Origin and History
The regiment was raised by Hercules Count Montecuccoli according to a decree issued on 13 May 1701. It was formed from 5 coys coming from the disbanded Caprara Cuirassiers and from 5 newly enlisted coys.
The regiment counted 6 squadrons.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment proprietors were:
- since 1701 till 1730: FM Hercules Count Montecuccoli
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:
- since 1701: Hercules Count Montecuccoli
- from 1704: Julius Count Veterani, colonel
- from 1708 till 1716: Johann Carl Count Eckh, colonel
The regiment, then belonging to Franz III d'Este Duke of Modena", was disbanded in 1768 and its squadron allocated to various cuirassier and dragoon regiments.
Service during the War
In 1702, the regiment was attached to Schlick's Corps who operated in Upper Austria and Bavaria.
In 1703, the regiment was transferred to Hungary where it distinguished itself when it drove away the rebels trying to seize the Castle of Munkács.
In 1704, the regiment was stationed in Moravia and did not take part in any major action.
In 1705, the regiment joined the main Imperial army.
In 1706, the regiment campaigned once more in Hungary as part of Pálffy's Corps, taking part in a skirmish near Kreuz and in the occupation of Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU).
In 1707, the regiment was initially attached to Starhemberg's Corps and fought at Pullendorf. It was later transferred to Rabutin's Corps.
In 1708, the regiment campaigned in Transylvania as part of Rabutin's Corps.
In 1709, the regiment took part in the relief of Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO) and in the Battle of Királyhágó.
In 1710 and 1711, the regiment saw no action.
From 1712 to 1716, the regiment garrisoned Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO).
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.
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
|Coat||buff leather lined blue with short skirts reaching above the thighs|
replaced by a grey-white coat around 1710
|Waistcoat||white made of linen cloth|
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. Cuffs and pockets were 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
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
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