Lothringen Infantry

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

Origin and History

On 3 February 1682, Emperor Leopold I issued a decree to increase the Imperial Army to be able to withstand his enemies. An additional 12,000 men should be raised, half in the Palatinate (in the Empire), half in the Hereditary Lands. The present regiment was raised according to this decree. It initially consisted of 5 companies from the Tyrolean “Freikompanien” and 5 of companies contributed by Sitten Infantry.

Léopold Joseph Charles Prince Lorraine et Bar
Born on 11 September 1679 in Innsbruck; died on 27 March 1729 in Lunéville. His parents were Charles V Duc de Lorraine (aka Lothringen) and Eleonora Maria Josepha, daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III.

After the death of his father in 1690, Leopold Joseph became Duc de Lorraine et Bar. By the Treaty of Ryswick, in 1697, he retained possession of the Duchy of Lorraine and Bar; however, Longwy and Saarlouis were given to France. On 13 October 1698, Leopold Joseph married Princess Elisabeth Charlotte de Bourbon-Orléans (Franz Stephan, one of their 13 children, would later become Emperor after his marriage with Maria Theresa). In 1710, Leopold Joseph inherited the Duchy of Teschen in Silesia. Leopold Joseph died in 1729, at the age of 49, after an accident while riding his horse.

On 16 April 1682, another Imperial decree appointed Léopold Joseph Charles Prince de Lorraine et Bar (only three years old!), son of the hero Charles Duke of Lorraine, as proprietor and commander of the new regiment. In German, Lorraine is called Lothringen and the regiment was known as “Jung-Lothringen”.

On 27 May 1682, Colonel-Lieutenant Ludwig Count Archinto, chamberlain of the Emperor, was transferred to the 5 companies concentrated in Moravia. They had been sent to reinforce the troops defending the Jablunka Pass on the border. Two companies had also been sent to Sillein (present-day Žilina/SK). At the end of the year, the 5 Tyrolean companies arrived in Silesia and spent the winter at Teschen (present-day Český Těšín/CZ). The other 5 companies garrisoned Ratibor and also Teschen.

On 2 January 1683, the Ottoman Empire declared war to Austria. For the incoming campaign, 5 companies lead by Major Pini were attached to FML Count Schulz's Corps posted behind the Waag River (present-day Váh/SK). Colonel-Lieutenant Archinto with the remaining 5 companies joined the main army near Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK) and fought against the Turks. On 2 February 1684, Major Pini with his 5 companies was sent to Vienna to strengthened its fortifications. In April, the regiment was reunited and fought again against the Turks. During the winter, the regiment garrisoned various places in Silesia. In 1685, the regiment was attached to the main army, participated in the siege of Neuhäsel (present-day Nové Zámky/SK). In 1686, it fought in Hungary. On 9 August during the siege of Ofen, Colonel-Lieutenant Count Archinto was wounded by a bomb which exploded nearby. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Lower and Upper Austria. At the beginning of 1687, the regiment was increased to 12 companies (a total of 1,200 men) organised in two battalions. It once more joined the main army of the Duc de Lorraine at Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU) and fought in Hungary, taking part in the Battle of Mohacs and in operations in Slavonia. In 1688, the regiment took part in the storming of Belgrade. On 17 September, Count Archinto was promoted to colonel and proprietor of the former Guido von Starhemberg Infantry (later IR 35); Major Pini was promoted to Colonel-Lieutenant, Jakob Leopold von Thavonat from IR Souches was transferred to the regiment to act as second Colonel-Lieutenant. At the end of 1688, the regiment was increased to 14 companies (2,000 men). Recruits came mainly from Bohemia, but 500 came from the Palatinate (in the Empire).

The regiment was then transferred to Western Germany where the Nine Years' War (1688–97) had just broken out.

In 1689, the regiment was attached to FZM Souches' Army posted near Frankfurt/Main and participated in the siege of Mainz and Bonn. It took its winter-quarters near Tuttlingen and Gissingen in Franconia. In June 1690, the regiment, along with Savoyen Dragoons, was sent to Piedmont. On 19 June, during the march to Piedmont, Colonel-Lieutenant Pini died at Ginsheim. In mid July 1691, the regiment arrived at Cremona. By December, 10 of its companies garrisoned San Hillario and 4 companies, San Salvatore. In January 1692, the regiment concentrated at San Hillario where it was completed to 15 companies counting a total of 2,250 men. On 27 April, Leopold Thavonat was ennobled to Baron and promoted to colonel, but without the relevant salary. In July, the regiment participated in the raid into Dauphiné. In November, it returned to San Hillario once more and was completed to 16 companies (2,400 men). It remained in San Hillario until July 1693. On 3 July 1693, Colonel Baron Thavonat was appointed proprietor of the former Thüngen Infantry (later IR42); and Filip Friedrich Vischer von Rempelsdorf was promoted to colonel-lieutenant of the present regiment. In July 1694, the regiment was reduced to 13 companies. In 1695, Colonel-Lieutenant Vischer was mortally wounded at the head of one battalion of the regiment during siege of Casale, and Johann Gaudenz Baron Rost replaced him in his rank and function. Meanwhile, its other battalion took part in the siege of Valenza in the Duchy of Milan. At the end of the campaign, the regiment again returned to San Hillario. In the campaign of 1696, Leopold Duc de Lorraine, the proprietor of the regiment who was now 17 years old, joined the army of the Elector of Saxony near Olasch in Hungary where he received his baptism of fire. Meanwhile, in October, his regiment was transferred from Northern Italy to the Rhine. However, it was stopped in Austria on its way. It was then reduced to 12 companies and remained in Graz until May 1697. In September 1697, the regiment was at the siege of Ebernburg on the Rhine.

