Origin and History
There are some doubts about the year of creation of this regiment. Gräffer as well as A. v. Thürheim in his book “Die Reiterregimenter der k. k. österreichischen Armee“ (Vienna, 1862) mention that Prince Julius Heinrich Sachsen-Lauenburg created this cuirassier regiment in 1618. Josef Victorin explained the real history the foundation of the regiment in his book “Geschichte des K. K. Dragoner Regimentes Herzog Wilhelmvon Braunschweig Nr 7” (Vienna, 1879) as follows:
- During the Thirty Years' War, Prince Julius Sachsen-Lauenburg owned several horse regiments between 1620 and 1625. In 1621, his arquebusier regiment was transformed into cuirassiers. Furthermore, in 1621 and 1622, cuirassier regiment mutinied and was disbanded. In 1625, he raised another cuirassier regiment (disbanded in 1650 as “Bossu”) and, in 1627-1628, he erected a new arquebusier regiment.
- On 9 November 1655, Johann Baron Garnier received a decree (Gehorsams Patent) authorising him to raise a new horse regiment (“…ein neues Regiment zu Pferde werben…”). That means, it was an entirely new regiment, without any connection with those of the Prince Sachsen-Lauenburg (but it is possible that some men from these regiments were incorporated in it). According to a letter of Emperor Leopold I to Count Montecuccoli dated 12 May 1659, this regiment was subdivided into two distinct units: one (6 coys) under Colonel Scholz, the other (4 coys) under Colonel Count Caraffa.
- In 1663, the Garnier brothers offered to the Emperor to raise a corps of 5,000 men and one horse regiment. Leopold accepted and GFWM Johann Baron Garnier immediately started to enlist cavalrymen in Silesia. On 1 and 5 May 1664, the new regiment was reviewed at Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ) and Freistadtl (present-day Fryšták/CZ).
Thus, the year 1663 is the real year of foundation of the regiment who initially counted 1,000 men and was assigned to the Corps FZM of Souches. On 19 July, it participated in the Battle of Lewencz (present-day Levice/SK). The army, badly hurt by diseases, camped around Neuhäusel. By that time, the regiment had only 150 men. At the beginning of August 1664, Johann Baron Garnier died. On 26 August, Hans Nikolaus Count Nostitz auf Kunewalde was appointed as new proprietor and commander. The regiment did not take part in any other action until the signature of peace at Vasvár.
In February 1670, Count Nostitz died. The new proprietor Johann Heinrich Count Dünewald was appointed on 17 March 1670.
In 1673, the regiment served on the Rhine against France. On 4 October 1674, it was at the Battle of Ensisheim. On 1 August 1675, it fought in the Battle of Altenheim. On 22 August 1677, it was at Altkirch under Count Dünewald.
In 1683, the regiment took part in the campaign against the Turks. The same year, it was among Duke Carl von Lothringen's Army when it relieved Vienna. It was at the first siege of Ofen. In 1685, it fought at Gran and took part in the second siege of Ofen. In 1687, it was at the Battle of Mohacs and took part in the expedition in Slavonia. In 1688, it was at the siege of Belgrade. In 1689, it served on the Rhine and took part in the siege of Mainz.
In 1691, the regiment returned to Hungary where it fought in the Battle of Szlankamen. In 1692, it was at the capture of Gyula and at the siege of Grosswardein. In 1695, it fought in the bloody Battle of Lugos; in 1696, in the Battle of Ollasch; and in 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.
In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was stationed in Slavonia. In 1702, it took part in the siege of Landau. In 1703, it was surprised by the Bavarians near Eisenbirn and suffered heavy losses. On July 31, it took part in an engagement near Munderkingen where its proprietor, Christian Prince Braunschweig-Lüneburg, was killed in action. The regiment was then transferred to Hungary to quench the beginning of Rákóczi Uprising. In 1704, it took part in the campaign against Rákóczi, fighting in the battles of Szent Miklós, Stuhlweissenburg (present-day Székesfehérvár/HU) Gyarmath and Tyrnau (present day Trnava/SK). In 1705, the regiment campaigned in Hungary and fought in the battle at Budmeritz (present-day Budmerice/SK) and Sibó. It was later transferred to Transylvania. In 1706, it campaigned in Upper Hungary (Slovakia). In 1708, it took part in the engagement of Bruska/SK and in the Battle of Trencsén (present-day Trenčín/SK). In 1709, the regiment campaigned once more in Upper Hungary where it took part in the pacification of the country. In 1710, it fought in the Battle at Vadkert (or Romhány/HU) and in smaller actions in Upper Hungary.
From 1711 to 1716, the regiment garrisoned various places in the Comitat of Sáros (present-day Šariš/SK) and Csongrad/HU.
