Bagni Infantry

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

Origin and History

On 7 December 1672, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), Colonel Johann Carl, Count von Serényi received a patent from the Emperor, allowing him to raise an infantry regiment counting 2,040 men. The recruits were enlisted in Silesia. By the beginning of 1673, the not yet complete regiment was sent to the Jablunka Pass. By July, it counted only 1,352 men. On 22 April, it was reviewed at Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ) in presence of Emperor Leopold I, it then counted 1,518 men. On 15 September, the regiment marched to Franconia, where 600 men garrisoned Ochsenfurt. In October the complete regiment marched to Würzburg, and one company to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. On 8 November, the regiment embarked at Gemünden on vessels and was transported on the Main and Rhine rivers to its winter-quarters at Siegburg and Blankenburg.

In 1674, the regiment served on the Rhine. By December, it was in Belfort (in present-day in France) and by 31 December, in Colmar.

On 5 January 1675, the regiment took part in the Battle of Turckheim against Maréchal Turenne superior French army. The fight lasted from morning until nightfall. The French lost two generals, many officers and 1,500 men. The Imperialist troops (Imperial, Brandenburg and Münster led by Major-General Werthmüller) lost around 300 men, most of them belonging to the present regiment. The army took its winter-quarters on right bank of Rhine. The regiment had at that time only 321 men!

In 1676, the regiment served against the French during the siege of Philippsburg. On 12 November, it took up its winter-quarters at Pffulendorf (a city near Lake Bodensee in Germany).

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 12 August 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohács where it was the first regiment to enter into the 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 11 September 1697, it was at the Battle of Zenta.

In 1699 and 1700, the regiment garrisoned Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU), Neuhäusel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK) and Levencz (present-day Levice/SK).

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted four battalions.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the proprietors of the regiment were:

  • from 16 February 1693 till 1721: Major-General Scipio Count von Bagni

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:

  • from 1701: Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Karl Bodewin Count Waldstein (died on 22 August 1702 from wounds received at the Battle of Luzzara)
  • from 1703 to 7 September 1706: Johann Ernst Baron Hoffman von Eidlitz (killed in action at the Battle of Turin)
  • from 1707 until 1720: Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Gottfried Kuhn (aka Kuon, promoted to colonel on 30 April 1711)

Service during the War

1701

In 1701, the regiment, which then counted 12 companies, received 5 additional companies. It now consisted of 16 fusilier companies (each of 150 men) and one grenadier company (100 men) organized in 4 battalions. In May, the regiment left for Italy, where an Imperial army was assembling at Rovereto. From there, the army proceeded by way of Alá and Val Fredda and reached Breonio near Verona on 28 May.

On 14 June, Major-General Bagni and his regiment, along with Guido Starhemberg Infantry and 10 guns, were sent to Villabuona to reconnoitre the area. On 27 June, the regiment, along with Kriechbaum Infantry, passed the bridge over the Malopera Canal and reached Castel-Guglielmo on Canal Bianco.

On 9 July 1701, the grenadier of present regiment with those of Kriechbaum Infantry, supported by two cuirassier regiments, stormed the French entrenchments of Castagnaro and occupied the village. The same day, the regiment distinguished itself in the Combat of Carpi.

On 1 August, the Imperial army encamped Lonato. By 20 August, the whole army was encamped between Pontoglio and Orago. On 1 September, the regiment was present at the Battle of Chiari, where two battalions were deployed in the first line between Chiari and the Trenzano stream; and two battalions in the second line near Trenzano. On 7 December, the regiment took up its winter-quarter at Marcaria and Redondesco.

1702

In January 1702, Prince Eugène de Savoie decided to surprise the French garrison of Cremona. On 30 January, he concentrated a force of 2,000 men (including 200 fusiliers and 100 grenadiers of the present regiment) under Count Guido Starhemberg at Ostiano. As night fell, this force set off from Ostiano and, early in the morning of 1 February, reached the place. During the ensuing storming of Cremona, Imperial troops were initially successful, the grenadiers of the regiment even capturing the Duc de Villeroy (the duke offered Captain MacDonell 10,000 pistols and a cavalry regiment if he would let him escape, but MacDonell refused. Villeroy was escorted to Prince Eugène and later on to Ostiano. MacDonell himself was taken prisoners during combat by the Irish Lieutenant-Colonel Wacop). The French finally organised an effective defence and forced Starhemberg's troops to retire through the the Santa-Margherita Gate.

