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Hussar Shabraque, c.1790. Of the pattern used prior to the 1798 regulations, it has mixed black and yellow braid instead of the later lace edging. Note how the front covers the rolled cloak and holsters, obviating the need for holster caps.
(Print after R. von Ottenfeld)


The Infantry

The Artillery

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

(A) Hussar sabre, 1769 pattern. Iron hilt with leather grip; curved blade 85cm by 3.9cm; iron scabbard with two lockets for suspension rings, or black leather with iron fittings (corporals). Brass hilt and scabbard fittings for sargeants.

(B) Hussar sabre, 1803. Iron hilt, leather grip; curved blade 84cm by 3.5cm. Iron scabbard with two lockets for suspension rings.

The Cavalry

German Cavalry uniform after 1801 (Cont'd)

The Stabsdragoner-Regiment, re-establishment in 1805, wore the crested helmet, pike grey Dragoon coat with bright red facings, pike grey sleeved waistcoat, white breeches, German cavalry boots, cavalry overalls, cartridge box, forage cap and Roquelor.

(A) Austrian heavy cavalry broadsword c.1803;
(B) Austrian light cavalry sabre with folding hilt and detail of hilt c.1806


Pictured at left a Hussar trumpeter in 'German' style of uniform worn in the early years; later they wore regimental uniforms with the addition of a red plume.
(Print after R. von Ottenfeld)

Hussar uniform was originally a re-styling of the ordinary dress of the Hungarian 'tribesmen'__the original Hussars. While maintaining a vestige of this costume, especially the fur-trimmed pelisse and the traditional swaggering mien, the Austrian Hussar uniform was regulated as carefully as that of the 'German' cavalry. All cavalry from the 'Hungarian' part of the Empire were Hussars; Hungary being their original home, the term huszar probably signified 'one in twenty' as selected for service by ballot.

the basic style of uniform was retained throughout. Initially, the Hussar cap was a felt cylinder bearing a black and yellow cloth rosette with a braid loop on the front, and a black over yellow plume above a yellow pompom with a black centre. Cords in the mixed black and yellow national colours were fastened around the upper edge of the cap, falling as 'raquettes' at the right side.In 1798 this cap was replaced by a true shako, a 20.5cm high cylinder of rigid felt, with a black leather peak and chinstrap, and rosette, pompom and cap lines as before. The 35.5cm high feather plume (upon a wire or whalebone foundation) could be enclosed in a black waterproof cover.

A universal feature was that the dolman, collar, cuffs and pelisse were invariably of the same colour. The dolman was a single-breasted tail-less jacket with a 3.5cm standing collar, cut well below waist length and visible beneath the sash, although contemporary pictures suggest a shortening of the jacket from the early 19th century. It had low pointed cuffs ornamented with a trefoil knot (though this was not universal), 16 or 17 loops on the breast, with three rows of buttons, and an opening rear cuff-seam edged with braid; all braid was in the universal mixed black and yellow, edging the collar, cuffs, skirts, front opening, and rear seams.

The tight breeches of traditional Hungarian style had twisted black and yellow braid on the outer seams, and small knots on the thigh. The 1798 regulations permitted the use of universal grey overalls (with blackened buttons on outer seam) for use on campaign. The boots were of 'Hungarian' or 'Hessian' pattern, edged with black and yellow braid and with a black and yellow rosette at the 'V' on the front.

The pelisse was designed to be worn over the dolman as an over-jacket, or slung over the left shoulder; on campaign it could be worn fastened, instead of the dolman. In later years of the Napoleonic era it appears to have been cut shorter and tighter, so as to preclude its being worn closed over the dolman. It had cuffs and edging of black lambskin, with the universal braid (including a trefoil at the cuff), and loops and buttons on the breast like the dolman. A variety on the usual style of braiding, a zigzag pattern instead of the usual horizontal loopings, is seen on extant items and in contemporary illustrations.