Corbelli Cuirassiers

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

Origin and History

The initial company was established in Bohemia on 25 January 1682 with supernumeraries (aggregierte) cavalrymen from Caraffa, Dünewald, Harrant, Caprara, Rabatta, Metternich, Pálffy, Taafe and Montecuccoli cuirassiers. In 1684, two companies raised in the Circle of Swabia were added to the unit.

In 1683, the regiment was posted on the “Kleine Schüttinsel” (present-day Malý Žitný Ostrov/SK) and participated in the combat at Pressburg and in the relief of Vienna.

In 1684, the regiment took part in the battles of Visegrad and Waitzen, and in the siege of Ofen.

In 1685, the regiment took part in the siege of Neuhäusel, in the battle of Gran and in the raid on Szolnok

From 1686 to 1698, the regiment campaigned in Hungary and Transylvania (in 1697, it was at the Battle of Zenta).

In 1700 and 1701, the regiment garrisoned in Upper Austria.

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

  • from 1682: Friedrich Ludwig Baron Hallewyl (killed in action at Visegrad in 1684)
  • from 1684: Donatus Count Heissler von Heitersheim
  • from 1693: Johann Andreas Count Corbelli
  • from 1704: Carl Ludwig Birago Count Roccavione
  • from 1711 until 1720: Joseph Albrecht Count Saint-Croix

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

  • from 1691: Johann Friedrich Baron Sporck
  • from 1704 : Count Roccavione (the proprietor of the regiment)
  • from 1705: Ludwig Friedrich Baron Hallewyl
  • from 1712 until 1717: Victor Count Philippi

After the War of the Spanish Succession, from 1714 to 1716, the regiment garrisoned Nagy-Tapolcsan in Hungary.

The regiment was disbanded in 1775 and its companies were transferred to various cuirassier regiments.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was transferred from Upper Austria to Italy. On 9 July, it fought in the Combat of Carpi. On 1 September, it took part in the Battle of Chiari, where it was deployed en potence in the second line of the extreme left wing on the Vedra di Chiari near the San Bernardo Abbey.

In 1702, part of the regiment took part in the combats at St. Antonio and Casteletti. On 15 August, the entire regiment fought in the Battle of Luzzara.

In 1703, the regiment was allocated to Trautmannsdorf’s Corps, which was posted along the Po River. At the end of the year, two squadrons followed Starhemberg in his expedition to reinforce the Duke of Savoy in Piedmont.

In 1704 and 1705, the regiment was in the camp of Crescentino, near Chivasso.

On 7 September 1706, the regiment, which had been brought back to full strength, fought in the Battle of Turin.

In 1707, the regiment was stationed in Piedmont.

In 1708, the regiment took part in the occupation of the Papal States.

In 1709, the regiment was stationed in Savoy and saw no action.

In 1710, the regiment was transferred from Piedmont to the Rhine.

In 1711, the regiment was allocated to the Reichsarmee, but saw no action.

In 1712, the regiment was sent to the Netherlands, where it took part in the siege of Landrecies.

In 1713, the regiment campaigned once more with the Reichsarmee.

Uniform

Before 1738, there are almost no surviving contemporary sources describing the details of the uniforms of each Austrian regiment. Even secondary sources are scarce. For this particular regiment, we have not found any information.

Standards

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.

References

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file III. part 2, pp. 590ff, Vienna 1901

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article