Even though the theoretical strength of the regiment was supposed to be 2,500 men, by 30 April it counted only 1,834 men including 11 men commandeered in various detachments and 108 sick.

On 15 August, the regiment fought in the Battle of Luzzara, where two battalions marched behind the grenadiers at the head of second column. They were followed by the Serényi Dragoons and the rest of infantry and cavalry and crossed the Po-dyke leading to Luzzara. In this battle, the regiment lost 7 officers dead (including Captain MacDonell). Lieutenant-Colonel Count Waldstein was mortally wounded and died shortly afterwards (on 22 August). The losses of fusiliers and grenadiers are not known.

By the end of December, the regiment counted 1,398 men, but only 993 fit for duty. It took up its winter-quarters on the Secchia River.

1703

In 1703, one battalion of present regiment was sent to the army of Field Marshal Heister in Hungary. On 31 October, it took part in the combat of Levenzc (present-day Levice/SK) in the corps of Major-General Forgách.

The rest of the regiment remained in Italy in the corps of FZM Starhemberg, but saw no action. It took up its winter-quarters in Revere, Ostiglia, Mirandola and Quistello. The regiment then counted 1,428 men.

1704

In 1704, the battalion serving in Hungary was in Pressburg. On 13 June, it took part in the Battle of Raab (aka battle of Gyarmath). In November, this battalion (now only 426 men) returned to Italy.

The rest of the regiment remained in Northern Italy. By 10 July, it was part of the corps of G.d.C. Count Leiningen, which was posted at Alà in South Tyrol. During a review the regiment had 854 men. It took up its winter-quarters on the Idro Lake, south of Gavardo.

1705

In 1705, the regiment, still serving in Italy, was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Ernst Hoffmann von Eidlitz. It counted only 2 battalions for a total of 731 men and was allocated to the brigade of Major-General Prince von Württemberg.

On 16 August, the regiment took part in the Battle of Cassano, where it was deployed in the first line. During this ferocious battle, it lost 71 men killed and 62 wounded.

At the end of the year, the regiment received 600 recruits from Bavaria. It then counted 1,983 men. During the following winter, it was posted at Montechiaro.

1706

At the beginning of 1706, FZM Count Reventlow temporarily commanded the Imperialist forces in Italy until the return of Prince Eugéne. On 24 April, while he was retreating from Brescia, the French attacked his rearguard near Saló. One battalion of the present regiment distinguished itself there and drove back the French who were trying to outflank Reventlow's troops. By the end of April, the regiment was posted at the Monte Baldo.

By the beginning of July, one battalion garrisoned Badia; and the other, Castel Guglielmo on Canal Bianco.

During this campaign the regiment counted 1,574 men.

At the beginning of August, Colonel Hoffmann with one battalion took part in the siege of Carpi. He then marched towards Turin, where he arrived on 4 September. The regiment served with the Palatine and Sachsen-Gothaer troops and was at the siege of Massi.

On 7 September, one battalion of the regiment was at the Battle of Turin, where in the first line of the right wing, in the brigade of FML Baron Isselbach. Colonel Hoffmann was killed during the battle.

On 22 September, the two other battalions joined the first one at the camp of Travezzo. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Busca in Piedmont.

1707

In 1707, the regiment (two battalions) was attached to the first corps of the army of Prince Eugéne. On 2 August, the regiment marched with Herberstein Infantry and Württemberg-Stuttgart Infantry from Busca towards Provence. On 10 August, they arrived at Nice. On 16 August, they reached Cannes, by way of Saint-Laurent and Biot, in a very hot weather. On August 19, the exhausted troops arrived at Fréjus. The infantry proceeded to La Valette. The army encamped at half an hour march from Toulon.

