Moltke Infantry

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Origin and History

This regiment was raised in 1640 for Ferdinand von Schambusch.

In 1659, the regiment took part in the campaign in Pomerania; in 1663 in the siege of Neuhäusel; in 1664, in the siege of Canischa and in the Battle of St. Gotthard; and in 1678, in the engagement of Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment, now owned by Sigmund Friedrich Count von Scherfenberg, took part in the defence of Vienna; in 1685, in the siege of Neuhäusel; in 1686, in the siege of Ofen and in the expedition in Lower-Hungary; in 1687, in the Battle of Mohacs; in 1688, in the capture of Stephansburg (aka Cronstadt) in Transylvania and in the storming of the Fortress of Belgrade where his proprietor, Count Scherfenberg was killed in action. The same year, the regiment became the property of Guido Count Stahremberg. In 1689, it took part in the engagements of Patacin and Nissa; in 1691, three battalions took part in the Battle of Slankamen; in 1696, in the Battle of Ollasch where it distinguished itself; and in 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1683, the regiment was at the siege of Vienna. It then took part to the wars against the Turks and French.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1701, the regiment served in Northern Italy and fought in the Battle of Chiari and took part in the capture of Canneto. In 1702, it took part in the Battle of Luzzara. In September 1706, it took part in the relief of Turin; in 1707, in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon. In 1710, the regiment served in Spain where it took part in the battles of Almenar, Saragossa and Villaviciosa. In 1711, it took part in the relief of Cardona.

During the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the regiment served in Sicily where, on June 20 1719, it fought at the battle of Francavilla and then took part in the capture of Messina.

On March 7 1737, at the death of count Stahremberg, Philipp Ludwig baron von Moltke became Inhaber of the regiment whose recruiting areas were the alpine countries.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in July 1741, was the regiment detached to the corps of FZM Count Ogilvy near Pilsen (present-day Plzeň/CZ). On September 10, it returned to Vienna. The regiment was then increased to 3,000 men. In November, it marched to Znaym (present-day Znojmo/CZ) and from there to Southern Bohemia where it took up its winter-quarters. On April 1 1742, the army went to Moravia to confront the Prussian army. The Austrians occupied Olmütz and Brünn. On May 17, the regiment took part in the Battle of Chotusitz where, led by Prince Durlach, it fought in the centre and lost 266 men. On June 5, its grenadiers, in the troops of Prince Wilhelm von Pfalz-Birkenfeld, participated in the combat of Moldauthein (present-day Týn nad Vltavou/CZ). The whole regiment then took part in the siege of Prague where it lost 145 men. In October, the regiment marched towards Bavaria and spent the winter at Passau. On May 9 1743, it participated in the Battle of Simbach where the commander of the regiment, Christoph Prince Baden-Durlach distinguished himself. At the end of October, when the army took up its peace-quarters, the regiment went to Transylvania.

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 chefs of the regiment were:

  • since 1737 until 1780: Philipp Ludwig baron von Moltke (died on July 6 1780 in Vienna)

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

  • since May 13 1752: Vinzenz Count Migazzi (formerly from the “Tyroler Feld- und Land-Regiment”)
  • from 1757: Ludwig Count Attems
  • from October 6 1760: Wolfgang Count Rindsmaul (formerly from Platz Infantry

In 1763, after the war, the regiment garrisoned Ungarisch-Weißkirchen (present-day Bela Crkva) in the region of Vojvodina in Serbia.

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 13". It existed till 1809 when, as “Reisky Infanterie”, it was disbanded because Austria had lost most of its recruiting areas.

On November 3 1814, an Imperial decree authorised the creation of a new regiment from the former Italian infantry regiments. This new unit was designated as "I.R. 13". Its first proprietor was Maximilian Baron von Wimpffen and its first commander was Colonel Chamarré de Libois.

Service during the War

At the beginning of 1756, the regiment was garrisoning Graz in Styria. On July 13, three battalions and two 2 grenadier companies (1,848 men) were sent to Moravia while one battalion remained in Olmütz. It is probably at this moment that the regiment was reorganised in two field battalions and 1 depot battalion. In September, the two field battalions and the grenadiers of the regiment were in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the region of Brünn (present-day Brno/CZ).

