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AUSTRIA

Background

The Infantry

The Cavalry

The Artillery

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

The Infantry - Organisation & Tactics

While regimental strengths naturally fluctuated throughout the period, organisation remained reasonably standard. At the beginning of the war the infantry comprised of 78 regiments: 57 Line regiments, numbered in sequence; 18 Grenz Infantry regiments from the Balkan border; and three garrison regiments __ to which were added numerous irregular Frei-Corps, generally raised only in wartime to fulfil the light infantry function. In addition there existed a Stabs-Infantrie Regiment for garrison and headquarter duties.The line regiments usually consisted of two battalions, named respectively the Leib and Oberst-Bataillon, each of six fusilier companies. In nominal command were the Inhaber and Oberst (colonel) of the regiment, but in practice these battalions were commanded by an Oberstwachmeister (major), paid and ranking as captain until assuming full rank in wartime. The third battalion of each regiment (Oberstleutnant's or garrison battalion), was formed from four companies and served as a depot for the field battalions. In addition, each regiment had a grenadier "division" of two companies, which were often detached and concentrated into composite grenadier battalions. The "German" regiments had a nominal strength of 4,575, but (in peacetime especially) this figure was much reduced, often to between 2,000 and 3,000 men; fusilier companies with a war establishment of four officers and 230 men often had only three officers and 120 men men. The wartime increase in establishment was effected by the recall of furloughed men and the calling of men officially enlisted but untrained. "Hungarian" regiments from (Hungary, Croatia and Transylvania) had three field battalions each, and an establishment of 5,508 men.

The four senior or Stabs-Compagnien of each regiment (Leib, Oberst's, Oberstleutnant's and senior major's companies) were nominally commanded by the Inhaber and the three senior field officers, but in practice by Captains-Lieutenant, and were distributed over the battalions, so that the Leib battalion included the Inhaber's company, and the Oberst's and Oberstleutnant's were in the appropriate battalion. The remaining companies were termed Ordinaren Compagnien; the second was termed the "second major's" and was commanded by an Obertleutnant (first lieutenant) in place of the second Oberstwachmeister.

Each regiment had an artillery detachment, the so-called Liniengeschutz or "battalion guns" crewed by infantry. The peacetime strength varied (often according to the productivity of the recruiting district), only the cadre being regulated and usually stable. Regimental staff comprised the Inhaber, the Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel>, two majors (Oberstwachmeisters), a chaplain, and Auditor (legal officer), a Rechnunfuhrer (lit. "chief accountant", administrative officer), regimental adjudant, regimental surgeon, two Fahnen-Cadetten (abolished in 1798), six Ordinaire Cadetten, Kaiserliche Cadetten, and a number of Privat Cadetten, or ex-propiis Cadetten, (all cadets under training), a battalion surgeon, eight medical assistants, nine Fouriers (quartermaster staff), a drum-major and a provost with an assistant.

Each company included a Hauptmann (captain), Oberleutnant (first lieutenant), Unterleutnant, (second or sub-lieutenant), Fahnrich (ensign), Feldwebel (sergeant major), four Corporals (equating with sergeants), a Fournierschutzen (quartermaster), three musicians, eight Gefreiters (corporals) and a Zimmermann (pioneer). Feldwebels and Fouriers were known as Prima Plana ranks, i.e. those in the senior rank of NCOs. In the grenadiers, the ensign and Gefreiters were lacking, and grenadier companies were nominally 112 strong (around 140 in wartime). Upon mobilisation the regimental artillery was crewed by a corporal and 29 Gemeine (privates), per battalion, and a corporal and ten men per grenadier company.

There also existed a regimental Reservedivision of 720 men with "invalid" (pensioned) officers (640 men for Hungarian regiments), which could be used as a reserve of personnel; from 1808 each German regiment had two "reserve" battalions, of men whose conscription had been deffered and who remained in civilian occupations until required.Hungarian regiments were not included in this scheme, there being no conscription in Hungary. The garrison regiments were not calculated as part of the field army, being composed of semi-'invalid' soldiers, used only for garrison duty.