Mansfeld Infantry

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

Origin and History

The exact year of creation of the regiment is not 100 percent clear. An imperial decree has not been preserved. According to a letter dated 10 December 1630 from Generalissimus Albrecht von Waldstein to Questenberg, which has been kept in the Vienna “Kriegsarchiv”, the regiment existed since 15 May 1629. On this date, Waldstein ceded to Colonel Julius Count Hardegg five companies of his own regiment as kernel for the new regiment which was probably raised in Mecklenburg.

From October 1630 until March 1631, the regiment took part in the siege of Colberg. It then garrisoned Frankfurt an der Oder, which was besieged by Swedish troops. After the surrender of Frankfurt on 2 March 1631, Lieutenant-Colonel de Mers was taken prisoners by the Swedes. After one year of imprisonment, he was exchanged for the Swedish Colonel Kniphausen.

On 6 March 1645, the regiment took part in the Battle of Jankau. General Hatzfeld lost the battle and the regiment was nearly annihilated. Most of the regiment, including once more Colonel de Mers, was imprisoned by the Swedes, but the prisoners were exchanged in the same month.

Separation of the Regiment

At the beginning of 1662, GFWM Lucas von Spickh ceded back his regiment to the Emperor who, on 2 February, appointed Alphons Count Portia as the new proprietor of the regiment. On 23 February 1662, the Emperor issued a patent authorising Spickh to raise a second regiment, using seven companies from the Infanterie Regiment de Mers, which was stationed in Austria. The new regiment numbered 2,000 men, including 470 recruits.

Since June 1662, the new regiment garrisoned at Radkersburg, where it remained during the following winter. In January 1663, it took part in the siege of Fünfkirchen (present-day Pécs/HU). In June 1664, the regiment (1,073 men) garrisoned Szigetvár, which was besieged by the Turks. After a lively firefight, the garrison retired over a bridge that collapsed. In this affair, the regiment lost 170 men killed and 53 wounded. On 1 August 1664, the regiment took part in the Battle at St. Gotthard (Mogersdorf) and suffered heavy losses (only 947 men were still fit for service).

From 1665 to 1669, the regiment garrisoned various places in Austria.

In August 1672, FM Montecuccoli concentrated his army (13.423 men) near Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ). The regiment had at that time nine companies, for a total of 1,811 men (one company was still in Hungary). Montecuccoli then marched to the Lower Rhine. During winter, the regiment came to Tribur.

On 11 August 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the regiment (two battalions) took part in the Battle of Seneffe. The same year, it also stormed to counterscarp of Philippsburg. In 1678, it took part in an engagement near Rheinfelden.

In 1683, during the Great Turkish War, the regiment took part in the defence of Vienna and in the siege of Ofen; in 1685, in the Battle of Gran and in the expedition in Upper-Hungary; in 1686, in the siege of Ofen; on 12 August 1687, in the Battle of Mohács; in August 1696, in the Battle of Ulaş; on 11 September 1697, in the Battle of Zenta. From 23 February to 9 May 1692, Captain Hubert Dominik du Saix Baron d'Arnant with 300 men and 2 guns (later reinforced by 150 men from IR “Heister” and 173 Croats led by Captain Michael Knap and 2 guns) defended the so-called “Veterani Höhle”, a cave seven hours away from Orsova. On 18 April, the Turks led by Ali Pascha Ali arrived at Marculis with 21 ships and erected a battery. They cannonaded d'Arnant's detachment until 29 April. On 30 April, the Turks stormed the entrenchments at Marculis, and d'Arnant took refuge into the cave. After a heroic defence d'Arnant surrender on 10 May with “Military honours” and marched to Orsova.

By 1700, the regiment (now counting 12 companies) was garrisoning Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK).

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

Did you know that...
Heinrich Franz Count Mansfeld, Duke of Fondi, was born on 21 November 1641 in Bornstedt in Sachsen-Anhalt, and died on 11 June 1715 in Vienna. In 1661, he studied in Siena and then served for 53 years in the Imperial army. Between 1682 and 1690, he was imperial ambassador in Berlin, Madrid and London. He was appointed Field Marshal on 3 March 1689, and, in 1703, president of the Hofkriegsrat (War Council). In this function, he had disagreements with Prince Eugène de Savoie. Since 1694, he was Obersthofmarschall (highest marshal of the court), and Knight of Order of the Golden Fleece. He was married with Marie Louise Countess Aspremont, widow of the Duke of Lorraine, after her death in 1670, he married with Franciska Duchess of Auersperg. He was considered as restless and scheming.

The successive proprietors of the regiment were:

  • for the original regiment
    • from October 1630: Colonel Julius count Hardegg
    • from 13 November 1636: Colonel Franz Baron de Mers
  • after the separation of the regiment in 1662
    • from 23 February 1662: Lucas Chevalier von Spickh von Bibergär
    • from 9 January 1665: Jacob Count Leslie, Baron de Balquhane
    • from 1 February 1675: Heinrich Franz Count Mansfeld
    • from 13 March 1702: Christoph Heinrich Baron Chalons, called Geelen or Ghelen (died on 26 November 1702)
    • from 10 January 1703 to 22 November 1741: Max Adam Count Starhemberg (died on 22 November 1741) (aka Jung Starhemberg from 1703)

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:

  • from 1702: Christoph Heinrich Baron Chalons, called Geelen or Ghelen
  • from 10 January 1703: Max Adam Count Starhemberg
  • from 14 May 1704: Franz Josef Baron Heindl
  • from 10 January 1707: Ottocar Count Starhemberg

Service during the War

On 16 December 1700, the regiment, which was garrisoning Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK), received order to march towards Tyrol where an Imperial army was assembling.