On 15 August, the French made a sortie at Toulon and forced the Allies to retire. Lack on food, losses of equipment and disease forced Prince Eugène to abandon his design against Toulon and to retreat towards Italy. His army marched by way of Cuers, Pignans, Argens, Fréjus, Cannes, Biol, Rivalta, Villiana and, on 25 September, crossed the Mont Cenis Pass, already covered with snow. One battalion (443 men) took part in the siege of Susa which surrender on 3 October.

The regiment took up its winter-quarters at Como.

1708

On 10 June 1708, the regiment (967 men incl. officers) marched by way of Novalese and Mont Cenis to Piedmont. One battalion remained at Susa. On 29 July, the rest of the regiment arrived at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. On 14 August, it reached Césanne (present-day Cesana Torinese). In September and October, nothing happened. At the end of the campaign the regiment was posted near Turin.

On 19 November, the regiment, along with Zum Jungen Infantry, Harrach Infantry and one battalion of Starhemberg Infantry, were embarked on the Po River and transported to Ferrara. After the arrival of a Prussian contingent, the regiment marched from Ferrara to Novara.

1709

During the winter of 1708/1709, the regiment received some new recruits and was brought back to a strength of 2,111 men: 600 men garrisoned Novara, and, on 7 July, 1,500 joined the field army of FM Count Daun, which was concentrating at Susa . This army then marched by way of Novalese, and Mont Cenis to Ossois. On 4 August, the regiment took part in a combat near Conflans. Due to bad weather, the army finally retired to Northern Italy. The regiment, along with Zum Jungen Infantry, took up its winter-quarters at Novara and Arona.

1710

By mid-July 1710, the regiment, which had lost many men to illness, counted only 1,280 men fit for duty. They were organised in two battalions.

On 7 July, these two battalions marched towards Provence. On 18 July, the Imperialist army encamped at Sambuco. On 20 July at midnight, an infantry corps led by FML Count Harrach with some cavalry marched from Sambuco by Salse Morène to Perouse (unidentified location) and from there to Loos (unidentified location). Lieutenant-Colonel Kuhn from the present regiment was sent with 200 grenadiers, 400 fusiliers and some horses to Chaussières (unidentified location) to destroy the entrenchments on the bridge. The French retired without opposing resistance and Kuhn returned to Salse Morène. On 31 July, Harrach’s Corps rejoined the main army. On 28 August, the army encamped on the slopes of Mont Genèvre. After the first snowfall, it took up its winter-quarters. The regiment garrisoned Novara once more.

1711

In 1711, the regiment had to contribute 140 men for the creation of the new Toldo Infantry and a further 175 of its recruits to the Imperial regiments campaigning in Catalonia.

At the beginning of the campaign it was distributed as follows: 250 men in Milan, 380 in Novara and Arona and 38 in Crula Caenza (unidentified location). The rest of the regiment formed two battalions and joined the main army in Piedmont. On 30 April, Lieutenant-Colonel Kuhn was promoted to colonel and regiment commander. Prince Eugène asked the war council to send the regiment to Catalonia, but in fact one battalion was allocated to the corps of FML Zum Jungen in Spanish Tuscany. On 22 November, the regiment (now 3 battalions with 1,536 men) finally embarked at Vado aboard Admiral Jennings’ British ships and sailed for Barcelona, where it arrived on 8 December.

A detachment of the regiment took part in FML Battée’s successful attempt for the relief of Cardona. On 22 December, the French raised the siege. The Imperial army took up its winter-quarters at Mataro, Calella, Blanes, Villa nova de Cubellas, Piera, Esparaguera, Ygualada and Organa.

1712

On 28 June 1712, 6,000 arrived to reinforce Barcelona. From this contingent, the regiment received 1,000 men, who had been training in Novara since May. The regiment then took part in the action against Gerona. All activities in Catalonia came to halt when a four months long armistice was signed.

1713

In 1713, when the Allies abandoned Catalonia to its fate, Imperial troops returned to Italy aboard British ships, arriving at Genoa on 16 July.

For the next two years, the regiment garrisoned various places in the region of Milan.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1690 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Donath
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne laced white; as field sign, green foliage was attached to the tricorne in summer and a wisp of straw in winter

N.B.: to distinguish soldiers (from corporal down to privates) of each company, a button or rosette at the colour of the company was attached to the tricorne.

