Origin and History
On October 21 1741, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, Samuel Baron Haller obtained a letter patent authorising him to raise a new regiment of 4 battalions (a total of 3,639 men in 20 companies). Recruitment had to be done in Hungarian and Transylvanian counties and the regiment had to muster in Szegedin. Recruitment proceeded very slowly and, by the end of the year, only four weak companies had been formed. Baron Haller then asked the Hofkriegsrat (Court War Council) for help.
From March 1742, G.d.C. Count Károlyi assisted Haller for the recruitment of his regiment. At the end of May, the Leib battalion was assembled. It was sent to Kaschau (present-day Košice), Leutschau (present-day Levoča) and Eperies (present-day Prešov). For its part, as soon as the battalion of the lieutenant-colonel was completed, it was stationed in Dioszég. In July, this battalion marched to Peterwardein. During this march, the troops mutinied, broke their muskets, tore up their uniforms and turned against their officers. After a gunfight Captain Catozzi was killed. The rebels then passed by Csibakháza where they terrorized the population. There were no regular troops in the neighbourhood and the Prefect of the County of Csongráder, Count Andrássy, had to arm the county militia. With these militia, he fell upon the camp of the rebels and defeated them. Afterwards, 150 men were tried by a military tribunal, many of them executed and the rest sentenced to many years of imprisonment. The battalion was then completed with new recruits and, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas von Papp, finally arrived to Peterwardein, its initial destination.
Even though Haller had asked to the Hofkriegsrat to use his regiment in the field as soon as possible, he had to wait till the Spring of 1744 to have two of his battalions (a total of 1,530 men) sent to Bavaria. On April 15, these two battalions set off under the command of Colonel Haller and reached Ingolstadt at the beginning of July. The commander-in-chief in Bavaria was G.d.C. Count Batthyányi. In August, the order of battle of the Austrian army mentions these two battalions in the first line, along with Wurmbrand Infantry and Platz Infantry in the area of Amberg. By October 5, after several manoeuvres, both battalions reached the camp of Čimelice. After the junction with the Saxons, Charles de Lorraine, now at the head of the combined armies, managed to drive the Prussians out of Bohemia without a single battle.
In the campaign of 1745, a battalion was initially sent to Vienna. In August, it was assigned to Field-Marshal Fürst Esterházy, who had been charged to raise additional Hungarian troops (the so-called “Insurrection Troops”), and marched to Jägerndorf (present-day Krnov). When Esterházy's Corps was attacked by the Prussians, the battalion covered its retreat. After most of the Hungarian “Insurrection Troops” had refused to continue to serve in the field, Esterházy ceded command to General Kheul who retired towards Libau (present-day Libava). After receiving reinforcements, Kheul returned to Jägerndorf. After the conclusion of peace with Prussia on December 25, the battalion marched towards Peterwardein.
During its march towards Peterwardein, the battalion received new orders redirecting it towards the Netherlands. In mid April 1746, it arrived at Hasselt where the entire regiment was reviewed by FML Batthyányi. This corps also included Imperial, Hanoverian, British, Dutch and Hessian units. On October 7, the regiment took part in a first combat beyond the Jaar River between Liege and Houtain where the Allied Army, once more commanded by Charles de Lorraine, engaged a French force. The regiment suffered heavily from artillery fire, losing 33 dead and 25 wounded. The next battle took place at Rocoux on October 11. After this defeat, the Allied Army had to retire to Maastricht and to winter on the Meuse.
The campaign of 1747 began only in July when the Allies, still under the command of Charles de Lorraine, were once more defeated in the Battle of Lauffeld on July 2. In this battle, two battalions of the regiment were deployed in the first line. The Allies then retired to Maastricht. The regiment did not take part in any other combat during this campaign. In November it was posted on the Meuse to guard the border.
In 1748, a battalion was assigned to the corps of FML Batthyányi. At the end of April, it joined the main army at Roermond and was attached to FZM Gaisruck's Corps along with the grenadier companies of the army. By June 18, the entire regiment (only 1,068 men fit for service) was reunited at the camp of Boxtel. In October, after moving back to Roermond, the entire army marched back towards the Habsburg Hereditary Lands. Even though soldiers had not been paid for several months, the march proceeded without major incidents. In December, the regiment arrived in Prague where it assumed garrison duty. At the end of December, Colonel Thomas Papp was appointed Head of the Invalides in Pest and Lieutenant-Colonel Josef Bakits was transferred to Andrássy Infantry as colonel.