During the Turkish War of 1716, the regiment was at the battle of Peterwardein. In 1717, it was at the siege and battle of Belgrad (August 16).
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment, now counting some 1,000 cavalrymen, initially served in Italy under field marshal count Mercy. In 1734, it fought at the battles of Colorno on June 1, Parma on June 29 and Guastalla on September 19.
In 1737, the regiment was transferred eastwards to fight against the Turks where it took part to the encounters of Belgrad (1738) and to the battle of Krotzka (1739) where it suffered heavy casualties.
In 1740, the regiment took his peacetime quartiers in Banat.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially assigned to the corps of prince Lobkowitz which assembled at Neuhaus in 1741. It was then transferred to the Reserve under count Preissing. During the campaign of 1742, it was part of the army of Bohemia under the archduke of Tuscany who observed the movements of the French army under marshal Maillebois. During the campaigns of 1743 and 1744, the regiment served in Germany. In 1745, it fought at Hohenfriedberg (June 4) and Soor (September 30). In 1747 and 1748, it garrisoned Vienna.
The regiment counted 6 squadrons and a company of carabiniers. For battles, the latter was usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was :
- from 1751 to 1786: Franz Karl count Trautmannsdorf
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- 1756: Josef Roth
- 1756: Anton Johann count Hamilton
- from 1759 to 1771: Joseph Anton count Turati
Service during the War
At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, in 1756, the regiment was stationed in Banat and counted 799 men and 836 horses. It then joined the Austrian army concentrating in Bohemia where it was part of the Division of FML Emanuel count Kollowrat in the brigade of Prince Löwenstein. On October 1 at the Battle of Lobositz, it was deployed in the first line of cavalry of the left wing under the command of Major-General Löwenstein. Its carabiniers were converged with other elite units in the vanguard in front of the village of Lobositz. Baron Jakob Brockhausen, the Rittmeister of the carabinier company of the regiment distinguished himself during this battle. He was afterwards appointed aggregierter lieutenant-colonel in O'Donell Cuirassiers. At the end of November the regiment took its winter-quarters at Rokican (present-day Rokycany/CZ), Mauth (present-day Mýto/CZ) and Radnitz (present-day Radnice/CZ).
On May 6 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed with Lucchesi Cuirassiers in Baron Bretlach's Brigade, in the first line of the right wing under Count Lucchesi. The regiment was badly hurt during this battle, being reduced to only 272. It then marched to Beneschau (present-day Benešov/CZ). The wounded men of the regiment were sent to Deutschbrod (present-day Havlíčkův Brod/CZ) and Neuhaus (present-day Jindřichův Hradec/CZ). The regiment was then sent to Germany as reinforcement for the Reichsarmee. In the order of battle of September 27, its 6 sqns and 1 carabinier coy are mentioned in the second line of the right wing in Major-General Bretlach's Brigade. On November 5 at the Battle of Rossbach where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing, it behave splendidly under the wise guidance of Colonel Roth and of Lieutenant-Colonel R. Count Salburg. It was one of the few cavalry regiments who managed to form before receiving the charge of Seydlitz's cavalry. The Prussian cavalry wanted to surround the Trautmansdorf and Bretlach Cuirassiers but both regiments supported each other by mutual attacks. Combining with the French La Reine Cavalerie and Fitz-James Cavalerie, they managed to repulse the Prussian cavalry attacks four times before being defeated. In this battle, the regiment lost 48 men killed and 2 officers and 50 men wounded. Furthermore, Major Moriz Baron Esmond and 4 officers were taken prisoners. Its carabinier coy lost 5 dead and 5 wounded. After the battle, Prince Hildburghausen marched to Lichtenfels on the Main River with the Imperial army. At the end of November, regiments Trautmannsdorf and Bretlach were sent to their winter-quarters around Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ).
In 1758, the regiment remained with the so called “Elb-Armee” under Serbelloni, guarding the frontier between Saxony and Bohemia. It did not take part in any action. By then, it counted 988 men and 1,002 horses. At the end of August Serbelloni effected a junction with the Reichsarmee now under the command of Prince Friedrich von Pfalz-Zweibrücken in the camp of Struppen near Pirna in Saxony. The winter-quarters were in Franconia where the regiment was posted at Schwabach.
