Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons

Origin and History

Trooper of Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons in 1762 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

On January 29 1718, emperor Charles VI issued a warrant to allow margrave Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg Anspach to raise a regiment of dragoons at his own expense. The new unit was initially stationed at Donauwörth in Bavaria. However, in May of the same year, the regiment was ordered to march to Milan. By the end of July 1718, the unit was in the region of Naples. On September 2, it entered into the Neapolitan territory in the Abruzzo where 8 companies were deployed at Santa Maria di Capua and 5 others (including the company of grenadiers) went to Aversa.

When war broke out with Spain in 1719 the regiment, then consisting of 838 dragoons and 877 horses, joined the army of field marshal count Mercy on May 27 in Sicily. On July 20, the regiment took part to the battle of Francavilla. In 1720, it retired from Sicily and took its quarters in Neapolitan territory. In 1728, the unit was transferred to North Italy where its was partly stationed in Mantua, partly in Milan.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served under field marshal count Mercy once more. On June 29 1734, it was at the battle of Parma. On September 15, it took part to the attack of field marshal count Königsegg on the camp of Quistello. On September 19, it fought at the battle of Guastalla. In 1735, the depleted regiment was transferred to the Reserve led by the prince of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. In October of the same year, after the peace of Vienna, the regiment took its quarters in Lombardy where it remained during the war against the Turks from 1736 to 1739.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was ordered to join the corps of count Khevenhüller in Upper Austria in November 1741 to drive back the Franco-Bavarian. On December 30, it made its junction with the Austrian corps at Waidhofen an der Ybbs and took part to the winter expedition of 1742. In September of the same year, the regiment operated with Khevenhüller's army in Upper Austria and Bavaria. It took its winter quarters in Ried and Mansee on the Inn. In May 1743, the regiment was with count Hohenembs' corps operating in the region of Altheim and charged to observe the town of Braunau. Mid May, this corps advanced on Braunau to prevent the crossing of the Inn by the French. The regiment then moved to Neumarkt near Salzburg. In the Autumn, it joined the army of prince Carl von Lothringen on the Upper Rhine and retired on Donauwörth. In October, it took its winter quarters at Staubing. On July 11 1744, the regiment took part to a raid near Lauterbach. In August, it retired to Bohemia with the army of prince Carl von Lothringen and took its winter quarters in the region of Jassena. However, during the winter, it was transferred to the district of Hradish in Moravia. In April 1745, the regiment retired to Upper Austria with the Austrian army. On May 22, it fought the Prussian cavalry at the combat of Neustadt, covering the Esterhazy and Olgiloy infantry regiments. During this combat, it lost 5 men killed, 21 wounded and 6 missing. On May 27, about 100 dragoons of the regiment took part to a raid on Kosel led by colonel baron Buccow. For the rest of this campaign, the regiment remained on the Austro-Prussian frontier. On October 20, it was attacked at Hatschein, along with two hussar regiments, by the Prussian Wartenberg Hussars. A corporal of the regiment was captured and 21 troopers wounded. On December 25, after the peace of Dresden, the unit took its quarters in the district of Pressburg (actual Bratislava) in Slovakia. In the spring of 1746, the regiment was ordered to North Italy to fight in count Browne's army against the Franco-Spanish army. It Joined Browne's army in June. On July 22, the regiment fought on the Trebbia and, on August 10, at the battle of Rottofreno. In September, it took its quarters in the region of Mantua. In 1748, it was transferred to Milan.

From 1748 to 1753, the regiment was stationed in Lombardy. It was then transferred to the district of Pest in Hungary.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons and a company of horse grenadiers. For battles, the latter was usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.

Following a decree of February 6 1760, the regiment was re-equipped with lighter horses and reorganised as a regiment of Chevauxlegers.

In December 1760, the regiment was reorganised as a regular dragoon regiment.

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

  • from 1726 to 1767: Field Marshal Johann August Prince of Sachsen Gotha

From 1746 to 1768, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since 1746: Franz Baron Levenehr
  • from 1748: Heinrich Baron Stappel
  • from 1753: Isaak Heinrich de Petit
  • from 1753: Karl Count O´Donell
  • from 1757: Franz Count Pompeati
  • from 1768: Ernst Count Blankenstein


Service during the War

Trooper of Sachsen-Gotha Dragoons - Source: Thürheim Geschichte des k.k. achten Uhlanen-regimentes...

In June 1756, at the beginning of the war, the regiment was stationed in Hungary and counted 801 men and 811 horses. In July, the regiment was at the camp of Kittsee. At the beginning of August, it left this camp and marched to Moravia. It then joined the corps of Fürst Piccolomini at its camp at Königgrätz (actual Hradec Králové) in Bohemia. On October 2, the regiment retired to Moravia and took its winter qurarters in the district of Brünn (actual Brno).

