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AUSTRIA

Background

The Cavalry

The Artillery

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

The Infantry - Uniforms
Pre - 1798


Left: Landstandisches Frei-Corps, and Right: Viennea Volunteers. Uniforms are, respectively , light grey faced with red, blue-grey breeches, for the infantry, light grey overalls striped red for the cavalry. A red plume with a white centre fro the infantry, green plume for the cavalry. White equipment for the infantry and black for the cavalry. For the Vienna Volunteers, green faced with black jackets and grey breeches, a black Corsehut trimmed with white lace with a black over yellow plume and black and yellow cockade.


Frei Corps

Until the formation of the light infantry in 1798, the Austrian army's skirmishing and scouting capacity rested largely with the Frei Corps, independent units raised in the provinces during wartime and disbanded upon the cessation of hostilities (plus some Jager companies employed piecemeal in the 1788-89 Turkish war). Some Frei Corps had a dubious reputation in the eyes of other nations; for example the British Weekly Dispatch of 27 September 1801: '. . . the improvements the Archduke is introducing into the Austrian army give great satisfaction. He has disbanded the corps of Red Mantles, a regiment of chasseurs. These men, besides being bad soldiers, disgraced the Austrian army by frequent robberies and assassinations. At the commencement of the war they received a florin for the head of every Frenchman they brought into the advanced posts; but it was found that thesebanditti used to cut off the heads of unfortunate peasants whom they met with in the fields, in order to obtain the promised reward'!

Some units raised for the Turkish war were still in existence at the outbreak of the French wars; their uniform was usually totally different from that of the line regiments, and brief details of the most prominent corps are given in the table below.


