Solari Infantry

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1682, at the beginning of the Great Turkish War, by Georg Baron von Wallis. In 1683, the regiment took part in the relief of Vienna. In 1688, it was at the storming of Belgrade. In 1689, Andreas Christoph Count von Jörger de Tollet succeeded to Wallis. In 1690, the regiment took part in the siege of Belgrade. In 1691, Notger Wilhelm Count von Öttingen-Baldern succeeded to Jörger. The same year, two battalions of the regiment fought in the Battle of Slankamen and the entire regiment took part in the siege of Grosswardein. In 1692, the regiment was at the blockade and at the second siege of Grosswardein. In 1693 Michael Stephan Fürst von Sapieha became proprietor of the regiment. In 1694, he was succeeded by Lorenz Count Solari. In 1697, the regiment fought in the Battle of Zenta.

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

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

  • since 1694: Lorenz Count Solari (killed during the passage of the Bormia in 1704)
  • from 1704 until 1764: Johan Joseph Philipp Count von Harrach von Rohrau

Colonel-commanders during the War of the Spanish Succession:

  • in 1705: L'Ami

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment was sent to Northern Italy. On June 7, the first 7 coys of Solari Infantry were joined by Venetian troops at Borgoforte. On 10 June, Prince Eugène de Savoie sent 2 coys of Solari Infantry, 2 coys of Rheingraf Infantry and 200 grenadiers to reinforce the 13 coys of Solari Infantry posted at Brescello. On 18 June, the last 6 coys of Solari Infantry finally arrived at Eugène's camp. This regiment thus now counted 1 grenadier coy and 3 bns. On 1 July, 4 coys of Solari Infantry were sent to Guastalla under Major Baron Browne. By 21 July, General Bagni was at the head of 14 coys of Kriechbaum Infantry, 7 coys of Solari Infantry, Vaudémont Cuirassiers (300 men) and Trautmannsdorf Dragoons with 4 regimental guns. By August 2, one battalion of the regiment was at Borgoforte and 6 companies in Brescello. During the month of August, IV./Solari Infantry (1 bn and 1 grenadier coy) finally arrived in Northern Italy to reinforce the Imperial army. From 2 to 9 September, Count Solari defended Guastalla but finally had to surrender with the honours of war. By the end of November, part of the regiment had been sent back to join Schlik's Army assembling to attack Bavaria.

In September 1706, the regiment took part in the relief of Turin.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1704 - 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; medium blue hanging bag edged with a yellow braid in a zigzag pattern
Neck stock red
Coat pearl grey 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 medium blue, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat medium blue with yellow buttons
Breeches medium blue
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 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 white with a white plumetis
  • a white neck stock
  • a blue coat edged gold with gilt buttons; white cuffs edged gold, pocket flaps edged with a golden braid
  • a white waistcoat with gilt buttons
  • white 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.

Musicians

As for many regiment of the Austrian Army of the time, drummers wore uniforms in reverse colours with the distinctive colour of the regiment used for the coat:

  • a black tricorne laced white
  • a red neck stock
  • a medium blue coat edged yellow; white cuffs edged yellow; pocket flaps edged yellow
  • a white waistcoat with yellow buttons
  • white breeches
  • white stockings

The drum belt was usually brown and worn on the right shoulder.

Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): white field bordered with an inner row of alternating black and red flames pointing outwards, and an outer row of alternating white and yellow flames pointing inwards; centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the golden Imperial Globus cruciger on its breast

Leibfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf

Battalion colours (Bataillonsfahne): red field bordered with an inner row of alternating black and red flames pointing outwards, and an outer row of alternating white and yellow flames pointing inwards; centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the golden Imperial Globus cruciger on its breast

N.B.: six Bataillonsfahnen had alternating black and red inner flames while four others were almost identical but had all their inner flames black (instead of alternating black and red flames)

Reconstruction based on the colours captured at Vercelli in 1704
Bataillonsfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf
Bataillonsfahne – Copyright: Kronoskaf

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

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 5

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. 204-207

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 9-10

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