Jung-Hessen-Darmstadt Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Jung-Hessen-Darmstadt Cuirassiers

Origin and History

This regiment was created on 13 May 1701 from five companies of the Caprara regiment and from five new compamies for Field-Marshal Philipp Landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt. The Caprara regiment was one of the most renown of the Austrian army. In 1632, it had fought with great distinction at Lützen where his commander, Colonel-Lieutenant Count Avogardo was killed in action.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the proprietor of the regiment was:

  • from 13 May 1701: Field-Marshal Philipp Landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt

Service during the War

In 1702, the new regiment took part in the siege of Landau. It then served on the Rhine during the campaigns of 1702 and 1703.

In 1704, the was transferred to Hungary to fight the insurrection and, on August 11, it took part in the battle at Bibersburg (present day Červený Kameň/SK).

By mid 1710, the regiment was at the army camp at Bónczhida. As early as the end of July, it went to Mediasch (present-day Medias/RO) to take up its winter-quarters.

Uniform

Before 1738, there are almost no surviving contemporary source 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.

Troopers

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

Western European theatres: black tricorne laced white reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat

Eastern European theatres: round helmet of wrought iron with neck and nose protection
hair had to be of a standard length and tied with a black ribbon

Neck stock red (white in 1710)
Coat buff leather lined blue with short skirts reaching above the thighs

replaced by a grey-white coat lined red by 1710

Collar none (short red standing collar by 1710)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs blue (red in 1710), each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat grey-white
Breeches buff (red in 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 blue braid with a central white braid
Housings red bordered with a blue braid with a central white braid
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.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Cuffs and pockets were edged with a wide golden braid.

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

Musicians

In the Austrian Cuirassier regiments, kettle drummers and trumpeters were dressed according to the regiment owner's tastes.

Standards

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.

References

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, plate B.6, B.8

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte des K. L. Mährischen Dragoner Regimentes Albrecht Prinz von Preussen, Regent des Herzogtums Braunschweig Nr. 6, Brünn 1906

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article