Starhemberg Infantry

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

Origin and History

Starhemberg Infantry Grenadier - Copyright: Harald Skala

After the invasion of Swedish troops in Germany in 1630, some new Imperial regiments were raised. On October 21, 1630, Julius Count Hardegg got the decree to raise an infantry regiment of 3,000 men (Deutsche Knechte), but the roots of this regiment could be traced even before that date. Indeed, already on May 15, 1629, Count Hardegg (at that time Ober-Stallmeister of Generalissimus Duke Albrecht von Waldstein) received command of five companies of the former Waldstein Infantry which he later used as the kernel of the new regiment raised in 1630.

In 1630, “Hardegg Infantry” was part of the garrison of Kolberg (present-day Kolobrzeg/PL) during the Swedish siege. Afterwards, it went to Frankfurt/Oder. In 1634, we find the regiment at Glogau (present-day Glogów/PL) under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel de Mers with 10 compoanies along with 3 company of “Terzky Infantry” (or more exactly “Trčka Infantry”).

On November 13, 1636, Franz de Mers was promoted colonel and Inhaber (proprietor) of the regiment.

In 1638, during siege of Breisach, the regiment lost most of its men. Only 7 captains, some NCOs and 45 troopers survived. The regiment then received parts of the former “Mercy Infantry” and “Reinacher Infantry” to replenish its ranks.

From 1660, “De Mers Infantry” garrisoned Gross-Glogau. At the beginning of the Hungarian uprising 7 companies of the regiment were sent to Styria and three remained with de Mers at Gross-Glogau: two at Klausenburg (present-day Kolozsvár/HU) and Székelyhíd.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of 1662, Lucas von Spickh zu Bibergär und Langenau took command of troops in Inner Austria and returned his own regiment to the Emperor, who, on February 8, 1662, appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Alphons Count Portia as its new Inhaber. On February 23, 1662, Major-General Spickh received command of 7 companies of “De Mers Infantry”, garrisoning in Styria, with the order to built a new regiment of 2,000 men with these 7 companies and 470 new recruits. This new regiment (“Spickh Infantry”) is the object of the present article. Soon afterwards, De Mers replaced these companies to bring back his regiment to full strength and, by the end of 1662, “De Mers Infantry” (the later Infanterie Regiment No. 11) counted 1,200 musketeers and 600 pikemen.

On January 2, 1663, the two companies of “De Mers Infantry” stationed at Klausenburg mutined, deserted and joined the forces of the Duke of Transsylvania.

In 1664, “Spickh Infantry” took 1664 part in the siege of Fünfkirchen (present-day Pécs/HU) and in the Battle of St. Gotthard.

On August 11, 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the Battle of Seneffe. In 1676, it stormed to counterscarp of Philippsburg. In 1678, it took part in an engagement near Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment took part in the defence of Vienna and in the siege of Ofen; in 1685, in the Battle of Gran and in the expedition in Upper-Hungary; in 1686, in the siege of Ofen; on August 12, 1687, in the second Battle of Mohács (aka Battle of Nagy-Harsány); in August 1696, in the Battle of Ulaş; on September 11 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1700, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment was stationed in Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK) when it received orders to march towards Tyrol where an Imperial army was assembling. In 1701, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Chiari and in the siege and capture of Canneto in the Duchy of Mantua. In 1702, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara. On January 10, 1703, the regiment became the property of Maximilian Adam Franz Count von Starhemberg till his death on November 22, 1741. In 1704, the regiment served in Piedmont where it took part in the defence of Verrua. In 1706, it was at the siege of Turin.

On June 20, 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20), the regiment fought in the Battle of Francavilla in Sicily.

In 1738, the regiment took part in a campaign against the Turks, distinguishing itself in the engagements of Kornia and Mehadia.

In 1741 and 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment campaigned in Bohemia and Silesia. On May 17, 1742, it fought in the Battle of Chotusitz and later took part in the siege of Prague. In 1746 and 1747, the regiment served in Italy and took part in the battles of Guastalla, Piacenza and in the siege of Genoa.

