Reventlau Infantry

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

Origin and History

On 12 December 1694, Christian Detlef Count Reventlau received a patent from the emperor to raise a regiment of foot. The regiment recruited in the empire.

During the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the regiment was initially allocated to the Army of the Rhine. In 1695 and 1696, it campaigned in Savoy. In 1697, it garrisoned Breisach.

In 1700, the regiment incorporated 5 companies from the disbanded Infantry Regiment Vitry.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted four battalions for a book strength of 2,400 men.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the chefs of the regiment were:

  • from 1694: Christian Detlef, Count Reventlau (aka Raventlau or Rawentlau) (joined the Danish service in 1711)
  • from 1711 until 1731: Johann Joseph Count O´Dwyer

The successive colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession were:

  • from 1694: Colonel Reventlau (the proprietor)
  • from 1697: Lieutenant-Colonel Grawehl
  • from 1703: Colonel Molck
  • from 1708: Lieutenant-Colonel Johann Joseph Count O´Dwyer
  • from 1711 until 1716: the same as proprietor

Due to high losses during last campaigns, the regiment was disbanded in 1747. Its companies were transferred to 13 regiments which garrisoned In Italy.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment garrisoned Breisach.

In April 1702, the regiment was transferred to the Army of Italy. On 2 May, it arrived at Bussolengo. The same month, it took positions in various posts around Mantua. At the end of May, it was posted near Goito as part of Commercy’s Corps. By 2 August, three battalions were posted near Borgoforte and 1 battalion in Brescello. In mid-October, it was posted at Revere. On 25 October, the fourth battalion was sent to Governolo. In mid-November, it was on the left bank of the Po under the command of G.d.C. Count Trautmannsdorf, whose army was posted in Ponte del Molino, Villimpenta, Roncoferraro, Governolo, Ostiglia.

By January 1703, the regiment was still posted in the same region. A new battalion, which had been raised in the Hereditary lands, was stopped on its way in Upper Austria and took part in the combat of the entrenchments of St. Willibald. By the end of December, the regiment formed part of Trautmannsdorf's Army on the Secchia River.

In January 1704, the regiment was still attached to Trautmannsdorf's Army and was posted in Revere.

On 16 August 1705, the regiment took part in the Battle of Cassano where it was deployed on the extreme right of the second line of the infantry centre.

On 7 September 1706, the regiment fought in the |Battle of Turin.

In 1708, the regiment embarked for Catalonia.

On 27 July 1710, the regiment took part in the Battle of Almenar. On 20 August, it fought in the Battle of Saragossa where it lost 19 officers and a large number of soldiers. On 10 December, it was at the Combat of Villaviciosa.

From 1711 to 1713, the regiment remained in Catalonia but saw no action.

In 1714, the regiment returned to Italy. It remained in Lombardy during the Austro-Turkish War (1716–1718). In 1719, the regiment embarked for Sicily.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform circa 1702 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Michele Savasta Fiore
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 zigzag pattern
Neck stock white
Coat pearl grey with pearl grey lining; tin buttons on the right side and 1 tin button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 tin buttons
Cuffs light blue, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat pearl grey
Breeches pearl grey
Stockings light blue (maybe 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
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

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. The were also distinguished from the uniforms of privates by the following differences:

  • a black tricorne edged silver
  • a white neck cloth
  • a coat edged silver with gilt buttons; cuffs and pocket flaps were also edged with a silver braid

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, drummers 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

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file II. pp. 208ff, Vienna 1898

Kühn/Hall: 'The Imperial Regiments of Foot 1701-1714, Part 21

Acknowledgments

Michele Savasta Fiore for providing most of the information for the initial version of this article.

Harald Skala for additional information on this unit.