After the war, the regiment garrisoned Freiburg. On 1 March 1698, Léopold Duc de Lorraine was authorised by the Emperor to transfer the property of his regiment to his brother, Joseph Innocenz Duke de Lorraine et Bar.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted four battalions.

From its creation, the successive proprietors of the regiment were:

  • since 1682: Léopold Joseph Charles Prince Lorraine et Bar (3 years old)
  • from 1698: Joseph Innocenz Duc de Lorraine (mortally wounded on the Adige River)
  • from 1705: Johann Adam Baron Wetzel
  • from 1706: Johann Ernst Baron von Hoffmann (killed in the Battle of Turin)
  • from 1707: Johann Franz Xaver, Count von Sonnenberg Baron von Heindel
  • from 1714 to 1716: Damian Johann Philipp, Baron von Sickingen

From its creation, the successive effective commanders of the regiment were:

  • since 1682: Ludwig Count Archinto
  • from 1688: N. Pini (died in June 1690), second Colonel-Lieutenant Jakob Leopold de Thavonat
  • from 1692: Colonel Jakob Leopold Baron Thavonat
  • from 1693: Filip Friedrich Vischer von Rempelsdorf (mortally wounded at Casale)
  • from 1694: Johann Gaudenz Baron Rost
  • from 1701: Robert Marchese Malvezzi (mortally wounded in 1704)
  • from 1704: Franz Anton Marchese Nazary (killed in the Battle of Turin)
  • from 1706: Peter Heinrich Count Prampero (since 1709 colonel, 1714 commander of Gaeta)
  • from 1709: Hellfried Count Dietrichstein (ad interim, died in October 1712)
  • from 1712: Christoph Jakob Schaffelitzky von Mukodil (since 1717 colonel)

Service during the War

In March 1701, the regiment was instructed to march from Austria by Lindau, Reutte, Landeck, Finstermünz and Botzen (present-day Bolzano) to Rovereto to reinforce the Army of Prince Eugène who would soon proceed to the invasion of Northern Italy. On 27 August, Eugène was informed that Gschwind Infantry and Lothringen Infantry could not reach Rovato before the end of August. On 29 August, when the Franco-Spanish army passed the Oglio, Eugène sent messages to these two regiment to hasten and to march all night if necessary. On 2 September, they finally reached Palazzolo, too late to take part in the Battle of Chiari. On 3 September, they arrived at Eugène's camp. They were not at full strength and each was organized in only 3 bns. In December, the regiment took its winter-quarters at Campitello, Castellucchio, Piubega, Canicossa and Curtatone.

In 1702, the regiment took part in the campaign in Northern Italy. On 1 February, a detachment of the regiment under Major Count Nazary took part in the failed attempt to capture Cremona. The entire regiment then attacked the Monastery of San Lazaro but was driven back next the following night by superior French forces. Even though the theoretical strength of the regiment was supposed to be 2,500 men, by 30 April, it counted only 1,419 men including 4 men commandeered in various detachments, 43 sick and 10 absent. Colonel-Lieutenant Robert Marchese Malvezzi occupied Borgoforte with 2 battalions while the 2 other battalions were with Neipperg's Corps posted nearby. The regiment spent the winter around Revere; Colonel-Lieutenant Marchese Malvezzi remained at Borgoforte with 250 men. The French blockaded Borgoforte. FZM Starhemberg tried to relieve Borgoforte but arrived too late, the Marchese Malvezzi having capitulated on 15 November. The garrison of Borgoforte became prisoners of war (Malvezzi would return during the winter of 1703).

In March 1703, Lieutenant-Colonel Wetzel with part of the regiment defended Brescello and, after a fight of four hours, repulsed the attack.