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:

  • from December 13, 1741 until his death on February 22, 1771: Emanuel Michael Count Starhemberg (also spelled Stahremberg)

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

  • from June 26, 1752: Ludwig Ferdinand von Wangenheim (from Leopold Daun Infantry)
  • from September 17, 1756: Silvester Ferdinand Alleman (mortally wounded in the Battle of Kolin on June 18, 1757)
  • from July 12, 1757: Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg
  • from October 17, 1760: Colonel Hubert Baron Freyenfels (took command to replace Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg who had been taken prisoner, he died on August 11, 1763 in Pavia)

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 24".

Service during the War

1756

In 1756, the regiment garrisoned Mantua. As mentioned before, at the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War, the regiment was reorganised in two field battalions, one garrison battalion and two grenadier companies.

In September, the first field battalion and the grenadiers set off for Bohemia. In November, they reached Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ) and took up their winter quarter around Kosteletz (present-day Kostelec nad Černými lesy/CZ) and Brandeis (present-day Brandýs nad Orlicí/CZ).

1757

On April 21, 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the first battalion and the grenadiers, as part of Königsegg’s Corps, took part in the Combat of Reichenberg.

On May 6, the first battalion and the grenadiers took part in the Battle of Prague where they were deployed in the Reserve in Count Macquire's Brigade. They were not directly involved in combat and managed to retire to Königsaal (present-day Zbraslav/CZ) after the defeat.

On June 18, the first battalion and the grenadiers were at the Battle of Kolin where they formed part of Reichlin's Brigade in the corps of Count Colloredo held in reserve behind the centre. Around noon, FM Daun sent the battalions from Arberg Infantry, Platz Infantry, Los Rios Infantry, Salm and Starhemberg Infantry with 3 complete infantry regiments and 2 cuirassier regiments led by FML Count Wied towards Křečhoř. In this battle, Starhemberg Infantry lost 49 men killed; 21 officers and 242 men wounded and 212 taken prisoner. Colonel Alleman was mortally wounded and died a few days later.

After the battle, the regiment recovered at Prague and received some new recruits. By November, the field battalion had 512 fusiliers and the grenadiers 122 men. They were stationed along the Bohemian border.

1758

In February 1758, the first battalion and the grenadiers were deployed in Loudon’s Corps.

In May, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, Loudon and Jahnus von Eberstädt went to Moravia and harassed the Prussians besieging Olmütz.

From June 28 to 30, between Gundersdorf and Domstadtl, the battalion and the grenadiers took part in the capture of a Prussian convoy and in the Combat of Domstadl.

By August 2, according to the order of battle, the first battalion served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz. Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia.

On October 14, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in the second line of the right column of Daun's main army, under the command of the under Marquis d'Aynse. This column was initially posted directly south of Hochkirch. Daun’s Army surprised the Prussians and entered into Hochkirch. After a heavy fight, FM Keith at the head of some Prussian regiments drove the attackers out of the village. Soon afterwards, battalions from Clerici, Starhemberg, Batthyányi, Alt-Colloredo, d'Arberg, and Kolowrat stormed Hochkirch in a very bloody fight. In this battle, the fusiliers of Starhemberg Infantry lost 27 men killed; 71 wounded; and 4 taken prisoners. The grenadiers lost 12 men killed, 17 wounded, and 2 officers and 10 men taken prisoners.

Between November 7 and 16, the first battalion took part in the unsuccessful siege of Dresden as part of the corps of Count O’Donell. It then took up its winter-quarters near Aussig (present-day Ústí nad Labem/CZ) and later at Příbram.

1759

On January 21, 1759, the second battalion left Mantua. At the end of February, it reached Bohemia.

The two reunited field battalions were attached to FML Angern’s Division. On April 15, they took part in a combat near Peterswald (present-day Petrovice near Chabařovice/CZ).

