Paul Anton Esterházy Hussars
Origin and History
At the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, Maria Theresa asked his Hungarian subjects for assistance. In the Spring of 1741, when the Hungarian Palatin Johann Pálffy appeal to him, Paul Anton Fürst Esterházy raised 100 hussars who were later on attached to the Ghilány Hussars (where his brother Nikolaus served as colonel). By the end of December 1741, Paul Anton Esterházy had already raised another 500 hussars even before receiving an official decree, most of them coming from his estates around Eisenstadt in Austria.
On January 15 1742, Esterházy was finally authorized to raise a hussar regiment of 10 companies at Oedenburg at his own expense. The staff officers came from elder regiments (Baranyay, Splényi, Károlyi and Ghilány). The lieutenant-colonel and regiment commander was Abraham von Handley. On February 19, five companies marched to Vienna, the other followed in mid-April. The regiment along with Johann Pálffy Cuirassiers and Bayreuth Dragoons joined Baranyay's Corps which was immediately sent to Mistelbach against the Prussians. On March 13, the regiment received its baptism of fire at Laa against Prinz Moritz Infantry and Sydow Infantry. The engagement lasted some three hour and the inexperienced hussar regiment lost 50 men while the Prussians had only 12 men wounded. The regiment then marched to Pohrlitz (present-day Pohořelice/CZ). On March 21, it tried to attack the camp of King Frederick II at Groß-Seelowitz (present-day Židlochovice/CZ). The regiment spent the following weeks around Brünn (present-day Brno/CZ). On May 17, it was at the Battle of Chotusitz but was not directly involved. At the end of the battle, the hussars plundered the Prussian camp. The regiment was then transferred to Southern Bohemia. On June 4, along with some Grenzers, it attacked the bridge near Moldauthein (present-day Týn nad Vltavou/CZ) and drove back some 400 French. Together with Károlyi Hussars, it stormed Písek and took the French garrison prisoners. From the end of June, the regiment took part in the siege of Prague. It was later sent to Bavaria, passed Deggendorf, Passau and wintered near Braunau am Inn.
In 1743, the regiment campaigned in Bavaria against a Franco-Bavarian Army. In the second half of the year, it followed the French during their retreat to the Rhine, taking part in the combat of Esslingen. By mid-October, it was back in Bavaria where it took its winter-quarters around Deggendorf.
For the campaign of 1744, the regiment was attached to Bärenklau's Corps. In the night of July 1 and 2, this corps passed the Rhine. It then fought in the combat of Nordheim and soon reached Strasbourg. When Frederick invaded Bohemia, the whole Austrian Army returned to that country. In August, the regiment reached Bohemia. On October 9, it took part in a first combat at Moldauthein (present-day Týn nad Vltavou /CZ). At the beginning of December, when the Prussians retired from Bohemia, the regiment followed them. Therefore, the campaign of 1744 lasted till February 1745 when the regiment encamped at Grulich (present-day Králíky/CZ).
By May 1745, the regiment was attached to FML Nádasdy's Corps and marched to Glatz (present-day Klodzko/PL). On June 4, it was not present at the Battle of Hohenfriedeberg, it was rather operating in the vicinity of Freiberg. At the end of June, Nádasdy's Corps rejoined the main army at Königgrätz (present-day Hradec Králové/CZ). On September 30, it took part in the Battle at Soor where along with Trenck's Pandours, it plundered the Prussian camp instead of attacking the Prussian army as ordered. Afterwards, the regiment went to Saxony.
In 1746, the regiment campaigned in the Netherlands in FM Grünne's Corps as part of the Pragmatic Army, being present at the Battle of Rocoux on October 11.
On July 2 1747, the regiment fought in the Battle of Lauffeld. On October 6, it attacked the regiment escorting Duc Maurice de Saxe, commander of the French Army, while he was on his way to St. Trond. Maurice de Saxe managed to escape but brigadier Mézières and part of the escort were captured.
By June 1748, the regiment was at the camp at Roermond. On September 29, it started its march back to Hungary. The same year, it incorporated part of the disbanded Trips Hussars.
