Hohenzollern Cuirassiers

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

Origin and History

This regiment was originally belonged to the Electorate of Würzburg. In 1685, it was taken in Imperial service and pay.

In 1685, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment was sent to Hungary where it participated in the siege of Neuhäusel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK). In 1686, it was at the siege of Ofen (Buda/HU). On 12 August 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohács. It then remained in Slavonia as part of Dünewald's Corps. For the following years, the regiment campaigned in Hungary. On 19 August 1691, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Slankamen. On 11 September 1697, it fought in the Battle of Zenta.

In 1698, the regiment was transferred to Transylvania.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons.

Since its incorporation into the Austrian Army, the successive proprietors of the regiment were:

  • from 1685: Johann Eytel Truchsess-Wetzhausen
  • from 1687: Franz Leopold Count Noirquermes (killed in 1690 at Tohány/HU)
  • from 1690: Friedrich Wilhelm Duke Hohenzollern-Hechingen
  • from 1712 until 1750: Friedrich Ludwig Duke Hohenzollern-Hechingen

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

  • from 1697: Philipp Michael Baron Hartleben
  • from 1707 until 1716: Johann Alexander von Rottenhan

In 1798, the regiment received number 3. In 1775, it was transformed into a light dragoon regiment and received the number 2. In 1802, the regiment was disbanded and its troopers were transferred to various dragoon or chevauxleger regiments.

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment was assigned to the Army of Germany. On 27 August, it arrived at Phillipsburg.

On 14 October, it distinguished itself in the Battle of Friedlingen.

In 1703, the regiment campaigned in Styrum's Corps. It fought at Schwenningen and, on 30 September, in the Battle of Höchstädt.

In 1704, the regiment took part in the storming of the Schellenberg near Donauwörth.

In 1705, the regiment was stationed in Bavaria and did not take part in any significant action.

In 1706, the regiment was transferred to Hungary where it joined the main army trying to quench Rákóczi Uprising. It took part in the storming of Gran (Esztergom/HU).

In 1707, the regiment was allocated to Starhemberg's Corps and took part in the campaign against Rákóczi. Part of the regiment fought at Pullendorf and Kreuz.

On 3 August 1708, part of the regiment fought in the Battle of Trencsén against the rebels. It was then stationed on the left bank of the Danube and saw no action till 1710.

On 22 January 1710, General Sickingen and Saint Croix with 1,000 men (from Savoyen Dragoons, Althann Dragoons, Uhlefeld Cuirassiers, Hohenzollern Cuirassiers, Latour Cuirassiers, 500 unidentified hussars) attacked the camp of Count Károlyi near Romhany. The battle was not finished when Imperial hussars started to plunder the camp of the rebel, an action that could spell disaster. The Imperial heavy cavalry saved the situation


Before 1738, there are almost no surviving contemporary sources describing the details of the uniforms of each Austrian regiment. Even secondary sources are scarce. In this section, we present a tentative reconstruction of the uniform worn by this unit.


Uniform in 1701 – Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1701 as per Donath
Headgear – Copyright Kronoskaf

Western European theatres: black tricorne laced white (laced yellow in 1710) reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat

Eastern European theatres: round helmet of wrought iron with neck and nose protection
for ordinary service, troopers wore a tricorne decorated with a pompom, and black and yellow plumes

hair had to be of a standard length and tied with a black ribbon

Neck stock white
Coat buff leather lined red with short skirts reaching above the thighs

replaced by grey-white coat around 1710

Collar none (short red standing collar around 1710)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons (brass buttons in 1710)
Cuffs red, each with 3 pewter buttons (brass buttons in 1710)
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white made of linen cloth
Breeches red (buff leather around 1710)
Leather Equipment
Gloves thick leather gloves with buff coloured cuffs
Cross-belt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn across the left shoulder
Waist-belt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch cartridge pouch containing 24 cartridges
Scabbard sometimes made of metal but more often of leather with an iron tip protector and a brass mouth piece
Footgear riding boots made of Russian leather with a knee pad reaching above the knee

when not mounted, cuirassiers wore shoes with gaiters or stockings

Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red, decorated with the embroidered arms or cipher of the regiment owner and bordered with a straw braid decorated with blue and red diagonal stripes and edged red
Housings red bordered with a straw braid decorated with blue and red diagonal stripes and edged red
Porte manteau red

Troopers were armed with a cuirasse of blackened wrought-iron (some regiments used a leather full cuirasse with front and back plates) edged red, a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols.


no information found yet


Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. The coat, cuffs, pockets, saddlecloth and housings were probably edged with a wide silver braid.

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


In the Austrian Cuirassier regiments, kettle drummers and trumpeters were dressed according to the regiment owner's tastes. They often wore brightly coloured uniforms with:

  • a plumed black round slouch hat
  • a curled periwig down to the shoulders
  • a white cravate
  • a comfortable red or blue coat with wide skirts reaching above the knees, decorated with ribbons and braids
  • red breeches
  • riding boots made of Russian leather with a knee pad reaching above the knee

The fairly large trumpet had a square yellow silk apron carrying an embroidered black double-eagle.

Kettle drums were similar to those used nowadays in symphonic orchestras. They were fastened to the saddle on each side of the pommel. One drum had a low register, the other a high one. The kettle drums were covered with richly laced and fringed yellow or red silken brocade apron measuring 128 cm. The middle of this apron was decorated with the painted (oil paint) arms of the regiment owner.


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.


Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen

  • Series 1, Vol. 1, Vienna 1875, pp. 212, 219-222, 227
  • Series 2, Vol. 2, Vienna 1885

Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, plate B.5, B.7


Harald Skala for the initial version of this article