Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer

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Origin and History

This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was raised in April 1747 by Sigmund Friedrich Count von Gaisruck. It was originally known as the “Sigmund Friedrich Graf von Gaisruck ‚Slavonisch-Brooder Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”. It consisted of two battalions, each of 5 companies for a total of 5,600 men.3

In 1750, Sigmund Friedrich Count von Gaisruck became Chef of the regiment which was then known as the “Slavonisch-Broder Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.1

In 1751, the regiment was reorganised and then consisted of two companies of grenadiers and four battalions, each counting five companies of fusiliers of 200 men.4

In 1752/53, the regiment consisted of two companies of grenadiers, each of 120 men, and of four battalions, each with four companies of fusiliers counting 240 men each.5

In 1753, still under command of Sigmund Friedrich Count von Gaisruck,2 the regiment is referred to as the “Broder Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.6

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 depot battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

Accordingly, by 1756, the regiment really consisted of two companies of grenadiers, twelve companies of fusiliers and four Landesdefensions (depot) companies. In addition, there were two companies of sharpshooters and two artillery companies. A company counted about 100 men.7

In wartime, the companies of grenadiers were detached from the regiment and converged into a Grenadier Corps (ad hoc battalions). However, these converged battalions seem to have been employed mostly as elite light troops. Only in some extreme cases would they fight among the elite line infantry battalions.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the regiment was organised as follows:

  • Regimental Staff
  • I. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 1. Grenadier Company
    • 1. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Fusilier Company
    • 3. Fusilier Company
    • 4. Fusilier Company
    • 5. Fusilier Company
    • 6. Fusilier Company
    • 1. Sharpshooter Company
  • II. Battalion
    • Battalion Staff
    • 2. Grenadier Company
    • 7. Fusilier Company
    • 8. Fusilier Company
    • 9. Fusilier Company
    • 10. Fusilier Company
    • 11. Fusilier Company
    • 12. Fusilier Company
    • 2. Sharpshooter Company
  • III. Battalion (Depot)
    • Battalion Staff
    • 13. Fusilier Company
    • 14. Fusilier Company
    • 15. Fusilier Company
    • 16. Fusilier Company

Tactically a Grenz-Husar squadron was assigned to a foot battalion of the same Generalate.8

The regiment recruited in the region between Brod (present-day Brcko) and Ilok along the frontier on the Middle Sava (then known as the Sau-Gränitz region.9 Since 1752/53, for each 13 Joch (1 Joch = 56 ares) the region had to contribute one man to the regiment.10 The regimental staff was located in Vinkovce (present-day Vinkovci) in Slavonia (a region now belonging to Croatia).11

During the Seven Years' War, the Chefs of the regiment were:

  • since 1754: Anton Ignaz Count von Mercy d´Argenteau

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • in 1754: Philipp Levin Baron von der Beck
  • in 1756: Michael Prodanovich von Ussiczka
  • in 1761: Friedrich Count Dönhoff

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 66".

Service during the War12

By mid September 1756, one battalion of the regiment was part of Beck's detachment who reinforced Piccolomini's Corps operating in Moravia. On October 7, this battalion (about 1,000 men) accompanied Major-general Count Pálffy in his unsuccessful attempt to intercept, between Nachod and Reinerz, a Prussian supply convoy expected from Glatz.