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 chefs of the regiment were:
- since 1742 until 1777: Samuel Baron Haller von Hallerstein
During the Seven Years' War, its successive colonels-commanders were:
- since 1754: Franz Deseö (died of wounds received at the Battle of Breslau)
- from 1758: Johann Count Rhédei (appointed lieutenant in the Hungarian Lifeguard in 1760)
- from 1760 until 1769: Sigmund von Kerekes (sold his function to Josef Georg Count Browne in 1769)
Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 31".
Service during the War
In 1756, the “Leib-Battalion” was assigned to Piccolomini's covering force stationed near Königgrätz in Bohemia while the “Obrist-Battalion”, under the command of Major Kerekes, garrisoned Olmütz in Moravia. At the end of September, Captain Szuhányi took command of the battalion at Olmütz because Major Kerekes had been appointed commander of all hospitals and sent to Pardubic (present day Pardubice/CZ). On October 14, the two battalions were assembled at the camp at Holohlav (present day Holohlavy/CZ) under Piccolomini. The regiment took its winter-quarters at Jitschin (present-day Jičín/CZ), Eisenstadtl (present-day Železný Brod/CZ), Kopidlno, Libau (present-day Libava/CZ) and Königstadtl (present-day Dvůr Králové/CZ). The third battalion (depot or garrison battalion), led by Lieutenant-Colonel Rhédei was at Peterwardein in Transylvania. On December 1, 16 subaltern officers were transferred to Johann Pálffy Infantry.
At the beginning of 1757, the regiment had 1,830 men on active duty. On March 7, along with Sincère Infantry, it was sent to the region between Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí/CZ) and Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ). On April 21, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the two field battalions of the regiment were on the left wing of Count von Königsegg's force at the Combat of Reichenberg. They were brigaded with Johann Pálffy Infantry and Kheul Infantry in Würbe's Corps and deployed near Kratzau (present-day Chrastava/CZ) which was already occupied by superior Prussian forces. Würben then advanced through a deep forest towards Reichenberg where he arrived as the battle began. After occupying Reichenberg, the main Prussian force turned against Würben's Corps which retired to Kriesdorf (present-day Křižany/CZ). In this combat, the regiment lost Captain Jékey and 33 men killed and 44 men wounded. FM Königsegg concentrated his defeated army at Liebenau (present-day Hodkovice nad Mohelkou/CZ) and retired to Prague. The regiment went to Nimburg (present-day Nimburk/CZ). On May 4, the regiment was sent to Poděbrady where FML Count Puebla was concentrating several regiments before marching towards Prague. Puebla's Corps then joined the relief army led by Field-Marshall Leopold Daun. During a few weeks, Daun tried to concentrate as much regiments as possible around Kuttenberg. On June 18, the two field battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where they were deployed behind the hills of Kamhajek on the right of the second line in Wulffen’s Brigade. When General Hülsen attacked Wied's Division, Starhemberg's Division (Haller Infantry, Gaisruck Infantry and Neipperg Infantry) lead by General Wolff was sent to form a second line behind Wied's Division. When the Prussian Normann Dragoons drove back Wied's Division, the second line stopped their advance after a heavy fight. Brigadier-General Wolff was killed; Colonel Deseö and Major Kerekes wounded. Notwithstanding his injury, Major Kerekes led the regiment in a counter-attack. The brave Hungarians, sabre in hand, drove the Prussians back (for his conduct, Major Kerekes would later receive the Maria-Theresia Order on January 23 1760). In the evening, the Prussian army retired to Nimburk. In this battle, the regiment was the unit of the Austrian who suffered the most: 1 officer