Los Rios Infantry
Origin and History
This Walloon regiment first served in the Dutch service, taking part in the battles of Oudenarde (1708) and Malplaquet (1709 ).
As a result of the Treaty of Rastatt signed on March 7 1714, Austria received Southern Netherlands from Spain (the so-called Spanish Netherlands corresponding to present-day Belgium). The troops of this new Austrian province were integrated into the Austrian Army but until 1725, remained under Dutch service. These troops included seven infantry regiments:
- Marquis Villalta (later on Los Rios)
- Prince de Ligne
- Comte de Gand
- Comte Lannoy
In August 1725, these seven regiments were transferred in the Austrian service and reorganized in three regiments:
The new regiment Los Rios included troops from the old regiments Los Rios and Bournonville. Its proprietor was Francesco Marchese Los Rios de Guiterez, appointed on August 1 1725. Its colonel-commander was Franz de Barela; its lieutenant-colonel, Conte di Nava; and its major, Sigismund Baron Luzan. Its recruiting area was the Austrian Netherlands (present-day Belgium).
By April 30 1734, the regiment counted 2,000 men effective. After being reviewed, it was sent to Luxembourg.
In 1735, the three battalions of the regiment were distributed as follows:
- 1,005 men in the army of FZM Seckendorf, garrisoning Luxembourg;
- 2 grenadier coys in the Austrian Netherlands;
- 150 men in Brussels.
In 1741, Colonel Franz de Barela died and was replaced by Ramos Chevalier Copons de Boxadores. Furthermore, Francesco (Thomas) Marquis Los Rios, the son of the regiment proprietor, was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.
At the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment (4 bns and 2 grenadier coys) initially remained in the Austrian Netherlands as part of the corps of FM Prince Ahremberg. One bn and the 2 grenadier coys were sent to Mons.
At the beginning of May 1743, Ahremberg's Corps was sent to join the “Pragmatic Army”, commanded by King George II, on the Main River in Hesse. The two field bns counted 1,228 men and 66 officers. Two other bns remained at Antwerp and Dendermonde. On June 27, the field battalions took part in the Battle of Dettingen against the French. In October, the campaign ended and the regiment took its winter-quarters in Mons, Antwerp and Dendermonde.
In 1744, the regiment remained in the Netherlands and spent the next winter at Ghent. The bn formerly based in Bruxelles went to Antwerp, another bn was stationed in Mons while the grenadiers and the two field bns went to Oudenarde.
In 1745, the two field bns and the grenadiers joined FM Traun's army, arrived on July 1 at the camp near Gelnhausen in Hesse. They then fought against the French in Germany territory. The two other bns, along with two Hanoverian squadrons, formed the garrison of the Citadel of Antwerp. The field bns took their winter-quarters in the Province of Limburg.
On February 20 1746, when Bruxelles surrendered, the proprietor of regiment, Marchese Francois Los Rios, was taken prisoner by the French. The commander of the Austrian army of the Netherlands for that year was FM Batthyányi. In May, he concentrated his army at Terheyden where it remained until July 17. It later campaigned in the Netherlands. On October 11, the regiment was at the Battle of Rocoux where it was deployed on the right wing with Königsegg Infantry in Prince Durlach's Brigade. This brigade, along with some Dutch troops, all under General Schwarzemberg, formed the rearguard who covered the retreat of the defeated Allied army. On November 1, the regiment took its winter-quarters in Fauquemont. By the end of the year, the regiment counted 3 bns and 2 grenadier coys.
On April 4 1747, the regiment (781 men) marched to Styphout near Eyndhofen. It was attached to Puebla's Brigade, along with Carl Lothringen Infantry, as part of FML Mercy's Division. On July 2, the regiment was at the Battle of Lauffeld but was not involved in combat. At the beginning November, the entire regiment (3 bns and 2 grenadier coys) joined the garrison of Maastricht.
In 1748, during siege of the fortress, defended by FML Marschall von Burgholzhausen, the regiment distinguished itself. After the surrender of Maastricht, on May 10, Austrian troops marched to Maseyk, the Dutch to 's-Hertogenbosch. At the end of October, the regiment joined the garrison of Bruxelles.
In 1749, the regiment, along with infantry regiments Lothringen, Prie, Arhemberg, Salm, Platz and Damnitz, was part of the Austrian occupation troops in the Austrian Netherlands. It spent most of its time at Ostende.
