Saint-Ignon Dragoons

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Origin and History

De Ligne Dragoons - Copyright: Harald Skala

This dragoon regiment was created on August 1, 1725, immediately after the Treaty of Vienna by which Spain relinquished its claims to the Southern Netherlands. It combined the two Walloon dragoon regiments: Holstein-Nordburg and Ferdinand de Ligne; and the Westerloo Cuirassier Regiment (had served at the sieges of the fortresses of Lille and Le Quesnoy during the War of the Spanish Succession). Jean-Philippe-Eugène, Count de Merode, Marquis Westerloo, Grand of Spain, and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece was appointed as proprietor of the regiment. For his part, Carl Wildgraf zu Daun und Kieburg, Rheingraf zum Stein and Count zu Salmb was appointed colonel and commander. The regiment had 12 companies in 6 squadrons and one horse grenadier company for a total of 957 men and 755 horses.

On March 9, 1728, Colonel Wildgraf zu Daun was promoted to general and on December 13 of the same year, Louis-Théodore-François-Marie d'Ongnies, Baron de Courrières et d'0urges became the new colonel and commander of the regiment.

After the death of the Marquis de Westerloo on September 12, 1732, FML Ferdinand Prince de Ligne, Marquis de Rubais was appointed as the new proprietor of the regiment on September 26 of the same year.

In 1734, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), four squadrons of the regiment under Colonel Baron de Courrières joined the army assembled on the Rhine. The rest of the regiment (2 squadrons and the horse grenadier company) had been left behind in the Austrian Netherlands which had been declared neutral. In 1735, the whole regiment served in Seckendorf’s Corps which concentrated on the Moselle as part of the Army of Prince Eugène de Savoie. After the signature of preliminaries of peace, the regiment returned to its garrison places.

In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment joined the army assembled on the frontier under the command of Field Marshal Duke von Arenberg. In 1742, the Baron de Courrières was promoted to general and the Vicomte de Preveque assumed the colonelcy of the regiment. On June 27, 1743, the regiment took part in the Battle of Dettingen. In 1744, it joined the Allied army assembling at Bruxelles. On May 11, 1745, two squadrons of the regiment took part in the Battle of Fontenoy. The rest of the regiment was attached to Arenberg’s Corps, which made a junction with an Allied army on the Rhine. In mid-July, this army drove the French back behind the Rhine. In January 1746, a detachment of the regiment took part in the unsuccessful defence of Bruxelles and was forced to surrender as prisoners of war. The same year, the Vicomte de Preveque was promoted to general and Caudrelier became colonel of the regiment. As part of General Tripp's Corps, the regiment took part in a diversion against Louvain. On August 27, these squadrons distinguished themselves in an engagement near Ramillies. On October 11, the entire regiment fought in the Battle of Rocoux. On July 2, 1747, it took part in the Battle of Lauffeld. After these campaigns, the regiment retired into the Netherlands where it took up its quarters in Brabant and Hainaut. The staff, the horse grenadiers and one company were quartered at Bruxelles, four companies at Oudenarde and six companies at Ghent.

In 1751, Colonel Caudrelier was promoted to general and Lefebvre succeeded him as colonel of the regiment.

By the time of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of a staff, 12 companies organised in six squadrons and 1 horse grenadier company, for a total of 957 men and 750 horses, excluding the staff. For battles, its horse grenadiers were usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.

On February 1, 1758, the regiment was renamed Löwenstein, when Count Benedikt Daun exchanged it for the former Löwenstein Cuirassiers. On the same date, Empress Maria Theresa issued a decree authorising the new proprietor of the regiment, Christian Philipp Fürst zu Löwenstein-Wertheim, to raise 12 additional companies (6 squadrons) of light dragoons (the Jung-Löwenstein Light Dragoons) which were initially attached administratively to the present regiment even though they had their own staff and their own commander.

