Simbschen Infantry

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

Origin and History

In 1740, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, Baron Franz von Trenck raised Slavonian Freikorps (free companies). These famous Trenck's Pandours took part in the Kleinkrieg (guerilla warfare) in Silesia, Bavaria and Italy.

A regular battalion was created in 1747 by Colonel Adam Buday from men of the Slavonian free companies which had been disbanded at the end of the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1753, Joseph Carl von Simbschen became inhaber (owner) of the unit and, in 1756, he was authorized to augment it to a full regiment. Part of the additional personnel came from a proposed but not established unit of Dalmatians. The regiment was then incorporated into the Hungarian Line 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 owners of the regiment were:

  • since 1753 to 1763: Joseph Carl Count von Simbschen

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

  • in 17??: Colonel von Calveria
  • in 1760: Colonel von Ameluxen

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 53".

Service during the War

In 1758, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, the regiment took part in the defence of Olmütz and later in the blockade of Neisse.

In early June 1760, the regiment was attached to the Austrian Army of Silesia under Field-marshal Ernst Gideon Baron Loudon encamped near Frankenstein. On June 23, 2 battalions of the regiment fought in the battle of Landeshut where they formed part of the fourth column under Jahnus and Wolfersdorf which attacked Blasdorf. On August 15, 1 battalion of the regiment fought in the battle of Liegnitz where it was deployed in the first line. On September 17, 1 battalion was present at the combat of Hochgiersdorf.

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, the few details given by Wrede, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer suggest a uniform almost identical to the uniform of 1762.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture.
Uniform Details in 1762
as per Raspe, Knötel, Donath and the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne scalloped white with a white fastener and a small yellow button on the left side; no cockade; a white within yellow tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a red bag probably 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 red with 6 dark red laced buttonholes with dark red tassels arranged 1-2-3, on each side; 6 yellow buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white edged and decorated dark red, fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets vertical pockets without buttons
Cuffs red pointed cuffs without buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red dolman edged yellow with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with yellow brandebourgs
Trousers red Hungarian trousers
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white and yellow 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

Knötel illustrates a red sabretache edged yellow.

Donath illustrates red laced buttonholes, a plain red shoulder strap, a tricorne laced white with red tassels; white buttons; dark red brandebourgs on the dolman which is edged white; and a red and white barrel sash.

Schirmer mentions violet instead of dark red buttonholes and shoulder strap.

Finally, the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates a few differences:

  • black tricorne laced white with a white within red pompom
  • red laced buttonholes and red tassels on the coat
  • red and white barrel sash

NCOs

Sergeants and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.

Officers

As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, the officers wore a uniform similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no laced buttonholes on the coat, just plain yellow buttons on the right side
  • golden brandebourgs on the dolman which was also edged gold
  • no turnback
  • vertical pockets with 3 yellow buttons
  • white waistbelt
  • red trousers decorated with a golden lace
  • 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

Musicians

As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by 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 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:

  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 40-41

Other sources

Anon.: 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: Raspischen Buchhandlung. 1762

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

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

Pengel, R. D. and G.R. Hurt; Austro-Hungarian Infantry 1740-1762; On Military Matters; Birmingham, 1982

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

Vuksic, V., Croatian Military Art

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