At the end of March 1757, the regiment moved to Upper Silesia and then joined Daun's main army on May 8 near Böhmisch-Brod (actual Český Brod). The regiment, counting 650 horses was incorporated into the second line of the cavalry left wing led by general of cavalry count Stampach. On June 18, it took part to the battle of Kolin where it distinguished itself along with the Jung Modena Dragoons. They both successfully attacked the Prussian units with great determination but suffered heavy losses. The regiment lost lieutenant Titz and 7 men killed; lieutenant-colonel count Pompeati, captains Tumlier and von Potz, lieutenant Heimack and ensign Alexandrini along with 29 men wounded; and 2 officers and 14 men missing. Daun signalled the distinguished service of the regiment in his relation of the battle to the empress. Colonel O'Donell was promoted general and lieutenant-colonel count Pompeati colonel. In July, the regiment operated in the region of Leitmeritz (actual Litoměřice), observing the retreat of the Prussian army. On Sepyember 7, when general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's corps isolated at Moys, the regiment was deployed in the second line of the right wing under major-general O'Donnel. Along with the Saxon Chevauxlegers regiments, it covered the flanks of the infantry. On November 12, the regiment was part of count Nadasdy's force at the capture of the fortress of Schweidnitz. On November 22, the regiment fought at the battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing of Nádasdy's corps. Finally, it was present at the disastrous battle of Leuthen where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry Reserve under marshal O'Donell on the far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps. During this battle, lieutenant-colonels baron Muffel and von Haake were taken prisoners, major von Feilitzsch was wounded. Afterward, the regiment was part of the Austrian force defending the town during the siege of Breslau from December 10 to 20. After the capitulation, it took its winter quarters in Politschka, Ullersdorf and Borowa in Bohemia. During the campaign of 1757, the regiment had lost 1 officer, 3 non commissioned officers and 48 troopers killed.

In 1758, after the capture of the fortress of Schweidnitz by the Prussians on April 18, lieutenant Riechle of the regiment became prisoner of war. Later during the year, the regiment as part of De Ville's corps blockaded the fortress of Neisse from August 4 to November 6. In December, the regiment took its winter quarters in Moravia and Upper Silesia.

At the opening of the campaign of 1759, the regiment joined the Austrian main army under the command of Daun who advanced from Bohemia into Saxony. Daun manoeuvred to prepare the junction of an Austrian corps with the Russian army. The regiment was not involved in any major action. On September 16, it was ordered to leave the camp of Bautzen and to join the corps of baron Loudon which took its winter quarters in Silesia.

Following a decree of February 6 1760, the regiment was re-equipped with lighter horses and reorganised as a regiment of Chevauxlegers. On May 31, at the combat of Töpliwoda, 600 dragoons of the regiment along with 300 hussars attacked the Mosel infantry regiment which formed a square and retired to Neisse. During this action, the regiment lost 4 officers wounded and 20 men killed or wounded. On June 23, baron Loudon defeated the Prussian corps of general Fouquet at Landshut. The dragoons of the regiment along with those of Löwenstein Dragoons, Nadasdy Hussars and Bethlen Hussars led by general Nauendorf attacked a Prussian square and broke it. General Fouquet who stood inside this square was taken prisoner by colonel baron Voith of the Löwenstein Dragoons. At this battle, the regiment lost 1 man killed and 8 wounded. On August 15, at the battle of Liegnitz the regiment lost lieutenant Meiner von Löwenstein and 6 men wounded, and 4 men reported missing. In October, the regiment was assigned to Wolfersdorf's corps covering the region of Landshut and observing the Prussian force occupying Schweidnitz. It later took its winter quarters in Silesia.

At the beginning of the campaign of 1761, the regiment was assigned once more to Loudon's corps operating in Silesia. On July 31, during the retreat of major-general count Draskovich to Jägerndorf, lieutenant-colonel count Christallnig along with 70 troopers was captured. The regiment took its winter quarters in Jägerndorf.

In the campaign of 1762, the regiment was part of general Beck's corps. It fought at the battle of Reichenbach on August 16 where it lost 1 man killed.

After the peace of Hubertusburg, the regiment took its quarters in Lombardy.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Richard Couture
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 with a yellow metal front plate and a light blue bag piped white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Neckstock black
Coat red with 3 yellow buttons under the lapel on the right side
Collar light blue
Shoulder strap left shoulder: light blue fastened with a yellow button
right shoulder: golden aiguillette
Lapels light blue with 7 yellow buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs light blue with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks light blue
Waistcoat light blue with two rows of yellow buttons and horizontal pockets (each with 3 yellow buttons)
Breeches straw
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 light blue (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Housings red laced with a wide white braid bordered and decorated in light blue (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll light blue 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 no lapels, white buttons and a silver aiguillette.

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
  • 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

Leib Standard: unknown

Regimental Standard: swallow tailed blue silk pennant

  • Right side: older coat of arms
  • Left side: double eagle with a shield and the necklace of the order of the Golden Fleece

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. 176-220

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 2

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

Grosser Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

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

Skala, H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte

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

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