On January 14, 1759, the Jung-Löwenstein Light Dragoons received 8 additional companies, bringing their total strength to 10 squadrons. On March 22, these light dragoons were transformed into an independent regiment of chevauxlegers, the Jung-Löwenstein Chevauxlegers.

In 1760, the Saint-Ignon regiment was also transformed into a Chevauxlegers Regiment.

De Ligne Dragoons - Copyright: Harald Skala
De Ligne Dragoons - Source: Treuenfest

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was:

  • from September 12, 1732: Ferdinand Prince de Ligne and Marquis de Rubais (died on May 9, 1757)
  • from June 23, 1757: Benedikt Count Daun (created his own cuirassier regiment in 1758)
  • from February 1, 1758: Christian Philipp Fürst zu Löwenstein-Wertheim (created his own dragoon regiment the same year)
  • from March 22, 1759 to May 9, 1779: Josef Count Saint-Ignon

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • from 1751: Théodore Lefebvre (also written Le Febuée in German, promoted to major-general on February 17, 1757)
  • from January 17, 1757: Jacques François Florent Count de Thiennes (killed in action at the Battle of Hochkirch in October 1758)
  • from November 6, 1758: Carl Eugène Chevalier de la Marlière Thoricourt (promoted to major-general on January 3, 1760)
  • from January 3, 1760 to 1768: Carl Alexander Baron von Bietagh (formerly from the Pálffy Cuirassiers)

In 1765, the regiment was reinstated as a Dragoon Regiment.

Service during the War


In June 1756, at the beginning of the war, the regiment was stationed in the Netherlands and counted about 1,000 men and 1,000 horses. In December, the six squadrons and the horse grenadier companies of the regiment left the Austrian Netherlands to join the army of Field Marshal Daun in the region of Königsgrätz in Bohemia.


Attack of de Ligne Dragoons at Kolin - Source: Treuenfest

At the end of January 1757, the regiment finally reached the camps at Schüttenhofen (present-day Sušice/CZ), Bergreichenstein (present-day Kašperské Hory/CZ), Horasdiovic (present-day Horaždovice/CZ), Winterberg (present-day Wimperk/CZ) and Elischau (present-day Nalžovy/CZ). It was directed to the corps of G.d.C. Serbelloni which was at that time around Königgrätz. Colonel Lefebvre, promoted to general on January 17, accompanied the regiment to Königgrätz where the new colonel and commander, Jacques François Count de Thiennes, took command of the unit. The regiment was assigned to patrol the border between Bohemia and Saxony from Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ) to Skalic (present-day Skalice/CZ). At that time, the regiment had 12 companies and one grenadier company for a total of 796 men and horses.

During the months of March, April and May, the regiment distinguished itself in various small and large engagements. On May 9, the Prince de Ligne, the proprietor of the regiment died in Bruxelles.

