Origin and History
This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was raised in 1736 by Minscky from frontier militia. In 1737, it became the property of Count Maquire. In 1750, Baron von Leylersberg became Chef of the regiment which was known as the “Grenzinfanterieregiment Baron von Leylersperg”.1
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.2
From 1756, the regiment had no Chef and was only known as the “Warasdiner Creuzer Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.3
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 2 battalions (1 grenadier coy and 12 fusilier coys) for a total of 1,600 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.4
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.5
The regiment recruited in the western part of the Generalate of Warasdin (present-day Varaždin) in North Croatia.6 Its regimental staff was located in Creutz (present-day Krizevci) in Slovania.7
During the Seven Years' War, the Chefs of the regiment were:
- since 1756: vacant
During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:
- since 1749: Baron von Leylersberg
- from 1756: Michael Baron Mikassinovich von Schlangenfeld
- from 1763: Samuel Friedrich Szdellarovich von Feldstern
Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 64".
Service during the War8
By mid September 1756, one battalion of the regiment was part of Beck's detachment who reinforced Piccolomini's Corps operating in Moravia. On October 8, this battalion accompanied FML Spada who marched to Sadowa (present-day Sadová) to put a stop to the depredations of the Prussians on the right bank of the Elbe.
At the opening of the campaign of 1757, one battalion of the regiment was attached to Serbelloni's Corps. On April 21, at the beginning of the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, there was one battalion of the regiment in the vanguard of Count von Königsegg at the Combat of Reichenberg. On April 28, a battalion accompanied Major-general Gemmingen to Königinhof (present-day Dvůr Králové nad Labem). On May 6, the first battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Count Petazzy's Brigade. During the battle it was sent to occupy the Heights of Hloupetin which were attacked by a large Prussian force. After the battle, it took refuge in Prague. On August 3, when the Austrian Army proceeded to the invasion of Silesia, the same battalion under Major Bauer defended Striegau (present-day Strzegom) against Kreytzen's Corps for six hours before capitulating under the condition of free withdrawal. On August 13, it was present at the Combat of Landeshut. Meanwhile, on May 6, the second battalion, under Lieutenant-colonel Franz Baron von Riese, distinguished itself in the capture of Altbunzlau (present-day Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav) where it attacked the left gate. By mid June, this second battalion and its grenadier coy (totalling 700 men) were part of Beck's Brigade. On June 18, this second battalion fought in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the village of Pobor in the first line of the extreme right wing under General Nádasdy. On September 7, when General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's corps isolated in the Combat of Moys, the two battalions of the regiment were with the vanguard in front of the right wing under the command of Lieutenant-general Petazzi. In November, Captain Katinčiċ of the regiment captured Bevern while he was reconnoitring the country near Breslau. In December, these battalions took part in the defence of Breslau and 1,174 men became prisoners of war when the garrison deposited arms on December 21.
At the beginning of 1758, the battalions were exchanged. On April 20, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, the regiment formed part of Colonel Brentano's light troops who launched a surprise attack on Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli at Liebau (present-day Lubawka), capturing 4 officers, 47 men and 5 guns. On August 4, a detachment of the regiment took part in an engagement near Horschitzka (present-day Hořičky). On October 14, the regiment was at the Battle of Hochkirch where it was attached to Loudon's Column to the southwest of Hochkirch.
On April 15 1759, the regiment took part in an engagement near Sebastiansberg. By mid-August, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, one battalion of the regiment was attached to Hadik's Corps. On September 21, this battalion took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed on the left wing of Hadik's Corps under Major-general Brentano. By October 1, a battalion was at encamped at Tannenberg as part of Brentano's Corps. On December 3 and 4, a detachment of the regiment formed part of Beck's Corps who attacked an isolated Prussian force and captured part of it at the Combat of Meissen. In this combat, Major Fontaine and Major Guttenberg of the regiment distinguished themselves.
In 1760, the regiment served in Saxony. In the night of July 4, detachments fought in the Forest of Lichtenberg. In September, during the Russian campaign in Brandenburg, the battalion of Major Eder followed Lacy in his advance on Berlin.
In 1761, the regiment did not take part in any major action.
In the night of January 20 to 21 1762, a detachment of the regiment took part in a successful attack on Prussian outposts near Meissen. For the campaign of that year, the regiment then served in Silesia. On July 6, it took part in the Combat of Adelsbach where it was deployed in Bretano's Corps. Two weeks later, on July 21, part of the regiment fought in the Battle of Burkersdorf. On August 16, the regiment participated in the Battle of Reichenbach.
Feldstern, Samuel Friedrich Szdellarovich von11 Colonel12
Guttenberg15 Major16 killed in action at the combat of Meissen in 175917
Leylersberg, Baron von18 Colonel19
Riese, Franz Baron von20 Lieutenant-colonel21
Schlangenfeld , Michale Baron Mikassinovich von22 Colonel23
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, Wrede mentions that, at the time of the Silesian Wars, the uniform of the present regiment consisted of a green dolman; a black Gunjac (coat) with braids at the cuffs and on the chest; and red Hungarian trousers. Wrede also specifies that the coat and the trousers had previouly been white.
The illustration at the beginning of our article is based on Wrede's description while the following section is based on the illustration in the Albertina Handschrift.
|Coat||Hungarian white coat lined green, with 6 green buttonholes with green tassels and 6 brass buttons on each side
|Dolman||green edged white with 3 rows of small brass buttons and white braids|
|Cape||red edged yellow|
|Trousers||white Hungarian trousers without the traditional decoration (Schoitasch)|
Privates often wore a mustache.
Privates were armed with a slightly curved 58 cm long brass hilted sabre25 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.26 Privates also carried a haversack and a canteen. Additional ammunition and kettles were transported in the wagons of each company.
The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 illustrates a slightly different uniform:
- black felt shako without cockade
- white buttonholes and tassels on the coat
- green Hungarian trousers with white decorations
- a plain white waistbelt
Donath illustrates green decorations (Schoitasch) on the trousers; yellow edging and yellow braids on the dolman; a white and yellow barrel sash.
no information available
Officers wore uniforms of the same colour as those of the privates but were distinguished by a black tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade; a Western style coat with vertical pockets, plain cuffs, no turnbacks; a green dolman edged and braided in gold; 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.27
no information available
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
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, 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. 14, 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. 190, Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 273, and 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, p. 94.
2. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 214
3. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
4. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92
5. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92
6. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
7. Ref. Kornauth, p. 94
8. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274 and Kornauth, p. 94
9. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274 and Kornauth, p. 94
10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274 and Kornauth, p. 94
11. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
13. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
18. Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.10, Tessin, Teil 3, p. 190 and Wrede, Vol. V. p. 273
19. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273
20. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
21. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 274
22. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
23. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 273 and Kornauth, p. 94
24. Ref. Kornauth, p. 95
25. Ref. Kornauth, p. 26
26. Ref. Kornauth, p. 25f
27. 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
Anon.: Diarium der Belagerung von Breslau und Capitulations-Puncte, Berlin, 1758
Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, p. 43
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.
Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985
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. 71
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.
Mathias Kussmann for the initial version of this article