Erzherzog Leopold Cuirassiers
Origin and History
This regiment originally belonged to the Electorate of Würzburg. In 1685, it was taken in Imperial service and pay.
In 1685, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment was sent to Hungary where it participated in the siege of Neuhäusel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK). In 1686, it was at the siege of Ofen (Buda/HU). On 12 August 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohács. It then remained in Slavonia as part of Dünewald's Corps. For the following years, the regiment campaigned in Hungary. On 19 August 1691, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Slankamen. On 11 September 1697, it fought in the Battle of Zenta.
In 1698, the regiment was transferred to Transylvania.
In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was assigned to the Army of Germany and took part in the Battle of Friedlingen. In 1703, it campaigned in Styrum's Corps and fought at Schwenningen and Höchstädt. In 1704, it took part in the storming of the Schellenberg near Donauwörth. In 1705, it was stationed in Bavaria and did not take part in any significant action. In 1706, the regiment was transferred to Hungary where it joined the main army trying to quench Rákóczi Uprising. It took part in the storming of Gran (Esztergom/HU). In 1707, it took part in the campaign against Rákóczi. Part of the regiment fought at Pullendorf and Kreuz. In 1708, part of the regiment fought in the battle of Trencsén against the rebels. In 1710, the regiment took part in the attack on the camp of Count Károlyi near Romhany.
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was known as Hohenzollern.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was:
- since 1750: Erzherzog Leopold (became Großherzog von Toskana in 1756 and Kaiser Leopold II in 1790)
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- in 1756: Cajetan count di Stampa
- 1757: Ludwig von Hoffmann (killed at Torgau in 1760)
- 1760: Franz count Lanjus von Wellenburg
In 1798, the regiment received number 3. In 1775, it was transformed into a light dragoon regiment and received the number 2. In 1802, the regiment was disbanded and its troopers were transferred to various dragoon or chevauxleger regiments.
Service during the War
In June 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Austria and counted 809 men and 794 horses. In September, it was in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the Königshof-Kolin region.
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 Marquis de Ville's Brigade, in the first line of the right wing under Count Lucchesi. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was once more deployed in de Ville's Brigade in the first line of the right wing under Count Lucchesi.
By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the second line of the main Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Daun near Jaromirs. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 14, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in Buccow's cavalry column at the extreme right, to the east of Kotitz.
By mid August 1759, the regiment was part of Beck's Corps posted on the Lusatian border. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. On December 3 and 4, the regiment formed part of Beck's Borps who attacked an isolated Prussian force and captured part of it at the Combat of Meissen.
To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763
|Coat||white with 14 pewter buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||white with a single row of pewter buttons (18 according to Donath) and 2 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 had a carbine and carried a sabre instead of a sword.
Other interpretations The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762 shows a silver lace on the tricorne, a red neckstock and straw breeches.
Raspe in 1762 shows only 13 buttons on the coat.
Donath illustrates a red neckstock and 13 buttons on the coat.
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
According to Donath, trumpeters wore a black tricorne laced white with a black round cockade bordered white and a black plume tipped yellow. They wore a red neckstock, a red coat laced silver with white shoulder straps, white swallow nests, white buttonholes, white cuffs laced silver and white turnbacks laced silver. Their waiscoat was white and their breeches red. Saddle cloth and sabretache were similar to those of the troopers.
The small "flag" attached to the trumpet was yellow with the initials of Erzherzog Leopold. We have not found any information about the kettle-drums.
The standards of the cuirassiers were square shaped and made of brocade or damask. Each side of the standard was made from a separate piece. The painted flagpoles were tournament lances.
Leib: white field with embroideries. No additional detail has been found in our sources. However, the Leib standards were usually decorated as follow:
- Obverse (to the right of the flagpole): an Imperial double eagle
- Reverse (to the left of the flagpole): an image of the Madonna standing on a cloud and surrounded by a ring of yellow rays
Regiment: pink field with silver embroideries and a silver eagle on both sides, silver spearhead, brown flagpole.
Bleckwenn, Hans; Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967
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, Teil III Blatt 5
Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Großer Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II, Berlin, 1830-1913
Hausmann, Friedrich, Die Feldzeichen der Truppen Maria Theresias, Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, vol. 3, Vienna: 1967
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
Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989.
Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993
Zahn, Michael, Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988
Harald Skala for the section on origins and history