Slavonisch-Gradiskaner Grenzer

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Origin and History

This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was raised in May 1747 by Feldmarschallleutnant Baron Engelshofen from militia. It was originally known as the “Slavonisch-Gradiscaner National-Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.1 It consisted of two battalions, each of 5 companies, for a total of 5,600 men.2

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.3

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.4

In 1753, the regiment is referred to as the “Gradiscaner Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.5

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.6

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.7

The regiment recruited in the region on the Upper and Middle Sava.8 Since 1752/53, for each 13 Joch (1 Joch = 56 ares) the region had to contribute one man to the regiment.9

During the Seven Years' War, the Chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1750 Friedrich Daniel Baron von Saint-André

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • from 1754: Joseph Baron von Ried
  • from 1758: Hieronymus Ljubibratich von Trebinja

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 67".

Service during the War10

By mid September 1756, one battalion of the regiment was part of Beck's detachment who reinforced Piccolomini's Corps operating in Moravia.

At the opening of the campaign of 1757, one battalion of the regiment was attached to Serbelloni's Corps. On April 20, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, a detachment of 200 men of the regiment posted in an advantageous location near Gülden-Else (unidentified location) resisted to a vastly superior force for several hours before retiring from their position, losing 4 officers and 31 men in the engagement. On April 28, the regiment accompanied Major-general Gemmingen to Königinhof (present-day Dvůr Králové nad Labem). On May 6, the first battalion of the regiment was part of Beck's Corps who stormed Altbunzlau (also known as Brandeis, present-day Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav) and destroyed the bridge over the Elbe. During this campaign, two battalions of the regiment were attached to the Austrian relief army sent to prevent the fall of Prague. By mid June, these two battalions and one grenadier coy (totalling 1,290 men) were part of Beck's Brigade. On June 18, these two battalions took part in the Battle of Kolin. They were deployed in Beck's Brigade as left flank guard. On July 19, during the Austrian invasion of Silesia, the regiment took part in an engagement near the Kaltenberg, between Kamnitz and Kreiwitz with the rearguard of the Prince of Prussia. By August, one battalion of the regiment was operating in Silesia with 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, when General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated Corps in the Combat of Moys, the regiment was with the vanguard in front of the right wing under the command of Lieutenant-general Petazzi. In October, part of the regiment took part in the raid on Berlin under Count Andreas Hadik. During this raid, the colonel of the regiment, Joseph Baron von Ried, distinguished himself as commander of the vanguard. Another part of the regiment was present at the Siege of Schweidnitz, serving as garrison after the capture of the fortress. On November 22, a detachment of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was attached to Nádasdy's Corps. It was then assigned to the garrison of the city and defended it during the Siege of Breslau, 338 men becoming prisoners of war when the city surrendered on December 21. On December 5, another detachment of the regiment took part in the Battle of Leuthen where it was attached to Nádasdy's Corps posted on the extreme left wing. The same year, on August 30, Major Paul von Papilla of this regiment, who had been detached to serve with the Russian Army, distinguished himself at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf.

For the campaign of 1758, the regiment fielded 3,128 men. In June 1758, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, 600 men of the regiment, under Major Amelunken, took part in the Combat of Domstadl where a Prussian supply train was almost entirely annihilated, thus forcing Frederick II to lift the Siege of Olmütz. On July 31, 100 men of the regiment defended an outpost at the Pass of Passberg on the Saxon border. They were finally driven out by a superior Prussian force. On August 4, a detachment of the regiment took part in an engagement near Horschitzka (present-day Hořičky). On August 12, the regiment attacked a Prussian camp by surprise at Kohlberg (unidentified location), killing 100 men and capturing horses and baggage. On October 14, the regiment was at the Battle of Hochkirch.

In 1759, a detachment of the regiment under Captain Gyencs stubbornly defended its position on the Paßberg. At the end of June, part of the regiment was attached to Harsch's Corps who defended the Bohemian frontier against a potential attack from Landeshut. By mid July, 3,744 men of the regiment were attached to Jahnus' Light Division. On July 18, a detachment of the regiment took part in the engagement of Lindenau. On July 21, Major Paul von Papilla, as commander of a converged grenadier battalion, drove the Prussians out of the Valley of Ullersdorf, the Grenzers losing 10 men killed and 17 wounded in the skirmish while inflicting heavy losses to the Prussians. The regiment also took part in the Combat of Sebastiansberg. In December, Daun sent one battalion of the regiment to reinforce Loudon's Corps in Upper-Silesia. This battalion was then attached to Jahnus' Brigade. The other battalion was attached to Draskowitz's Corps.

In 1760, the regiment was attached to Loudon's Corps. On June 23, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Landeshut. In July, the second battalion of the regiment was present at the siege and capture of Glatz, Major Szeczujacz leading this battalion in an attack on the “new works”. On September 17, part of the regiment took part in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it was attached to Major-general Jahnus' Corps. In October, another battalion took part in the Siege of Cosel. Major Arsen Szeczujacz received the Military Maria-Theresien Order for his conduct during this campaign.

In September 1761, the regiment took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where it attacked the Wasserfort. Part of the regiment was then assigned to garrison duty in the fortress.

In 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Reichenbach where it was deployed in Beck's Corps. Colonel Hieronymus Ljubibratich von Trebinja and Major Dimich von Papilla received the Military Maria-Theresien Order for their repeated outstanding deeds.

Notable names

Gyencs11 Captain12

Papilla, Dimich von13 Major14

Papilla, Paul von1815sub> Major16

Ried, Joseph Baron von17 Colonel18

Saint-André, Friedrich Daniel Baron von19 Major-general20

Szeczujacz, Arsen21 Major22

Trebinja, Hieronymus Ljubibratich von23 Colonel24

Uniform

There are very few contemporary pictorial evidences for this regiment. In fact, the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift seems to be the only book illustring the uniform of this regiment.

Privates

Uniform during the Seven Years War - Source: Richard Couture from a template by David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details in 1762 as per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift
Headgear
Fusilier black felt shako with a red and light blue cockade
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat red edged yellow with 3 rows of small brass buttons and yellow braids27
Collar dark blue
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs dark blue pointed cuffs edged yellow without button
Dolman light blue edged yellow with 3 rows of small brass buttons and yellow braids
Cape red
Trousers red Hungarian trousers without lace (Schoitasch)25
Gaiters none
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt dark blue and yellow barrel sash26
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.

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, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 284

2. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 53, and Wrede, Vol. V, pp. 216, 284

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

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

5. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 284 and Tessin, Part 1, p. 53

6. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

7. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

8. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 216, 284

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

10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

11. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 284

18. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 284

19. Ref. 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.21, 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. 295 and Wrede, Vol. V., p. 284

20. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

21. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

22. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 285

23. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 284

24. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 284

25. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

26. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

27. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92

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

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.

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. 73

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