On June 15, the regiment (39 officers and 693 men) was with Field-Marshal Count Daun's Army at the camp of Planian. On June 18, it fought in the Battle of Kolin with extraordinary courage. It was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing in O'Donell's Division. As the right wing of the Austrian army threatened the Prussians and more cuirassier regiments were used to break the Prussian infantry squares and were repeatedly thrown back by the incredible resistance of the Prussian infantry. The Prussian Stechow Dragoons followed the retiring battalions of Wied's Division and the Prussian infantry occupied the hills beside the “Eichenwäldchen” which was still held by the Austrians. In this critical moment three Saxon chevauxlegers regiments advanced to support Wied's Division and repulsed the Prussian infantry. But the enemies rallied very quickly and surrounded the Saxons. Colonel Count Thiennes, commander of the regiment, asked at that moment for Daun's authorisation to launch an attack with his dragoons. Daun would have said to Thiennes “Mais vous ne ferez pas grand chose avec vos blancs becs.” (but you won't accomplish much with your greenhorns). Thiennes answered: “Vous allez voir” (you'll see) and went to his regiment. He shouted: “Blancs-becs, montrez que vous savez mordre sans avoir de barbe; montrez que pour mordre il ne faut que des dents et pas de barbe!” (greenhorns show them that you know how to bite even though you have no beard; show them that to bite, one needs only teeth and no beard). The regiment attacked together with the Saxons three Prussian cavalry regiments, and drove them back. In a following attack, they virtually annihilated Hülsen Infantry and drove it back from its position on the hill. The attack had completely succeeded and had decided of the outcome of the battle to the advantage of the Austrians. Count Thiennes and his officers fought bravely at the head of their unit. Lieutenant-Colonel Carl Eugene Marquis de Thoricourt particularly distinguished himself. The losses of the regiment were important: 28 men and 109 horses killed; 8 officers, 110 men and 108 horses wounded. Brigade Adjutant Lieutenant Alexander de Le Febuée was mortally wounded and died on the battle field. In addition, several men were wounded but didn't quit their units. Furthermore 9 men and 24 horses were missing. Several officers including Colonel Thiennes lost their horses. In a certain squadron all officers were killed or wounded and Corporal Pforzheim had to take command. He did it with such distinction that he was promoted lieutenant on the battlefield. In memory of this bloody and glorious day, the regiment received from Empress Maria Theresa the strange privilege to wear no moustache (blanc bec meaning “beardless”) to constantly remind of their youth and heroism. The grateful empress sent four standards that she personally embroidered with scenes depicting the Battle of Kolin (for more details see the section on standards).

After the battle, the regiment could only field one horse grenadier company and 4 squadrons for a total of 20 officers and 282 men (among them 4 officers and 94 men lightly wounded). GFWM Benedikt Count Daun, a cousin of Filed Marshal Daun, was sent to Vienna with the news of the victory. He arrived there on June 22 and, on June 23, Empress Maria Theresa appointed him proprietor of the regiment.

Meanwhile, the Austrian army followed the retreating Prussians. The regiment received some recruits. On August 16, it was in a camp near Zittau. During the following weeks, the regiment followed movements of the main army in Upper Lusatia. Eugen Chevalier Thoricourt was promoted second colonel and, on September 20, Robert de Nouvelle, lieutenant-colonel.

On November 22, the regiment was present at the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Benedikt Daun's Brigade in the second line of the right wing under Prince Esterházy. However, it was not involved in fighting. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Daun's Brigade in the second line of the cavalry right wing under General Lucchesi. In this disastrous battle, the regiment lost 6 men and 15 horses killed; 3 men and 3 horses wounded; and 3 officers and 11 men taken prisoners. The regiment then retired from Silesia and took up its winter-quarters around Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ) and Schumburg (present-day part of Tanvald/CZ) in Bohemia.

On December 21, a detachment of the regiment became prisoners of war when Breslau surrendered to the Prussians.


At the beginning of 1758, some recruits arrived from the Austrian Netherlands. The regiment then counted 878 men and 686 horses but only 19 corporals and 291 men suitable for service. The regiment suffered additional losses from sickness.

On February 1 1758, G.d.C. Benedikt Count Daun exchanged this regiment for the cuirassier regiment owned by FML Christian Philipp Duke Löwenstein-Wertheim. The latter increased the strength of his new regiment with 6 additional squadrons (12 companies) of “light dragoons” also called “Chevauxlegers”. Despite the fact that these 6 new squadrons were part of the regiment, they had their own colonel and commander. The Hofkriegsrat (war council) appointed on the same day Count Stainville from the Kolowrat-Krakowski Dragoons as colonel and commander; Johann Duke von Liechtenstein, as lieutenant-colonel; and Baron Karl Voith, as major.