and 85 men killed; 29 officers and 481 men wounded; and 191 men missing. The regiment could field only a single battalion and one grenadier company. All officers of the regiment being wounded, Second Lieutenant-Colonel (aggregierter) Boronkay assumed interim command. Daun's army then followed the retiring Prussians to Upper Lusatia. The regiment was attached to the Corps de reserve under G.d.C. Colloredo. It was later transferred to Maquire's Corps and distinguished itself at the storming of Gabel and Zittau where it lost 10 men killed and 52 wounded. On September 7, when General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps in the Combat of Moys (present-day part of Zgorzelec/PL), one battalion of the regiment was deployed in the third line of the infantry right division under the command of Lieutenant-General Wied. From October 3, the remaining grenadier company of the regiment was converged in FML Sprecher's Grenadier Corps. The main Austrian army then reached its camp near Breslau. Since October 14, the “Obrist-Battalion” was at the Siege of Schweidnitz where Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Count Rhédei distinguished himself on several occasions (he would later receive the Knight Cross of the Maria-Theresia Order for his conduct). After the surrender of the Fortress of Schweidnitz 218 men of the “Obrist-Battalion” were detached to form part of the garrison while the rest of the battalion rejoined the main army at Breslau. On November 22, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau, the “Leib-Battalion” was part of the Reserve Corps in Baron Blonquet's Brigade which attacked a redoubt near Hoffichen. Colonel Deseö was mortally wounded as he led the battalion (he would die on April 9 1758). Meanwhile, the “Obrist-Battalion” led by Lieutenant-Colonel Rhédei was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. In this battle, the “Leib-Battalion” lost 5 men killed and 2 officers and 22 men wounded, while the “Obrist-Battalion” lost 47 men killed; 74 men wounded; 30 men missing; and 3 officers taken prisoners. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the “Leib-Battalon” was deployed in the second line of the far right Reserve under Major-General von Luzinsky near the Windmühlen hill while the “Obrist-Battalion” was deployed in the first line of the Reserve of the left wing under FML Forgách as part of Nádasdy's Corps. In this battle, the regiment lost 2 officers and 44 men killed; 9 officers and 144 men wounded; and 140 men missing. After this terrible defeat, the Austrian army retired behind the “Schweidnitzer Wasser”. However, the two field battalions of the regiment assembled in the fortified camp near Breslau. Due to heavy losses, they were combined in a single battalion counting only 334 men (excluding officers). After the Siege of Breslau and its capitulation on December 21, the proprietor of the regiment, Samuel Baron Haller, Colonel Franz Deseö, 3 officers and 65 men became prisoners of war. Lieutenant-Colonel Rhédei with his very weak battalion was detached to General Morocz's Corps. At the end of December, only 253 exhausted men arrived in Bohemia. They were combined with men from Bethlen Infantry to form one battalion and then went to Liebau (present-day Libava/PL). The remnants of the regiment took their winter-quarters near Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ).
The same year (1757), on June 13, the third battalion of the regiment set off from Peterwardein. At Ofen, it received an additional company contributed by Johann Pálffy Infantry and Forgách Infantry, bringing its strength to 720 men. It was then sent as reinforcement to Colonel Jahnus von Eberstädt operating in Silesia. In mid-August, the battalion led by Lieutenant-Colonel Rhédei finally rejoined Jahnus' Corps at Landeshut in Silesia. It remained there until mid-September and then participated in the “Little war”.
