Thürheim Infantry

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

Origin and History

Private of Thürheim Infantry - Source: detail from an illustration of Richard Knötel

On 29 May 1698, Emperor Leopold I issued an order to Colonel Franz Sebastian Count von Thürheim to raise an infantry regiment. Thürheim signed this document on 6 June 1698. Six companies from Metternich Infantry formed the kernel of this new regiment, the six additional companies (each of 150 men) should be enlisted in Upper Hungary. Enlistment went slowly. By the end of the year, only two companies had been completed and were assembled in Pressburg (present-day Bratislava/SK). During the same period, the six companies contributed by Metternich Infantry went to Nagy-Banya while the two new enlisted companies went to Ofen (present-day part of Budapest/HU).

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

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

  • from 1698: Franz Sebastian (Joseph) Count von Thürheim
  • from 1713 until 1716: Friedrich Ludwig van der Lanken (killed on 5 August 1716 by a cannonball during the Battle of Peterwardein)

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive effective commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 1698: Franz Sebastian Count Thürheim (the proprietor of the regiment)
  • from 1703: Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold de Gentis (promoted to colonel in 1712)
  • from 1716: Joachim von Schmiedinger (killed on 14 August of the same year, in the Battle of Temesvár)


Service during the War

1700

in February 1700, the regiment was concentrated at Szatmar, where it raised the four missing companies. By Summer, it counted 12 companies for a total of 1,800 men.

1701

In 1701, the grenadiers of the regiment were assembled in a single company of 100 men, while the rest of the regiment was organized in 4 battalions, each of 4 companies of 150 men. The necessary new recruits were enlisted in Silesia.

Half the regiment garrisoned places in the Comitat of Hunyad in Transylvania while the other half was stationed in Hungary (at least in 1702).

1703

In 1703, the regiment contributed two companies for the creation of Virmond Infantry.

1704

In the Spring of 1704, 500 men of the regiment were attached to Rabutin’s Corps stationed in Transylvania. An entire battalion of the regiment seems to have deserted and joined the Hungarian Insurgents. Most of them were killed on 8 October in the Battle of Páta.

In November, 100 men of the regiment were allocated to the corps of Colonel Dillherr, which besieged Jockelsdorf (present-day Jakubov/SK) occupied by superior rebel forces. Dillherr’s artillery opened a lively fire on the village, then his troops stormed it, the rebels fled in panic. On its way back, Dillherr’s force was attacked by rebel cavalry led by Colonel Ocskay but Dillherr’s guns stopped the rebels again and this force arrived safely at Angern an der March (on the Austro-Slovakian border).

1705

In 1705, the regiment (then counting only 6 companies) was allocated to Glöckelsberg’s Corps. On 16 September, it marched from Pest (present-day part of Budapest/HU) by way of Czegled, Csongrád, Szegedin and Debreczen, to Schibo. On 11 November, the 6 companies (1 battalion) of the regiment took part in the Battle of Schibo against the Hungarian Insurgents led by Rákóczi. After the victory, Glöckelsberg followed the retreating Insurgents to Szamos-Ujvár and stormed the castle. On 28 November, he made a junction with Rabutin’s troops at Karlsburg (present-day Alba Julia/RO).

1706

In 1706, the regiment took part in all actions of Rabutin’s Corps. By the end of the year, the regiment had only 331 men, 16 of them ill.

1707

In June 1707, some companies of the regiment were sent to Oedenburg to join the corps of G.d.C. Pálffy, Banus of Croatia.

1708

In 1708, the regiment was part of General Löffelholz’s Corps, in the brigade of FML Jörger von Tollet. From 10 November, it garrisoned Altsohl (present-day Zvolen/SK) and Neusohl (present-day Banská Bystrica/SK).

1709

At the beginning of 1709, 16 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company of the regiment were deployed in Hungary, as part of Tollet’s brigade. On 9 April, one battalion and the grenadiers (a total of 5 coys) of the regiment defended the Castle of Liptau (present-day Liptov/SK) for several hours against 6,000 rebels, until the brigades of General Ebergényi and Viard came to their relief. Corporal Eckstein, who had deserted and served in Rákóczi’s troops was beheaded at Liptau.

1710

In 1710, 7 companies were stationed in the region of Zips (present-day Spiš/SK) and 10 companies in Styria. The regiment then counted 2,180 men.

The 7 companies were allocated to the corps of FML Virmond; and the 10 remaining companies, to the corps of FZM Nehem. By November, there were 7 companies in Szegedin, 4 companies in Eszeg and 6 on the Drau River.

1711

In 1711, after the surrender of Rákóczi’s troops, part of the Imperial troops were sent from Hungary to reinforce the army of Prince Eugène on the Rhine. However, the present regiment remained in Hungary.

1713

In June 1713, the grenadiers of the regiment and the battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel Joachim von Schmiedinger marched from Szolnok through Austria to Durlach on the Rhine where they arrived on 1 August. The rest of the regiment remained in Szolnok and Munkács (present-day Mukačevo/UR).

During the year, Count Thürheim, the regiment owner, died. FML Philipp Ernst von der Lanckhen was appointed as the new proprietor of the regiment.

From 16 September, Lieutenant-Colonel Schmiedinger, with the grenadiers and his own battalion, was part of the garrison of Freiburg. FML Harsch commanded the place and the garrison comprised 7 grenadier companies, 16 battalions and 100 dragoons. The fortress was then besieged by the French Maréchal Villars with 140 battalions and 120 squadrons. During the siege, Schmiedinger and his men distinguished themselves on several occasions, suffering the loss of 233 men. On 16 November, Harsch finally surrendered with “military honour”.

1714

After the signature of the Treaty of Rastatt, on 7 September, Schmiedinger marched with the remains of his force, through Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria to Erlau (present-day Eger/HU), where the whole regiment was assembled and another grenadier company raised.

The regiment remained in Erlau until 1716. Joachim Schmiedinger (now ranking as colonel) was killed in the Battle of Temesvár in 1716.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1708 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per
Donath and Knötel
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 (red cockade as per Knötel)

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; red hanging bag edged with a white braid in a zig-zag pattern
Neck stock red
Coat pearl grey with red 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 red, each with 8 yellow buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat pearl grey with yellow buttons
Breeches pearl grey
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 black leather
Footwear Russia leather shoes


Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and, as per Knötel, a sword. 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.

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, 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.

Colours

Unidentified colour (Leibfahne or Regimentsfahne): white field with red diagonal flames; white border decorated with silver grenades; centre device consisting of a crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the the initials of Emperor Joseph I "II" (Ioseph Imperator) on its breast

Colour – 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
  • Series 1, Vol. 4, Vienna 1877, p. 631

Anon.: Zweihundert Jahre des K.u.K Inf. Reg. Humbert I. König von Italien Nr. 28, Prague 1808

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

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. 119-122

Knötel, Richard: Uniformkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Vol. X, No. 17, Rathenow 1890-1921

Schmedes, E., Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regimentes F.Z.M. Ludwig Ritter von Bendek Nr. 28, Vienna 1878

Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 21

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

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for the translation and integration of Schmedes’ book