At the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1749, the regiment assumed garrison duties in Oedenburg (present-day Sopron/HU), Eisenstadt, Forchtenstein and Lackenbach/AT.
In 1750, the regiment was transferred to Keszthely. For some months, it was stationed in the Comitat of Zala (Zala-Egerszég, Türje and Tapolca).
After the Summer manoeuvre of 1752, the regiment was sent to Mantua in Italy. From October 5, Colonel Michael Baron Barkóczy became commander of the regiment. On October 13, it arrived at Goito on the Mincio River to assume garrison duty.
On May 8 1753, the regiment was reviewed at Piacenza.
From 1754 to September 1756, the regiment (7 coys) garrisoned Lodi.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the nominal command of:
- since 1742: Pál Antal (Anton) Fürst Esterházy de Gálantha, FM
- from March 26 1762: Gábor (Gabriel) Georg Baron von Lusinsky, FML
- from 1773 to 1775: Dagobert Sigmund Count Wurmser
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:
- since 1742: Abraham Handlay
- from 1752: Colonel Michael Baron Barkóczy de Szala
- from 1760: Colonel Anton Csedö
- from 1771: Johann Nikolaus Terney de Kis-Terenye
- from 1773 to 1775: Adam Count Bethlen
After the signature of the Treaty of Hubertusburg in February 1763, the regiment assumed garrison duty in Prerau (present-day Přerov/CZ).
In 1766 was the regiment transferred to Teschen (present-day Český Těšín/CZ).
By 1769, the regiment ranked numer 24 within the Austrian cavalry.
In 1773, the regiment assumed garrison duty in various places in Galicia.
By 1775, the regiment garrisoned Nagy Sáros (present-day Velký Šariš/SK). It was then disbanded and its troopers were transferred to other hussar regiments (Nádasdy, Nauendorf and Emerich Esterházy).
Service during the War
In June 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was stationed in Lombardy and counted about 400 men and 400 horses. In September, it set off from Lombardy and marched towards Bohemia At the beginning of December, it arrived at Brüx (present-day Most/CZ) where it was integrated into FZM Königsegg's Corps, operating on the border with Saxony between Gabel (present-day Jablonné v Podještědí) and Reichenberg (present-day Liberec/CZ). During the winter of 1756-57, the regiment received a sixth squadron, bringing its nominal strength to 1,060 men.
On February 20 1757, part of the regiment participated in the attack on Hirschfeld (near Zittau in Upper Lusatia). On May 6, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Count Szechenyi's Brigade. During this battle, the regiment lost 41 men dead (38 died later at the hospital), 2 officers and 69 men taken prisoners. Around 230 hussars (including Fürst Paul Esterházy) were able to take refuge in Prague while the others rallied near the Sazava River and set off to join Daun's Army. On June 18, two squadrons of the regiment took part in the battle of Kolin where they were deployed in the first line of the extreme right wing in Hadik's division. After the battle, the regiment was brought back to full strength (6 sqns for a total of 1,259 men and 1,083 horses). It was then attached to Morocz's Corps which followed the retiring Prussians, attacked a convoy at Hasel (present-day Líska/CZ) and advanced by Zittau up to Bautzen. The exhausted hussars did not go further than Löbau. Afterwards the regiment was replaced by Kálnoky Hussars and Nádasdy Hussars and sent northwards to Rothenburg on the Neisse River. On December 5, the regiment took part in the Battle of Leuthen (present-day Lutynia/PL) where, prior to the battle, Morocz's Corps and some Saxonian chevaux-legers under Count Nostitz formed the vanguard of the cavalry right wing. This vanguard deployed 5 to 7 km in front of the main army. Due to heavy fog, Nostitz realized too late that his vanguard was under attack. His chevaux-legers were nearly annihilated but the hussars managed to escape. During the battle proper, the regiment was in Lucchesi's Cavalry Corps which fell into the trap prepared by the Prussians. Then 152 men managed to take refuge in Breslau (they later became prisoners when Breslau surrender on December 21). After Leuthen. Morocz's entire Corps counted only 500 men. During the bitter winter, the corps returned to Bohemia. The regiment, then counting only 276 men fit for duty, took position at Náchod/CZ.