In 1758, the regiment was still weak, it had only one field battalion (6 fusilier companies) and 1 grenadier company. In January, this battalion was separated from Bethlen Infantry and sent to Neu-Bidschow (present-day Nový Bydžov/CZ). Until March, the battalion undertook training at Neu-Bidschow under the supervision of Major-General Vittelesky. In March, the proprietor of the regiment, Samuel Baron Haller, and 9 officers returned from captivity. However, because of his wounds, Colonel Deseö, was not transportable and remained in captivity (he would die in prison on April 9 1758 in Frankfurt/Oder). On April 1, Johann Count Rhédei was promoted to colonel and took command of the regiment. He was seconded by Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander von Boronkay, 1st Major Sigmund von Kerekes and 2nd Major Anton de Szuhányi. On April 18, the Siege of Schweidnitz came to an end and its garrison, including 218 men of the regiment under Captain Emerich Vives, became prisoners of war. By that time, the regiment still counted only one battalion (882 men) and had joined Daun's Army. On May 3, this army was stationed between Chocen (present-day Choceň/CZ) and Leitomischl (present-day Litomyšl/CZ). The grenadiers of the regiment were combined with those of Kaiser Infantry, Arenberg Infantry and Harsch Infantry in a grenadier battalion and sent to the Grenadier Corps of GFWM Lacy. On June 17, the regiment received new recruits at the camp of Prödlitz (present-day Předlice/CZ). The existing fusilier battalion then became the new “Leib-Battalion” while the newly formed battalion was called “Obrist-Battalion”. Together, these two field battalions counted 1,083 men. On June 26, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, the two field battalions formed part of Siskovics' Corps sent to reinforce Loudon for the planned interception of a large Prussian convoy. The two battalions got lost on their way from Kojetin to Prerau and finally arrived completely exhausted at Prerau only on June 27 at 8:00 a.m., after a march of 14 hours. Siskovics had to let them some time to recover before setting off from Prerau. On June 28 in the evening, he reached Alt-Libau (present-day Stará Libava). On June 30, these battalions fought in the Combat of Domstadl where the Prussian convoy was annihilated. In this action, the regiment lost 10 men killed and 23 wounded. It remained with Siskovics' Corps. This resounding success forced Frederick II, now deprived of proper supplies, to lift the Siege of Olmütz and to retreat through Bohemia to Silesia, constantly harassed by Loudon's and Siskovics' Corps. On July 6, Siskovics reached Hohenmaut (present-day Vysoké Mýto) where he left his artillery pieces who could not be horse-drawn further. To guard his artillery, Siskovics left Haller Infantry (2 bns) and a battalion of converged grenadiers in Hohenmaut. Weather was very bad and continuous rain had made many roads impassable. Siskovics' troops had not received any bread ration since July 1. On July 10, Loudon and Siskovics made a junction with a cavalry corps led by GFWM Saint-Ignon. Loudon and Siskovics then advanced to Borohrádek, leaving Haller Infantry (2 bns), a battalion of converged grenadiers and their heavy artillery behind in Chotzin (present-day Choceň) under Saint-Ignon. On July 13, the regiment (including the grenadiers) was detached to Loudon's Corps at Borohrádek. Loudon went afterwards to Opotschno (present-day Opočno/CZ) to break the line of communication of the Prussians with the Fortress of Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL). On July 17, Loudon was attacked by superior Prussian forces and retired to Reichenau (present-day Rychnov nad Kněžnou/CZ). In this combat, the regiment lost 6 men killed and 20 wounded. Grenadier Captain Franz Count Faller distinguished himself in this fight. On August 14, Loudon effected a junction with the main army near Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ) and was sent to Silesia to follow Frederick II who was advancing against a Russian army. The regiment now counted 1,250 men. On August 25, the little Fortress of Peitz surrendered to Loudon who then proceeded to Cottbus where he remained until September. On September 3, Loudon reached Hoyerswerda; on September 12, Radeberg. After Frederick's victory at Zorndorf, the Prussians advanced against Loudon's Corps who retired to Arnsdorf, followed by 15,000 Prussians. On September 16 at 7:00 a.m., the avant-garde engaged. After a fight of three hours, Loudon retired to Dürnfuchs. In this action, the regiment, who was part of Brentano's Brigade, lost 15 men killed and 36 missing. On September 27, another combat took place near Bischofswerda where the regiment lost 5 men killed and 16 wounded. On October 3, Loudon's Corps was detached to join the rearguard of FZM Arhemberg near Pelzdorf. On October 10, it arrived at Rachlau near Hochkirch. On October 14, the two field battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in Loudon's Corps, to the south-west of Hochkirch. They initially formed part of Vittelesky's Brigade. During the preceding night, this brigade had assembled near Soritz and marched to Steindörfel. At 5:00 a.m., the regiment was among the first Austrian units to penetrate into the Prussian camp at Hochkirch. In this battle, the regiment lost 3 officers and 20 men killed; 82 men wounded; and 27 men missing. Daun's Army followed the retreating Prussians up to Klein-Bautzen. When Frederick left for Silesia to relieve the Fortress of Neisse besieged by FZM Harsch, Loudon was instructed to follow him closely with his corps. Near Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) Loudon attacked the Prussian rearguard. The regiment along with some Grenzers formed the avant-garde. It fought against the Prussians till evening and lost 13 men killed and 25 wounded. Loudon then marched to Jauer (present-day Jawor/PL). On November 6, Loudon reached Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora/PL). When Daun sent his army to its winter-quarters, Loudon's Corps returned to Bohemia and the regiment took its quarters at Rumburg (present-day Rumburk/CZ), and later at Böhmisch Leipa (present-day Česká Lípa/CZ). The third battalion under the command of Major Kerekes was transferred from Peterwardein to Szegedin.
