Origin and History
On 6 December 1672, Colonel Wopping received a decree from Emperor Leopold I authorising him to raise a new regiment. This regiment of dragoons was raised in Silesia in 1673. In the first year, five of its companies served in Germany while the five others were sent to Hungary where they assumed garrison duties in Oedenburg (present-day Sopron/HU).
In 1676, the entire regiment was reunited in Hungary. Around the end of the year, the regiment suffered heavy losses (4 coys totally annihilated) in an unspecified battle.
From 1677 to 1682, the regiment garrisoned Neutra (present-day Nitra/SK).
At the beginning of the Great Turkish War, from 1683 to 1694, the regiment served with the main army in Hungary and participated in all battles against the Turks.
In 1695, the regiment was stationed in Transylvania where it remained until 1698.
From 1698 to 1701, the regiment garrisoned Kaschau (present-day Košice/SK).
Since its creation, the successive proprietors of the regiment were:
- since 1672: Ferdinand Ludwig Baron Wopping (retired in 1678)
- from 1678: Otto Hermann Count Limburg-Styrum(1)
- from 1704: August Count Sinzendorf (killed in a duel with Count Colloredo)
- from 1707 to 1733: Otto Christoph Count Vehlen
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was successively commanded by:
- since 1697: August Count Sinzendorf
- from 1705: Thulden Baron von Hanten
- from 1711 to 1723: Joseph Anton Baron Esch
The regiment was disbanded in 1748. Its troopers were distributed among other cavalry regiments. Its last proprietor was Otto Count Limburg-Styrum, G.d.C., son of Hermann Otto von Limburg-Styrum.
Service during the War
At the end of 1701, the regiment marched to Germany.
In 1702, the regiment participated in the siege and capture of Landau.
In 1703, the regiment fought in the combat of Schwenningen and in the Battle of Höchstadt.
In 1704, the regiment was at the Battle of Blenheim.
In 1705, the regiment was transferred to Northern Italy where, on 16 August, it took part in the Battle of Cassano. It was then transferred to Piedmont.
In 1706, the regiment was part of the army of Prince Eugène and, in September, took part in the Battle of Turin.
In 1707, the regiment was attached to the Imperial corps of Wirich Daun who advanced on Naples.
In 1708 and 1709, the regiment was stationed in Italy and did not take part in any major action. At the end of 1709, it was transferred to Hungary.
In 1710, the regiment participated in the siege of Neuhäusel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK).
From 1713 to 1715, the regiment assumed garrison duties in Transylvania.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced yellow.
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. As a field sign, green foliage was attached to the tricorne in summer and a wisp of straw in the winter.
The tricorne was worn only in the service, otherwise soldiers always wore a Holz-Kappe (fatigue cap). Hair had to be of a standard length and tied with a black ribbon.
|Coat||red with green lining; brass buttons along the right side and one brass button on each side in the small of the back
|Waistcoat||red with brass buttons. In summer, it was replaced by a linen cloth waistcoat.|
Troopers were armed with a double-edged backsword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.
The riding mantle was white with a collar in the same colour as the cuffs of the coat.
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Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Buttons were gilt and golden embroideries decorated the cuffs, pocket flaps and saddle-cloth.
Officers wore a black and yellow silk sash across the chest or around the waist.
Drummers 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 cravat
- 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
From 1657 to 1705, all Austrian (Imperial) dragoon 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 and by the motto "Pro Deo Et Cesarem"
- 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
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.
(1) The family Limburg-Styrum originated from the County of Berg in north-western Germany. One of its branches obtained the County of Limburg in the Low Countries. Its possessions also included the estates of Styrum. The family later split in a Dutch branch and two German branches.
Hermann Otto II Count Limburg-Styrum (born 1 April 1646, died 9 July 1704, Donauwörth) initially served with a Bayreuth dragoon regiment. Later, he joined the Imperial army where he was promoted to colonel and, in 1678, proprietor of the present dragoon regiment. On 8 March 1682, the Count Limburg-Styrum was authorised by decree to raise a new cuirassier regiment in Bohemia (he was thus proprietor of two Imperial cavalry regiments), but he resigned from this cuirassier regiment the same year. In 1701, the Count Limburg-Styrum was promoted to FM and commanded troops on the Rhine. On 4 July 1704, while commanding the cavalry in the Battle of Donauwörth, he was mortally wounded. He died of his wounds on 9 July 1704.
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Series 1, Vol. 1, Vienna 1875, pp. 212-213, 221-222, 227
Wrede, A. V.: Geschichte der K. u. K. Wehrmacht, file III, Part 2, pp. 570-667
Harald Skala for the initial version of this article