answer to the emperor's expectations was Leopold II Count Pálffy ab Erdöd. He had suitable men enlisted in his estates in Upper Hungary (present-day Eastern Slovakia) around Kaschau (present-day Košice/SK) and Eperies (present-day Prešov/SK). In 1734, the emperor promoted Count Pálffy to colonel and proprietor of the newly raised Hungarian regiment. As soon as the first battalion had been enlisted and was ready to march, it was sent to Italy where it immediately suffered heavy losses. According to the order of battle of April 30 1735, the regiment, which was garrisoning places near Mantua, counted only 269 men. In May, it fought at San Benedetto in Marschall's Brigade and later retreated to Trento.

After the war, the regiment remained in Italy until November 1741. In 1740 Leopold II Count Pálffy was promoted to major-general and Colonel-Lieutenant Jakob von Breissac assumed command of the regiment.

In November 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment along with Neipperg Infantry, Hildburghausen Infantry, Livingstein Infantry, Pallavicini Infantry, Vetter Infantry, Gyulay Infantry, Baranyay Hussars and Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons was sent to Upper Austria to defend the country against a Franco-Bavarian invasion. At the end of the year, with support of additional regiments, FM Count Khevenhüller marched on Linz which he besieged, achieving victory over FM Törring's Bavarian Corps Schärding. On January 23 1742, Linz surrendered. On May 17, the regiment fought against the Prussians in the Battle of Chotusitz in Southern Bohemia. Between August 1742 and January 1743, it took part in the siege of Prague. In 1743, it returned to Bavaria. The same year, Jakob von Breissac was promoted to colonel. At the beginning of 1746, after the signature of peace with Prussia, the regiment joined the corps under the command of FZM Marquis Botta and Bärenklau in Italy. On 12 August, the regiment took part in the Battle of Rottofreddo. Afterwards, one battalion of the regiment garrisoned Genoa where it was almost annihilated by the rebels in December. The second battalion attacked the suburb of San Lazaro, rescued the war chest and retreated in full order. In 1747, the regiment participated in the raid in Provence. In 1748, the regiment was once more posted in Genoa.

N.B.: At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, there were two regiments named Pálffy: the present one (Leopold Pálffy) and Joseph Esterházy Infantry.

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 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 chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1734 until 1773: Leopold II (Stephan) Count Pálffy ab Erdöd

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commanders were:

  • since 1740: Jakob von Breissac (since 1757 commander of Lodi in Italy)
  • from 1757: Josef Wenzel Czigan (Zigan) Baron von Cserma (since 1752 second colonel)
  • from 1758 to 1767: Wolfgang Faber du Four (or Tour)

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 19".

Service during the War

At the outbreak of the war, the regiment was stationed in Lombardy. In August, it was ordered to march towards Bohemia where it later took its winter-quarters.

On January 27 1757, Czigan, the colonel of the regiment, was promoted to major-general. On May 6, the regiment (two battalions for a total of only 780 men and one grenadier company) took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Corps de Reserve of FML O'Kelly, in Count Maquire's Brigade. The regiment distinguished itself in the fight against Schwerin's troops. It was then attached to Nádasdy's Corps. On September 7, when G.d.C. Nádasdy attacked the isolated Prussian corps of Lieutenant-General Winterfeldt's in theCombat of Moys, one battalion of the regiment was part of the Reserve under Lieutenant-General Forgách kept behind the three columns of infantry destined to the attack. In this affair, the regiment lost 1 officer killed and 2 wounded. In October and November, the regiment, still attached to Nádasdy's Corps, took part in the Siege of Schweidnitz. During the main attack, Colonel-Lieutenant Faber du Four distinguished himself (promoted afterwards to colonel) as did Grenadier Captain de Vins (promoted to major and later receiving the Maria Theresa Order for his conduct). On November 22, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, one battalion (maybe two) of the regiment was deployed in the first line of the Reserve of the left wing under Marshal Forgách as part of Nádasdy's Corps. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Olmütz (present-day Olomouc/CZ).

By August 2 1758, a Pálffy regiment (it is not specified which of Leopold or Johan it was) served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia. On October 14, the regiment was present at the Battle of Hochkirch (probably in the Prince of Baden-Durlach's Reserve). Its grenadiers distinguished themselves once more, capturing a Prussian entrenchment and 230 men. The regiment and its two grenadier companies were then detached to Wied's Corps and took part in the unsuccessful siege of the Fortress of Neisse which was lifted on November 5. Wied's Corps then retired to Bohemia and the regiment spent the winter around Náchod.

In 1759, the regiment joined the corps of the Duke Ahremberg at Pleß and then followed the main army. The army was posted behind the Riesengebirge (present-day Krkonoše/CZ). On July 2, the army encamped near Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ); and on August 7, at Mark-Lissa (present-day Lesna/PL) where the regiment remained as a part of the Corps de Réserve until the end of the year. Meanwhile, the grenadiers of the regiment had been allocated to FML Loudon's Corps who effected a junction with a Russian army at Frankfurt/Oder on August 3. On 12 August, they took part in the sanguinary battle of Kunersdorf where they suffered heavy losses in the combat on the so-called “Kuhgrund”.

In 1760, the regiment (2 field battalions and 2 grenadier coys) was attached to FZM Loudon's Corps. On March 15, it took part in the combat at Schlesisch Neustadt. On June 23, it took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed in the fourth column which stormed the entrenchments on the Blasdorf and Reichshennersdorf hills, defended by Lieutenant-General Schenkendorf with 4 Prussian battalions. In this battle, the regiment lost 1 officer killed and 8 officers wounded and a large number of men. On August 15, it was at the Battle of Liegnitz where it suffered heavy losses once more. Its colonel, Faber du Four, and 12 officers were wounded. In November, Loudon's Corps took its winter-quarters and the regiment went to the region of Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL).