On February 22, a detachment of 4 officers, 200 men and 300 men infantry was posted at Zittau and Rumburg (present-day Rumburk/CZ). According to the ordre de bataille, the regiment along with the Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld Dragoons was assigned to the Corps de Reserve of G.d.C. Arenberg since April. The regiment had 915 men and 1,037 horses but 482 men and 604 horses formed various detachments. At the end of April, all detachments rejoined the regiment who marched to Skalic (present day Skalice/CZ). On June 7, the six new squadrons of “light dragoons” (known as Jung-Löwenstein Dragoons), who had now completed recruitment in Vienna, rejoined Saint-Ignon's Corps at Prerau (present-day Přerov/CZ).

Note that, exceptionally, Alt-Löwenstein and Jung-Löwenstein Dragoons were initially (from February 1758 to March 22 March 1759) part of the same regiment, even though each unit had its own colonel. They served together during the entire campaign of 1758, forming the largest cavalry regiment (some 3,000 men) of the Austrian Army. Nevertheless, we documented the detailed service of Jung-Löwenstein Dragoons in the article related to that regiment.

Meanwhile, the present regiment, now known as “Alt-Löwenstein Dragoons” to distinguish it from the new unit, served in the first line of the Austrian Main Army under the command of Daun near Jaromirs.

On May 23, during the Siege of Olmütz, the regiment, as part of Daun’s Army, set off from the camp of Leutomischl (present-day Litomyšl) to come to the relief of the fortress, encamping at Gewitsch (present-day Jevíčko, 48 km to west of Olmütz).

On June 17, the entire regiment, including its chevau-légers, was part of Saint-Ignon’s Corps, which attacked the Prussian positions at Holitz (present-day Holice u Olomouce) and Groß Wisternitz (present-day Velká Bystřice). In this combat the Austrians captured 238 prisoners, including 8 officers.

In August, Daun followed up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the Prussian invasion of Moravia.

According to an edict dated August 16, all dragoon regiments should wear blue coats with red cuffs and lapels. Nevertheless, the regiment kept its green uniforms (only a few new recruits received blue coats from Austrian magazines).

The regiment then marched to Saxony where it once more fought with distinction at Stolpen. It was then allocated to Loudon's Corps and went towards Hochkirch. On October 11 near Soritz, Loudon attacked a Prussian baggage convoy lead by Field-Marshal Keith.

On October 14, the regiment fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in Loudon's Corps, to the southwest of Hochkirch. It was deployed with 1,687 hussars of different regiments, Haller Infantry and 4,237 “Grenzer” and marched at night to the hills of Steindörfel. When Forcade Infantry tried to come to the rescue of the struggling grenadiers deployed on the right wing of the Prussian positions, the regiment, led by FML Loudon, attacked them in rear and overwhelmed them. The Grenadier Battalion Benckendorff was nearly annihilated. At the end of the battle, the regiment supported G.d.C. O'Donell's Cavalry, then led by GFWM Count Caramelli, threatened by Zieten's Prussian cavalry near Waditz. Unfortunately, Colonel Count Thiennes, the courageous commander of the regiment, remained on the field. The regiment also lost 2 officers and 9 troopers wounded; and 12 troopers and 19 horses missing.

Loudon's Corps (now led by GFWM Caramelli) followed the retreating Prussians towards Reichenbach and Löwenberg (present-day Lwowek Slaski/PL). On November 2, Loudon, who had rejoined his corps on October 29, surprised Löwenberg with the regiment and some hussars. The inhabitants opened the gate, 200 Prussians were killed or taken prisoners of war. In the evening, Loudon caught up with the Prussian rearguard near Goldberg (present-day Zlotoryja/PL). In the engagement, 2 officers and 120 troopers of Normann Dragoons were taken prisoners, 400 horses, and some train wagons and 7 pontoons captured. On November 6, Loudon was at Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora/PL) where Carl Eugene Chevalier de la Marlière Thoricourt was presented to the regiment as its new colonel and commander. On November 13, the army took up its winter-quarters and the regiment went to Jung Bunzlau (present-day Mladá Boleslav/CZ) and from there with Haller Infantry by way of Nimburg (present-day Nimburk/CZ), Kolin, and Tabor (present-day Tábor/CZ) to Sobieslau (present-day Soběslav/CZ) and took up its quarters in villages around Kardasch-Regetschitz (present-day Kardašova Řečice/CZ).