At the opening of the campaign of 1757, one battalion of the regiment was attached to Serbelloni's Corps. On April 28, this battalion accompanied Major-general Gemmingen to Königinhof (present-day Dvůr Králové nad Labem). On May 6, the tow battalions were part of Beck's force who stormed Altbunzlau (also known as Brandeis, present-day Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav), the first battalion attacked the right gate while the second battalion, led by Lieutenant-colonel Mathesen forced its way through the town and destroyed the bridge over the Elbe. Later on, two battalions of the regiment were attached to the Austrian relief army sent to stop the Prussian invasion of Bohemia. By mid June, the two battalions and 1 grenadier coy of the regiment (totalling 1,160 men) were part of Beck's Brigade. On June 18, these two battalions took part in the Battle of Kolin where they were deployed in Beck's Brigade as left flank guard. By August, a battalion of the regiment had been detached to Silesia under Colonel Jahnus. On August 13, it took part in the first Combat of Landeshut where it was initially deployed in the first line. On September 7, a detachment of the regiment might presumably have taken part in the Combat of Moys although our sources do no specify its presence at this engagement. On September 10, when Bevern retired from Görlitz and headed for Silesia, Lieutenant-colonel Mathesen at the head of a battalion of the regiment entered in the suburb of Görliz to harass Bevern's rearguard but was soon driven back by Frei-Infanterie von Kalben. Colonel Brentano immediately came to Mathesen's support with 500 men of the Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer. Together, they launched a new assault and manage to drive the Prussians out of Görlitz, capturing a 25-pdr piece, 3 ammunition wagons, some baggage wagons and 60 oxen. On November 22, a battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it belonged to Beck's detachment. It was then assigned to the garrison of the city and defended it during the Siege of Breslau, 1,003 men becoming prisoners of war when the city surrendered on December 21.

At the end of June 1759, part of the regiment was attached to Harsch's Corps who defended the Bohemian frontier against a potential attack from Landeshut. By mid July, 2,410 men of the regiment were attached to Jahnus' Light Division. On July 13, during the Austrian campaign in Upper Silesia and Lusatia, the battalion of Major Friedrich Count Dönhoff successfully took part in an engagement at Friedland against a detachment of 300 Prussian light troops from Frei-Infanterie le Noble, Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli and Frei-Infanterie von Lüderitz. On July 16, it also fought in an engagement near Konradswalde. On July 18, a detachment of the regiment took part in the engagement of Lindenau. By September, the other battalion of the regiment was operating in Saxony with Wehla's Austrian Light Division (3,460 men). By September 25, after the capture of Dresden, this corps had taken position at Hoyerswerda where it was attacked by a Prussian corps under the command of Prince Henri. The Austrians lost 600 men killed and 1,785 men were taken prisoners including Wehla. In December, Daun sent one battalion of the regiment to reinforce Loudon's Corps in Upper-Silesia. This battalion was attached to Jahnus' Brigade.

In July 1760, the first battalion of the regiment served in the defence of Dresden and distinguished itself under the command of Baron von Dücker, attacking Prussian convoys. On July 19, this battalion took part in an attack in the rear of the Prussian positions at Weisshirsch, contributing to the capture of this outpost. The second battalion took part in the campaign in Silesia. On November 3, it fought in the Battle of Torgau where it was attached to Ried's Corps. This battalion fought with such courage that Lieutenant-colonel Dönhof was promoted “second colonel”. The regiment also took part in an engagement near the Castle of Riese.

In July 1761, the regiment took part in a surprise attack on Prussian troops at Deutsch-Borna.

On June 27 1762, a battalion of the regiment took part in an engagement near Grebenitz. On August 16, the other battalion fought in the Battle of Reichenbach in Silesia. The same year, Colonel Friedrich Count Dönhoff and Captain Johann Tkalcsevich received the Maria-Theresien Military Order for their conduct during the defence of Dresden in 1760.

Notable names

Beck, Philipp Levin Baron von der13 Colonel14

Dönhoff, Friedrich Count15 Major16 Colonel 17

Dücker, Baron von18 Major19

Mathesen20 Lieutenant-colonel21

Mercy d´Argenteau, Anton Ignaz Count von22 Feldzeugmeister23

Tkalcsevich, Johann24 Captain25

Ussiczka, Michael Prodanovich von26 Colonel27

Uniform

Privates

Uniform during the Seven Years War - Source: Richard Couture from a template by David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details in 1762
Headgear
Fusilier black felt shako with a yellow and blue cockade
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat dark brown edged yellow without any braid or lace on the chest
Collar yellow
Shoulder Straps yellow (left shoulder only)
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs yellow square cuffs without button
Turnbacks dark brown edged yellow
Dolman light blue edged yellow with 3 rows of small brass buttons and yellow braids
Cape red
Trousers light blue Hungarian trousers decorated with an intricate yellow lace (Schoitasch)
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt yellow and dark brown barrel sash
Cartridge Box black with a large overhanging cover
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear short black boots


Privates often wore a moustache.

