Starhemberg Infantry

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Origin and History

Starhemberg Infantry Grenadier - Copyright: Harald Skala

The regiment was raised in 1662 for Spieker zu Uibergau.

On August 11 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the Battle of Seneffe. The same year, it also stormed to counterscarp of Philippsburg. In 1678, it took part in an engagement near Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment took part in the defence of Vienna and in the siege of Ofen; in 1685, in the Battle of Gran and in the expedition in Upper-Hungary; in 1686, in the siege of Ofen; on August 12 1687, in the Battle of Mohács; in August 1696, in the Battle of Ulaş; on September 11 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1692, the regiment became the property of Maximilian Adam Franz Count von Starhemberg till his death on November 22 1741.

Before the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1700, the regiment was stationed in Hungary when it received orders to march towards Tyrol where an Imperial army was assembling. In 1701, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Chiari and in the siege and capture of Canneto in the Duchy of Mantua. In 1702, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara. In 1704, it served in Piedmont where it took part in the defence of Verrua. In 1706, it was at the siege of Turin.

During the War of the Quadruple Alliance, on June 20 1719, the regiment fought in the battle of Francavilla in Sicily.

In 1738, the regiment took part to a campaign against the Turks, distinguishing itself in the engagement of Cornea.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1741 and 1742, the regiment campaigned in Bohemia and Silesia. On May 17 1742, it fought in the Battle of Chotusitz.

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 chef of the regiment was:

  • since November 22 1741 to 1771: Emanuel Michael Count von Starhemberg (also spelled Stahremberg)

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • in 1759: Colonel Count Wunschuritz
  • in 1760: Colonel Guido Count von Starhemberg
  • in ????: Colonel Hubert Baron von Freyenfels

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 24".

Service during the War

On May 6 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Count Macquire's brigade. On June 18, part of the regiment was at the Battle of Kolin where it formed part of Reichlin's Brigade in the corps of Count Colloredo held in reserve behind the centre.

By August 2 1758, one battalion of the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 10, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in the second line of the right column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch.

By mid August 1759, one battalion of the regiment was part of Aynse's Corps. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau.

On August 15 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Liegnitz.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

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, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined blue (therefore blue turnbacks), the distinctive colour was blue and the waistcoat and breeches were blue.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762
as per the Bautzener Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small yellow button on the left side; white within blue cockade and blue pompoms in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a blue bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined white with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels blue with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs blue with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white attached with a blue fastener and 2 yellow buttons (as per Donath)
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

NCOs

no information found yet

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no turnbacks
  • yellow and black silk sash

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

Until 1760, despite the new regulation of 1755, the musicians probably wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests and white turnbacks. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with blue 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 German infantry regiments carried identical colours: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The hand painted colours were made of silk and measured Size 178 cm x 127 cm. The 260 cm long 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 (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
Leibfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

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 (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) 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: Frédéric Aubert

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. 15-16

Other sources

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

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

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

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

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