1701

On 8 June 1701, the regiment reached Rovereto. On 11 June, it arrived at Ala. It was allocated to the army of FZM Guido Count Starhemberg, in the brigade of Major-General Count Guttenstein. On 17 June, three battalions of the regiment were sent to join the main army of Prince Eugène, which crossed the hills and, on 9 July, drove the Franco-Spain troops out of Carpi.

On 4 August, Lieutenant-Colonel Balthasar Gonzales with 500 men of the regiment invested Castiglione delle Stiviere which surrendered next day. On 8 August, Major-General Guttenstein joined the main army. The fourth battalion of the regiment, led by Captain Huart, was part of his corps. The reunited regiment numbered 2,376 men.

On 1 September 1701, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Chiari where they initially occupied mills and strong houses. After lively combats, the French brigades of Normandie and Auvergne drove them out of their defensive positions but, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Gonsalez, they courageously reconquered their positions. In this battle, the regiment lost 4 men killed and 23 wounded. On 26 September, Lieutenant-Colonel Gonzales was appointed commander of Castiglione and the fourth battalion garrisoned there.

After the surrender of Marcaria, the fourth battalion joined the others, so the regiment was again complete. Two battalions were located at Campitello, two in San Michele in Bosco.

At the beginning of December, the regiment was at the siege and capture of Canneto in the Duchy of Mantua.

From 18 December, the regiment was posted on the Mincio River.

1702

Field Marshal Heinrich Franz Count Mansfeld, Duke of Fondi resigned from his function as proprietor of the regiment and, on 13 March 1702, Emperor Leopold I appointed Colonel Christoph Heinrich Baron Chalons, called Geelen (aka Ghelen) as its new proprietor.

By 30 April, even though the theoretical strength of the regiment was supposed to be 2,500 men, it counted only 1,768 men including 614 men commandeered in various detachments, 121 sick and 11 absent.

On 15 August, the regiment (three battalions, 1,693 men) took part in the Battle of Luzzara, where it was deployed in the second Line under Field Marshal Duke Liechtenstein and the Danish Major-General von Haxthausen. In this battle, the regiment lost 8 officers and 35 fusiliers killed and 5 officers and 57 fusiliers wounded.

A detachment of the regiment ( 2 officers and 97 men) later took part in the defence of Guastalla, which surrendered on 9 September, the garrison receiving “military honours”.

On 26 November, the proprietor of the regiment, Colonel Christoph Heinrich Baron Chalons, called Geelen, died.

1703

During the winter of 1703–1704, 138 men of the regiment were posted in Brescello and 109 with Major-General Solari in Tyrol. Meanwhile, 61 men had been sent away to enlist new recruits and 172 men were ill or absent. After all these detachments, only 890 men were fit for service.

On 10 January 1703, Max Adam Count Starhemberg from Guido Starhemberg Infantry was appointed as the new proprietor of the regiment; while Balthasar de Gonzales was appointed colonel and took service in Portugal.

In June, the regiment took part in the siege of Ostiglia.

On 10 November, the regiment was posted near the Secchia River. At the end of December, the regiment, as part of FZM Guido Starhemberg's Corps crossed the Secchia and marched to join the army of Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy in Piedmont.

1704

On 4 January 1704, FZM Guido Starhemberg reached Voghera with his corps. On 9 January, this corps crossed the Orba River, and, on 10 January, the Bormida River near Castelnuovo di Lombardia, with foot soldiers riding pillion with the cavalry. During the combat at Castelnuovo, the the three battalions of the regiment lost 150 men killed and 300 wounded. On 14 January, FZM Starhemberg made a junction with Savoyard troops near Nizza della Paglia. The Allies then crossed the Tanaro River and took up winter-quarters between the Po, the Sesia and the Dora Baltea rivers.

In May, Colonel Max Adam Count Starhemberg promoted to major-general.

At the end of the year, a Franco-Spanish army undertook the Siege of Verrua. On 26 December, Major-General Max Adam Count Starhemberg made a sortie against the French entrenchments. His regiment was involved in this action where 700 French were killed and the guns of the Guerbignano entrenchments rendered unusable (Verrua would capitulate on 9 April 1705).

1705

From 28 June to 29 July 1705, one battalion of the regiment defended the entrenchments of Castegnetto.

On 16 August, one battalion of the regiment, led by Colonel Heindl, took part in the Battle of Cassano, where it was posted in the centre of the first line. In this battle, the regiment lost 2 officers and 23 men killed; and Colonel Baron Heindl, several lieutenants and 52 men wounded.

