Modena Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Modena Cuirassiers

Origin and History

The regiment was raised by Hercules Count Montecuccoli according to a decree issued on May 13 1701. It was formed from 5 coys coming from the disbanded Caprara Cuirassiers and from 5 newly enlisted coys.

In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was attached to Schlick's Corps who operated in Upper Austria and Bavaria. In 1703, the regiment was transferred to Hungary where it relieved the Castle of Munkács. In 1704, it was stationed in Moravia and did not take part in any major action. In 1705, it joined the main Imperial army. In 1706, as part of Pálffy's Corps, the regiment campaigned once more in Hungary, taking part in a skirmish near Kreuz and in the occupation of Gran (present-day Esztregom/HU). In 1707, in Starhemberg's Corps, it fought at Pullendorf and was than transferred to Rabutin's Corps. In 1708, it campaigned in Transylvania. In 1709, it took part in the relief of Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO) and in the Battle of Királyhágó. From 1712 to 1716, the regiment garrisoned Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO).

In 1716, during the Austro–Turkish War (1716–18), the regiment campaigned in Hungary, taking part in the siege of Temesvár. In 1717, it was posted near Karansebes and saw no action.

In 1737 and 1738, during the Austro-Turkish War 1737–1739), the regiment operated in Wallachia. In 1739, it distinguished itself at Grocka and Pancsova.

From 1739 to 1741, the regiment garrisoned in the Komitat of Neograd in Hungary.

In 1741, at the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially posted in Silesia. In was afterwards sent to Bohemia but saw no action. In 1742, it took part in the Battle of Chotusitz and in the siege and recapture of Prague. In 1743, it was sent to Bavaria where it took part in a skirmish at Simbach before being transferred to the Rhine. In 1744, it initially served on the Rhine but had to return to Bohemia where it took part in a skirmish at Beraun (present-day Beroun/CZ). In 1745, it fought in the battles of Hohenhriedberg and Soor.

The regiment counted 6 squadrons and a company of carabiniers. For battles, the latter was usually converged with other similar companies to form an elite unit.

At the time of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was often designated as “Alt Modena” to differentiate it from the “Jung Modena” Dragoons Regiment.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment inhaber was:

  • since 1755: Francesco III d’Este, Duke of Modena

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • 1756: Franz Carl Count Podstatzky
  • 1757: Andreas Panowsky
  • 1759: Daniel Gebhard von Schulz
  • 1759: Franz Joseph Count Podstatzky
  • 1761: Carl Wilhelm Baron von Schellerer

The regiment was disbanded in 1768 and its squadron allocated to various cuirassier and dragoon regiments. The carabiniers were transferred to the newly established Carabinier Regiment No. 1 “Albert Duke Sachsen-Teschen”.

Service during the War

In June 1756, at the beginning of the war, the regiment was stationed in Neustadt an der Waag (present-day Nové Mesto nad Váhom aka Vág-Újhely) in Slovakia and counted 822 men and 777 horses. It was soon ordered to join Piccolomini's Corps in Bohemia.

On June 18 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing under Count von Stampach. In October, it took than part in Hadik's raid on Berlin.

In 1758, the regiment campaigned in Saxony. It fought at Zittau and was later allocated to the “Reichsarmee”.

By mid-August 1759, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment (or the Jung-Modena Dragoons) was attached to Hadik's Corps. On September 21, it took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in the centre of Hadik's Corps under Major-General Fürst Lobkowitz: its charge prevented Gyulay Infantry from being annihilated by the Prussian infantry. The regiment and particularly Rittmeister (captains) Dessewffy and Kaltschmidt distinguished themselves in this combat. On November 20, 4 squadrons of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where they were deployed in the second cavalry column of Sincère's Corps under the command of Lieutenant-General Count Stampa.

On June 23 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Landeshut in the Wolfersdorf's command. On August 15, the regiment was with Daun's main Army during the Battle of Liegnitz and, on September 17, in Wolfersdorff's Corps at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.

In 1761, the regiment served in Silesia.