In 1751, Don Francesco Marchese de Los Rios de Guiterez was appointed colonel and commander of the regiment, its lieutenant-colonel was Charles Louis de Tax.
In June 1754, during a review, the regiment counted 2,376 effective men.
The regiment was stationed in the Austrian Netherlands till the end of 1756.
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).
The successive proprietors of the regiment were:
- since 1725: Don Francesco Marchese de Los Rios de Guiterez
- from 1775: Carl Count Clerfayt
The successive colonel-commanders of the regiment were:
- since 1725: Franz de Barela
- from 1741: Ramos Chevalier Copons de Boxadores
- from 1745: Carl Count Merode Marquis d'Aynse
- from 1751: Don Francesco (Thomas) Marchese de Los Rios de Guiterez (son of the proprietor)
- from 1757: Joseph Baron Murray de Melgum
- from 1761: Franz Prince Gavré d'Aiseau
In 1763, after the war, the regiment garrisoned Mons in the Austrian Netherlands.
Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 9". It existed till 1918 as "I.R. Graf Clerfayt Nr. 9".
Service during the War
At the beginning of 1756, the regiment was garrisoning Bruxelles and Brügge in the Austrian Netherlands. It was increased to 4 bns with 2 grenadier coys. In December, the 2 field bns and the grenadiers were sent to Bohemia while the remaining 2 bns were stationed in Ostende, later in Bruxelles.
Battalion serving with the French Army of the Lower Rhine
In 1757, the regiment contributed its 3rd Battalion (garrison battalion) to the Austrian Contingent, under Major-General Dombasle, sent to the assistance of the French Army during the invasion of Hanover (a fourth battalion counting only 3 coys remained in Bruxelles). The four battalions strong Austrian Contingent assembled at Roermond. At the beginning of April, the Prince de Soubise ordered the Austrian Contingent to move into the Cleves and Gueldres Duchies and to occupy them. On April 6, three battalions of the Austrian Contingent, under the Comte Dombasle, entered into Cleves. On April 8, the battalion of Los Rios occupied Wesel where it remained as garrison. On May 5, the battalion was assigned to the blockade of Geldern. On July 26, the 3rd battalion may have taken part in the Battle of Hastenbeck but it may also still have been in front of Geldern. At the end of the year, the battalion took its winter-quarters in Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the fourth line of the French Army.
In May 1758, the battalion serving with the French Army was instructed to join the Reichsarmee near Bayreuth. Between September 3 and 6, it took part in the siege of Pirna and of the Fortress of Sonnenstein. Then counting 6 coys, this battalion remained in the region of Pirna until October 2 when it marched to make a junction with Daun's main army near Stolpen. Once arrived in Stolpen, the battalion was reunited with the remaining battalion of the regiment. (for the following campaigns, see the section “Reunited regiment”).
Battalions serving with the Austrian Army of Bohemia
By May 1757, the two field battalions of the regiment were stationed in Bohemia as part of Browne's Corps and counted 1,200 men. This corps marched towards Prague. On May 6, these two battalions took part in the Battle of Prague where they were deployed in the Baron Preysach's Brigade, of FML Arhemberg's Division in the second line of the right wing of infantry placed under the command of Count Königsegg while their grenadiers joined the Grenadiers Corps. In this battle, the grenadiers, supported by the 2 field battalions of the regiment and Harrach Infantry, drove the Prussian grenadiers back to the village Sterboholy before being forced to retire. After the defeat, a part of the field battalions escaped beyond the Sazawa River, while another part (1 captain, some NCOs and 297 men) took refuge in Prague. In this battle, the regiment lost 8 officers and 167 men. At the end of May, the troops who had managed to escape made a junction with Daun's Army in its camp near Czaslau. These troops were organised in a single battalion and attached to FML Wied's Reserve. On June 18, this battalion took part in the Battle of Kolin where it formed part of Reichlin's Brigade of Wied's Division in the corps of Count Colloredo held in reserve behind the centre in the forest near Krezhorz. This division was attacked by Hülsen's Prussian troops. After a fight of several hours, the regiment along with [[Salm Infantry] and Platz Infantry retreated, constantly harassed by the Prussian cavalry. However, some regiments of Austrian and Saxon cavalry came to the support of the retiring Austrian infantry, allowing it to rally, to counter-attack under the command of Colonel Los