At the beginning of 1757, the regiment went to Königgrätz. On May 8, it joined the main army at Böhmisch Brod (present-day Český Brod/CZ). On June 18, three battalions (the third battalion had just arrived from Olmütz prior to the battle) and grenadiers of the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin. They were deployed on the right of the first line with Erzherzog Carl Infantry and Puebla Infantry in Nikolaus Esterházy's Brigade. In this battle, the regiment lost 31 men killed, 198 wounded and 4 missing. On November 18, one battalion was with General Nádasdy's Corps at the capture of the Fortress of Schweidnitz. One battalion of the regiment joined the garrison of Schweidnitz. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where one of its battalions was deployed in Count Mayern's Brigade, on the extreme left wing of infantry under Count Puebla, while another battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5, at the Battle of Leuthen, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in Puebla's Brigade in the first line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo and lost 9 men killed, 2 wounded and 48 taken prisoners of war. When the Prussians recaptured Breslau, one battalion was taken prisoners.

In March and April 1758, a detachment of the regiment, led by Colonel Attems, took part in the defence of Schweidnitz where it was captured. One battalion was in cantonment in Southern Bohemia. From May to July, its 3rd battalion (only 137 men, but 20 officers and 3 cadets) took part in the defence of Olmütz. By August 2, the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 14, the 3rd battalion took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in a detachment led by FML Christian Prince Löwenstein and fought in a combat near Weissenberg. Afterwards, it participated in the unsuccessful siege of Neisse. At the end of the year, this battalion returned to Olmütz.

In January 1759, the regiment (2 battalions and 2 grenadier companies) was part of de Ville's Corps in Silesia. In July, it marched from Silesia to Friedland in Bohemia. By mid August, the regiment was part of Buccow's Corps posted in Lusatia. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. During the campaign of that year, the regiment participated only in minor actions and lost a total of 131 men.

In 1760, the regiment was part of Loudon's Corps who concentrated near Zittau in May. On June 23, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Landeshut. On July 26, it took part in the storming of the fortress of Glatz. From July 31 to August 3, it was at Loudon's unsuccessful siege of Breslau. On August 15, the regiment distinguished itself once more at the Battle of Liegnitz where it suffered heavy casualties (a total of 265 men). By then, the regiment had lost all his superior officers (Colonel Count Attems in Prussian prison, Lieutenant-Colonel Baron Bremsfeld at Olmütz) and was led by Captain Schreckhuber.

By March 1761, the regiment was posted near Braunau as part of Loudon's Corps. On October 1, the regiment was at the storming of Schweidnitz but was not directly involved. It then remained in Schweidnitz as garrison.

In 1762, two battalions and one grenadier company garrisoned Schweidnitz, while one battalion was stationed at Olmütz, and one grenadier company with Hadik's Corps. At the beginning of the Summer, one battalion and one grenadier company joined Daun's main army while one battalion garrisoned Silberberg. From August to November, a detachment of 258 fusiliers and one grenadier company led by Major Leopold Count Galler took part in the defence of Schweidnitz and became prisoners of war.

After the signature at the Treaty of Hubertusburg, in February 1763, the regiment marched through Austria and Hungary to the Banat of Temes to its peace-quarters in Pancsova, Karansebes, Mehadia and Temesvár.

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 and small yellow button (in addition in 1762: a white within azure blue pompom)
Grenadier bearskin with a small brass frontplate and a dark violet (azure blue in 1762) bag
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white 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 (azure blue in 1762) fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels dark violet (azure blue in 1762) with 7 yellow buttons (2 groups of 3 and an isolated one at the top)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs dark violet (azure blue in 1762) with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white (attached with an azure blue fastener in 1762)
Waistcoat white 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 (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


N.B.: the dark violet distinctive colour illustrated by Delacre is quite surprising. He might have depicted a uniform on which the former blue colour had faded to dark violet.

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

For the 1762 uniform, the Albertina Handschrift illustrated yellow within red small pompoms in the cornes of the tricorne.

NCOs

NCO of Moltke Infantry in 1762 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.


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
  • no turnbacks
  • 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

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 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: Frédéric Aubert

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: Frédéric Aubert

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

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

Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 54-58

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

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

Mandel, F.: Geschichte des k. u. k. Infanterie-Regiments Guidobald Graf von Starhemberg Nr. 13, Vol. II, Krakau, 1893

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. 14

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

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht. Die Regimenter, Corps, Branchen und Anstalten von 1618 bis Ende des XIX. Jahrhunderts, Vol. 1, 124, Vienna, 1898-1905

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

Acknowledgments

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

Dr. Marco Pagan and Franco Saudelli for their plates

Harald Skala for additional info on the origin and service of the regiment