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AUSTRIA

Background

The Cavalry

The Artillery

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards


German Line Infantry officer wearing Oberrock, c. 1809
(Courtesy of the Vienna War Museum)

The Infantry - Uniforms

The 1806 Uniform

Changes of uniform were instituted following the 1805 campaign. In August 1806 a shako was authorised, its introduction delayed until the helmets were due for replacement. First introduced into the Hungarian regiments, the new cap was originally made of black cloth (or cloth on leather), 20.5cm high and 2.5cm wider at the top than the bottom, with a wide leather peak and rear peak; on the front was a brass loop and button with a brass cockade shaped to resemble pleated fabric, painted black and yellow. Leather cockades and lace loops probably also existed at this period. At the top of the front was ayellow woollen pompom with a black center. An upper band of 15mm yellow lace was worn by corporals, and two such bands by Prima Plana ranks. A number of varieties are recorded. Temporary issues were made initially from canvas pasted onto cardboard; and in December 1810 a second version was ordered, made of felt.*

Note: *Illustrated here at left (By: Funcken)


1806 -1815


1.) Hungarian grenadier, 1807- 1815
2.) Hungarian fusilier, 1806
3.) German fusilier, 1809 - 1815 4.) German grenadier, 1809 - 1815


For officers, the shako was described by the 1811 dress regulations, confirming rank markings apparently introduced from 1806; for senior officers a broad lace band around the top, with narrow gold piping on either side, and for subalterns two narrower gold bands with a line of black between, the upper band about 15mm from the edge. The pompom was 4cm broad standing 2.5cm higher than the the upper edge of the cap, its black velvet centre bearing the Emperor's cypher.

The gold lace cockade loop was 15mm wide, with a gilt or silver button (whichever the regiment wore). Instead of a rear peak, officer's caps had an upturned dummy neck-guard at the rear, having, like the front peak, a 15mm gold lace edging; a black waterproof cover could be worn on campaign. For field officers, and for grenadier officers on the march and similar occasions, the bicorn hat could be used with a 5cm gold border for field ranks, a 6cm gold loop and corner roses bearing 'F.I' on the black centre. Grenadier officers retained the fur cap, specified as 30cm high at the front and 12.5cm at the rear. In 1806 a new grenadier cap plate was introduced, with curved sides and bearing a crowned double headed eagle with 'F.I' on a shield on its breast, but earlier patterns doubtless remained in use. A third distinct pattern featured the eagle of 1806 but with an irregular edge like that worn before, with the plate fretted out around the motifs. Officers' plates were gilded, and the cloth rear was specified as 'Emperor yellow'. The bicorn was worn in marching order.