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Lower Austrian Dragoons, 1793


The Infantry

The Artillery

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

Dragoon of the Namur volunteer regiment, 1789

La tour Light Dragoons, 1790

The Cavalry

The German Cavalry - Pre-1798 Uniform

The uniform worn before 1798 was that evolving from the dress of the mid-to later 18th century. The headdress consisted of a black tricorn hat, although latterly the fron corner had become flatter so as more to resemble a bicorn. At the left side it carried a black, butterfly-shaped cackade held by a loop of mixed black and yellow braid with a button, above which rose a 22cm feather plume, the upper two-thirds were black and the lower-third yellow. The braid and plume in these two colours were standard national distinctions, used throughout the period.

Hats of the two Carabinier regiments had a 4cm lace edging. The single-breasted white coat of the heavy regiments was similar to that worn by the infantry, closed at the front, with shortish but voluminous skirts and large turnbacks which had a 6.5cm edging of the regimental facing-colour; a 4cm standing collar bearing the facing -coloured patch or Paroli on each side, with a button; and plain facing-coloured cuffs fastened by two small buttons at the rear seam. The breeches were 'white' (actually light straw yellow) and were worn inside high-topped riding boots, with 'cuffs' inside protecting the knees.

Although full cuirasses (and even 17th-century iron helmets) had been worn as late as 1788-89 in the Turkish war, the cuirass worn by Carabiniers and Cuirassiers had a front plate only; it was slightly domed and painted black, with an inner lining of canvas or chamois leather, and retained by a white leather waist strap, attached to cross straps at the rear.

Pictured at right a Cuirassier officer, 1796; note that the coat is worn over the cuirass. The trumpeter in the background at left rides on a contrasting grey horse.(Print after R. von Ottenfeld)

A white leather waist belt was worn over the coat, with the sabre suspended on slings; the sabre was a Pallasch (broadsword) with a blade 4cm wide and between 84 and 88cm long, with iron fittings and scabbard (brass fittings for NCOs and a natural leather scabbard for Wachtmeisters). Over the left shoulder was carried a white leather belt 9cm wide, supporting a black leather cartridge box holding 18 cartridges, bearing the Emperor's cypher in brass. A similar belt supported the carbine on a spring clip clip. For Carabiniers, the belts had an edging of 2.6cm-wide yellow lace, and a 2cm lace edging on the cartridge box flap. The carbine was 123cm long and weighed 3.4kg; in early 1792 six men in every carbine-armed squadron were issued with the Model 1789 Cavallerie-Stutzen, a short-bareleld rifle. The model 1759 Trombon (blunderbuss) had been issued to 12 men per cuirassier squadron, modified in 1781, was withdrawn in 1798. Each man carried two pistols in saddle holsters. The black leather saddle rested upon a white blanket folded four times; the rectangular shabraque with rounded rear corners and holster caps were of red cloth, edged with 4cm lace of white, black and yellow design, with one narrow and one wide lace for the carabiniers. Prior to 1777 the holster caps and rear corners of the shabraque had borne the Inhaber's coat of arms, but after that date they carried a crowned yellow cypher with narrow black edging. A rolled white Roquelor (overcoat) was carried under the pistol holsters at the front of the saddle.