Rios, and to storm the village of Krezhorz. The Austrian cavalry completed the victory. In this battle, the regiment lost 5 officers and 174 men (the Colonel Marquis Los Rios would later receive the Knight Cross of the Maria-Theresia Order, in the first promotion of this military order on March 7 1758, for his valour). After the battle, the remaining troops of the two field battalions were reorganized into a single battalion counting 871 men in 6 coys. This battalion was attached to the Corps de Reserve. On July 4, Colonel Francesco Marchese Los Rios was promoted to major-general, Josef Baron Murray replaced him as colonel and commander of the regiment. On September 7, when General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps during the Combat of Moys, one battalion of the regiment was deployed in the first line of the infantry right division under the command of Lieutenant-General Wied while Lieutenant-Colonel de Pasteles (sometime written Basteel/Pasteel) of the regiment was placed at the head of the 4 converged grenadier battalions (including the grenadiers of the regiment) who distinguished themselves during this combat (Pasteles would later receive the Knight Cross of the Maria-Theresia Order in its third promotion on December 4 1758). On November 22, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was part of the Reserve Corps in Baron Plunquet's Brigade. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the same battalion was deployed in the first line of the far right Reserve under Major-General von Luzinsky. During this battle, the battalion under Colonel Murray was driven back four times but repeatedly rallied and counter-attacked. It suffered heavy losses (300 men out of 600). After Leuthen, the Walloon regiments were so weak that it became necessary to combine them into a single battalion counting 1,101 men (361 men from Los Rios Infantry, 265 men from Arberg Infantry, 221 men from Sachsen-Gotha Infantry and 254 men from de Ligne Infantry). This battalion took its winter-quarters in Czernilow.
In the winter of 1757-58, the Walloon regiments received reinforcements and it became possible to re-organize them. Thus, the troops of Los Rios Infantry and Sachsen-Gotha Infantry formed a combined battalion.
By March 1758, this combined battalion was posted near Königgrätz. On April 29, it set off from Königgrätz for the camp of Skalitz. It later joined the Austrian main army. By August 2, the combined battalion served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Field-Marshal Count Daun near Jaromirs (present-day Jaroměř/CZ). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia. (for the following campaigns, see the section “Reunited regiment”).
On October 14, the reunited battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where they were deployed in the first line of the left column of Daun's main army, directly south of Hochkirch. The regiment, commanded by Colonel Murray distinguished itself in the defence of the village of Hochkirch, losing 15 officers and 238 men (Colonel Murray would later receive the Knight Cross of the Maria-Theresia Order, in its fifth promotion on January 23 1760). After the battle, the regiment went to a camp near Görlitz where it remained until November 4. Afterwards, it took part in the blockade of Dresden. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Laun (present-day Louny/CZ).
On May 2 1759, after a short sojourn in the camp of Vyskeř/CZ, the regiment (now counting 1,427 effective men) joined the Austrian main army at Jaromirs (present-day Jaroměř/CZ). At the end of June, this army marched to Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ). For the campaign of 1759, the grenadiers of the various regiments of the main army had been converged into grenadier battalions. One of these battalions was commanded by Franz Prince Gavré d'Aiseau of the regiment. Los Rios Infantry, Baden-Baden Infantry and one dragoon regiment were then detached from the main army and sent to reinforce FML Loudon's Corps who made a junction with a Russian army near Frankurt/Oder. On August 12 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was initially deployed behind the right wing of the Russians. During the battle, it supported the Russians. The grenadiers defended the “Kuhgrund”, losing all officers and more than 50% of their men (83 men over 150). FM Loudon later marched by Krakau and Teschen back to Moravia. On December 20, the regiment arrived at its winter-quarters in Frýdek/CZ. At the end of December, the two battalions of the regiment were instructed to march back to the Austrian Netherlands to replenish their ranks from the two depot battalions stationed in Bruxelles.
