Piccolomini Infantry

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

Origin and History

On December 7, 1692, Colonel Johann Karl Count Serényi received the authorization of Emperor Leopold I to raise an infantry regiment of 2,400 men. The regiment was raised in Silesia. Its first colonel was Hector Count Brazza. The enlisting went slowly, by July 1673 the regiment consisted of only 1,352 men who were sent to the Jablunka Pass. On August 26, the regiment (which now counted 1,518 men) marched to Franconia and spent some weeks in Ochsenfurt.

In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment fought against French on the Rhine and the Neckar. In 1676, it took part in the siege of Philippsburg.

In 1686, during the Great Turkish War (1683-99), the regiment took part in the storming of Ofen where it was the first unit to penetrate into the city, taking the Vice-Pasha Tsonga Beg prisoner. On August 12 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohács where it was the first regiment to enter into enemy entrenchments. In 1688, it was at the storming of Belgrade.

In 1689, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the regiment took part in the siege of Mainz.

By 1691, the regiment was back in Eastern Europe fighting the Turks. On 19 August, it fought at the Battle of Slankamen. The same year, it took part in the siege of Grosswardein. On September 11 1697, it was at the Battle of Zenta.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, on July 9 1701, the regiment distinguished itself in the combat of Carpi. On February 1 1702, it took part in the unsuccessful attempt to capture Cremona. On August 15, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara where it lost 216 men. In 1703, it took part in siege and capture of Levencz (present-day Levice/SK). In 1704, one battalion took part in the Battle of Gyarmath near Raab. On August 16 1705, the regiment took part in the Battle of Cassano. In 1706, the regiment served with the Palatine and Sachsen-Gothaer troops and was at the siege of Massi. On 7 September, the regiment was at the Battle of Turin. In 1707, it took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon. In 1710, it campaigned in Spain, taking part in the battles of Almenara, Saragossa and Villa Viciosa.

Afterwards, the regiment returned to Hungary where it garrisoned Pancova in 1718. In 1719, it was sent to Freiburg im Breisgau and marched on September 1 to Italy. In 1721, the regiment garrisoned Milano; from 1722 to 1724, Cremona; in 1725 and 1726, Pavia.

In 1731, one battalion of the regiment, led by Major Count Traun, was sent to Corsica to support the Genoese troops.

In 1746, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment took part in the capture of Genoa.

In 1750, the regiment garrisoned Hermannstadt (present-day Sibiu/RO) but suffered from several diseases. In January 1752, to solve health problems, it was sent to Wiener Neustadt and then to Bohemia where it garrisoned around Pilgram (present-day Pelhřimov/CZ), Pacov (present-day Pacov/CZ), Deutschbrod (present-day Havlíčkův Brod/CZ), Časlau (present-day Čáslav/CZ) and Čestic (present-day Čestice/CZ).

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:

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

  • from June 1752: Colonel Marquis Vitelleschi
  • from 1758: Colonel Ludwig Anton (Franz?) von Wocher

In 1763, after the war, the regiment garrisoned Linz in Austria.

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 25".

Service during the War


In September 1756, two battalions of the regiment were in Bohemia with Piccolomini's covering force in the region of Königshof (present-day Králův Dvůr/CZ) and Kolin.


On May 7, 1757, the regiment arrived at Böhmisch-Brod (present-day Český Brod/CZ). On May 10, it marched with FM Leopold Daun’s Army to Kolin. On May 13, reacting to the manoeuvres of the Duke of Bevern, Daun retired to Kuttenberg (present-day Kutná Hora/CZ), and on June 5, to Goltsch-Jenikau (present-day Gločův Jeníkov/CZ). There, the two field battalions of the regiment were joined by its third battalion. The whole regiment remained with Daun’s army.

On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the on the left of the first line in Gemmingen’s Brigade, in the division of FML Count Puebla. Each battalion was equipped by two 3-pdr guns and the grenadiers fought with their regiment. At the beginning of the battle, the regiment was posted near the village of Břežan and had little chance of participating in the battle. The grenadiers of the regiment, along with those of Leopold Daun Infantry, attacked a Prussian unit with 4 guns in Břežan and drove them back.