At the end of the year, the strength of all dragoon regiments was increased to 1,000 men and 1,000 horses organized in 6 squadrons. In addition, one “Depot-Eskadron” was built during war time. The depot squadron of the regiment was stationed at Mons in the Austrian Netherlands.


On January 6 1759, FML Duke Löwenstein asked the Empress for the authorisation to increase the “Jung-Löwenstein” to 10 squadrons. The authorisation was granted on January 14 but it came with the order to separate the “Jung-Löwenstein” from the “Alt-Löwenstein”. Therefore, from March 22, the “Jung-Löwenstein” formed an independent chevauxlegers regiment. Furthermore, GFWM Josef Count Saint-Ignon was appointed as proprietor of the former “Alt-Löwenstein” who were renamed “Saint-Ignon Dragoons”. On February 28, 230 new recruits arrived from Mons and the “Saint-Ignon Dragoons” reached their assigned effective of 1,000 men and horses.

On May 1, FM Daun concentrated the army around Schurz (present-day Žírec/CZ) and Nachod where it remained until the end of June for training. Since May, the regiment was assigned to FZM Harsch's Corps deployed in cordon between Neustadt (present-day Nové město nad Metují`CZ) and Nachod.

On July 6, the army marched to Marklissa (present-day Lesna/PL), the regiment with Althann Dragoons and Birkenfeld Cuirassiers were posted near Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ) as part of GFWM Josef Saint-Ignon's Brigade. On July 12, a detachment of the regiment took part in an attack on Fouqué’s outposts near Liebau (present-day Libawa/PL) where lieutenants Pfortzheim and Prant distinguished themselves.

Later in July, Harsch's Corps effected a junction with G.d.C de Ville's Corps in Silesia. On July 22, it marched by Gottesberg (present-day Boguszow/PL) to Freiburg (present-day Swiebodzice/PL) where the regiment took part in the Combat of Freiburg. Led by its new proprietor, Count Saint-Ignon, it attacked the Prussians in Zirlau (present-day Czierne/PL) but was received with heavy fire, losing many dragoons. Nevertheless, the regiment drove the Prussians back. Some Prussians asked for mercy but later recovered their weapons and shot at the Austrians. The very angry dragoons returned and killed many Prussians. The Prussian Major von Fraencklin received four injuries and was with 4 officers and 197 men taken prisoners. In this engagement, the regiment lost 1 officer and 8 troopers killed, 16 troopers wounded, the Colonel Chevalier de Thoricourt lost his horse. After the combat, the corps encamped between Fürstenstein (present-day Ksiaz/PL) and Liebichau (present-day Lubiechow/PL).

On August 10, de Ville with 12 infantry battalions and 5 cavalry regiments (including the present regiment) marched to Marklissa. On August 16, he made as junction with the main army. On September 5, he set off from Marklissa for Lauban (present-day Luban/PL) His troops remained there until September 8 and then returned to Görlitz. On September 23, the regiment marched to Bautzen to rescue the big magazine there.

On November 20, 4 squadrons of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where they were attached to Brentano's Corps initially posted at Röhrsdorf, 5 km north of Maxen, where they demonstrated once more their bravery, capturing two Prussian standards. However, they suffered heavy casualties. Quartermaster Dieudonné de Hamphtin and the troopers Neyssmann and Hetschin distinguished themselves and were promoted: the first to sub-lieutenant, the two others to corporals.

The main army then took up its winter-quarters around Dresden. The regiment and Prinz Savoyen Dragoons, which were both attached to G.d.C. Hadik's Corps, took up their quarters at Löwenstein, Borna and Markersbach in Saxony.