In 1762, the regiment was initially stationed in Silesia. In November, it was transferred to Saxony under Maquire at Dippoldiswalde. On November 26, it was at Altenberg under FML Berlichingen.

After the war, the regiment garrisoned in the Komitat of Trentschin (present-day Trenčín/SK)



Uniform in 1762 - Source: Richard Couture and Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
as per the Albertina Handschrift of 1762

completed with other sources where necessary
Trooper black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small pewter button
Carabinier black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small pewter button
Neck stock black
Coat white with 16 pewter buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder strap white fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs dark blue, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks dark blue
Waistcoat white with a single row of pewter buttons and with horizontal pockets (each with 3 pewter buttons)
Breeches dark blue
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Waistbelt none
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black with gilt decorations
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark blue laced with a white braid bordered dark blue and decorated with dark blue vertical bands (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Sabretache dark blue laced with a white braid bordered dark blue and decorated with dark blue vertical bands (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)
Blanket roll white and dark blue (according to the illustration of the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762)

Troopers were armed with a black breastplate (worn over the coat), a pallasch (sword) and a pair of pistols. Carabiniers also carried a carbine and had a sabre instead of a sword.

Other interpretations

The Albertina Handschrift shows only 13 buttons on the coat. However, Raspe shows 16 buttons and is followed by most other uniformologists.

The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift shows a lace on the tricorne, a red neckstock and straw breeches.

Donath shows two rows of buttons on the coat.


The officers (according to the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift of 1762) wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne laced gold with a green and white cockade
  • red saddlecloth and sabretache both laced in green and fringed in gold


According to Donath (Kaiserliche Kürassiere 1740-1765), trumpeters wore a black tricorne laced gold with a yellow round cockade with a red centre and a black plume tipped yellow. They wore a dark blue coat laced gold with white shoulder straps, white swallow nests laced gold, yellow buttons, white cuffs laced gold and white turnbacks laced gold. Their waiscoat was dark blue and their breeches dark blue. Saddle cloth and sabretache were similar to those of the troopers.

The aprons of the trumpets were dark blue with a yellow cipher. The aprons of the kettledrums were dark blue with silver embroideries and bore the arms of the duke of Modena.


According to Friedrich Schirmer, the standards of this regiment during the Seven Years’ War were as follows:

  • Leib Standard: white on a brown flagpole
    • Obverse: black double eagle
    • Reverse: arms of the duke of Modena
  • Regimental Standard: blue on a brown flagpole
    • Obverse: silver double eagle
    • Reverse: arms of the duke of Modena

However, during his research on military flags, Stephen Ede-Borrett found an old Regimentsstandarte dating from 1764, which is clearly attributed to the squadron of Lieutenant-Colonel Hercoly (Ercole) d’Este. With the information provided by Stephen Ede-Borrett, an anonymous artist proposes the following reconstruction.

Regimental Standard in 1764 - Copyright: Kronoskaf


Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Regimenter der Kaiserin, Gedanken zur "Albertina Handschrift" 1762 des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien, Köln: 1967

Donath, Rudolf: Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979, Teil III Blatt 7

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Grosser Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913

Kessel, Eberhard: Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Paderborn: Schöningh, 2007

Kornauth, Friedrich: Das Heer Maria Theresias: Faksimile-Ausgabe der Albertina-Handschrift, "Dessins des Uniformes des Troupes I.I. et R.R. de l'année 1762", Wien: 1973

Raspe: Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlichen Kayserlich Koeniglichen Armeen zur eigentlichen Kentnis der Uniform von jedem Regimente. Nebst beygefügter Geschichte, worinne von der Stiftung, denen Chefs, der Staercke, und den wichtigsten Thaten jedes Regiments Nachricht gegeben wird., Nürnberg: 1762

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Thümmler, L.-H.: Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

Wrede, A. v.: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, file III. second part, page 576ff, Vienna 1901

Zahn, Michael: Oesterreichische Kürassier und Dragoner Standarten in Siebenjährigen Krieges, Zusammenstellung, 1988


Harald Skala for the sections on origin and history, and on service during the war.

Stephen Ede-Borrett for the information on the standard carried by this regiment in 1764