In 1761, the regiment was attached to the corps of FML Drašković along with 2 bns of Königsegg Infantry, 1 bn of Los Rios Infantry, 5 squadrons of Althann Dragoons, Kálnoky Hussars and 500 “Grenzer”. This corps effected a junction with FML Wolfersdorf's Corps near Waldenburg (present-day Walbrzych/PL). On October 1, the regiment took part in the Storming of Schweidnitz where Grenadier Captain de Vins led the fourth column of attack (including his own converged grenadier battalions, 2 companies of Russian grenadiers and 4 fusilier battalions) against the Lager-Fort. After the victory, de Vins was sent to Vienna with the message of victory and received a valuable ring from Maria Theresa. Colonel-Lieutenant Leopold von Schuller was promoted to second colonel.

During the campaign of 1762, from August 8 to October 9, a detachment of the regiment participated in the defence of the Fortress of Schweidnitz.

In 1763, after the signature of the Treaty of Hubertusburg, the regiment assumed garrison duty at Zittau.

Uniform

Uniform in 1754

This section has been added, based on an article published by Jiří Sissak in 2009 from an original text by Leopold Count Pálffy initially written at Pressburg in 1754. This original text is entitled Militarische Auszüge über Instructiones u. Observat. Des Infantregt. N19.

N.B.: our translation is not yet completed and additional details will be added soon

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1757
as per the Delacre

completed with details from Pálffy's text of 1754
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener on the right side and a small brass button on the left side; woollen tassels varying according to each company
Leib-Bataillon

1st coy: white
2nd coy: white and red
3rd coy: white and blue
4th coy: white and green

Colonel-Battalion

1st coy: light red
2nd coy: light red and white
3rd coy: light red and blue
4th coy: light red and green

Lieutenant-Colonel-Battalion

1st coy: light blue
2nd coy: light blue and white
3rd coy: light blue and red
4th coy: light blue and green

Major-Battalion

1st coy: light green
2nd coy: light green and white
3rd coy: light green and red
4th coy: light green and blue

1st grenadier coy: yellow and black 2nd grenadier coy: black and yellow
Grenadier bearskin with a sky blue bag laced white with a white tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined light blue with 6 brass buttons (1-2-3) on the right side and 6 light blue button loops on each side the coat was fastened by hooks and eyes at the level of the first and third buttons
Collar none
Shoulder Straps light blue fastened by a brass button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without buttons
Cuffs light blue pointed cuffs edged blood red without buttons
Turnbacks white with a sky blue fastener and a small brass button
Waistcoat light blue dolman lined blood red and edged blood red with 3 rows of small brass buttons linked with blood red brandebourgs; blood red cuffs
Trousers light blue Hungarian trousers decorated with blood red laces
Sabretache same colour pattern as the tassels
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt blood red and light blue barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear short black boots laced blood red


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers), a bayonet and a sabre (sabre tassel of the same colour as the tasselsof the tricorne).

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne laced gold with white camel hair tassels
  • button loops made of fine light blue wool

Officers

Officers wore the same uniform as the privates (evidently of a better quality) with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and gold cockade, and white and gold tassels
  • black neckstock
  • light blue button loops made of “half camel hair” (probably a mixture of camel hair and wool)
  • no turnbacks
  • a sabretache in the distinctive colour of the regiment
  • yellow Hungarian boots

Musicians

Black tricorne laced gold. The text specifies that drummers would wear coat in the “drummer fashion” with braids on seams and sleeves. Their dolman and belt were similar to those of the NCOs.

The drum had a brass barrel with white abd blue hoops, decorated with a black double headed Eagle on a yellow field and, on one side, the arms of the House of Pálffy. The bandolier was blue edged gold.

Uniform in 1762

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1762
as per the Bautzener and Albertina Handschrift and the Raspischen Buchhandlung publication

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white fastener on the left side and a small brass button on the left side; yellow within red within white pompom in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a sky blue bag laced yellow with a yellow tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined sky blue with 6 brass buttons (1-2-3) on the right side and 6 sky blue laced buttonholes on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened by a brass button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without button
Cuffs sky blue without button
Turnbacks sky blue with a sky blue fastener and a small brass button
Waistcoat sky blue dolman edged red with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with red brandebourgs
Trousers sky blue Hungarian trousers decorated with red laces
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt red and sky blue barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear short black boots


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers), a bayonet and a sabre.

Other interpretations

Friese's reproduction of Delacre's illustration shows a much darker shade of blue (a kind of turquin blue) instead of the sky blue of later illustrations. Surprisingly, the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates this regiment with a German style uniform.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • gold cords and laces
  • no lace at the buttonholes
  • no turnbacks
  • white waistbelt
  • a sabretache in the distinctive colour of the regiment
  • yellow Hungarian boots

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 and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.

Musicians

As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by 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 Hungarian infantry regiments were supposed to carry the same colours as the German infantry regiments: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The colours were made of silk. The 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 on the left wing and JM 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 on the left wing and JM 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

This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:

  • Baumgarten/Langer: Geschichte des kaiserl. königl. Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf 19. Linien-Infanterie-Regiments, Graz, 1863
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 34

Other sources

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

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

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

Friese, Ulf-Joachim: Quellen zur Uniformierung der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee 1740-1763

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

Knötel, Herbert d.J.; Brauer, Hans M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Österreich-Ungarn – 1756-63

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

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.

Acknowledgments

Harald Skala and Michael Zahn for gathering most of the information about this regiment

Jiří Sissak for information on the uniform of 1754