On January 3, 1760, Carl Eugen Chevalier de Thoricourt was promoted to general (GFWM) and Carl Alexander Baron von Bietagh from Pálffy Cuirassiers was promoted to colonel and commander of the regiment. In accordance with an order dated February 6, the regiment was transformed into a chevauxlegers regiment but with a strength of 1,500 men and horses.

For the campaign of 1760, the Saint-Ignon Dragoons continued to serve with the main Austrian army.

On June 1, when the army left its winter-quarters, the regiment was allocated to Wied's Corps near Dippoldiswalde. In July the regiment was transferred to the Corps de Reserve near Boxdorf. In August, FM Daun tried to encircle the Prussian army near Liegnitz. Frederick II left his positions at night, attacked Loudon's Corps in the Battle of Liegnitz and drove it back. Daun with the main army arrived too late. Loudon then laid siege to Schweidnitz without success. The regiment was part of the Corps de Reserve posted near Mürben (?).

On November 1, after several manoeuvres, the regiment was sent to Vogelsang near Dommitzsch on the Elbe River. On November 3, Frederick II marched towards Torgau. On his way he was informed of the position of the regiment by an Austrian deserter and sent Zieten Hussars, Werner Hussars and Kleist Hussars with some grenadiers and line infantry to encircle the regiment. General Saint-Ignon immediately attacked the Prussians but they enjoyed a too strong superiority and, after a heroic resistance, most of the regiment was taken prisoners, only a few troopers managed to escape. These troopers joined the horse grenadiers and fought in the following Battle of Torgau. The proprietor, General Saint-Ignon along with Colonel Bietagh, Major Comte Trazegnies and all officers were brought to Prussian prisons. However, within a few days, most troopers managed to escape and to return to the army. They received new horses and rejoined the regiment. As soon as November 24, some officers returned from prison. On December 22, Colonel-Lieutenant Alexander Baron de Fin from Kolowrat-Krakowski Dragoons was appointed colonel “ad interim” to replace Baron Bietagh during his captivity. The regiment was then sent to Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice/CZ) to be reorganized.

During the winter of 1760-61, most of the soldiers paid their own ransoms and the regiment was gradually re-assembled at Laun in Bohemia. Colonel Bietagh was finally exchanged against the Prussian Colonel Count Schwerin.


On January 1 1761, Colonel Bietagh took command of the regiment again. On January 14, the Hofkriegsrat ordered the reduction of the regiment to 1,000 men in 13 companies and the incorporation of German recruits. In March, the proprietor of the regiment, Count Saint-Ignon, returned from the Prussian prisons. However, he had to return to his homeland in Lorraine to treat his injuries. The regiment was first posted near Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ).

At the beginning of May, the regiment was transferred to Zittau where it was attached to FML Beck's Corps. In June, the regiment was transferred to Loudon's Corps in FML Drašković's Division. On June 19, Colonel Knesevich from Karlstädter Grenz-Hussars was ordered to attack the Prussian Bülow's detachment (600 men) posted near Hartmannsdorf in Silesia with 200 of his hussars, 200 men from Nádasdy Hussars and 400 men from Saint-Ignon Dragoons (led by Lieutenant-Colonel de Fin). On June 20 at 4:00 a.m., Knesevich launched a surprise attack and captured 2 officers, 188 men and 148 horses, only few Prussians managed to escape.

Loudon's Army, now increased to 70,000 men, marched to effect a junction with a Russian army. The regiment was attached to FML Baron Lusinszky's cavalry corps. The regiment followed all the manoeuvres of Loudon's Army. On September 10, the Russians started to retire towards Liegnitz and to cross the Oder River. On September 12, Count Saint-Ignon finally rejoined his regiment. Until October, the regiment was not involved in any action. At the beginning of September, it went to Gablau (present-day Jablow/PL), Wittgendorf (present-day Witkow/PL) and Schwarzwalde (present-day Czarny Bor/PL). On October 1, 1761, the Saint-Ignon Dragoons took part in the Storming of Schweidnitz. It then returned to its quarters for the winter.