In March 1759, the regiment (now 1,904 men strong) was detached to Niemes (present-day Mimoň/CZ) and Böhmisch-Aicha (pesent-day Český Dub/CZ). FML Beck planned a raid on Greiffenberg (present-day Gryfow Slaski/PL). On March 23, Major-General Buttler assembled the grenadiers and the “Leib-Battalion” of the regiment, Bethlen Infantry, two grenadier companies from Luzzara Infantry and Clerici Infantry and 600 dragoons at Wartenberg (present-day Vartenberk/CZ) and marched by Kratzau (present-day Chrastava/CZ) and Friedland (present-day Frýdlant/CZ) towards Greiffenberg. On March 26 at 5:00 p.m., Buttler's detachment arrived in front of Greiffenberg whose garrison (Colonel Düringshofen with one grenadier battalion and one squadron) had been warned of its arrival and had evacuated Greiffenberg and encamped near Löwenberg (present-day Lwowek Slaski/PL). Major-General Buttler attacked the Prussians at Löwenberg, taking 16 officers and 700 men prisoners. Buttler's detachment then returned to its base. At the beginning of April, due to the harsh winter, the regiment was transferred to Gross-Rohozetz (present-day Hrubý Rohozec/CZ). On May 2, the regiment joined the main army in its camp at Schurz (present-day Žírec near Jaroměř/CZ) where Field-Marshall Daun trained his entire army until the end of June. On June 28, Daun's Army set off from Schurz and marched towards Upper Lusatia to get closer to the Russian army. According to the order of battle, the two field battalions of the regiment were placed in the second line of the right wing with Alt-Wolfenbüttel Infantry and Deutschmeister Infantry. Its grenadiers formed a converged battalion with the grenadiers of Luzzara Infantry and Tillier Infantry under Major-General Pellegrini. After the Russian victory in the Battle of Paltzig on July 23, Daun sent 20,000 men led by FML Loudon to assist them. Meanwhile, the regiment participated to all manoeuvres of the main army without seeing any significant action. In July, Major Kerekes returned to the field battalions, and Lieutenant-Colonel Boronkay replaced him as commander of the third battalion at Szegedin. By mid August 1759, the regiment was part of Buccow's Corps posted in Lusatia. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. By September 23, the regiment was encamped near Bautzen. It was part of Daun's Army who tried to attack Prince Henri at Görlitz. The latter avoided battle and retired. Daun then marched to Dresden. During the following weeks, the armies manoeuvred in Saxony but did not come to a fight. In mid-November, Daun decided to attack the isolated corps of Major-General Finks. On November 19, FZM Sincére marched from Dippoldiswalde with the Corps de reserve, including Haller Infantry, Tillier Infantry, Baden-Durlach Infantry and two cavalry regiments. Major-General Fink retired to Maxen. On November 20, the two field battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where they were deployed in the second line of the second column of Sincère's Corps under the command of Lieutenant-General Dombasle. After a battle that lasted two days, Fink with his 14,922 men strong corps was forced to surrender as prisoners of war. In this battle, the regiment lost 18 men killed, and 3 officers and 43 men wounded. After the battle, the Corps de reserve (now led by G.d.C. Count O´Donell) marched back to Dippoldiswalde. On December 11, the regiment took its winter-quarters at Königstein in Saxony. On December 18, G.d.C. Count Hadik assumed command of the Corps de reserve. On December 27, the regiment was sent once more Dippoldiswalde. By that time, the regiment counted 1,759 men (1,301 on active duty) in two field battalions and two grenadier companies. A third battalion of 840 men was garrisoning Szegedin.
