Guido Starhemberg Infantry
Origin and History
This regiment was raised in 1640 for Ferdinand von Schambusch.
In 1659, the regiment took part in the campaign in Pomerania; in 1663 in the siege of Neuhäusel; in 1664, in the siege of Canischa and in the Battle of St. Gotthard; and in 1678, in the engagement of Rheinfelden.
In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment, now owned by Sigmund Friedrich Count von Scherfenberg, took part in the defence of Vienna; in 1685, in the siege of Neuhäusel; in 1686, in the siege of Ofen and in the expedition in Lower-Hungary; in 1687, in the Battle of Mohacs; in 1688, at the capture of Stephansburg (aka Cronstadt) in Transylvania and in the storming of the Fortress of Belgrade where his proprietor, Count Scherfenberg was killed in action. The same year, the regiment became the property of Guido Count Stahremberg. In 1689, it took part in the engagements of Patacin and Nissa; in 1691, three battalions took part in the Battle of Slankamen; in 1696 in the Battle of Ollasch where it distinguished itself; and in 1697 in the Battle of Zenta.
By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted four battalions.
Since its creation, the successive proprietors of the regiment were:
- since 1640: Ferdinand von Schambusch
- from 1664: Franz Baron von Gaymann
- from 1670: Ferdinand Count von Herberstein
- from 1681: Sigmund Friedrich Count von Scherfenberg
- from 1688 to 1737: Guido Count von Stahremberg
Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:
- no information found
On March 7 1737, at the death of Count Stahremberg, Philipp Ludwig Baron von Moltke became proprietor of the regiment.
Service during the War
Early in 1701, the regiment marched from Hungary through Carinthia by Linz and Botzen (present-day Bolzano) to Rovereto which it reached at the beginning of May. On the morning of 27 May, when Prince Eugène de Savoie launched the Imperialist invasion of Northern Italy, 3 bns regiment marched from Ala to Peri while the fourth remained at Rovereto to guard the train and the artillery park. On June 7 and 8, the fourth battalion joined the main army near San Martino. On 15 June, the regiment accompanied FML Count Herberstein and GFWM Count Dietrichstein in their march from San Martino towards Caltelbaldo. By 8 July, it was with the main army at Castelguglielmo on the Canalbianco. On 27 July, for the crossing of the Mincio, the regiment was attached to first division of the left wing. On 1 September, 3 bns of the regiment fought in the Battle of Chiari. At the end of September, 300 men of the regiment were among the garrison of Castel Goffredo. At the beginning of December, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Canneto in the Duchy of Mantua. On 6 December, it took part in the blockade of Marcaria. On the night of 13 to 14 December, it was among the troops who passed to the right bank of the Po to occupy Guastalla. It took its winter-quarters in this place.
In 1702, the regiment took part in the campaign in Northern Italy. Even though the theoretical strength of the regiment was supposed to be 2,500 men, by 30 April, it counted only 2,012 men including 11 men commandeered in various detachments. On August 15, it fought in the Battle of Luzzara.
In September 1706, the regiment took part in the relief of Turin where it was deployed on the left wing, contributing significantly to the victory.
In 1707, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon.
In 1710, the regiment served in Spain where, on 27 July, it fought in the Battle of Almenar; on 20 August, in the Battle of Saragossa; and on 10 December in the Battle of Villaviciosa.
In December 1711, the regiment took part in the relief of Cardona where a grenadier of the regiment captured the colonel colour of La Couronne Infanterie.
|Coat||pearl grey with yellow buttons on the right side and 1 yellow button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||probably medium blue with yellow buttons|
|Breeches||probably medium blue|
|Stockings||white 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|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Grenadiers were also armed with hand grenades.
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.
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.
Drummers and fifers wore a very different uniform:
- a black tricorne laced yellow
- a white neck stock
- a medium blue coat edged yellow with white loops around buttonholes; pocket flaps were also edged with a yellow braid
- silver cuffs edged yellow and decorated with a large white loop
- a red waistcoat with yellow buttonholes
- red breeches
- medium blue stockings
The drum shell was decorated with alternating blue, white and red opposed triangles; hoops decorated with alternating blue, white and red parallelograms.
The drum belt was usually brown and worn on the right shoulder.
Colonel colour' (Leibfahne): white field bordered with two rows of alternating blue, white and red triangles (the outer row pointing inwards, the inner row, outwards); centre device consisting of a crowned Imperial double-eagle with unidentified arms on its breast
Regimental colours (Regimentsfahne): red field bordered with alternating blue, red and white red parallelograms; centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with with unidentified arms on its breast
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
Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Bl. 3, Bl. 7
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. 54-58
Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 14
Wrede, Alphons Freiherr von; Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht. Die Regimenter, Corps, Branchen und Anstalten von 1618 bis Ende des XIX. Jahrhunderts, Vol. 1, 124, Vienna, 1898-1905
N.B.: the section “Service during the War” is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.