In July, the two field battalion were with Daun’s main army at Marklissa (present-day Leśna/PL), the grenadiers in Siskovics’s Corps at Gebhardsdorf.(present-day Giebultów/PL). FM Daun went through Lauban to Görlitz.

By mid August, the regiment was part of Aynse's Corps. On September 2, one battalion took part in the Combat of Sorau.

On September 13, the grenadiers belonging to Siskowic’s Corps were at Bautzen and then marched with Daun’s main army to Dresden. On September 15, FM Daun sent FML Vogelsang with 5 infantry and 5 cavalry regiments to support FML Loudon. Both field battalions of the regiment were in this corps. After the retreat of the Russians Loudon went through Krakau to Silesia. The regiment took up its winter-quarters at Troppau (present-day Opava/CZ).

On November 20, marched Daun’s Army marched in 4 columns to Maxen. The grenadiers stormed Reinhardsgrimma and Maxen. On November 21, General Fink surrendered with 12,000 Prussians.

At the end of December, the two field battalions left Troppau and marched to Jitschin (present-day Jičín/CZ).

1760

In mid-January 1760, the regiment was sent to Reichenberg. At the end of February, it went to Zittau where it was deployed in FML Beck’s Division.

On May 13, the regiment (both field battalions and the grenadiers), which had been allocated to FZM Loudon’s Corps, left Zittau. On May 23, they arrived at Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ).

In the following march to Silesia the field battalions were deployed in the second line under FML Unruhe and Major-General Simbschen while the grenadiers were converged into the Caldwell Grenadier Battalion.

The first battalion and the grenadiers remained near Glatz (present-day Klodsko/PL), while the main part of Loudon’s Corps (including the second battalion of the regiment) marched to Landeshut (present-day Kamenia Góra/PL).

On June 23, Loudon defeated the corps of General of Infantry Fouqué in the Battle of Landeshut capturing 3 generals, 223 staff officers and 8,318 men as prisoners of war. In this battle, the second battalion of the regiment was deployed in FML Elrichshausen’s column which supported two converged grenadier battalions. In this battle, the battalion lost 13 men killed, 2 officers and 23 men wounded; and 9 men missing.

Loudon returned to Glatz and proceed with the siege of this fortress. The entire regiment took part in this siege. On July 26, Glatz surrendered and Colonel Johann d´O and 2,400 men were taken prisoners of war. In this siege, Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg and Lieutenant-Colonel Karl von Gronauer distinguished themselves; both were praised in the relation of FML Count Drašković.

On August 15, after several manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres, the Austrian and Prussian armies finally clashed in the Battle of Liegnitz. In the morning fog FZM Loudon realized too late that the main Prussian army was in front of his – inferior- corps. Around 6:00 p.m., unsupported by FM Daun and Lacy, Loudon retired after heavy fighting. In this battle the regiment suffered heavy losses: 100 men killed, 128 wounded and 121 missing. Among the wounded, was Lieutenant-Colonel Karl von Gronauer; and among the missing, Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg and Second Lieutenant-Colonel Ottokar Count Starhemberg. (both taken prisoners of war.

After Liegnitz, the regiment could field only one battalion and two- very weak – grenadier companies.

On October 17, because of the captivity of Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg, Hubert Baron Freyenfels from Baden-Durlach Infantry, assumed the function of regiment commander.

From October 21 to 27, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Cosel (present-day Kozle/PL). Afterwards, FZM Loudon marched with his troops through Landeshut to Reichenstein (present-day Zloty Stok/PL) where he arrived on November 20. His corps spent the winter along the border.

1761

In April 1761, FZM Loudon concentrated his troops around Braunau (present-day Broumov/CZ) and marched to Waldenburg (present-day Walbrzych/PL) where he arrived on April 23. Both field battalions and the grenadiers formed part of Elrichshausen’s Division.