By the end of March 1758, the regiment was at Gießhübel (present-day Grodnica/PL) in the corps of Jahnus von Eberstädt. In May, during the Prussian invasion of Moravia, the regiment was transferred to Loudon's Corps and marched to Olmütz (present-day Olomouc/CZ). On May 25, the regiment was involved in a skirmish near Namiest (present-day Náměšt/CZ) against Prussian hussars. Obristwachtmeister Pálasthy was wounded by several sabre-strokes. Later on, the regiment was attached to Major-General Buccow's Corps posted at Konitz (present-day Konice/CZ). In July, during retreat of the Prussian Army from Olmütz, Buccow followed it up to Königgrätz with his cavalry. From there, the regiment marched by Zittau to Görlitz and, now part of Loudon's Corps again, to Lower Lusatia. Obristwachtmeister Pálasthy at the head of 500 hussars stormed and plundered the suburbs of Frankfurt (Oder). In September, the regiment was involved in the skirmish at Spremberg, losing 2 officers and 163 men taken prisoners. On October 5, Frederick II reconnoitred the area near Stolpen in Saxony, escorted by Frei-Infanterie de Angelelli, Frei-Infanterie du Verger and 500 men of Möhring Hussars. They fell into an ambush prepared by Major-General Emerich Count Esterházy with his hussars and Kaiser Hussars. The king escaped but 4 officers, 50 men and 3 canons were captured. Afterwards, the regiment marched to the main camp at Kittlitz near Hochkirch. On October 14, it took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in Buccow's cavalry column at the extreme right, to the east of Kotitz. Towards the end of the battle, the regiment repeatedly attacked Retzow's Corps without much success. After the battle, the regiment went to Görlitz. On October 26, it was attacked at Landskrone 4 km north-west of Görlitz by Werner Hussars Puttkamer Hussars who had hid in a forest. Major-General d'Ayasassa with some carabinier and grenadier coys came to its support, but two additional dragoon regiments attacked him in flank. Colonel Barkóczy was badly wounded and the Austrians were forced to retire. After this action, the main army marched to Pirna, the regiment guarding the flank of the marching columns. For the next winter, the regiment was stationed near Brüx (present-day Most/CZ).
By April 1759, the regiment formed part of Gemmingen's Corps who guarded the mountain passes on the border between Saxony and Bohemia. On April 15, a Prussian army crossed the border at Sebastiansberg (present-day Hora svatého Šebestiána/CZ), another column reached Teplitz (present-day Teplice/CZ) the same day. The regiment then retreated to Laun (present-day Louny/CZ) closely followed by Kleist Hussars. Obristwachtmeister Pálasthy tried to stop them with 2 of his squadrons, 100 cuirassiers and 500 Grenzers but was attacked in the rear by Hülsen's Corps. Pálasthy was now completely encircled. General Belling asked him to surrender, but Pálasthy refused. His brother Michael launched an attack with part of his troops while Pálasthy hid in a nearby forest with the rest of them. At night they managed to escape. Afterwards, Pálasthy occupied Altenbrurg in Saxony and harassed the Prussian supply lines between Zwickau and Plauen. At the beginning June, the entire regiment was at Marienberg. In August, the regiment (510 men) was attached once more to G.d.C. Buccow's Corps. On August 17, along with 400 dragoons and 1,400 Grenzers, the regiment crossed the Bober River near Sagan (present-day Zagan/PL) and advanced up to Grünberg (present-day Zielona Gora/PL). The Prussian garrison (15 officers and 498 men) were taken prisoners. The regiment then rejoined the main army. In September, when FM Daun marched westward, following a Prussian army, the regiment formed the head of the marching columns, skirmishing with Zieten Hussars forming the Prussian rearguard. On September 2, it took part in the combat of Sorau. On September 29, Daun crossed the Elbe River south of Dresden. The regiment went with Buccow's Corps by Oschatz to Dahlen. Lieutenant-Colonel Pálasthy with 400 hussars reconnoitred south of Torgau. At night, he stumbled on superior Prussian forces and was driven back. On September 30, supported by some infantry, Pálasthy marched up to Belgern. Along with the Stabsdragoner, it attacked the villages of Mehderitsch and Wesering, taking 56 men prisoners. On November 4, Daun left Belgern and marched to Dresden. On November 20, a detachment of the regiment (less than 1 coy) took part in the Battle of Maxen where it was attached to Major-General Baron Seckendorf's detachment occupying the Heights of Malter near Dippoldiswalde. Afterwards, the regiment along with Kaiser Hussars remained some weeks in the villages south-east of Bautzen and then marched to Bohemia. It took its winter-quarters between Hohenelbe (present-day Vrchlabí/CZ) and Trautenau (present-day Trutnov/CZ).
