Erlach Infantry

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

Origin and History

In accordance with an agreement (Capitulation) signed on 1 March 1702 between 13 Swiss Cantons and the Imperial Ambassador Franz Ehrenreich Count von Trautmannsdorf, a Protestant regiment of 1,080 men (in 3 battalions à 4 companies each) was raised in Switzerland to serve in the Imperial service. The contract specified that the regiment could be used only for defence. The men came from Bern, Basel, Glarus, Schaffhausen, Fribourg, Appenzell and Ausserhoden

The successive proprietors of the regiment during the War of the Spanish Succession were:

  • from 1702: Hieronymus Baron Erlach
  • from 1714 to 1717: Johann Franz Baron Tillier (of Swiss origin, initially in Dutch service until 1702, promoted to major-general in 1716; and to FML in 1723; commander of Freiburg since 1733)

The successive effective commanders of the regiment during the War of the Spanish Succession were:

  • from 1702: Colonel Erlach (the proprietor of the regiment)
  • from 1707: Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Franz Baron Tillier
  • from 1714 to 1717: the aforementioned Baron Tillier as colonel and proprietor

The regiment was demobilized in 1717.

Service during the War

From its creation to 1713, most of the regiment garrisoned various places in the so-called “Waldstädten” (Rheinfelden, Säckingen, Laufenburg and Waldshut).

In 1702, the regiment was initially posted in Freiburg.

In August and September 1703, a detachment of the regiment took part in the defence of Alt-Breisach. Meanwhile, 3 other companies were still posted at Freiburg.

By July 1705, the regiment was in Freiburg.

In 1713, the regiment garrisoned Freiburg and distinguished itself during the defence of the city.

Uniform

Uniform in 1702 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Kühn & Hall
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne laced white
Grenadier no information available
Neck stock white
Coat grey with blue lining and with tin buttons on the right side and 1 tin button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 tin buttons
Cuffs blue, each with 3 tin buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat red
Breeches pearl grey
Stockings red fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters no information available
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
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 no information available


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

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. In the case of this particular regiment, their coat was with with gilt button and golden buttonholes with blue distinctive; their waistcoat, breeches and stockings were red.

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

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

Colors

Kühn & Hall depict a Kompaniefahne with a white cross decorated with an armed and crowned black double-headed eagle surrounder by a golden laurel wreath. Eeach v=canton had a white field decorated with 7 flames (red, yellow, black, red, black, yellow, red).

Kompaniefahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file II. pp. 603ff, Vienna 1898

Wurzbach, C. v.: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Österreich file 45, p. 160ff, Vienna 1882

Kühn/Hall: 'The Imperial Regiments of Foot 1701-1714

Acknowledgments

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article