In 1704, during combats and the following retreat behind Po, the Marchese Malvezzi was mortally wounded and taken prisoners along with 2 lieutenants and 75 men of the regiment. Malvezzi died few days later. He was replaced by Franz Anton Marchese Nazary who was promoted to colonel-lieutenant. The regiment campaigned in Piedmont where a detachment took part in the defence of Verrua which finally capitulated on 9 April 1705 after a long resistance. The Marchese Nazary, 2 officers and 75 men became prisoners of war.

On 12 April of the same year (1704) the regiment proprietor, Joseph Prince of Lorraine, was promoted to major-general. He then led an Imperial brigade operating in Piedmont. He was wounded in a combat on the Adige River and died, on 25 August, at Brescia.

On 14 December 1705, GFWM Johann Adam baron Wetzel was appointed as the new proprietor of the regiment who then counted 1,295 men, among which 500 were campaigning in Piedmont.

In 1706, part of the regiment joined the garrison of Turin and distinguished itself during the siege undertaken by the French. During a sortie, Colonel-Lieutenant Marchese Nazary was mortally wounded and died a few hours later. On 8 August, Johann Ernst Baron von Hoffmann, formerly colonel of Bagni Infantry was appointed proprietor of the regiment while GFWM Wetzel became proprietor of the former Guttenstein Infantry. On 7 September, an Allied army relieved Turin. Baron Hoffmann was killed in this Battle of Turin. Prince Eugène recommended Franz Xaver Count Sonnenberg Baron Heindel, formerly colonel of Max Starhemberg Infantry, to the Emperor. During the following winter, the regiment was barracked at Pavia along with Max Starhemberg Infantry.

During the campaign of 1706, on 16 August, the battalion of the regiment who had been left behind in Lombardy, when Prince Eugène de Savoie left for Piedmont, joined GFWM Baron Wetzel's Brigade at Valegio on the Mincio. This brigade then took part in the capture of Volta, Cavriana and Monzambano. On 19 August, it made itself master of Goito. GFWM Baron Wetzel then remained in the Duchy of Modena. On 19 November, he surprised Modena where he captured 20 guns and took 4 officers and their men prisoners. Afterwards, this battalion joined the rest of the regiment at Pavia. Peter Heinrich Count Prampero was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and replaced Marchese Nazary killed at Turin.

On 10 January 1707, the Emperor appointed Franz Xaver Count Sonnenberg Baron Heindel proprietor of the regiment. In May 1707, FZM Wirich Count Daun led an Imperial corps of 8,000 men (including the present regiment, Gschwind Infantry, Daun Infantry ?Jung or Alt?, Wetzel Infantry, Wallis Infantry and 6 cavalry rgts) against Naples. Colonel-Lieutenant Count Prampero remained at San Giovanni de Modena, awaiting the arrival of new recruits for his own regiment and for Wallis Infantry. On 7 July, Daun's Corps arrived at Naples. Colonel Heindel was then appointed Governor of Naples. Daun then marched upon Gaeta. On 10 July, the regiment took part in the storming of the place. It then formed part of the garrison of Gaeta. In November, 500 men of the regiment participated in a raid led by GFWM Wetzel against Civitavecchia. On 20 December, the detachment landed at Orbetello which surrendered the following day. However, Porto Ercole could not be captured and Wetzel returned to Naples.

On 30 April 1708, Colonel Baron Heindel was promoted to major-general (GFWM). By June, GFWM Heindel was in Gaeta with 660 men of the regiment while 400 men were in Tuscany, 400 men in Abruzzo and 40 men on Ponza Island. In December, 1 battalion and 1 grenadier company were attached to FML Marquis Vaubonne's Corps who entered into Papal States. They remained there until January 1709.

On 12 March 1709, Colonel-Lieutenant Prampero was promoted to colonel; and Count Dietrichstein, to colonel-lieutenant. Colonel Prampero was immediately sent in a diplomatic mission to the Court of Spain, and Count Dietrichstein took the command at interim. In December, Colonel Prampero returned from Barcelona but proceeded immediately to Vienna with his report for the Court.

In 1711, Count Prampero spent the year at Udine because of his failing health, and Colonel-Lieutenant Count Dietrichstein continued to command the regiment ad interim. The regiment remained at Italy until the end of the war. In fact, it was stationed in Italy until 1736.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1702 - 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; hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neck stock white
Coat pearl grey with white buttons on the right side and 1 white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs pearl grey, each with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat pearl grey with white buttons
Breeches pearl grey
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 socks; the use of gaiters generalized much later
Leather Equipment
Cross belt natural leather
Waist belt 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 Inhaler.

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.

NCOs

NCOs carried a pontoon (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. 1, 8

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. 75-79

Padewieth, M.: Geschichte des kaiserl. königl. 18. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes Grossfürst Constantin von Russland, Vienna, 1859

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 12-13

Treuenfest, A. v.: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-regiments Nr. 18, Constantin Grossfürst von Russland“, Vienna, 1882

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

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Padewieth's and Treuenfest's books