In 1760, after a very cold winter, the regiment was attached to Lacy's Corps posted at Boxdorf near Torgau. Since February, the regiment had a new commander: Colonel Anton Csedö. On June 10, Frederick II crossed the Elbe near Torgau with his army. Hussars and Grenzers of Lacy's Corps could not prevent the crossing. Both armies then encamped Radeburg. After Fouqué's debacle in the [[1760-06-23 - Battle of Landeshut|Battle of Landshut] on June 23, Frederick set off for Silesia, closely followed by Lacy's troops. On July 7, there was a combat near Bautzen. Lacy then retreated to Bischofswerda and later to Dresden. The regiment received orders to defend the Elbe River near Pirna. On July 20, Major-General Brentano at the head of the regiment and Rudnicki Uhlans attacked the outposts of Möhring Hussars and droved them back on Frederick's camp. The king in night suit had to repulse Brentano with grenadiers of his guard. In this raid, the Austrian hussars captured 81 men and set fire to the camp of Möhring Hussars. On August 15, the regiment was not directly involved in the Battle of Liegnitz (present day Legnica/PL). It was on its way northwards as the sound of cannon was heard. The regiment turned back but arrived to late. In September and October, the regiment took part in the raid on Berlin. When the Austrians arrived at Berlin, on October 7, Russian troops were already there since a few days. On October 8, the regiment and Kaiser Hussars occupied Teltow. On October 10, Potsdam surrendered and was immediately occupied by the hussars under Emerich Count Esterházy and 2 pulks of Saxon Uhlans. Lacy asked for a contribution of 60,000 taler but received only 18,000. Lacy let them destroy the musket factory and the pistol manufacture at Spandau. On October 14, the hussars and Grenzers finally left Berlin. On October 21, Lacy rejoined the main army at Torgau. On November 3, it fought in the Battle of Torgau where it was attached to Lacy's Corps. Around noon, it was involved in a skirmish with Zieten's cavalry. Under heavy fire of the Prussian artillery, Lacy was forced to retreat. Daun retreated behind the “Plauener Grund” near Dresden, the regiment took part in a skirmish near Meissen.
In July 1761, Daun's main army marched towards into Silesia. FML Emerich Esterházy with 9 bns, 1 dragoon rgt, Esterházy Hussars and Dessewffy Hussars was charged to support Loudon. This force joined O'Donell's Corps near Zittau and advanced to Braunau (present-day Broumov/CZ). On July 19, Loudon entered into Silesia through the mountains. FML Lusinszky commanded his vanguard (Dessewffy Hussars, Esterházy Hussars and some Grenzer bns). On August 9, they reached Schweidnitz. On August 19, Loudon made a junction at Jauer (present-day Jawor/PL) with a Russian army led by Buturlin. Frederick built a fortified camp at Bunzelwitz (present-day Boleslawice/PL). From August 25, the Austro-Russians blockaded the camp but did not lay formal siege to it. On September 9, Buturlin left Bunzelwitz with his army. Loudon then concentrated his troops around Schweidnitz. Esterházy Hussars and Dessewffy Hussars prevented all communications with the fortress. On October 1, Loudon proceeded to the storming of Schweidnitz. Winter came early, as early as October there was already lot of snow. Meanwhile, the regiment had been sent to join Daun's main army at Dresden where it took its winter-quarters to the north-west of the city.