At the beginning of 1762, the regiment was posted at Janowitz (present-day Janowice/PL) and Schildau (present-day Wojanow/PL).

On May 15, the main army marched from its camps to the region around Zobten (present-day Sobotka/PL). The regiment was in the Corps de Reserve under the command of FML Brentano. It then counted 1,097 men and 1,043 horses. Colonel Bietagh – still sick – was sent to recovery at Karlsbad (present-day Karlovy Vary/CZ) and Lieutenant-Colonel Baron de Fin assumed command of the regiment “ad interim”. On June 6, Zieten Hussars attacked one of Brentano's outposts near Lauterbach (present-day Gomorow/PL) and Pantenau (present-day Patnow/PL) defended by one squadron of the regiment, Hessen-Darmstadt Dragoons and Kálnoky Hussars. The Prussians were driven back. The same day (June 6), François Jaquemin with 20 dragoons of the regiment went as volunteers to take part in the defence of Schweidnitz.

On July 6, the regiment took part in the Combat of Adelsbach (present-day Struga/PL). It was deployed behind the hills of Ober-Adelsbach with several other Austrian cavalry regiments. At the end of the engagement, it was involved in the pursuit of the fleeing Prussians. In this engagement, the regiment lost one officer and 5 troopers taken prisoners; and 3 men and 4 horses wounded. The Prussians lost 7 officers killed and 723 men wounded or taken prisoners. On July 21, the regiment took part in the Battle of Burkersdorf where Brentano's Corps was deployed behind the positions of GFWM Pfuhl's infantry near Michelsdorf (present-day Michalowice/PL) and suffered from artillery fire. FML Brentano ordered the regiment to retire. On August 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Reichenbach where it nearly annihilated the Prussian Prinz Heinrich Dragoons (unidentified unit) but was than attacked by superior Prussian forces and lost 3 men killed, 17 men wounded; 1 officer and 50 men taken prisoners; and 31 men with their horses missing.

It is interesting to note that in 1762, 37 years after its creation, most of the officers of the regiment still came from Wallonia, the French speaking part of the Austrian Netherlands: all four staff officers were Walloons; from the eight officers of the administration (auditor, quartermaster, surgeon...), four were Walloons and from the 63 officers of the "Prima plana", 59 were Walloons and a few from Flanders.

In October, the regiment was allocated to the Austrian army assembling near Wesel on the Lower Rhine. On November 24, an armistice was concluded for Silesia and Saxony. In December, the regiment set off for the Austrian Netherlands.


In February 1763, the regiment was instructed to return to the Austrian Netherlands. There, the staff and the grenadiers garrisoned Bruxelles while the various squadrons garrisoned Oudenarde, Luxembourg and Ghent.

Overall, during the Seven Years' War, the regiment suffered the following losses:

  • killed in action: 1 staff officer, 2 officers, 205 troopers and 149 horses;
  • taken prisoners: 1 staff officer, 32 officers, 919 troopers and 1,088 horses;
  • died from wounds or sickness: 1 staff officer, 13 officers and 183 troopers;
  • deserted: 183 troopers;
  • invalid or missing: 5 officers, 152 troopers and 60 horses.


From its creation in 1725 to the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the regiment wore its original red uniform with black distinctives. At the beginning of the Seven Years War, it then adopted a green uniform with “Pompadour red” (dark red) distinctives.

A decree of 1757 specified that all dragoon regiments should now wear dark blue coats. The regiment had begun to implement the change. At Kolin, most of its troopers still wore the green uniform but some wore the blue one. After the defeat of Leuthen the standardisation of the uniforms was soon abandoned and the regiment retained its green uniforms throughout the war.

After the Seven Years' War, on May 12 1766, a new regulation specified that the uniform of the regiment would now be white with red distinctive and without lapels.


