Zanthe Cuirassiers

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

Origin and History

On 6 February 1682, Colonel Friedrich Count Veterani received the decree authorising him to raise a cuirassier regiment. This new regiment incorporated 1 company of Caprara Cuirassiers and 1 company of Montecuccoli Cuirassiers. Enlistment took place in Silesia. Once reviewed, the new regiment marched to Hungary.

In 1684, the regiment took part in the Battle of Eperies (present-day Prešov/SK); in 1685, in the siege of Kaschau, in 1686, in the expedition in Upper-Hungary and in the engagement of Szegedin.

In 1695, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lugos where it greatly distinguished itself; in 1696, in the Battle of Ollasch; and in 1697, in the Battle of Zenta.

From 1699 to 1701, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Transylvania.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons.

Since its creation, the successive proprietors of the regiment were:

  • since 1682: Friedrich Count Veterani
  • from 1695: Jacob Wilhelm Baron Zanthe von Merl
  • from 1704: Joseph August Prince Lobkowitz
  • from 1717: Georg Christian Prince Lobkowitz

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

  • since 1695: Siegfried Count Breuner, lieutenant-colonel
  • from 1705 to 1714: Franz Count Arrigoni, colonel

After the war, from 1714 to 1716, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Moravia.

In 1769, the regiment was numbered 10th. In 1798, it was renumbered as Cuirassier Regiment No. 5. Its last proprietor was, since 1781, FML Caspar Wolfgang Baron Zezschwitz. The regiment was disbanded 1802 and its squadrons transferred to various others cuirassier and dragoon regiments.

Service during the War

In 1702, the regiment was transferred from Transylvania to the Rhine where it took part in the Siege of Landau.

In 1703, the regiment was attached to the army of the Margrave of Baden but saw no action.

On 13 August 1704, the regiment participated in the Battle of Blenheim. From September to November it then took part in the second siege of Landau.

From 1705 to 1711, the regiment was attached to the Reichsarmee and did not take part in any noticeable action. Nevertheless, Major Baron Petrasch distinguished himself in several small actions.

In 1712, the regiment was transferred to the Low Countries where it took part in the action of Fampoux and, on 24 July, in the Battle of Denain.

From 1712, to 1714, the regiment served once more with the Reichsarmee but saw no action.


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.


Uniform in 1701 – Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details in 1701 as per Donath
Headgear – Copyright Kronoskaf

Western European theatres: black tricorne laced yellow 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 around 1710

Collar none (short red standing collar around 1710)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red, each with 3 brass buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat white made of linen cloth
Breeches red (buff leather around 1710)
Leather Equipment
Gloves thick leather gloves with buff coloured cuffs
Cross-belt natural leather with a brass buckle, worn across the left shoulder
Waist-belt 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 yellow braid edged blue with blue diagonal stripes
Housings red bordered with a yellow braid edged blue with blue diagonal stripes
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.


no information found yet


Uniforms of officers differed from those of the privates and NCOs by the finer material used. The coat, cuffs, pockets, saddlecloth and housings were probably edged with a wide golden braid.

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


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.


According to Dohna, 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."

Despite this supposed standardization, it seems that several cuirassier regiments continued to carry standards departing from this regulation.

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.


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, B.7

Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 2, Vienna, 1804, pp. 23-27


Harald Skala for the initial version of this article