Vaudémont Cuirassiers

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1682 by GFWM Hermann Otto, Count Limburg-Styrum

The regiment counted 6 squadrons.

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

  • since 1691: Carl Thomas Prince Loorraine-Vaudémont
  • from 1704 till 1721: Carl Martigny du Han

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since 1698: Colonel Carl von Martini
  • from 1704: Colonel Carl Martigny (proprietor)
  • from 1706: Colonel Johann Jakob von Eltz
  • from 1715: Colonel Carl Ludwig von Uffeln (aka Offeln)

In 1716, the regiment rejoined the main army in Hungary.

The regiment (then De Ville Cuirassiers was disbanded in 1768 and its squadrons were incorporated into other regiments.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was attached to the army of Prince Eugène who proceeded to the invasion of Northern Italy. On 9 July, it took part in the Combat of Carpi. On 1 September, it fought in the Battle of Chiari. Colonel Martini captured a Spanish detachment at Medole.

In 1702, the regiment participated in the campaign in Northern Italy. On 26 July, it fought at the combat of Santa Vittoria. On 15 August, it took part in the battle of Battle of Luzzara. Major Count Arz and Captain Lagnasco distinguished themselves during several raids.

In 1703, the regiment fought in an engagement near Ostiglia. A detachment participated in the raid to Piedmont under the commande of General Visconti.

In 1704, three squadrons were sent to Piedmont where they saw no action, while the other three squadrons remained encamped on the Po River.

In 1705, three squadrons remained stationed in Piedmont. On 16 August, the three other squadrons took part in the Battle of Cassano.

From 1707 to 1712, the regiment remained stationed in Northern Italy where it saw no action.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine but saw no action.

Uniform

Before 1738, there are almost no surviving contemporary sources describing the details of the uniforms of each Austrian regiment. Even secondary sources are scarce. In this section, we present a tentative reconstruction of the uniform worn by this unit.

Troopers

Uniform in 1701 – Copyright Richard Couture
Uniform Details in 1701
Headgear Western European theatres: black tricorne laced white reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat

Eastern European theatres: round helmet of wrought iron with neck and nose protection
for ordinary service, troopers wore a tricorne decorated with a pompom, and black and yellow plumes

hair had to be of a standard length and tied with a black ribbon

Neck stock white
Coat buff leather lined red with short skirts reaching above the thighs

replaced by a grey-white coat in 1710

Collar none (short red standing collar from 1710)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white made of linen cloth
Breeches red cloth with linen lining
Leather Equipment
Gloves thick leather gloves with buff coloured cuffs
Crossbelt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn across the left shoulder
Waistbelt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn above the coat
Cartridge Pouch cartridge pouch containing 24 cartridges
Scabbard sometimes made of metal but more often of leather with an iron tip protector and a brass mouth piece
Footgear riding boots made of Russian leather with a knee pad reaching above the knee

when not mounted, cuirassiers wore shoes with gaiters or stockings

Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red, decorated with the embroidered arms or cipher of the regiment owner and bordered with a blue and white braid (blue rectangles pointing outwards and white triangles pointing inwards)

in 1710 the braid was changed to blue and white alternating parallelepiped

Housings red bordered with a black and white braid (blue rectangles pointing outwards and white triangles pointing inwards)

in 1710 the braid was changed to blue and white alternating parallelepiped

Porte manteau red


Troopers were armed with a cuirasse of blackened wrought-iron (some regiments used a leather full cuirasse with front and back plates) edged red, a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols.

NCOs

no information found yet

Officers

Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Buttons were gilt or silver-plated and golden embroideries decorated the cuffs, pocket flaps and saddlecloth.

Officers wore a black and yellow silk sash across the chest or around the waist.

Musicians

In the Austrian Cuirassier regiments, kettle drummers and trumpeters were dressed according to the regiment owner's tastes. They often wore brightly coloured uniforms with:

  • a plumed black round slouch hat
  • a curled periwig down to the shoulders
  • a white cravate
  • a comfortable red or blue coat with wide skirts reaching above the knees, decorated with ribbons and braids
  • red breeches
  • riding boots made of Russian leather with a knee pad reaching above the knee

The fairly large trumpet had a square yellow silk apron carrying an embroidered black double-eagle.

Kettle drums were similar to those used nowadays in symphonic orchestras. They were fastened to the saddle on each side of the pommel. One drum had a low register, the other a high one. The kettle drums were covered with richly laced and fringed yellow or red silken brocade apron measuring 128 cm. The middle of this apron was decorated with the painted (oil paint) arms of the regiment owner.

Standards

From 1657 to 1705, all Austrian (Imperial) cuirassier regiments carried the same white Leibstandarte (colonel standard). It was fringed in gold and, on both sides, the border was decorated with a golden floral pattern:

  • obverse (right): centre design consisted of an armed black Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Austria on a shield, surmounted by a crown
  • reverse (left): the Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by Kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud and surrounded by rays
Leibfahne from 1657 to 1705 – Copyright: Kronoskaf

N.B.: according to Sapherson (The Imperial Cavalry 1691–1714), the reverse of the Leibstandarte "carried the colonel's arms or the Virgin and Child emblem. These designs were often accompanied by the initials of the colonel, heraldic designs of various types and scrollwork or wreaths."

From 1657 to 1705, the obverse (right side) of the Ordinärestandarten (regimental standards) of all Austrian (Imperial) dragoon regiments was of an identical pattern and consisted of an armed black Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Austria on a shield, surmounted by a crown. The border of the obverse was decorated with a floral pattern in the metal colour of the regiment.

References

Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Series 1, Vol. 1, Vienna 1875, pp. 212, 219-222, 227

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, plate B.5

Acknowledgement

Harald Skala for the initial version of this article