Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer
Origin and History
This Grenzinfanterieregiment (Frontier Infantry Regiment) was initially raised as an irregular unit in 1736. In 1749, the regiment was transformed into a regular unit with Nicolaus Baron von Kengyel (Kencyel) as its Chef. The regiment was then known as the “Grenzinfanterieregiment Nicolaus Freiherr von Kengyel”.1 and 3 In 1754, Joseph Philipp Count von Guicciardi became Chef of the regiment.
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.4
From 1756, the regiment had no Chef and was only known as the “Warasdiner Sankt Georger Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment”.5
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.6
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.7
|Mihajlo Baron Mikašinović von Schlangenfeld|
|In December 1757, Anton Joseph Baron von Brentano de Cimaroli, who commanded the regiment, was taken prisoner by the Prussians, thus leaving his regiment without commander. Meanwhile, most of the Warasdiner-Creutzer Grenzer became prisoners of war after the surrender of Breslau in December, leaving its commander Baron Mikašinović without a unit to command.
Therefore at the beginning of 1758, Mikašinović assumed temporary command of the Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer.
The regiment recruited in the eastern part of the Generalate of Warasdin (present-day Varaždin) in North Croatia.8 Its regimental staff was initially located in Sankt Georgen (present-day Đurđevac) in Croatia. In 1758, the regimental staff was moved to Bjelovar in Slovania9
During the Seven Years' War, the Chefs of the regiment were:
- since 1756: vacant
During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:
- since 1756: Anton Joseph Baron von Brentano de Cimaroli
- from 1758: Franz Baron von Riese
- from 1763: Joseph Lakupich
Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 65".
Service during the War10
By mid September 1756, one battalion of the regiment was part of Beck's detachment who reinforced Piccolomini's Corps operating in Moravia. This battalion took part in an engagement near Lewin. 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.
In April 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, part of the regiment was initially attached to Draskovic's Corps. On April 23, this corps was driven out of Aussig by General Zastrow. On May 6, a 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. In August, one battalion of the regiment was operating in Silesia with Colonel Jahnus. On August 13, it took part in the Combat of Landeshut where it was initially deployed in the first line. On September 10, when Bevern retired from Görlitz and headed for Silesia, Lieutenant-Colonel Mathesen at the head of a battalion of Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer entered in the suburb of Görliz to harass Bevern's rearguard but was soon driven back by Frei-Infanterie von Kalben. Colonel Brentano immediately came to Mathesen's support with 500 men of the Warasdiner-Sankt Georger Grenzer. Together, they launched a new assault and manage to drive the Prussians out of Görlitz, capturing a 25-pdr piece, 3 ammunition wagons, some baggage wagons and 60 oxen. On November 22, part of the regiment was present at the Battle of Breslau where it belonged to Beck's detachment. Subsequently, one of its battalions formed part of the garrison of the city. It took part in the defence of Breslau and 455 men became prisoners of war when the garrison deposited arms on December 21.
N.B.: Some sources indicate that part of the regiment was present at the combat of Moys on September 7 1757 but there is no mention of this unit in the detailed orders of battles that we compiled.
On April 20 1758, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, part of the regiment was attached to 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. In May and June, 1,500 men of the regiment took part in the defence of Olmütz. They were involved in several actions during the siege. On August 4, a detachment of the regiment took part in an engagement near Horschitzka (present-day Hořičky). In September, during the Austrian invasion of Saxony, part of the regiment was stationed in Stolpen. On September 13, it was attacked at Weissenhirsch and forced to retire to Dittersbach. On September 16, it fought again in an engagement at Arnsdorf not far from Stolpen. On October 14, part of the regiment was at the Battle of Hochkirch.
In 1759, during the Austro-Imperial invasion of Saxony, detachments of the regiment fought in an engagement near Buchau on May 27. By mid August, part of the regiment was attached to Beck's Corps posted on the Lusatian border. Meanwhile, at the end of August, another part of the regiment was present at the siege of Dresden. On September 2, the detachment attached to Beck's Corps took part in the Combat of Sorau. 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, it was encamped at Tannenberg. On November 20, part of the regiment was at the Battle of Maxen. 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, his colonel, Baron Franz von Riese, later received the Military Maria-Theresien Order for his conduct during this combat. Daun then sent one battalion of the regiment to reinforce Loudon's Corps in Upper-Silesia.
For the campaign of 1760, part of the regiment was attached to Lacy's Corps. On July 10, as part of the rearguard, it covered the passage of the Elbe, closely pressed by the Prussians. On September 3, it distinguished itself in the engagement of Nieder-Ahrensdorf. In September, during the Russian campaign in Brandenburg, part of the regiment followed Lacy in his advance on Berlin.
In 1761, part of the regiment served in Silesia. On October 1, it took part in the storming of Schweidnitz where it was supposed to conduct a diversionary attack which finally turned into a successful assault.
In 1762, part of the regiment 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, part of the regiment participated in the Battle of Reichenbach.
Brentano de Cimaroli, Anton Joseph Baron von11 Colonel12
Guicciardi, Joseph Philipp Count von13 Generalfeldwachtmeister14
Lakupich, Joseph15 Colonel16
Riese, Franz Baron von17 Colonel18
Until recently we had no information on the uniform worn by the Grenzer light troops at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War. Thanks to the kind authorisation of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, Vladimir Brnardić, a member of our group, has had access to the Delacre Bilderhandschrift, a rare contemporaneous manuscript depicting the uniforms of the entire K. K. Army around 1756-57. For this reason, we present the uniforms of troopers circa 1748 and in 1762.
Privates in 1748
|Coat||short Hungarian white coat with no visible buttons or frogging at the buttonholes
|Dolman||green edged yellow with 3 rows of small pewter buttons and yellow braids; Polish cuffs|
|Trousers||green Hungarian trousers without the traditional decoration (Schoitasch)|
N.B.: the uniforms may have had frogging and barrel sashes, but they are not shown in the Delacre Bilderhandschrift.
Privates often wore a moustache.
Privates were armed with a slightly curved sabre, a musket and a bayonet.
Privates in 1762
|Neckstock||black (red as per Raspe)|
|Coat||Hungarian white coat lined green, with 6 green buttonholes with green tassels and 6 pewter buttons on each side
|Dolman||green edged white with 3 rows of small pewter buttons and white braids; Polish cuffs|
|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 sabre19 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.20 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
- yellow buttons on the dolman and the coat
- green Hungarian trousers with white decorations
- a plain white waistbelt
Donath illustrates does not show any cockade on the shako. Furthermore, he illustrates a totally different coat: green edged white with white braids and white pointed cuffs.
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 turnback; 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.21
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. 54, 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. 12, 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. 159, and Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von: Geschichte der k.u.k. Wehrmacht, Wien 1898-1905, Vol. V, p. 277
2. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 54, Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.18, Tessin, Teil 3, p. 246 and Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277
3. Ref. Tessin, Part 1, p. 54, Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr.12, Tessin, Part 3, p. 159, Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 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. 102
4. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 214
5. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
6. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92
7. Ref. Kornauth, p. 92
8. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
9. Ref. Kornauth, p. 102
10. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 278 and Kornauth, p. 102
11. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
12. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
13. Tessin, Part 2, Kaiser und Reich Nr. 9, Tessin, Teil 3, p. 116 and Wrede, Vol. V. p. 277
14. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277
15. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
16. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
17. Ref. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
18. Wrede, Vol. V, p. 277 and Kornauth, p. 102
19. Ref. Kornauth, p. 26
20. Ref. Kornauth, p. 25f
21. 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