On January 19 1760, the regiment was detached to Kunnersdorf and Luchau near Glashütte, some of its men had to pitch tents and fell ill. For this reason, 300 men of the third battalion were sent from Szegedin to reinforce the field battalions. In May, the regiment was attached to the “Observations-Korps” of FZM Lacy. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Boronkay retired and was replaced by second (aggregiert) Lieutenant-Colonel Sigmund von Kerekes. In early June 1760, during the Austrian campaign in Saxony, the regiment was still attached to Lacy's Corps operating on the east bank of the Elbe. The same month, the regiment went to Boxdorf. On June 9, Sigmund von Kerekes was promoted to colonel and commander of the regiment. On June 18, Lacy's Corps went to Laucha and, for several weeks, took part in the ceaseless manoeuvring in Saxony. On August 18, after the Battle of Liegnitz, in which the regiment was not involved, it took position at Kratzau (present-day Chrastava/CZ). On August 31, the regiment marched from Kratzau to Burkersdorf and, on September 13, to Hartau. On September 28, Lacy's Corps set off to join the Russians in a raid against Berlin. On October 8, the regiment reached Berlin. After a few days, Lacy retreated towards Saxony and went by Wittenberg to Torgau. On November 3, the regiment was at the Battle of Torgau where it was attached to Lacy's Corps posted behind a big pond near Torgau. It saw no important action. After this battle, Lacy marched towards Meissen where he arrived on November 7. Two weeks later, on November 23, when the army took its winter-quarters, the regiment posted in villages around Dresden. According to the order of battle, in December, the regiment was posted at Groß-Oelsa on the left wing, under FZM Maquire.
In 1761, the regiment saw no action. It formed part of Daun's Army operating in Saxony and followed its movements. It took its winter-quarters near Freiberg in Saxony. During the same year, the third battalion garrisoned Herrmanstadt (present-day Sibiu/RO), Schäßburg (present-day Sighisoara/RO) and Mediasch (present-day Medias/RO).
In January 1762, the two field battalions of the regiment (1,590 men fit for duty) were detached to support to FML Campitelli. On January 24, they arrived at Pöpschen near Altenburg. On January 30, part of Campitelli's Corps under Major-General Vitzthum and Duke Sulkowski, who were at the head of 5 battalions (including the “Obrist-Battalion” of the regiment), 5 grenadier companies (including 1 grenadier company of the regiment) and 2 cavalry regiments, attacked Pegau. Around 4,000 Prussians who were initially deployed in front of the town took refuge behind its walls. The fire of the Austrian artillery forced them to evacuate Pegau, leaving the place defenceless. Campitelli's Corps then returned to its original camps. The regiment then remained at Freiberg until April 2. It then followed Daun's Army to Silesia. At the end of April, the regiment was encamped near Schweidnitz where it was deployed once more in the first line of Lacy's Corps. Its grenadiers had been converged with those of Baden-Baden Infantry and Batthyányi Infantry to form the “Grenadier Battalion O'Birn” which had been left at Kratzau (present-day Chrastava/CZ). At the beginning of June, Daun sent reinforcements to the garrison of Schweidnitz. Captain Emerich Vives, 3 officers and 233 men of the regiment formed part of these reinforcements. On July 21, during the Battle of Burkersdorf, the Prussians seized the passes of Purkersdorf (present-day Piskorzów/PL) and Leutmannsdorf (present-day Lutomia/PL) which were defended by Major-General Brentano and O'Kelly. Field-Marshall Daun had to retire with his army, leaving Schweidnitz unsupported, and marched to Falkenberg (present-day Sokola/PL) and Tannhausen (present-day Jedlinka/PL). On August 16, the regiment participated in the Battle of Reichenbach where it was attached to Major-General Brentano's Corps. In an attempt to relieve Schweidnitz, FZM Lacy attacked Mittel-Peilau; Brentano, Nieder-Peilau; and FML Beck, Ober-Peilau but were unable to force the defensive lines of the Prussians. The Austrians were finally forced to retire during the evening. In this battle, the regiment lost 2 men killed and 29 wounded. It went to Dittersbach (present-day Walbrzych Glowny/PL). The detachment of the regiment (Captain Emerich Vives, 2 officers and 160 men) who took part in the defence of Schweidnitz became prisoners of war when the fortress surrendered on October 9 (they would be freed in April 1763). At the end of the year, the regiment marched to Bohemia. In October, it returned to Saxony and took its winter-quarter near Dresden.
