Herberstein Infantry

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

Origin and History

This regiment was raised in 1620, during the Thirty Years' War. The same year, it took part in the Battle of White Mountain near Prague. In 1631, it was present at the siege of Magdeburg and at the Battle of Leipzig. In 1632, it fought in the Battle of Lützen; in 1634, in the Battle of Nördlingen; in 1637, in the siege of Iglau.

In 1657, the regiment was at the siege of Cracau. In 1658, it campaigned in Prussia; in 1659, in Pomerania.

In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment took part in the Battle of Seneffe; in 1675, in the Battle of Altenheim; in 1676, in the storming of the contrescarpe of Philippsburg; and in 1678 in the engagement of Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment took part in the defence of Vienna; in 1685, in the siege of Neuhäusel and in the Battle of Gran; in the siege of Ofen; in 1687, in the Battle of Mohacs and in the expedition in Slavonia; in 1688, in the storming of Belgrade; in 1689, in the engagements of Patacin and Nissa; in 1691, in the Battle of Slankamen where its proprietor, Count Souche the Younger was mortally wounded. The regiment then became the property of Leopold Count von Herberstein. The same year, it took part in the siege of Grosswardein; 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 1620: Mathias Count von Gallas
  • from 1647: Count Ludwig von Souches the Elder
  • from 1676: Count Ludwig von Souches the Younger
  • from 1691 to 1728: Leopold Count von Herberstein

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:

  • no information found yet

Service during the War

In 1700, the regiment was stationed in Bohemia when it received orders to march towards Tyrol where an Imperial army was assembling.

Early in 1701, the regiment marched by Krumau, Holitz, Pailstein, Wegschaid, Griesbach, Passau through the Electorate of Bavaria to Kufstein and Inssbruck and then to Rovereto. At the end of March, it had joined the Austrian troops destined for the invasion of Northern Italy who had assembled in South Tyrol. At the beginning of May, the regiment was stationed in Botzen and surroundings. On the morning of 27 May, when Prince Eugène de Savoie launched the Imperialist invasion of Northern Italy, it marched from Ala to Peri. By 6 June, 3 bns of the regiment were with the main army encamped at San Martino near Verona while the newly raised fourth battalion was still on the march across the Alps to join the army. On 1 September, 3 bns of the regiment fought in the Battle of Chiari. In December, the entire regiment took its winter-quarters at Campitello, Castellucchio, Piubega, Canicossa and Curtatone

On 1 February 1702, the regiment took part in the failed Storming of Cremona. Even though the theoretical strength of the regiment was supposed to be 2,500 men, by 30 April, it counted only 1,812 men including 5 men commandeered in various detachments, 72 sick and 12 absent. On 15 August, 3 bns of the regiment took part in the Battle of Luzzara where they were deployed in the centre of the first line.

On 16 August 1705, the regiment fought in the Battle of Cassano.

On 7 September 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Turin.

In 1707, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon.

In 1712, the regiment was at the siege of Porto Ercole.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1691 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Donath
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne laced white; as field sign, green foliage was attached to the tricorne in summer and a wisp of straw in winter

N.B.: to distinguish soldiers (from corporal down to privates) of each company, a button or rosette at the colour of the company was attached to the tricorne.

Grenadier bearskin edged with a white braid; red hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neck stock white
Coat pearl grey with yellow buttons on the right side and 1 yellow button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs pearl grey, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat straw with yellow buttons
Breeches straw
Stockings red 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
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt a yellow deer or buffalo leather waist-belt worn above the waistcoat
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 Russia leather shoes


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

Other interpretations

According to Czegka, in 1716 the Hofkriegsrat enquiried to all regiments to know how to accoutre recruits with the proper uniform before sending them to their unit. For the present regiment, the following uniform is described:

  • black tricorne laced white
  • red neck stock
  • pearl grey coat, red cuffs, and brass buttons
  • red waistcoat
  • pearl grey breeches
  • pearl grey stockings

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.

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.

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.

Colors

no information found yet

References

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. 9

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. 215-220

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 10-11

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