In January 1762, the regiment was reviewed. It then counted 1,162 men and 1,110 horses. Its depot squadron was in Pilgram (present-day Pelhřimov/CZ). On March 26, FML Gabriel Georg Baron Lusinszky was appointed proprietor of the regiment. In April, the regiment along with Kaiser Hussars, Lacy Infantry and de Ligne Infantry was sent to Silesia to join GFWM Zigan's Corps. They marched by Hirschberg (present-day Jelenia Gora/PL) to Hohenfriedeberg. The regiment was later transferred to FML Ellrichshausen's Corps near Schweidnitz. In May, the regiment was at Tarnau (present-day Tarnawa/PL) with Jung-Modena Dragoons, and 2 battalions of Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenzer and Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer. There were reviewed. By then, the regiment counted 5 squadrons for a total of 1,162 men. At the beginning of May, FML Ellrichshausen resolved to counter the threat of the nearby Prussian troops. He attacked with all his cavalry a Prussian outpost near Neumarkt (present-day Sroda Slaska/PL). On June 13, Ellrichshausen a Prussian detachment at Lampersdorf (present-day Juszcyn/PL), captured about 100 men. However, the Prussians were more numerous and Colonel Joseph Count Kinsky, commanding the detachment, was driven back. Most of the Prussians previously taken prisoners escaped. At the end of June, the entire army retreated behind the Eulengebirge (present-day Góry Sowie/PL) to Bohemia.
The 1757 reform, stated that all hussar regiments should be dressed in dark blue uniform with yellow distinctives. However, this regulation seems to have been followed only by Kaiser Franz I Hussars. The present regiment retained its former uniform.
|Headgear||brown kolback with yellow cords and tassels and a red bag|
|Pelisse||light blue lined with black sheepskin
|Dolman||light blue edged yellow with 17 rows of yellow braids (some hidden by the sash) and yellow buttons
|Trousers||red decorated with an intricate yellow lace on each thigh|
|Horse Furniture||see Magyar Huszar Esterházy-Huszárezred
Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, a musket and two pistols.
Raspe's publication illustrates light blue/white tassels at the kolback. Furthermore, the “E” decorating the sabretache is surrounded by golden palm leaves.
The Bautzener Bilderhandschrift illustrates the following differences:
- light blue pelisse with grey fur trim
- medium blue saddle cloth edged gold and heavily decorated with golden laces
- white cross belts
- light blue saddle cloth edged gold and heavily decorated with golden laces
- red edged yellow and decorated with a yellow “E” surmounted by a golden crown
Knötel and Donath illustrate the new dark blue uniform that the regiment should have worn.
As per the Bautzener Bilderhandschrift, officers wore a uniform very similar to the uniform of the troopers with the following differences:
- brown fur trim on the pelisse
no information available yet
no information available yet
The website Magyar Huszar depicts a white swallow-tailed Leibstandarte with a central device consisting of the Immaculate Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud, crushing a snake under her foot and surrounded by rays; the entire guidon is heavily embroidered in gold.
The same website depicts a light blue swallow-tailed Regimentsstandarte with an golden central device; the entire guidon is heavily embroidered in gold.
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 auf Kosten der Raspischen Buchhandlung. Ao. 1762 (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt Halle, Universitätsbibliothek Kiel, Landesbibliothek Darmstadt)
Albertina-Handschrift Dessins des Uniformes des Troupes I.I. et R.R. de l'année 1762 (Bibliothek des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums Wien)
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
Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759
Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760
Grosser Generalstab: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Hiller, Berlin, 1830-1913
Knötel, Herbert d.J. And Hans Brauer: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Uniformbogen No. 7, 23, 71, 95, 97
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Schlag, G.: Unser Leben und Blut für die Königin, Eisenstadt, 1999
Seyfart: Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, p. 69
Skala, Harald: Österreichische Militärgeschichte
Thadden, Franz-Lorenz v.: Die theresianische Kavallerie - III. Teil, Die Zinnfigur, Klio, 1968
Thümmler, Lars-Holger: Die Österreichische 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, Vienna 1898-1905
Digby Smith for the initial version of this article, Harald Skala for additional information on the regimental history and User:Zahn for information on the uniform