On 20 November, the battalion took up its winter-quarters in Castenedolo.

1706

On 13 May 1706, the Duc de La Feuillade arrived before Turin with a French army and laid siege to the city. Two battalions of the regiment (now only 600 men) formed part of the garrison led by FML Count Daun. On 30 August, when the French launched an attack with 40 grenadier companies and 15 regiments, these two battalions distinguished themselves, driving back the assault with the assistance of Wetzel Infantry and some Savoyard guards.

The remaining two battalions of the regiment were with Prince Eugène's Army and marched towards Turin. On 7 September, during the Battle of Turin FML Count Daun sent some regiments of the garrison, including the two battalions of the regiment to reinforce Prince Eugène's troops. Therefore, the entire regiment (4 battalions) took part in this battle. On 8 September, Prince Eugène and the Duke of Savoy entered Turin. Later, the regiment took part in the sieges of Chivas and Alessandria. Three of its battalions were present at the siege of Pavia, while the fourth was posted in Novara. On 2 October, after the surrender of Pavia, Colonel Johann Franz Baron Heindl was appointed commander of this city.

By the end of the year, the regiment had only 800 men, but it received 583 recruits from Bohemia and 284 from Styria.

1707

On 10 January 1707, Colonel Heindl was transferred to Wetzel Infantry, where he assumed the function of commander. He was replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Ottocar Count Starhemberg as commander of the present regiment.

Two battalions of the regiment took part in Prince Eugène's campaign in Provence. On 10 July, they arrived at the Allied camp between the Var River and Nice. They then took part in the unsuccessful siege of Toulon. After the retreat of the Allied army to Piedmont, these two battalions returned to San Giorgio on 20 September. After the short siege of Susa, the regiment went to Pavia.

1708

In 1708, two battalion of the present regiment were detached to the main army, arriving at Susa on 16 July. They then operated in Italy for the whole campaign. After the blockade of Ferrara, these two battalions went to Pavia, where they were soon joined by the two other battalions.

1709

In June 1709, despite the ongoing peace negotiations between France and the Allies, fighting continued. Two battalions of the present regiment joined the Imperial army which was concentrating near Rivalta, the two other battalions remained in Pavia.

FZM Wirich count Daun, Duke of Thiano intended to leave Italy with part of his army and to march to Franche-Comté. He should be joined on his way by Count Mercy with his own army, arriving from Alsace. However, Count Mercy was defeated by the Comte de Bourg on 22 August near Rennersheim and the whole plan collapsed. FZM count Daun returned to Italy with his army by way of Mont Cenis, and the regiment returned to Pavia and Tortona.

1710

In 1710, the Duchy of Savoy was not involved in the campaign, and FZM count Daun was to weak to act offensively. Therefore, he contented himself to guard the border. From July, two battalions of the regiment were posted on the border. Two lieutenants with 290 men were sent to the army in Spain.

In 1710, all Imperial infantry regiments were reduced to 15 fusilier companies à 140 men, organised in three battalions and one grenadier company with 100 men. The regiments now had a strength of 2,300 men.

1711

In 1711, all Imperial infantry regiments received a second grenadier company. From the three battalions, two were designated as "field battalions." The third battalion of the present regiment garrisoned Pavia and Spignola. Victor Amadeus, Duke of Savoy decided to sent a corps against Spanish Toscana. For this action, one battalion of each regiment stationed in Piedmont joined the expeditionary force. FML Johann Hieronymus Baron Zumjungen assembled this corps near Piacenza. On 15 November, he marched by way of Petremoli, Massa, Viareggio and Pontedera to Pogi bonsi and from there to Siena. The corps spent winter in this region.

1712

At the beginning of March 1712, FML Zumjungen advanced with his corps to Porto Ercole. On 13 March, he invested the place. On 4 May, Porto Ercole surrendered. FLM Zumjungen then returned to Piedmont. By the end of the year, the whole regiment was in winter-quarters in the region of Milan.

1713

On 13 July 1713, the regiment, along with the Hautois Cuirassiers formed part of the brigade of Major-General Max Ludwig Count Regal, which was recalled from Milan to join the Imperial forces on the Upper Rhine. On 3 September, two battalions and one grenadier company arrived at Mühlberg, The third battalion and the other grenadier company remained in Bavaria. The regiment remained in these places until 10 December and then took its winter-quarters in Palatinate.

1714

In 1714, after the ratification of the Treaty of Rastatt, the regiment spent some time in Mayence (Mainz) and later garrisoned Colonia and Aachen. During a review, on 14 February, the regiment had 1,183 men fit for service.

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; blue hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neck stock red
Coat pearl grey (lined blue and double-breasted in 1710) 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 blue, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat straw yellow with yellow buttons (blue in 1710)
Breeches straw yellow (blue in 1710)
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 sox; 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 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 neckstock
  • pearl grey coat with French blue lining, French blue cuffs and brass buttons
  • French blue waistcoat
  • French blue 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

Graefer: pp. 103-106

Prochazka. W.: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regimentes FML Wilhelm Freiherr von Reinländer Nr. 24, Vienna, 1886

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 15-16

Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Plates 1 and 8

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Prochazka's work