Pálffy Cuirassiers

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised in Lorraine in 1679 by Peter Ernst baron von Mercy de Billets.

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

  • since 1734: Carl Paul count Pálffy ab Erdöd

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

  • 1756: Carl Sinewald (killed at Reichenberg)
  • April 22 1757: Carl count Berchtold
  • 1759: Ferdinand von Etreppi

The regiment was disbanded in 1775.

Service during the War

In June 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Hungary and counted 771 men and 785 horses. On October 1, it took part to the battle of Lobositz where it was deployed in the second line of cavalry of the left wing under major-general Hedwiger.

On May 6 1757, the regiment took part to the battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Argenteau's brigade. On September 7, when general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's corps isolated at Moys, the regiment was part of Wollwrath's Cavalry Brigade which has probably not participated to the engagement.

By mid August 1759, the regiment was part of Buccow's corps posted in Lusatia. On September 2, it took part in the combat of Sorau.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a plate of Richard Couture and Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift of 1762

completed with other sources when necessary
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a pewter button
Carabinier black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a pewter button
Neckstock black
Coat white with a single row of 18 pewter buttons on the right side (according to an illustration by Raspe in 1762 and to Schirmer)
Collar none
Shoulder strap white fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets each with three pewter buttons
Cuffs red with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat white with a single row of pewter buttons and horizontal pockets with pewter buttons
Breeches red
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (according to an illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Waistbelt white (according to an illustration by Raspe in 1762)
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black with brass decorations
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red laced with a white braid decorated with two smaller red braids (according to an illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Sabretache red laced with a white braid decorated with two smaller red braids (according to an illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll white laced red (according to an illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)


Troopers were armed with a black breastplate (worn over the coat), a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols. Carabiniers also had a carbine and carried a sabre instead of a sword.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 shows a golden lace on the tricorne and a red neckstock.

Donath gives a different lace for the saddlecloth and the sabretache: white with black hollow squares each containing a smaller solid black square.

The Albertina Handschrift shows a row of 14 pewter buttons (instead of 18).

Teuber and Ottenfeld illustrate red shoulder straps.

Officers

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

  • tricorne laced silver with a green and white cockade
  • coat and waistcoat laced silver (according to Donath)
  • pale yellow saddlecloth and sabretache both laced in khaki and fringed in yellow

Musicians

The small flag attached to the trumpet was red with the arms of the house of Pálffy. The pattern of the apron of the kettle-drums is not known.

Colours

From 1745 to 1765, the standards of the cuirassiers were square shaped and made of brocade or damask. Each side of the standard was made from a separate piece. The painted flagpoles were tournament lances.

Leib Standard: white with gold fringe

  • Obverse (to the right of the flagpole): black double eagle
  • Reverse (to the left of the flagpole): arms of the house of Pálffy in gold
Colonel Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Regimental Standard: red silk bordered with silver embroideries, red-brown flagpole, golden spearhead

  • Obverse (to the right of the flagpole): a black double eagle
  • Reverse (to the left of the flagpole): central scene depicting a man fighting a dragon
Regiment Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Regimental Standard (variant): red silk bordered with silver embroideries, brown flagpole, golden spearhead

  • Obverse (to the right of the flagpole): a silver double eagle
  • Reverse (to the left of the flagpole): arms of the house of Pálffy in gold
Regiment Standard (variant) – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

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

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, Klio: 1927

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. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989.

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

Zahn, Michael, Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988