On January 17 1760, the two field battalions were reviewed at Wagstadt (present-day Bílovec/CZ). It then counted 1,724 effective men. On March 15, the regiment was of the corps who marched to Jägerndorf (present-day Krnov/CZ). It was in the fourth column commanded by Major-General Vogelsang who had received orders to storm Leobschütz (present-day Glubczyce/PL). Vogelsang arrived in the neighbourhood of the town two hours after the departure of the Prussian. Vogelsang resumed march during the night despite the stormy weather and, after a 24 hours march, reached Hotzenplotz (present-day Osoblaha/CZ) but there too the Prussians had left the place before his arrival. The regiment remained in this region until April 27. In May, it followed its corps who marched to Bohemia. In June, the regiment, then attached to FZM Loudon's Corps, marched towards Saxony and reached Frankenberg. On June 23, the regiment fought in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed in the first column commanded by Major-General Naselli who stormed the “Doktorberg”. The Austrians then pursued the retiring Prussians. The cavalry completed the encirclement and Fouqué's entire corps was forced to surrender. In this battle, the regiment lost 3 officers and 64 men. It then remained at Landeshut for a while. On July 4, it marched to Hochkirch. At the end of July, the Leibbataillon took part in the siege of Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL). The regiment then followed Loudon's Corps who laid siege to Breslau. However, Loudon had to abandon the siege because the Russians did not provide the support they were supposed to give. On August 15, the regiment fought at the Battle of Liegnitz. After the defeat, Loudon's Corps marched to Freiburg. In October, Loudon decided to make an attempt against Cosel. On October 21, the regiment was part of the corps who proceeded to the blockade of Cosel. The siege was interrupted due to bad weather and the corps returned to Kunzendorf. The regiment took its winter-quarters of the Silesian/Moravian border.
In 1761, the “Leibbataillon” and the grenadiers of the regiment served in FZM Loudon's Corps. In May, the marched to a camp near Schweidnitz. In August, Loudon made a junction with the Russian army of FM Buturlin near Striegau (present-day Sztregom/PL). After the successful Storming of Schweidnitz on October 1, Loudon's Corps took position between Striegau (present-day Sztergom/PL) and Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora/PL). The regiment was stationed at Konradswald (present-day Konradow/PL).
In May 1762, the regiment (then counting 971 men) arrived at the camp of FM Daun at Kratzkau (present-day Kraskow/PL). In July, Daun returned to the County of Glatz. One grenadier coy and one fusilier coy of the regiment joined the garrison of Schweidnitz. On August 16 1762 one battalion of the regiment fought at the Battle of Reichenbach. Meanwhile, the two coys previously sent to Schweidnitz took part in the defence of Schweidnitz and became prisoners of war when the fortress surrendered on October 11. At the end of November, the regiment was sent to Lacy's Corps, operating around Reichenberg. The regiment encamped at Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí/CZ) and Wartenberg (present-day Stráž pod Ralskem/CZ).
In 1763, after the signature of the Treaty of Hubertusburg on February 15, the regiment returned to the Austrian Netherlands and it joined its two depot battalions which had remained there. The regiment was then reorganized into 4 complete battalions, two of them and the grenadiers were stationed in Mons; the two others, in Ath.
|Neckstock||one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)|
|Coat||white with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
|Waistcoat||dark green (white in 1762) with 2 rows of 9 yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons|
|Gaiters||one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)|
Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.
For the late 1740s, Morier illustrates a single row of buttons on the waistcoat.
For the 1762 uniform, the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates 3 white within dark green pompom.
For the 1762 uniform, Raspe illustrates a dark green shoulder strap.
The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
- black neckstock
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
- 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
Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.
Corporals carried a halberd.
Until 1760, despite the new regulation of 1755, the musicians wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests and white turnbacks. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with 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 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
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
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.
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 auf Kosten der Raspischen Buchhandlung. Ao. 1762
Bilderhandschrift Delacre: Militair Etat der Ganzen Kayl., Königl. Armee Wienn 1757
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
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
Friese, Ulf-Joachim, Quellen zur Uniformierung der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee 1740-1763
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
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
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
Ritter v. Sypniewski, A.: Geschichte des K. u. K. Infanterie-Regimentes Feldmarschall Carl Joseph Graf Clerfayt de Croix, Jaroslau 1894
Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
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
Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23
Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 32
Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993
Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht. Die Regimenter, Corps, Branchen und Anstalten von 1618 bis Ende des XIX. Jahrhunderts, Vol. 1, 124, Vienna, 1898-1905
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.
Harald Skala for the detailed history and services of this regiment
User:Zahn for gathering most of the information about the uniform of this regiment