Anspach Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Anspach Cuirassiers

Origin and History

The regiment was raised by Georg Friedrich Margrave von Anspach-Bayreuth, in accordance with a decree signed on 4 May 1702, and taken in the Imperial service.

Since the creation of the regiment, its successive proprietors were:

  • from 1702 to 1734: Claudius Florimund Count Mercy

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was successively commanded by:

  • from 1702: Claudius Florimund Count Mercy (the proprietor of the regiment)
  • from 1704: Adam Count Gondrecourt
  • from 1708 to 1720: Theodor Franz Count Des Pilliers (aka Despiller)

The regiment was disbanded in 1801, its squadrons being transferred to the Cuirassier Regiments Nassau, Kaiser and Sachsen-Teschen.

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment took part in the campaign on the Upper Rhine. On 14 October, it was supposedly present at the Battle of Friedlingen, but we found no trace of the unit in the order of battle.

In 1703, after the French attack against the Stollhofen Lines, the regiment followed the retreating enemies.

On 2 July 1704, the regiment took part in the Battle of the Schellenberg and then took part in the invasion of Bavaria.

From 1705 to 1707, the regiment was allocated to the Reichsarmee but saw no action.

In 1708, the regiment served with the Army of the Moselle in the Low Countries.

From July to September 1709, the regiment took part in the siege of Tournai. On 11 September, it took part in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In July and August 1710, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Béthune.

In 1711, the regiment temporarily served with the Reichsarmee.

In 1712, the regiment campaigned in the Low Countries but saw no action.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to Germany, where it remained in 1714. It saw no action.


Before 1738, there are almost no surviving contemporary sources describing the details of the uniforms of each Austrian regiment. Even secondary sources are scarce. In this section, we present a tentative reconstruction of the uniform worn by this unit.


Uniform in 1701 – Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1701 as per Donath
Headgear – Copyright Kronoskaf

Western European theatres: black tricorne laced white reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat

Eastern European theatres: round helmet of wrought iron with neck and nose protection
for ordinary service, troopers wore a tricorne decorated with a pompom, and black and yellow plumes

hair had to be of a standard length and tied with a black ribbon

Neck stock white
Coat buff leather lined red with short skirts reaching above the thighs

replaced by a grey-white coat around 1710

Collar none (short red standing collar around 1710)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets
Cuffs red, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white made of linen cloth
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Gloves thick leather gloves with buff coloured cuffs
Cross-belt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn across the left shoulder
Waist-belt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch cartridge pouch containing 24 cartridges
Scabbard sometimes made of metal but more often of leather with an iron tip protector and a brass mouth piece
Footgear riding boots made of Russian leather with a knee pad reaching above the knee

when not mounted, cuirassiers wore shoes with gaiters or stockings

Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red, bordered with a white braid decorated with a blue zigzag pattern
Housings red bordered with white braid decorated with a blue zigzag pattern
Porte manteau red and white

Troopers were armed with a cuirasse of blackened wrought-iron (some regiments used a leather full cuirasse with front and back plates) edged red, a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols.


no information found yet


Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Cuffs and pockets were edged with a wide golden braid.

Officers wore a black and yellow silk sash across the chest or around the waist.


In the Austrian Cuirassier regiments, kettle drummers and trumpeters were dressed according to the regiment owner's tastes. In the case of this regiment, circa 1701, trumpeters wore a red cylindrical hat with a white and red plume; a red coat with blue cuffs and blue swallow nests at the shoulders.; and blue and red hanging sleeves.


According to Dohna, from 1657 to 1705, all Austrian (Imperial) cuirassier regiments carried the same white Leibstandarte (colonel standard). It was fringed in gold and, on both sides, the border was decorated with a golden floral pattern:

  • obverse (right): centre design consisted of an armed black Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Austria on a shield, surmounted by a crown
  • reverse (left): the Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by Kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud and surrounded by rays
Leibfahne from 1657 to 1705 – Copyright: Kronoskaf

N.B.: according to Sapherson (The Imperial Cavalry 1691–1714), the reverse of the Leibstandarte "carried the colonel's arms or the Virgin and Child emblem. These designs were often accompanied by the initials of the colonel, heraldic designs of various types and scrollwork or wreaths."

Despite this supposed standardization, it seems that several cuirassier regiments continued to carry standards departing from this regulation.

From 1657 to 1705, the obverse (right side) of the Ordinärestandarten (regimental standards) of all Austrian (Imperial) dragoon regiments was of an identical pattern and consisted of an armed black Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Austria on a shield, surmounted by a crown. The border of the obverse was decorated with a floral pattern in the metal colour of the regiment.


Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, plate B.5, B.7

Wrede, A. v.: Die Geschichte der K. u. K. Wehrmacht, file III. Part 2, Vienna 1901, pp. 601ff


Harald Skala for the initial version of this article