Grenadier bearskin edged with a white braid; hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neckstock blue
Coat pearl grey with pewter buttons on the right side and 1 pewter button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs pearl grey, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat pearl grey with brass or pewter buttons
Breeches buff leather (probably pearl grey by 1701)
Stockings white with blue stripes fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters made of canvas and used only when the soldier wore linen breeches; in this case, the stockings were replaced by linen sox; the use of gaiters generalized much later
Leather Equipement
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt a yellow deer or buffalo leather waist-belt worn above the waistcoat
Cartridge Pouch red or black leather pouch containing 24 cartridges, a pewter oil flask, two needles attached to a small chain (to clean the touch-hole of the lock), a tube that held the match for lighting the fuse of grenades, with a wooden peg on a small chain and a roll of fuse. The cartridge box had two cover flaps. The top one was sometimes decorated with a metal badge bearing the cipher or the arms of the Inhaber.

Grenadiers carried two cartridge pouches. The first one, slightly larger than that of fusiliers, was worn on wide cross-belt and contained grenades and a pewter tube that held the match for lighting the fuse of grenades; the smaller second pouch was attached to the waist-belt and contained cartridges for the musket.

Bayonet Scabbard black leather
Scabbard none
Footwear Russia leather shoes


N.B.: Donath also illsutrates a uniform dating from 1716 with the following differences compared to the uniform of 1690:

  • white neck stock
  • blue buttons
  • pearl grey breeches
  • blue stockings

Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Grenadiers were also armed with hand grenades.

Other interpretations

According to Czegka, in 1716 the Hofkriegsrat enquiried to all regiments to know how to accoutre recruits with the proper uniform before sending them to their unit. For the present regiment, the following uniform is described:

  • black unlaced tricorne
  • no mention of the colour of the neckstock
  • pearl grey coat with pearl grey lining, pearl grey cuffs and cloth buttons
  • pearl grey waistcoat
  • pearl grey breeches
  • blue stockings

NCOs

NCOs carried a spontoon (half-pike). They were also armed with a Stossdegen (a long two-edged estoc or rapier) carried in a black leather scabbard attached to the waist-belt.

NCOs of grenadier companies carried a flintlock musket instead of the spontoon.

NCOs also carried a cane whose characteristics indicated their precise rank. This cane had the length of a walking stick and was carried in and out of service. In action, to free hands, the cane was hanged to a button of the coat. Grenadier sergeants and fouriers were distinguished from privates by three silver braids on the bag of their bearskin.

Officers

Uniforms of officers were always of finer cloth than those of the privates.

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

Lieutenants of the grenadier companies were distinguished from privates and NCOs by four golden braids on the bag of their bearskin; captains by five golden braids on their bearskin.

Officers carried a partisan. The partisan was decorated with a tassel: gold for the colonel, gold with silver fringe for the lieutenant-colonel, gold and silken fringe for captains and silken fringe for lieutenants. In some regiments, the captains' tassel was entirely of silk; in this case the lieutenants' partisan had no tassel. The partisans of staff officers had gilt butt caps.

Officers were also armed with a Stossdegen (a long two-edged estoc or rapier) carried in a black leather scabbard attached to the waist-belt.

Officers carried a cane whose characteristics indicated their precise rank. This cane had the length of a walking stick and was carried in and out of service. In action, to free hands, the cane was hanged to a button of the coat.

Officers of grenadier companies carried a flintlock musket instead of the partisan. Captains, lieutenants and sergeants of these companies always had their bayonet affixed to their musket.

In the field, officers carried a pair of pistols.

Musicians

no information found yet

The drum belt was usually brown and worn on the right shoulder.

Colors

no information found yet

References

Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen

  • Series 1, Vol. 1, Vienna 1875, pp. 212-218, 222-227
  • Series 1, Vol. 4, Vienna 1877, p. 655, App. 22a

Czegka, Eduard: Uniformen der kaiserlichen Infanterie unter Prinz Eugen. in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde 49-51, 1933, pp. 459-473

Graefer, p. 108

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Plates 1, 8

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

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file I. p. 291ff, Vienna 1898

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of the regimental history