Gaisruck Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Gaisruck Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was ceded to the Imperial Army in 1685 by the Bishop of Würzburg and given to Baron Hans Carl von Thüngen. The same year, it was involved in the Battle of Gran against the Turks. In 1686, it took part in the siege of Ofen and in an expedition in Lower-Hungary; in 1687, in the Battle of Mohacs; and in 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1694, General von Tabernath became proprietor of the regiment; then Count Wenzel von Guttenstein, till 1707 and Baron Philipp von Bettendorf, till 1733.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, in mid-February 1701, the regiment marched from Hungary through Carinthia by Linz to (present-day Bolzano). On July 27, it followed the army of Prince Eugène de Savoie when it passed the Mincio River. On 1 September, the regiment fought in the Battle of Chiari. In November, part of the regiment occupied the town and fortress of Mirandola. At the beginning of December, the regiment was at the siege and capture of Canneto. The regiment took its winter-quarters at Concordia on the Po. In 1702, the regiment took part in the campaign in Northern Italy. On August 15, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara. On 7 September 1706, it was at the relief of Turin. In 1707, it took part in the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples.

In 1733, Count Alexander von Onelli became proprietor of the regiment.

During the Austro-Turkish War of 1737-39, the regiment distinguished itself at the siege of Ufitza in 1738.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, from 1741 to 1748, the regiment served in the Netherlands and in Germany. In 1743, Franz Sigmund Count von Gaisrück became proprietor of the regiment.

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 4 battalions (2 grenadier coys and 16 fusilier coys) for a total of 2,300 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 garrison battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1743 till 1769: Franz Sigmund Count von Gaisrück

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • at the beginning of the war: Colonel Baron von Brincken
  • from 1758: Colonel Josef Ittner
  • from 1760: Colonel Benedict Eustach von Wider

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 42".

Service during the War

In September 1756, two battalions of the regiment were in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the Königshof-Kolin region.

On June 18 1757, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed on the right of the second line in Kottendorf’s Brigade. On November 22, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in O'Kelly's Brigade, in the second line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in Wied's Brigade in the second line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo.

By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the second line of the main Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. On October 10, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the left column (under Duke d'Ursel) of Arenberg's Corps on the Austrian right wing to the east of Rodewitz.

At the end of February 1759, the regiment was part of M. de Guasco's Corps occupying Erfurt. On February 27, a Prussian detachment (6 bns and 3,000 horse) under Knobloch arrived at the gates of Erfurt and summoned M. de Guasco who capitulated under the condition that Gaisruck Infantry would continue to occupy the citadel while the rest of the garrison would retire southward to Arnstadt. By mid August, the regiment was part of Daun's Corps posted in Silesia. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau.

On September 17 1760, two battalions of the regiment were at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where they were attached to Daun's main army. On November 3, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Torgau where they were attached to Hartenegg's Brigade.

From August to October 1762, during the siege of Schweidnitz, one battalion of the regiment formed part of the garrison of the Jauernicker Fort.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

For the moment 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, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined blue (therefore blue turnbacks), the distinctive colour was blue and the waistcoat and breeches were white. Therefore, the uniform at the beginning of the war was slightly different from the uniform of 1762.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Frédéric Aubert from a template made by Richard Couture.
Uniform in 1762
as per the Albertina Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white; yellow strap with a yellow button; with a blue within yellow pompom; a red and dark blue tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a violet blue bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined white with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps violet blue edged white and decorated with a central wavy line fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels violet blue lapels with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs violet blue, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white fastened with a violet blue tab edged white decorated with 2 small yellow buttons and a central white wavy line
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Handschrift illustrates a totally different uniform with scarlet red distinctives.

Donath illustrates the following differences:

  • black tricorne laced white; without strap with a yellow button; white within yellow pompom and red and white tassels
  • white shoulder strap edged violet blue fastened with a yellow button

Knötel illustrates the following differences:

  • black tricorne laced white; with white straps with a yellow button; white within red pompom and red tassels
  • a plain white shoulder strap fastened with a yellow button
  • a plain white tab with 2 small yellow buttons to fasten the turnbacks

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne lined gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no turnbacks
  • no shoulder strap
  • yellow and black silk sash

Senior officers carried sticks identifying their rank:

  • lieutenant: bamboo stick without knob
  • captain: long rush stick with a bone knob
  • major: long rush stick with a silver knob and a small silver chain
  • lieutenant-colonel: long rush stick with a larger silver knob without chain
  • colonel: long rush stick with a golden knob

Musicians

As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by violet blue swallow nests on the shoulders.

The drum had a brass barrel decorated with black flames at the bottom and with a black double headed Eagle on a yellow field. Rims were decorated with red and white diagonal stripes. The bandolier was white.

Colours

All German infantry regiments carried identical colours: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The hand painted colours were made of silk and measured Size 178 cm x 127 cm. The 260 cm long flagpoles had golden finial and were decorated with black and yellow spirals of cloth.

The colonel colour was carried by the first battalion.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne):

  • field: white
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): the Immaculate Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud, crushing a snake under her foot and surrounded by rays
  • reverse (left): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
Leibfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Regimental flags (Regimentsfahne):

  • field: yellow
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
  • reverse (left): unarmed and crowned Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Hungaria and Bohemia on a shield and the initials M on the left wing and T on the right
Regimentsfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

In fact, the situation on the field was slightly more complex than this, since colours were usually replaced only when worn out. It is fairly possible that some regiment who had been issued colours of the 1743 pattern were still carrying them at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. For more details, see Austrian Line Infantry Colours.

References

This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:

  • Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 184-187
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 19

Other sources

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

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

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Hausmann, Friedrich, Die Feldzeichen der Truppen Maria Theresias, Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, vol. 3, Vienna: 1967

Knötel, Herbert d.J.; Brauer, Hans M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Österreich-Ungarn – 1756-63

Muhsfeldt, Th.; Abzeichenfarben der K. und K. Regimenter zu Fuss im Jahre 1757 und früher, in Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht, No. 12, 1904

Pengel, R. D. and G.R. Hurt; Austro-Hungarian Infantry 1740-1762; On Military Matters; Birmingham, 1982

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Seidel, Paul; Nochmals österreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Clio

Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgments

User:Zahn for gathering most of the information about this regiment