By mid-August 1759, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment was attached to Zweibrücken's Corps. On June 13, the regiment marched from Bamberg to join the army in the camp of Trappstadt. Then, as part of Serbelloni's Corps, it went to Erfurt where it arrived on July 28. On August 5, Leipzig was occupied and the regiment remained in this city till mid-August. Afterwards it took part in the siege of Dresden. On September 8, the regiment took part in the Combat of Zinna where it was deployed in the second line of the centre and sustained several attacks of the Prussian cavalry and broke a number of dragoons and hussars squadrons. Count Trautmannsdorf, the proprietor of the regiment was wounded by a bullet during this engagement. On September 21, the regiment took part in the Combat of Korbitz (aka first combat of Meissen) where it was deployed in Kleefeld's division. Major Lazarus Count Henkel von Donnersmark distinguished himself during this combat. During the following months, the regiment was again stationed in camps in Franconia.
On March 29 1760, the regiment arrived at the camp of Kosteletz (present-day Kostelec/CZ) and was deployed in the second line of the right wing in the Brigade of Major-General Saint-Ignon. On June 23, the regiment fought under general count Belgiojoso as part of Loudon's Corps at the battle of Landeshut. During this battle it broke through two Prussian battalions and, supported by two squadrons of the Kolowrat-Krakowski Dragoons, captured five guns and as much flags. Lieutenant-colonel Rudolf count Salburg along with lieutenant-colonel count Josef Kinsky of the Löwenstein Dragoons broke through five Prussian grenadier battalions despite their courageous and steadfast resistance. The grenadiers retreated but the Austrian cavalry broke them and captured many. The regiment lost only 1 men killed while Major Esmond, Captain Schönfeld and 32 men were wounded. On August 15, at the Battle of Liegnitz, FM Loudon was nearly captured by the Prussians but a few cuirassiers of the regiment managed to rescue him. In this battle, the regiment lost 12 men killed while Colonel Turati and 29 men were wounded; and Captain d'Hyus, 48 men and 64 horses were taken prisoners. By August 26, the regiment counted 5 squadrons, 26 officers, 48 NCOs and 489 men and its carabinier coy, 3 officers, 5 NCOs and 71 men. On December 20, the regiment took to its winter-quarters at Pilgesdorf, Bergstättel, Peitschdorf, Bischofswalde, Olbersdorf and Troplowitz.
On April 23 1761, the regiment left its camp and was assigned to Saint-Ignon's Brigade posted near Hauptmannsdorf. On July 19, the entire army of FM Loudon marched towards the Russian army to effect a junction. Loudon could not persuade the Russian commander Buturlin to launch a concerted action against Frederick II, so he decided to proceed to the storming of Schweidnitz where the regiment was present. The regiment then took its winter-quarters around Freiburg in Silesia.
On January 15, the regiment was revieved at Pitarna in Upper Silesia and was attached to Daun's Army. On May 14, Daun moved his camp to Zobtenberg. On August 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Reichenbach (aka Peilau, near Fischberg) in Silesia.
On January 24 and on March 29 1763, the regiment was reviewed at Engelsberg (present-day Andělská Hora/CZ) and Freudenthal (present-day Bruntál/CZ).
In 1764, the regiment was sent to Transylvania.
|Coat||white lined red with 16 (according to Raspe) pewter buttons (right side)
|Waistcoat||white with pewter buttons and horizontal pockets (each with 3 pewter buttons)|
Troopers were armed with a black breastplate (worn over the coat), a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols. Carabiniers also carried a carbine and had a saber instead of a sword.
The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 shows a silver lace on the tricorne and a red neckstock.
Raspe illustrates white shoulder straps
The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- tricorne laced silver with a green and white cockade
- blue saddlecloth and sabretache both laced in red and fringed in yellow
The apron of the trumpet was reddish pink with silver embroideries and a double eagle. The aprons of the kettle drums were reddish pink with silver embroideries.
Leib Standard: White field with a gold fringe and, in its centre, the gold double eagle of the Hapsburgs.
Regimental Standard: reddish pink field with rich silver embroideries
- Obverse: St. George fighting the dragon (or more certainly Hercules fighting Cerberus)
- Reverse: double eagle on a silver background
Regimental Standard (variant): reddish pink field with with rich silver embroideries delimiting a reddish pink circle in the middle of the standard with in its centre:
- Obverse: an embroidered silver Madonna
- Reverse: double eagle on a silver background
This article incorporates texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:
- Thürheim, Andreas; Die Reiter-Regiment der k. k. österreichischen Armee, vol. 1 - Die Cürassiere und Dragoner, F.B. Geitler, Wien: 1862, pp. 175-191
Dihm, Dr. Hermann; Oesterreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Klio
Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Grosser Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913
Knötel, Richard: Uniformkunde. Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, 18 Bde., Rathenow 1890-1919
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
Raspe, 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: 1762
Rogge, Christian, The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Skala H., Österreichische Militärgeschichte
Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993
Victorin, Josef: Geschichte des k. k. siebten Dragoner_Regimentes Herzog Wilhelm von Braunschweig, Vienna: 1879
Zahn, Michael, Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988