Czungenberg Hussars

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

Origin and History

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Csonka Beg portrayed as Turkish commander
Source: Museum of Wiener Neustadt

Joseph Balthazar Baron Czungenberg was born in 1641 in a rich Bosnian family. His original name was Mehmed. After his father's death, Mehmed was raised in the family of his brother, commander of a Turkish cavalry unit. As a young men, Mehmed joined the Turkish army, participated in the siege of Neuhäusel, was promoted to colonel of cavalry and then to Agha (general) before becoming commander of the Fortress of Novigrad.

In 1662. Mehmed married Fatima, the daughter of a noble Turkish family. Mehmed was severely wounded during a combat near the Hungarian border, losing his left arm. From then on, he was called Colak Beg (in Hungarian, Csonka-Beg).Mehmed was one of the highest ranking officers and served as liaison officer with Imre Thökely. He spoke several languages.

On 2 September 1686, Mehmed and his family were taken prisoners by the Austrians when they stormed Ofen. They were detained in Wiener Neustadt. The family lived in the house of Major Eyrl von Eyersperg in Wiener Neustadt. Mehmed decided to convert to the Catholic faith. On 6 January 1696, he was christened in the chapel of the Hofburg in Vienna. His godfather was Emperor Leopold I, his godmother Empress Eleonora. Mehmed-Colak then adopted the name of Joseph Balthazar; his wife, of Maria Magdalena Elizabeth; and his son, of Franz Leopold. The Emperor ennobled the family and chose the title of “von Czungenberg” (sometime written as Zungenberg).

Out of gratitude to the Emperor's family, Joseph Balthazar and his son founded a church at Wiener Neustadt, naming it “St. Leopold beim Äußerem Wiener Tor”.

Joseph Balthazar Baron Czungenberg died during the winter of 1705-1706.

On 2 March 1702, 166,800 fl. were given to raise 5 new hussar regiments (Forgach, Esterházy, Gombos, Czungenberg aka Csonka Beg, and Loosy), each of 1,000 men in 10 coys. After a request by Prince Eugène de Savoie and out of out of gratitude to Emperor Leopold I, Joseph Balthazar von Czungenberg (originally called Colak-Beg or Csonka-Beg) raised one of these irregular hussar regiments. Troopers were enlisted in the Komitates (counties) of Raab (present-day Györ/HU), Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU), Veszprém and Komorn (present-day Komárom/HU). Moyses Kisfaludy served as major of the regiment while Pál Szálay and Franz Leopold von Czungenberg, the proprietor's son, acted as captains. Recruitment went slowly and the regiments were still incomplete when it marched to join the Army of the Rhine.

The regiment counted 10 companies.

The proprietor of the regiment was:

  • since 1702 until 1706: Colonel Joseph Balthazar von Czungenberg (he was presumed dead on several occasions but always rejoined his regiment shortly afterwards).

The regiment was disbanded in 1706 and its troopers transferred to other hussar regiments (Lehoczky, Viszlay, Kollonits and Esterházy).

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment, still incomplete joined the Imperial Army operating on the Rhine and then harassed French units.

In October and November 1703, during the Siege of Landau, the regiment operated around this fortress. A few of its companies were surprised by the French at Neustadt an der Haardt. On 15 November, the regiment took part in the Combat of Speyerbach.

In 1704, the regiment served on the Upper Rhine and took part in operations on the left bank of the Rhine.

In 1705, the regiment was stationed in the Lines of Weissenburg and did not see any action.

In 1706, the regiment was disbanded and its troopers transferred to other hussar regiments.


Regiments were fairly autonomous in the purchasing of woollen cloth, and in its processing and distribution. So there was ample room for the preferences of the Inhaber (owner) of a regiment. Nevertheless, there was uniformity within each regiment. Furthermore, each of them had its own distinctive characteristics like the colour of the cuffs which were fixed by the Inhaber at the creation of the unit and rarely changed afterwards.


Uniform Detailsas per Donath
Headgear kolback of brown fur with a red bag

Hair were braided in several small braids.

Neck stock white
Pelisse red

Note: in summer, the pelisse was worn hanged on the left shoulder

Fur trim white
Lace several rows of white cords
Buttons pewter
Dolman red edged white with several rows of white cords and pewter buttons
Collar none
Cuffs red pointed cuffs edged white
Trousers red Hungarian style trousers, lined with a strong ecru fabric (at that time, trousers were not decorated with braids)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waist-sash white
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Boots Hungarian style soft brown boots edged with a white braid
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red without border
Sabretache black or natural leather sabretache hanging on the left side of a belt worn across the right shoulder; the sabretache was usually decorated with the cipher of the regiment owner

Troopers were armed with a curved blade sabre and two pistols (no standardized model)


Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Buttons were silver-plated and embroideries decorated the uniform and the saddlecloth.

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


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Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Series 1, Vol. 4, Vienna 1877, p. 52

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

Wrede, A. V.: Geschichte der K. u. K. Wehrmacht, File III, Part 2, p. 709

N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.


Harald Skala for the initial version of this article.