Grun-Laudon Regiment Two battalions raised on lower Rhine 1790; commander, Oberst Baron Myllius. Black shako trimmed yellow, black and yellow pompom. Grey-green or green Hungarian coat, red cuffs, folding collar and lining, yellow buttons, green waistcoat and Hungarian breeches; brown leatherwork; musket, bayonet and Hungarian sabre.
O'Donel's Frei-Corps Two battalions. Black Turkish pattern cap similar to a shako but without a visor, a red center and yellow edged cockade at the front surmounted by a black over yellow tufted plume. Pike grey Hungarian coat, with scarlet red cuffs, collar and turnbacks, yellow buttons and scarlet Hungarian breeches rather than the usual blue. White leatherwork, musket, bayonet and Hungarian sabre.
Le Loup Jagers (Niederlandische Feld-Jager) Raised in the Netherlands, founder Major Johann Le Loup. In 1792 Btn. of six companies; 1801; Austrian personnel transferred to Tiroler-Jager Regt., Dutch personnel into French service. Casquet, pike grey coat, waistcoat and breeches, green collar, cuffs and lining, yellow buttons; black leatherwork, brass hunting horn on cartridge box. Short carbine, brass mounted hunting sword (Hirschfanger).
Limburg Volunteers (Limburger Freiwillige) Formed in 1792, though a Limburg Jager company had existed an Le Loup's since 1790. Commandant, Major de Mays. In 1794, eight companies; re-styled Erzherzog Carl-Legion. Leather helmet similar to 1798 pattern, double peak, comb with horsehair crest, brass badge, upright black over yellow feather plume at the left. Pike grey coat, red lining, short lapels, cuffs, narrow standing collar; white waistcoat; pike grey Hungarian breeches, hussar boots, white leatherwork; musket and bayonet.
Gyulai's Croatian Corps (Croatische Frei-Corps Gyulai) Mostly Croatian troops; 12 companies and three Hussar squadrons served in Turkish war. Three Btns. served under Graf Gyulai (later Baron Lowenburg) on the Rhine, two btns. under Obersts Machoracz and Luleckner in Italy. Originally wore the Casquet, brown coats faced red, white waistcoat and buttons, blue breeches, red 'Russian leather' equipment, musket, sabre, pistol and Turkish knife. Later, low cocked hat with white feather; brown coat, red collar and cuffs,black and yellow braid on button holes and edges; blue Hungarian breeches with similar braid, Hungarian boots; red leather belt and cartridge box, musket and bayonet, Turkish knife, pair of pistols.
Mihalovich's Corps (Slavonisch-Serbisches Corps Mihalovich) Raised in 1792 by Oberts Stephan Mihalovich. Shako with bl;ack feather plume, lace for NCOs; short brown coat, red collar and cuffs; blue breeches with black and yellow (or red) braid; black leatherwork; musket and sabres (carbines for NCOs).
Caneville Legion (Carneville Frei-Legion) Raised in the Netherlands in 1793 at cost of Inhaber, Oberst Carl Franz Graf Carneville; consisting mostly of French emigres. Two companies of infantry and Jagers, division of hussars. Shako with brass rosette, black and yellow feathers, green coat, red collar, black cuffs and lapels, yellow lace and buttons, white waistcoat, blue Hungarian breeches; white leatherwork, black for Jagers who carried carbines.
Wurmser's Corps (Steyer-Wurmser'sches Frei-Corps) Slavonic corps formed in 1793; two btns. of infantry, four squadrons of Hussars. Commandants, Oberstleutnant Baron Johann Knesevich, 1797 Graf Paul Esterhazy, 1798 Graf Carl Westenrode, 1800 Oberst Ignaz Kengyel. Red cap, blue coat faced red, blue Turkish breeches laced white, red waistcoat laced white, low shoes, Albanian long musket, sabre, pair of pistols and Turkish knife stuck in black waistbelt. Calfskin knapsack with black straps.
Bourbon Legion French emigre corps formed in the Netherlands in 1794, commandant Oberst Nortmann, 1795 Oberst Graf Johann Isidor Knoult. Six infantry companies, one Hussar squadron. Cocked hat, later 1798 helmet; white uniform faced dark blue, white buttons.
Luttich's Volunteers (Lutticher Freiwillige) Formed in 1794, Btn. of six companies, by Furstbischop von Luttich, commandant Oberst Baron Wasseige. Plain hat, sky blue coat with crab red collar, cuffs and lapels, white buttons and waistcoat, sky blue Hungarian breeches, high boots, white belts.
Rohan's Corps (Rohan'sches Frei-Corps) French emigres formed in the Netherlands in 1794. Infantry regiment. (commandant Oberst Prinz Victor Rohan), six Hussar squadrons. Black shako, brass badge, black atop yellow feather plume; sky blue coat, ponceau folding collar, cuffs, lining and shoulder straps, yellow buttons, green Hungarian breeches, white waistcoat, natural leatherwork.
Brentano's Feldjager-Corps Raised in Turin, 1799, by Oberst Philipp Freiherr von Brentano; disbanded in 1801. Corsican hat; pike grey coat, waistcoat and breeches, steel green facings, yellow buttons, black gaiters and leatherwork, carbines.
Italian Light Battalion (Italiensches Leichtes Battalion) Raised in Italy in 1799, commandant Major Josef Chevalier Bona-Corsi; disbanded in 1801; 1798 helmet, geen crest; dark blue uniform faced red, as a light battalion.
Dalmatian Light Battalion Raised in Dalmatia in 1800; commandant Major Dominik Ertel. Disbanded 1801. Dalmatian native dress.
Lower Austrian Volunteers (Niederosterreichishes Freiwilligen-Corps) Jager and two Schutzen btns. raised 1800, each of six companies of 184 men. Jagers wore bearskin cap with brass hunting horn badge with Austrian arms therein, crowned for officers, brass edged peak; brown coat and breeches; green collar, cuffs and lace on buttonholes and on Hungarian breeches; black leatherwork and gaiters. Officers had silver horns on collar, silver epaulettes and breeches-lace, green skirt lining, high boots, brass-scaled chinstrap. Scharschutzen similar, but red instead of green.
Erzherzog Carl Legion November 1800 to 1801; establishment 22 btns., Bohemian and Moravian Jager corps of 1,500 and 1,000 men respectively. Hat with white feather, white band (gold for officers); dark brown coat faced red, white lace, blue Hungarian breeches, black leatherwork.
Frei-Corps Maria Ludovika Italian, raised and disbanded in 1814. Bearskin cap, brown coat with red collar and cuffs, blue Hungarian breeches.
Serbian Frei-Corps Raised in 1814, disbanded 1815. Facings and cap varied with battalion; red or blue cap with black and yellow rosette, black leather trim; brown Turkish jacket, yellow lace and waistcoat, blue Turkish trousers laced yellow; black leatherwork, line pattern sabre