Uniform in 1762 - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Jocelyne Chevanelle
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Trooper black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button
Grenadier bearskin
Neckstock black
Coat green with 3 yellow buttons under the lapel on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder strap both shoulders: red fastened with a yellow button
right shoulder: red aiguillette
Lapels red with 7 yellow buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red with two rows of 7 yellow buttons and horizontal pockets (each with 3 yellow buttons)
Breeches straw
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth green laced with a wide red braid decorated with white squares (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Housings green laced with a wide red braid decorated with white squares (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll red and white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)

Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Other interpretations

Raspe shows green shoulder straps and does not illustrate any button on the cuffs.

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift shows a laced tricorne.

In 1760, when the unit became a Chevauleger Regiment. The headgear was probably changed to a casquet for the troopers while officers retained the tricorne as illustrated in the Bautzen Manuscript. This casquet was similar to the one worn by Austrian Jägers.


The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade
  • gold aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • red saddlecloth and sabretache both laced in green and fringed in gold


Drummers of the regiments of dragoons usually wore the same uniform as the troopers but heavily laced with yellow and black braids or a uniform with inverted colours. In the case of this regiment, we have not yet found evidence in favour of one or the other of these possibilities.


For their decisive role in the Battle of Kolin, the grateful Empress Maria Theresa sent four standards that she personally embroidered with scenes depicting the Battle of Kolin.

Leib Standard: no information available yet

Regimental Standard (these are the four standards given to the regiment by Maria Theresa after the battle of Kolin in 1757): Swallow tailed pennant with a flagpole striped in black and yellow.

  • Obverse: green silk, golden fringe, with various scenes of the battle of Kolin in a central frame:
    • Leib-Eskadron: the goddess of war holding a rose with the motto “Qui s'y frotte, s'y pique.”
    • Obrist-Eskadron: the breaking of the Prussian squares with the motto “Plus ils coûtent, plus ils sont précieux!”
    • Obristlieutenant-Eskadron: a Prussian battery taken at Neudorf by the regiment with the motto “C'est en vain qu'ils la protègent.”
    • Major-Eskadron: an attack against the Prussian Garde du Corps with the motto “Ah! Que n'en a-t-il davantage!”
  • Reverse: red silk and folden fringe


This article incorporates texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:

  • Treuenfest, A. v.: Geschichte des k. k. Dragoner-Regimentes Feldmarschall Alfred Fürst zu Windisch-Graetz Nr. 14, Vienna 1886
  • Thürheim, Andreas: Die Reiter-Regiment der k. k. österreichischen Armee, vol. 1 - Die Cürassiere und Dragoner, F.B. Geitler, Wien: 1862, pp. 347-393
  • Guillaume, G.: Histoire des Régiments Nationaux Belges pendant la Guerre de Sept Ans Bruxelles: 1854

Other sources

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967

Brauer, H.M.: Uniformbogen and Fahnentafeln, plate 95

Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Teil III Blatt 2

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

Grosser Generalstab – Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

Klimek, St.: Oesterreichische Kavalleriestandarten aus dem 18. Jahrhundert im Heeresmuseum zu Wien, Die Zinnfigur, Clio: 1927

Kornauth, Friedrich: Das Heer Maria Theresias: Faksimile-Ausgabe der Albertina-Handschrift, "Dessins des Uniformes des Troupes I.I. et R.R. de l'année 1762", Wien: 1973

Raspe: Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlichen KAYSERLICH KOENIGLICHEN ARMEEN zur eigentlichen Kentnis der UNIFORM von jedem Regimente. Nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke, und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird., Nürnberg: 1762

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

Skala, H.: Österreichische Militärgeschichte

Thadden, Franz-Lorenz v.: Die theresianische Kavallerie - II. Teil, Die Zinnfigur, Klio, 1968

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

Zahn, Michael: Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988


Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Treuenfest's work in the present article