Privates were armed with a slightly curved 58 cm long brass hilted sabre28 with a white knot and a cord of a different colour for each company; a Model 1754 musket (151 cm long, 112 cm long barrel, 18,3 mm calibre, 4,9 kg); and a bayonet. Each trooper carried 36 musket balls and 6 shrapnel bullets.29 Privates also carried a haversack and a canteen. Additional ammunition and kettles were transported in the wagons of each company.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a very different uniform, the differences were:

  • black felt shako without cockade
  • dark blue coat lined yellow with 19 yellow braids and 3 rows of yellow buttons; yellow pointed cuffs; golden collar
  • dark blue dolman with 19 yellow braids and 3 rows of yellow buttons
  • dark blue Hungarian trousers decorated with golden laces
  • dark blue and golden barrel-sash

Richard Knötel does not illustrate a shoulder strap.

Donath illustrates a light brown coat (instead of dark brown); a light blue and white barrel sash and short black Hungarian boots edged yellow.

NCOs

no information available

Officers

Officers wore uniforms of the same colour as those of the privates but were distinguished by a black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade; a Western style coat with vertical pockets, square cuffs; and yellow Hungarian boots.

Officers wore a black and gold sash or a gold sash with tassels at the waist, over the dolman and under the coat. The black and gold sash could be made of strictly separated layers and then intertwined in knots or in a kind of knitwear; while the entirely gold sash was made of heavy knit of fine shiny silk.30

Musicians

no information available

Colours

When the Grenzer Regiments where formed they adopted the yellow 1745 pattern flag, with the black Doppeladler carrying the Imperial shield and edged in black/red/yellow/white flames, which measured 1.8m x 1.4m. The senior company carried a white Leibfahne displaying the Madonna and Christ on the obverse.

From 1756 each battalion carried two yellow Ordinarfahnen, except the first battalion which carried a white Leibfahne and one Ordinarfahne.

However, it seems unlikely that any were carried in the field

Footnotes

1. Ref. Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1. Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986, p. 53, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2. Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993, Kaiser und Reich Nr. 7, Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3. Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995, p. 99, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 280

2. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 53, Tessin, Part 3, p. 99 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280

3. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 53, Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.7, Tessin, Part 3, p. 99, Wrede, Vol. V., p. 216, 280 and 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, p.100

4. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 214

5. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 217

6. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 53

7. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

8. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

9. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 216, 280 and Kornauth, p. 100

10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 217

11. Ref. Kornauth, p. 100

12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280

14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280

15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280 and Kornauth, p. 100

16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280 and Kornauth, p. 100

18. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281

19. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281

20. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

21. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

22. Ref. Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.16, Tessin, Part 3, p. 214 and Wrede, Vol. V., p. 280

23. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280

24. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

25. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 281 and Kornauth, p. 100

26. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280 and Kornauth, p. 100

27. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 280 and Kornauth, p. 100

28. Ref. Kornauth, p. 26

29. Ref. Kornauth, p. 25f

30. Ref. Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II.), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. Jahrgang 1987, pp. 66-72, 69

References

Anon.: Diarium der Belagerung von Breslau und Capitulations-Puncte, Berlin, 1758

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, p. 43

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

Koch, Arwed Ulrich: Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Offiziersportraits 1730 bis 1790) (Part II), in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, LI. 1987, pp. 66-72.

Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985

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.

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 72

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 1 Die Stammlisten, Osnabrück 1986.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 2 Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime. Eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien, Osnabrück 1993.

Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancién Regime des XVI. bis XVIII. Jahrhunderts. Part 3 Namensregister der deutschen Regimentsinhaber und Namensregister der Regimenter mit Orts- und Ländernamen aus ganz Europa, Osnabrück 1995.

Thümmler, Lars-Holger: Die Österreichische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg. Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993.

Vanicek, Fr.: Specialgeschichte der Militärgrenze aus Originalquellen und Quellenwerken geschöpft, Vol. II, Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1875, pp. 402-488.

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905.

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

Acknowledgments

Mathias Kussmann for the initial version of this article