Template:Austrian Artillery Uniform Intro

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Introduction

There are so many conflicting sources on the uniforms of the Austrian artillery that we consider important to have an introductory texts to the present section.

The history of the Austrian army (Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, Vol. IV) edited by Major Anton Semek and published in Vienna in 1909 clearly states that, from 1748, the regulations specified a white coat for the artillery. The same source also mentions that, till 1772, the artillery had to procure their uniforms by themselves.

However, all contemporaneous iconographic sources from 1756 to 1762 (Delacre, Bautzener Biderhanschrift, Albertina Handschrift, Raspe...) illustrates uniforms of various shades of grey or brown. More precisely:

  • the Delacre Handschrift, given to FM Daun in 1757, illustrates a rather dark brown uniform.
  • the Übersicht of all Austrian units, published in 1760, illustrates a grey uniform.
  • the Albertina Handschrift of 1762 illustrates fawn (Rehbraun) uniforms for the German and Netherlander artillery.
  • the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a dark grey uniform
  • Raspe publication (probably taking its inspiration from the Albertina Handschrift) of 1762 illustrates a fawn uniform
  • Contemporary paintings kept at the Heeresgeschichtliche Museum Vienna, depicting the battles of Hochkirch and Maxen, illustrate a slightly darker brown.
  • An anonymous work depicting the Austrian artillery in action, shows grey uniforms.

An additional consideration is that the plates in the contemporaneous printed works might have faded too, although the colours illustrated in the paintings should have remained rather faithful.

Later sources made conflicting assertions:

  • Ottenfeld and Teuber mention white coats with red distinctive then say that a wolf grey uniform, was already in use since 1750 in the artillery of the Netherlands and among gunners. The brown uniform were only introduced in 1772.
  • Karger, in his book "Die Entwicklung der Adjustierung, Rüstung und Bewaffnung der österreichisch – ungarischen Armee 1700 – 1809", originally dating from 1903 but published only in 1998, mentions a white uniform from 1748 which would be replaced by a brown uniform in 1772.

It should be noted that the question was debated in the magazine Zinnfigur in 1942 and 1943 but no clear conclusion resulted.

In 1964, confronted to these numerous conflicting sources, Bleckwenn concluded that the artillery had adopted dark grey or grey brown uniforms but that the fact was not immediately recognized by regulatory offices. Furthermore, he attributed the variations observed in the various contemporaneous iconographic sources to the variability (different manufacturers, different dyestuff) and instability of dyeing in this period. Colours faded in the sun and rain or by washing.

We agree with Bleckwenn and propose hereafter a few interpretations of the variations of colour of the uniform.