In August, after some manoeuvres, Loudon finally effected a junction with Field-Marshal Buturlin’s Russians. Loudon wanted to attack the Prussians, but Buturlin hesitated and, on September 9, retired to the Oder River. Laudon returned to the camp of Kunzendorf and the Prussians to Breslau. Loudon took advantage of the situation and, on October 1, stormed the Fortress of Schweidnitz (present-day Swidnica/PL), taking the garrison completely by surprise. Only the grenadiers of the regiment took part in this action as part of de Vins’ troops which stormed the Bögen-Fort. After the surrender of Schweidnitz, the whole regiment garrisoned the place.

1762

In the first half of 1762, the regiment worked at the improvement of the Fortress of Schweidnitz and received 330 recruits from Bohemia and 127 from Italy.

On June 9, most of the regiment set off from Schweidnitz to join Daun’s main army near Dittmansdorf (present-day Dziecmorowice/PL), leaving in Schweidnitz only one combined fusilier company of 180 men and one grenadier company of 82 under the command of Colonel Baron Freyenfels who assumed the function of commander of an infantry brigade.

In July, the regiment was allocated to the corps of G.d.C. Hadik and occupied the Pass of Michalesdorf (present-day Miszkowice/PL). By July 26, the regiment was in the camp of Hauptmannsdorf (present-day Hejtmánkovice/CZ).

On October 9, after the surrender of Schweidnitz, its garrison (including a detachment of the regiment) became prisoners of war. On October 28, Colonel Baron Freyenfels and Captain Mohr were, for their conduct during the siege of Schweidnitz, in the 8th promotion of the Maria-Theresia-Order.

At the end of November, the regiment took up its winter-quarters around Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ).

By the end of the year, the two field battalions and the two grenadier companies counted a total of 1,191 men, excluding 101 wounded men.

For the whole year, the garrison battalion was stationed in Pavia in Italy.

1763

After the signature of the Treaty of Hubertusburg (February 15, 1763), the regiment marched to Bechin (present-day Bechyně/CZ) and from there in April through Salzburg to Tyrol and arrived at end of May in Pavia, its garrison place.

In April, the officers taken prisoners of War at Liegnitz in 1760, returned. Colonel Guido Count Starhemberg was promoted to general. However, Colonel Freyenfels, who had assumed the command of the regiment since Liegnitz and who had been wounded, taken prisoner after the capitulation of Schweidnitz in 1762 and freed in 1763, died from his wounds in Pavia on August 11, 1763.

Peter Baron Creutz, from the Grün Loudon Grenadiers was appointed as the new commander of the regiment. In 1764, Ottokar Count Starhemberg (who was second colonel in Starhemberg Infantry) was appointed commander of the Fortress of Raab (present-day Györ/HU).

Uniform

For the moment we have very few information on the uniform in 1756, at the outbreak of the war. Most of our references describe the uniform in 1762. However, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined blue (therefore blue turnbacks), the distinctive colour was blue and the waistcoat and breeches were blue.

Privates

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
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a small yellow button on the left side; white within blue cockade and blue pompoms in the lateral cornes
Grenadier bearskin with a blue bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neck stock 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 white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels blue, each with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs blue, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white, each attached with a blue fastener and 2 yellow buttons (as per Donath)
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.

NCOs

no information found yet

Sergeants carried a halberd and a wooden stick.

Corporals carried a halberd.

Officers

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

Musicians

Until 1760, despite the new regulation of 1755, the musicians probably wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests and white turnbacks. From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with blue swallow nests on the shoulders.

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

Colours

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

The colonel colour was carried by the first battalion.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne):

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

Regimental flags (Regimentsfahne):

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

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

References

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

  • Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 15-16
  • Prochazka, W.: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regimentes FML Wilhelm Freiherr von Reinländer Nr. 24, Vienna 1886.
  • Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht file I., Vienna 1898

Other sources

Dihm, Dr. Hermann: Oesterreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Klio

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

Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759

Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760

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

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

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

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

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 partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgments

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Prochazka’s work and User:Zahn for additional information about this regiment