Overall, during the Seven Years' War, the regiment lost 10 officers killed and 50 wounded; 376 men killed, 1,238 wounded and 426 missing. From the 1,238 men who had been wounded, 702 later died of their wounds in hospitals.
After the signature of the Treaty of Hubertusburg in February 1763, all infantry regiments reverted to their peacetime organisation: 4 battalions of 4 companies each and two grenadier companies. The regiment initially garrisoned Tabor/CZ, but as soon as May 1763, it was sent to Lombardy. At the end of July, its grenadiers reached Casalmaggiore; its “Leib-Battalion” and its “Obrist-Battalion”, Cremona; the new “Obrist-Lieutenant-Battalion”, Sabbionetta. However, the Garnison-Battalion remained in Szegedin.
Until recently we had a very vague description of the uniform at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War. Thanks to the kind authorisation of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna, Dal Gavan, 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 privates circa 1757 and in 1762.
|Neck stock||one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)|
|Coat||white lined yellow without buttons nor buttonholes
|Waistcoat||blue dolman edged yellow with yellow brandebourgs|
|Trousers||blue Hungarian trousers decorated with yellow knots|
Rank and file were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers), a bayonet and a sabre.
|Neck stock||one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neck stocks)|
|Coat||white lined light blue with 6 light blue laced buttonholes (with tassels as per the Bautzener Handschrift) arranged 1-2-3, on each side; 6 yellow buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||light blue dolman edged red (edged white as per the Bautzener Handschrift) with 3 rows of small yellow buttons linked with red brandebourgs (white brandebourgs as per the Bautzener Handschrift)|
|Trousers||light blue Hungarian trousers (decorated with white laces as per the Bautzener Handschrift)|
Rank and file were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers), a bayonet and a sabre.
Donath illustrates the following differences :
- yellow and light blue tassels in the lateral cornes of the tricorne
- light blue shoulder strap
- no fastener for the turnbacks
- light blue waistcoat edged yellow with yellow brandebourgs
Sergeants and corporals carried a short musket and a bayonet.
As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, the officers wore a different uniform in 1762:
- tricorne laced silver with a white and green cockade
- black neck stock
- light blue waistcoat edged in silver with silver brandebourgs
- no brandebourgs on the coat
- no turnbacks
- vertical pockets with 3 yellow buttons
- white waistbelt
- light blue trousers decorated with a silver lace
- yellow Hungarian boots
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
As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from rank and file only by light 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.
All Hungarian infantry regiments were supposed to carry the same colours as the German infantry regiments: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The hand painted colours were made of silk and, according to some sources, measured 178 cm x 127 cm. However, a flag kept at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna shows different proportions (unfortunately we do not know the exact measurements) which we have used for our illustrations. 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 on the left wing and JM on the right
The so-called "armed" Imperial double-eagle on the reverse of the Leibfahne seems to have been represented in two different variants:
- with a sword in its right claw and the sceptre in its left (no Imperial Apple with this design)
- with a sceptre and sword in its right claw and the Imperial Apple in its left.
The first variant seems to have been more common.
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 on the left wing and JM 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
Some publications represent an "armed" Imperial double-eagle on the reverse of the Regimentsfahne but we followed Hausmann's paper of 1967 which also matches with the insignia seen on Austrian artillery barrels of the period.
In fact, the situation on the field was slightly more complex than this, since colours were usually replaced only when worn out. By 1756, only a few regiments had actually purchased sets of flags of the 1745 pattern; so many regiments, 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.
This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:
- Blažeković: Chronik des k. k. 31. Linien-Infanterie-Regiments Erzherzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Vienna 1867
- Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 38
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
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.
Harald Skala and Michael Zahn for gathering most of the information about this regiment