Pál Deák Hussards

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Pál Deák Hussards

Origin and History

In 1689, the famous partisan Pál Deák de Miháldy had raised a band of hussars to fight for the Empire against the Turks. On 20 February 1696, Deák was authorised by Emperor Leopold I to raise a hussar regiment in the districts between Danube and Tisza. The regiment served in Hungary against the Turks. It was disbanded in 1700, but soon re-established in 1701.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, this Imperial regiment was sent to Italy. On 30 March 1704, it was campaigning in Piedmont, when Colonel Pál Déak was captured by the French at Casale. While he was imprisoned, the Vienna authorities confiscated Déak's estates in Hungary. Deák felt discriminated and, in 1706, took service in the French Army, taking command of an irregular French hussar regiment operating in Northern Italy.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from 1706: Pál Deák de Miháldy
  • from 1706: Filtz
  • from 1707: Montils

Service during the War

On 8 December 1704, a party of French hussars is reported in Italy. The Duc de Vendôme, having been informed that 2 hussar regiments were cantoned in the village of Santa Maria, on the left bank of the Po downstream from Crescentino, detached M. de Filtz with all the hussars which he had kept with his army. M. de Filtz passed the Po at the bridge of Trino, where he was joined by 2 grenadier coys and 250 horse. He then advanced upon Santa Maria to realize that the Allies had been warned and had quickly retired. Nevertheless, he managed to capture 8 hussars, 27 horses and 3 standards.

In November 1705, this same party is reported in Lombardy, where The Duc de Vendôme sent M. de Filtz to Gavardo with the hussars and 300 horse to raze the entrenchments that the Imperialists had left there.

At the beginning of 1706, Pál Deák de Miháldy, who had defected from the Imperial service, took command of the irregular hussars in Italy. In the spring, during the Siege of Turin, Deák collected all his officers and 70 Hungarian hussars and defected to the Imperial army. He then took service in his former regiment. M. de Filtz assumed command of the French hussar regiment. On 19 June, the Duc de La Feuillade marched towards Moncalieri. His vanguard and his hussars under M. de Filtz drove back 2 troops of horse.


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The article incorporates texts from the following books, which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, p. 230
  • 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
  • Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 65-66
  • Thürheim, A. Gr.: Gedenkblätter aus der Geschichteder K. K. österr. Armee, Vol. II, Vienna 1880
  • Treuenfest, G. v.: Geschichte des k.k. Huszaren-Regimentes Alexander Freiherr von Koller Nr.8, Vienna 1880
  • Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, Vol. III part 1, Vienna 1898–1905

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