Piccolomini Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Piccolomini Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1673 for Johann Carl, Count von Serényi.

In 1676, the regiment served against the French during the siege of Philippsburg.

In 1686, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment took part in the storming of Ofen where it was the first unit to penetrate into the city, taking the Vice-Pasha Tsonga Beg prisoner. On August 12 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohács where it was the first regiment to enter into enemy entrenchments. In 1688, it was at the storming of Belgrade.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment took part in the siege of Mainz.

By 1691, the regiment was back in Eastern Europe fighting the Turks. On 19 August, it fought at the Battle of Slankamen. The same year, it took part in the siege of Grosswardein. On September 11 1697, it was at the Battle of Zenta.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, on July 9 1701, the regiment distinguished itself in the combat of Carpi. On February 1 1702, it took part in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Cremona. On August 15, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara. In 1704, one battalion took part in the Battle of Gyarmath near Raab. On August 16 1705, the regiment took part in the Battle of Cassano. In 1706, the regiment served with the Palatine and Sachsen-Gothaer troops and was at the siege of Massi. On 7 September, the regiment was at the Battle of Turin. In 1707, it took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon. In 1710, it campaigned in Spain, taking part in the battles of Almenara, Saragossa and Villa Viciosa.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1746, the regiment took part in the capture of Genoa.

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 1737: Octavio Aeneas Joseph Fürst von Piccolomini d'Arragona
  • from February 1757: Franz Ludwig, Count von Thürheim

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • 1759: Colonel Caprara
  • 1760: Colonel Ludwig Anton von Wocher

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 25".

Service during the War

In September 1756, two battalions of the regiment were in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the Königshof-Kolin region.

On June 18 1757, the regiment took part in the battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the on the left of the first line in Gremmingen’s Brigade. On November 22, the regiment took part in the battle of Breslau where two of its battalions were deployed in Lacy's brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul, while a third 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 d'Arberg's brigade in the first line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo.

By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the second line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia. On October 10, the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of count O'Kelly brigade occupying the Stromberg.

By mid-August 1759, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment was attached to Zweibrücken's corps. On September 21, the regiment probably took part in the combat of Korbitz.

On November 3 1760, the regiment took part in the battle of Torgau.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

For the moment we have very few information on the uniform in 1756, at the outbreak of the war. Most of our references describe the uniform in 1762. However, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined white (therefore white turnbacks), the distinctive colour was poppy red and the waistcoat and breeches were white.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small yellow button on the left side; white within poppy red cockade and poppy red and white pompoms (entirely red as per Knötel) in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a poppy red bag probably laced white and 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 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 poppy red fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels poppy red with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs poppy red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white attached with a poppy red fastener and 2 small yellow buttons
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small 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 with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

NCOs

no information found yet

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.

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
  • 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 poppy red 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

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

  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 15

Other sources

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

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 bis zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vienna: Militärische Buchh., 1804, p. 108

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

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 15

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

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