Splényi Hussars

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised on November 4 1733 by Colonel Gabriel Baron von Splényi, 6 companies were raised at his own expense and 4 others were paid by the crown.

During the War of the Polish Succession, in 1737, the regiment served in Serbia; in 1738, in Slavonia; and in 1739, in Hungary where it took part in the combats of Grocka and Panscova.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1741, the regiment campaigned in Silesia where it took part in many small raids, including a raid on Baumgarten, where King Frederick the Great was almost captured; it also took part in the Battle of Mollwitz (April 10 1741) and then moved to Bohemia. In 1742, the regiment joined Lobkowitz's Corps and took part in the Combat of Sahaj. In 1743, it served in Italy. In 1744, it took part in the invasion of Naples. In 1746, the regiment was still serving in Italy where it took part in the Combat of Codogno and in the Battle of Piacenza (June 16 1746).

After the war, in 1748, the regiment incorporated one company of the disbanded Trips Hussars Regiment. It assumed garrison duties in Steinamanger in 1748; Szent-Mihály in 1749; Miskolcz in 1750; Püspök-Ladány in 1751; Zemplín in 1752; Jolsva-Rosenau in 1753; and Bartfeld in 1754.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 10 companies in 5 squadrons.

The regiment was under the nominal command of:

  • since 1733: Colonel Gabriel Baron von Splényi
  • from 1762 to 1768: Emerich Graf Esterházy

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:

  • since 1749: Colonel Nicolaus Baron von Berzeviczy
  • from 1759: Colonel Nicolaus Eötvös de Vásáros-Namény
  • from 1763: Colonel Ladislaus Baron Splényi de Miháldy

After the Seven Years' War, the regiment assumed garrison duties in Königgrätz.

In 1768, the regiment was disbanded and split up among various hussar regiments.

Service during the War

In June 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Hungary and counted 588 men and 385 horses. During the winter of 1756-57, the regiment received a sixth squadron bringing its total theoretical strength to 1,060 men.

In September 1756, the regiment was in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the Königshof-Kolin region.

On May 6 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Baron Baboczay's brigade. On June 18, two squadrons of the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin. They were deployed in the first line of the extreme right wing in Hadik's Division. Furthermore, 3 squadrons are reported to have been present at the Battle of Rossbach. They might have been part of Loudon's Corps sent to assist the Reichsarmee.

At the beginning of 1758, the regiment was assigned to Dombasle's Corps who joined the Reichsarmee for the planned campaign in Saxony. On April 19, it occupied Hof to cover Zweibrücken's Army encamped at Bayreuth. On November 15, it reinforced Hadik's Corps at Grimma.

On November 20 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where it was attached to the Reichsarmee Contingent deployed near Gieshübel under the command of Prince Stolberg.

In early June of 1760, 6 squadrons of the regiment were attached to Beck's Corps stationed on the borders of Lusatia, Lower Silesia and Northern Bohemia. On September 17, they were at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.

In 1761, the regiment initially served in Silesia but was later transferred to Saxony.

In 1762, the regiment served in Lusatia where it took part in the combat of Kirchhain.

Uniform

Privates

The 1757 reform, stated that all hussar regiments should be dressed in dark blue uniform with yellow distinctives. However, this regulation seems to have been followed only by Kaiser Franz I Hussars. The present regiment retained its former uniform.

Uniform in 1757
Source: David at Not By Appointment
Uniform Details
as per Raspe and Magyar Huszar Hávor-Huszárezred
Headgear brown kolback with red/white cords and tassels and a light green bag
Neck stock black
Pelisse light green lined with black sheepskin
Fur trim black
Lace between 8 and 12 rows of red/white braids
Buttons white
Dolman light green edged red/white with between 7 and 15 rows of red/white braids and white buttons
Collar light green edged red/white
Cuffs red pointed cuffs edged red/white
Trousers red decorated with an intricate red/white lace on each thigh
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt white
Waist-sash light green and red barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots edged red/white with a white tassel
Horse Furniture
Saddle-cloth light green edged white with a stylized black Imperial Eagle in each corner
Sabretache light green edged white decorated with a black lion rampant on a light blue field surmounted by a silver crown


Troopers were armed with a short curved sabre, a musket and two pistols.

Other interpretations

The Bechersche Handschrift depicts a prisoner from this regiment with the following differences:

  • a black tricorne
  • no dolman
  • dark green pelisse lined with black sheepskin

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates the following differences:

  • golden cords and yellow buttons on the pelisse
  • light green saddle cloth edged gold and heavily decorated with golden laces
  • light green trousers with buckskin overtrousers
  • yellow Hungarian boots

Knötel shows a totally different uniform:

  • dark brown kolback with a red bag and red and white cords with red tassels
  • grey-blue pelisse lined with black sheepskin; with black fur trim, red/white cords and piping
  • grey-blue dolman with grey-blue pointed cuffs; red/white cords and piping
  • red and white barrel sash
  • grey-blue trousers
  • black Hungarian boots edged white and red

Donath illustrates the following differences:

  • sky blue pointed cuffs
  • a white stripe on the outer side of each leg of the trousers

Officers

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift depicts:

  • black tricorne laced silver
  • white fur trim for the pelisse
  • straw trousers
  • yellow Hungarian boots
  • no sabretache
  • red saddle cloth edged silver

Donath depicts a uniform similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • silver laces on the pelisse, dolman and trousers
  • black sabretache decorated and edged in silver (same device as for the trooper)
  • light green saddle-cloth edged in silver and black

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

The now defunct website “ Magyar Huszar Hávor-Huszárezred” illustrated the following swallow-tailed guidon: light green field fringed gold; heavily embroidered in silver; centre device consisting of a black and gold armed Imperial Eagle carrying unidentified arms on its breast and surmounted by an Imperial Crown; silver cords and tassels.

References

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 auf Kosten der Raspischen Buchhandlung. Ao. 1762 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt Halle, Universitätsbibliothek Kiel, Landesbibliothek Darmstadt)

"Bechersche Handschrift": Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760

Bleckwenn, Hans; Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967

Bleckwenn, Hans; Eine neue österreichische Bilderhandschrift aus dem Siebenährigen Kriege, in Zeitschrift für Heeres und Uniformkunde, Nr. 185: 1963

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

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

Knötel, Herbert d.J.; Brauer, Hans M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Uniformbogen No. 71

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 67

Skala H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte

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

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

Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geshichte der K und K Wehrmacht, Vienna and Leipzig 1911

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

Acknowledgments

Digby Smith for the initial version of this article and User:Zahn for information on the uniform