After the battle, the regiment followed the retiring Prussians through Schwarzkosteletz (present-day Kostelec nad Černými lesy/CZ) – Lissa (present-day Lysá nad Labem/CZ) – Münchengrätz (present-day Mnichovo Hradiště/CZ) – Niemes (present-day Mimoň/CZ) – Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí/CZ) – Zittau – Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) – Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Slaski/PL) and, on November 21, arrived at Lissa (Leszno/PL).

In October and November, one battalion (14 officers and 620 men) of the regiment, led by Major-General Baron Wolfersdorf, took part in the siege of Schweidnitz with Nádasdy’s Corps. After the surrender of Schweidnitz, on November 12, the proprietor of the regiment, FML Franz Ludwig Count Thürheim was appointed commander of the fortress. The regiment remained with Nádasdy’s corps and went to Breslau.

On November 22, the regiment took part in the battle of Breslau where two of its battalions were deployed in Lacy's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre under Baron Kheul, while a third battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. Grenadier Captain Alexander Baron Humbracht led his grenadiers and one battalion of Thürheim Infantry in the battle; at 4:00 a.m., they crossed the bridge over the Lohe River; attacked by Prussian cavalry, Humbracht’s men drove the Prussians back and captured one flag (for his valour, Humbracht would receive the knight cross of Maria-Theresia-Order in the fifth promotion of this military order, on January 23, 1760). In this battle, the regiment lost a total of 206 men.

From November 23 to December 3, the regiment remained encamped at Hessingen (unidentified location).

On December 5, at the battle of Leuthen, one battalion of the regiment (including its grenadiers) led by Colonel Vitelleschi was deployed in d'Arberg's Brigade in the first line of the infantry left wing under Colloredo alongside the contingents of Württemberg and Bavaria which retired first. In this battle, the regiment lost 6 men killed; 1 officer and 7 men, wounded; and 60 men missing or taken prisoners. In addition, the regiment lost some equipment and all its baggage.

The detachment of 21 officers and 595 men of the regiment, led by Major Johann Kaspar von Scholderer which garrisoned Breslau was taken prisoners when Breslau surrendered on December 19. The officers were imprisoned in Frankfurt/Oder.

The regiment took up its winter-quarters around Pless (present-day Josefov/CZ), the third battalion (814 men) had been sent to Lower Austria. Since October, it garrisoned Brünn (present-day Brno/CZ).


On March 28, 1758, a detachment of 300 men led by Lieutenant-Colonel Wocher was sent to Schatzlar (present-day Žacléř/CZ) to guard the border with Silesia.

On April 16, when Schweidnitz surrendered, the regiment proprietor and commander of the fortress, FML Franz Ludwig Count Thürheim, his aide-de-camp Captain Kolbnitz, 4 officers and 314 men were taken prisoners of war.

In the spring of 1758, the regiment was at Zwittau (present-day Svitavy/CZ) and Gewitsch (present-day Jevíčko/CZ) where it remained until mid-June. On June 16, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, Daun’s main army marched by Protiwanov (present-day Protivanov/CZ) towards Dobromielitz (present-day Dobromilice/CZ) where it arrived on June 27. On July 1, after the successful surprise attack of Loudon and Siskovics against a big Prussian convoy near Domstadtl, Daun’s Army marched to Gross-Teinitz (present-day Velký Týnec/CZ) and Frederick II raised the Siege of Olmütz. By August 2, the regiment was attached to the second line of Daun’s Army which was following the Prussians.

On September 15, the regiment, along with Puebla Infantry, Browne Infantry and two cavalry regiments led by General Bülow, were sent to support Loudon’s Corps near Dürnfuchs. On September 25, Loudon went to Bischofswerda and, on October 5, he reached Stolpen where the the regiment rejoined the main army. By that time, the regiment (two fusilier battalions and two grenadier companies) could field 1,390 men.

On October 10, the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Count O'Kelly’s Brigade (Thürheim Infantry, Heinrich Daun Infantry and IR Königsegg Infantry) occupying the Stromberg. During the attack of the grenadiers of the Duke Ahremberg against the big Prussian battery, the regiment supported these troops and, after heavy fighting, captured the battery. The fusiliers lost 2 men killed; and 1 officer and 5 men wounded. The grenadiers lost 1 officer and 7 men killed; 55 men wounded; and 15 men missing. In his relation of the battle, FM Daun praised Captain Stegmann and Major Ubelli (who died of his injury a few days later). Captain Stegmann was promoted major. In this battle, the grenadiers of the regiment had been converged with other grenadier companies in ad hoc battalions.

