Bagosy Infantry

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

Origin and History

Did you know that...
Originally, the term “Hayducks” designated irregular troops raised by Hungarian aristocrats, serving against the Turks as garrison in various fortresses. From 1688, it became used more generally for infantry regiments raised in Hungary.

Acknowledgement: Harald Skala for this interesting anecdote

In October 1702, the Hofkriegsrat (Council of War) decided to raise three Hungarian, so-called “Hayducken” regiments and two Croatian Hayducken battalions. These regiments should be raised by the Hungarian Komitats. On 31 October 1702, Colonel Paul Bagosy was appointed commander of one of these regiments. He would be seconded by Lieutenant-Colonel Stephan Ebecky and Major Jeremias Andrássy. Bagosy's regiment was raised in Upper-Hungary (present-day Slovakia) and Transylvania. Its staff was posted at Erlau (present-day Eger/HU). It counted 2,000 men and consisted of 10 companies of 200 men each. More specifically:

  • staff
    • 1 colonel
    • 1 lieutenant-colonel
    • 1 major
    • 1 quartermaster
    • 1 auditor
    • 1 chaplain
    • 1 adjutant
    • 1 Proviantmeister
    • 1 Wagenmeister
    • 1 provost with servants
  • 2 wagon to transport tents
  • 10 coys, each of:
    • 1 captain
    • 1 lieutenant-captain
    • 1 Wachtmeister
    • 1 ensign
    • 1 Fourier
    • 1 clerk
    • 1 surgeon
    • 3 musicians
    • 12 corporals
    • 178 Hajduks
    • 1 provision wagon

In March 1703, Ebecky and Andrássy resigned their functions and were replaced by Franz Count Gyulai and Johann Rothanides. It proved to be difficult to bring the regiment to full strength. By 17 April 1703, only 1,600 men had been enlisted when the regiment marched to Ofen.

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

  • since 1702: Paul von Bagosy
  • from 20 December 1707 to 1729: Franz III Count Gyulai (also spelled Guilay)

Service during the War

Uniform – Source: M. Maendl, Geschite des K. und K. Infanterie_Regiments Nr. 51

In March 1703, the newly formed regiment proceeded from Ofen to Italy where it arrived, at Madonna della Corona, at the end of June. In July, the regiment was in Ostiglia where it remained until the end of September. This period was used to train recruits. In October, the regiment was allocated to the corps on FZM Count Starhemberg and remained stationed between the Secchia and the Po rivers. On 24 December, Starhemberg's Corps moved towards Parma and Castelnuovo.

On 11 January 1704, the regiment took part in the combat at Castelnuovo against French troops of the Maréchal de Vendôme. After this combat, it took up its winter-quarters at Villanova where it remained until May. The regiment then took part in the defence of the Fortress of Ivrea and – at the surrender of the fortress on 29 September – was taken prisoners of war. Prisoners were transferred to France or to French fortresses in Italy. Only 101 men of the regiment escaped capture. They were assigned to the corps of FML Count Bagni near Goglione.

At the beginning of 1705, the regiment did not exist as a distinct unit. In the Summer, FM Prince Eugène de Savoie proposed to combine the remaining troopers of the Hayduck regiments Bagosy, Andrássy and Batthyányi in one regiment and to complete it to 2,000 men with new recruits. The commander of the amalgamated units would again be Colonel Paul Bagosy. On 19 September, the Hofkriegsrat accepted this proposal and appointed Franz Count Gyulai as lieutenant-colonel and H. Hanczok as major. The reorganisation of the regiment took some time and was not completed before the end of 1706.

In 1706, a detachment of the regiment took part, during 118 days, in the defence of Turin. On 1 September, Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Count Gyulai was transferred as colonel to Ebergényi Hussars while Lieutenant-Colonel Ladislaus von Bagosy and Ladislaus von Hanczok were transferred from the old Batthyányi Infantry Regiment to this (new) regiment. On 17 September, one battalion of the (new) regiment was deployed in Prince Eugène's Army during the victorious Battle of Turin. Towards the end of the year, the regiment fought at Alessandria and Modena. At the end of the year, Colonel Paul von Bagosy was sent end of 1706 to Hungary to raise new recruits. However, he deserted to the Hungarian rebels (the Hofkriegsrat would proscribe him in April 1707).

In 1707, Lieutenant-Colonel Ladislaus von Bagosy assumed “ad interim” the charge of commander of the regiment. The same year, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon. On 20 December, Franz Count Gyulai received the decree appointing him as proprietor and commander of the regiment.

In 1708, the regiment assumed garrison duties in Mantua.

In 1709, Lieutenant-colonel Ladislaus von Bagosy and Major Ladislaus von Hanczok resigned their functions and were replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Suhajda and Major Stephan Székely.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1703 – Source: adapted from an illustration by Christoph Weigel
Uniform Details as per
Knötel, Donath and Weigel
Headgear Dark grey felt mirliton with a plume and a blue top

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

Neck stock white or red, made of seersucker or calico and wrapped twice around the neck.
Coat blue Attilas (a fancy braided Hungarian short coat) decorated with red lace and knots
Collar blue edged red
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets no information found
Cuffs yellow pointed cuffs edged yellow without button
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue pointed cuffs edged red without button
Mantle white sleeveless Guba (mantle) reaching down to the calves, fastened at the neck with a brass clasp
Trousers scarlet
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt red cloth waist-belt
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). 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.
Bayonet Scabbard calfskin
Scabbard none
Footwear natural brown leather shoes reaching above ankles and laced-up; the felt of old caps was often used to make insoles


Armaments consisted of a musket, a sabre, a bayonet and a csákány, a type of hatchet on a thick 130 cm long wooden staff with a heavy hatchet-shaped brass head.

On the left side of the red cloth waist-belt hung a bayonet sheath made of calfskin; on the right side a powder horn containing priming powder. The cartridge pouch of the fusiliers was attached to the waist-belt.

N.B.: in many regiments a pair of mittens completed the equipment of soldiers.

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 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.

Officers

Uniforms of officers were always of finer cloth than those of the privates. Their Attila had golden lace and knots.

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

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.

In the field, officers carried a pair of pistols.

Musicians

In the Austrian Army of the time, musicians often wore uniforms in reverse colours with the distinctive colour of the regiment used for the coat.

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

Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): white field bordered with two rows of alternating red, blue and white flames (red and blue flames forming the outer row pointing inwards, white flames forming the inner row pointing outwards); centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with unidentified arms on its chest

Battalion colours (Bataillonsfahne): blue field bordered with two rows of alternating red and blue flames (blue flames forming the outer row pointing inwards, red flames forming the inner row pointing outwards); centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with unidentified arms on its chest

Tentative Reconstruction
Leibfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf
Bataillonsfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

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

  • Maendl, M.: Geschite des K. und K. Infanterie_Regiments Nr. 51, vol. I., Klausenburg 1897
  • Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 220-224
  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 24

Other sources

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
  • Vol. 4, Vienna 1877, pp. 50-51

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

Acknowledgments

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