Nicolaus Pálffy Infantry

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

Origin and History

This regiment is one of the oldest infantry regiments of the Austrian Army. Its origins can be traced back to 1630, when Generalissimus Albrecht von Waldstein authorized Colonel Heinrich Holk to raise an infantry regiment of 3,000 men at Lübeck and Pinneberg. However, the Danish King Christian IV did not allow recruiting in his lands. Therefore, Holk had to go to Bohemia where he found the rest of a foot regiment originally raised in 1620 by the Protestant nobility of Upper Austria at Linz. Its commander was Colonel Schiffer. Under the pressure of the Elector of Bavaria Maximilian, the nobility had accepted that its regiment could be incorporated into his own forces. Therefore, in November 1620, Schiffer's regiment had fought in a battle near Prague against the Protestant Army. This regiment continued to distinguish itself under the command of its successive colonels: Schiffer, Knering and Zwilling. The regiment took part in various battles of the Thirty Years' War.

In 1630, the rest of this regiment under Schiffer and Knering formed the cadre for the new regiment raised by Colonel Holk.

In 1631, the regiment took part in the Siege of Magdeburg and in the Battle of Leipzig. In 1632, it was at the Battle of Lützen; and in 1634, at the Battle of Nördlingen.

During the following years, the regiment campaigned in Bohemia, Saxony and Silesia under Waldstein.

Holk died of the plague in 1633.

In 1634, FM Johann Caspar Count Stadion became the new proprietor of the regiment.

In 1638, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lemgow; in in 1642, in the Battle of Breitenfeld; and in 1645, in the Battle of Jankau.

In 1658 and 1659, the regiment campaigned in Holstein and Pomerania. It was then transferred to Hungary to fight against the Turks.

In 1663, the regiment took part in the siege of Neuhäusel; in 1664, in the Battle of St. Gotthard.

In 1674, the regiment served in Germany against the French, taking part in the Battle of Seneffe. In 1675, it fought in the Battle of Consarbrück. In 1676, it was at the storming of Philippsburg. In 1678, it took part in the engagement of Rheinfelden.

By 1683, the regiment belonged to Imperial Count (Reichsgraf) Maximilian Lorenz von Starhemberg. The same year, the regiment returned to Hungary and, in September, was part of the army fighting near Vienna against the Turks. In 1684, it was at the siege of Ofen. In 1687, it fought in the Battle of Mohacs.

In 1688, the regiment returned to the Rhine where it took part in the siege of Philippsburg. In 1689, it was at the storming of Mainz.

By 1691, the regiment was back in Hungary where it fought in the Battle of Slankamen. In 1692, it was at the siege of Grosswardein.

From 1693 until the signature of the Peace of Karlowitz in 1699, part of the regiment garrisoned Hungary and the other part was stationed at Herrmanstadt in Transylvania.

On 1 February 1700, FM Nikolaus Count Pálffy ab Erdöd, Palatine of Hungary, was appointed proprietor of the regiment and Colonel Gottfried Count Hennisch, its commander.

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

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

  • since 1700 until 1732: Nikolaus Count Pálffy ab Erdöd

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession were:

  • since 1700: Gottfried Count Hennisch (died on 20 March 1708)
  • from 1708: Matthias Christian von Moosburg (retired in October 1711)
  • from 1711 to 1719: Johann von Schwenninger (died on 1 February 1719)

Service during the War

At the outbreak of the war, the regiment remained in Transylvania.

In 1703, the regiment belonged to the corps placed under the command of G.d.C. Rabutin and fought against the rebels of Ferenc II Rákóczi. There are no detailed documentation about the services of the regiment during this period.

In 1705, Captain Johann Gerz and Lieutenants Thomas Neidinger and Johann Stella were killed in action. The last two were shot during an engagement at the “Rothe Turm” Pass.

In 1706, Captain Johann Mayer and Julius Schauroth were killed in action.

In 1707, Captain Franz Count Schütz was killed in action. The same year, Lieutenant Johann Georg Tischler, who had been imprisoned by the rebels died.

By 1709, the regiment was still stationed in Transylvania and counted 16 musketeer companies, 1 grenadier company. On 10 August, it took part in the engagement near Királyhágo.



Uniform in 1702 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Knötel, Donath
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; probably a medium blue hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neck stock red
Coat pearl grey with pearl grey lining; 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 pearl grey, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat pearl grey with yellow buttons
Breeches pearl grey
Stockings light grey 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
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt 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.


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.


Uniforms of officers were always of finer cloth than those of the privates. According to Donath, their uniform was very different from those of privates::

  • a black tricorne edged white with a red plumetis
  • a medium blue coat edged gold with gilt buttons; white lining; cuffs and pocket flaps were also edged with a golden braid
  • a medium blue waistcoat with gilt buttons
  • medium blue breeches
  • white stockings

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.


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.


no information found


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

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, Plate Bl. 4 and Bl. 7

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. 34-38

Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937, fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985

Schweigerd, C. A.: Geschichte des K. K. Linien-Infanterie-Regimentes No. 8 Erzherzog Ludwig, Vienna 1857

Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 11-12

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


Harald Skala and Michael Zahn for gathering most of the information about this regiment