After the battle, the regiment remained with the main army and marched to Dresden, arriving at Loschwitz (today part of Dresden) on November 7. The Prussian commander of Dresden, Major-General Schmettau burned down the suburbs, and FM Daun raised the siege and retired with his army to winter-quarters in Bohemia. The regiment was placed around Sandau (present-day Dolní Žandov/CZ).


On January 17, 1759, the regiment (two field battalions and two grenadier companies) left its winter-quarters and was sent to Würzburg and Bamberg to guard, together with Hildburghausen Infantry, Harrach Infantry and Botta Infantry, the big magazines there. At the end of February, the regiment occupied an entrenchment near Frauenwald in the Thuringian Forest. On March 4, the section of this entrenchment defended by its two grenadier companies was attacked by a Prussian “Freibattalion”, a “Jäger-Corps” and some hussars. The grenadiers were forced to retire, 27 were taken prisoners of war and one gun was lost. Major-General Guasco arrived too late to the rescue with one battalion of the regiment and some units of the Reichsarmee.

By June 5, the regiment was attached to G.d.C. Hadik’s Corps at Pegnitz. The corps marched through Saaz (present-day Žatec/CZ) – Brüx (present-day Most/CZ) – Teplitz (present-day Teplice/CZ) and arrived, on July 15, at Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ). On July 19, Hadik marched to Reichstadt (present-day Zákupy/CZ). The regiment, along with ??Zweibrücken Infantry?? and Salm Infantry was allocated to FML Maquire’s Corps which went to Lobositz, and from there through Wernstadtl (present-day Verneřice/CZ) – Kamnitz (present-day Česká Kamenice/CZ) – Rumburg (present-day Rumburk/CZ), arriving at Zeidler (present-day Brtníky/CZ) on July 24. At the end of July, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, Hadik marched to Königswartha. After some additional manoeuvres, Hadik’s Corps appeared in front of Dresden on August 26. The Prince of Zweibrücken occupied the suburbs with grenadiers and Grenzer light troops and started the siege. On September 3, the Prussians led by Lieutenant-General Schmettau surrendered. On September 5, the Prussian General Wunsch, ignoring that Dresden had already surrendered, tried to relieve Schmettau but General Vehla and Brentano stopped him at Trachenberg near Dresden. The grenadiers of the regiment took part in this combat.

On September 21, the Prussian corps of generals Fink and Wunsch attacked FML Maquire's Corps in the Combat of Korbitz near Meissen. The regiment distinguished itself in this combat where it lost 1 men killed, 2 wounded and 2 missing. The regiment then returned to Plauen and all three battalions were later assigned to the garrison of Dresden. At the end of the year, all grenadier companies were converged into independent grenadier battalions.

On November 5, the regiment encamped with the Reichsarmee near Plauen.


By the end of April 1760, the two field battalions and the two grenadier companies garrisoning Dresden, which had already lost many men to sickness during the last campaign (196 men had died in the last months) had only 1,162 officers and fusilier and 160 grenadiers fit for service out of an effective strength of 2,057 men.

On May 4, the regiment and its grenadiers were allocated to Lacy's Corps posted at Gross-Dobritz. In June, still attached to Lacy’s Corps, it was near Boxdorf in Saxony. On June 27, it was at Gross-Dittmannsdorf; and on July 6, at Bischofswerda. Lacy spent the whole month of July at Loschwitz, near the Prussian army in front of Dresden. Frederick II finally raised the siege of Dresden. Lacy followed the Prussians to Silesia. On August 9, he reached Löwenberg (present-day Lwówek Slaski/PL). From August 18 to August 30, Lacy’s Corps encamped near Kratzkau (present-day Krasków/PL) and built a cordon along the border between Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL) and Bohemia.

From September 20 and October 12, the regiment took part in the expedition against Berlin.

On November 3, the regiment took part in the battle of Torgau. During the battle, it fought in Lacy’s Corps against the Prussians led by Lieutenant-General von Zieten. Zieten retired, burned down the village of Süplitz and later attacked the left wing of Daun’s Army. In this battle, the regiment lost 1 men killed, 10 wounded and 12 taken prisoners.

Lacy then marched to Strehla and Riesa. On November 7, he arrived at Meissen. On November 23, the army took up its winter-quarters, the regiment being quartered in Saxony at Rabenau, Ober-Naundorf and Nieder-Häßlich.


In January 1761, the third battalion of the regiment was transferred from Olmütz to Saxony where it garrisoned Dresden.

At the end of April 1761, FM Daun concentrated his army near Dresden. On May 8, the regiment (two field battalions and two grenadier companies) accompanied the army to the camp near Plauen and remained there until October.

At the beginning of October, the regiment, along with Alt-Colloredo Infantry and two grenadier companies was sent to support General Ried. It occupied the Lampersdorf hills above Wilsdruf. On October 19, these troops where detached to join Hadik’s Corps at Freiberg.

At the beginning of December, the regiment took up its winter-quarters along the Zschopau River near Chemnitz (at Niederwiesa, Erdmannsdorf, Kunnresdorf and Euba).


At the beginning of 1762, the proprietor of the regiment, FML Count Thürheim and its commander, Colonel Vitelleschi, were still in Prussian prison at Magdeburg.

At the beginning of February, the regiment was sent to Waldenburg (present-day Walbrzych/PL).

For this campaign, the regiment was once more attached to G.d.C. Hadik’s Corps. On May 12, a detachment of the regiment took part in the Combat at Doebeln and 9 men of this detachment were taken prisoners. Afterwards, the regiment came under the command of FML Maquire.

On September 29, the third battalion led by Colonel Count Dönhof, which until then had garrisoned Dresden, attacked with success the Prussian entrenchments at Pretzschendorf. Captain Pompeati with his battalion distinguished himself, Major Count Erbach with his grenadier company, supported by one battalion of Joseph Esterházy Infantry, captured 2 Prussian guns. The three officers of the regiment greatly contributed to the success of the whole action. In this affair, the regiment lost 25 men killed, 86 wounded and 43 taken prisoners.

On October 9, a detachment of the regiment under Major Kaltschmid, which formed part of the garrison of Schweidnitz became prisoners of war when the fortress surrendered.

After this combat, Hadik concentrated his corps and went to Freiberg. According to the regimental history, the regiment was present, on October 29, at the Battle of Freiberg but it is not mentioned in the order of battle. On October 31, Colonel Wocher received the order to march with his regiment towards Altenberg and to effect a junction with the troops of the Duke Stolberg. Thürheim Infantry, Erzherzog Ferdinand Infantry, Harrach Infantry and three cavalry regiments under the command of FML Martigny were sent to Oberleitensdorf (present-day part of Litvinov/CZ) to defend the passes between Bohemia and Thuringia. The field battalions took up their winter-quarters there, while the third battalion replaced Salm Infantry at Zittau as garrison.

The proprietor of the regiment, FML Count Thürheim, and its commander, Colonel Vitelleschi, remained imprisoned at Magdeburg until the end of the war.


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 white (therefore white turnbacks), the distinctive colour was poppy red and the waistcoat and breeches were white.


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

completed with other sources where necessary
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small yellow button on the left side; white within poppy red cockade and poppy red and white pompoms (entirely red as per Knötel) in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a poppy red 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 poppy red fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels poppy red with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs poppy red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white attached with a poppy red fastener and 2 small yellow buttons
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.


no information found yet

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.


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

  • tricorne laced gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • 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


As per a regulation of 1755, musicians were now distinguished from troopers only by poppy red 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, 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 (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
Leibfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf

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 – Copyright: Kronoskaf

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:

  • Anon.: Geschichte des K. K. 25. Infanterie-Regiments FZM Freiherr Lazarus von Mamula, Prague, 1875
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 15

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

Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen: seit ihrer Errichtung bis zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vienna: Militärische Buchh., 1804, p. 108

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

Sächsische Heimatblätter 4/5, Dresden, 2002, pp. 248-261

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

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 15

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 for the translation and integration of the regimental history

Michael Zahn for gathering information about this regiment