Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

The Austrian Imperial-Royal Army (Kaiserliche-Königliche Heer) 1805 – 1809:

THE AUSTRIAN IMPERIAL-ROYAL ARMY

The Austrian Cavalry in 1809

By Enrico Acerbi

The Austrian cavalry consisted of cuirassiers, dragoons, chevaulegeres (former light dragoons), hussars and uhlans. They were excellent swordsman and horsemen, well trained and well-mounted and enjoyed great reputation in Europe. [1]

Heavy Cavalry (Cuirassiers)

The cuirassiers wore white coats and breeches. During campaign they wore grey overalls over or instead of the tight elegant breeches. The boots were below knee. From about 1805 the comb on the black leather helmet of cuirassiers was heightened, with a brass strip up the front for other ranks; the front-plates now bore the cypher 'F.I.' Men's hair had been cut short, with sideburns extending no lower than the bottom of the ear. Moustaches were obligatory for the privates but officers had to be clean shaven.

The Austrian Kürass

The kürass was of blank iron, blackened, lined and trimmed at the edges with white leather. The breastplate only (Brustharnisch) was worn and was fastened with a narrow whitened leather waist belt and straps which passed over the shoulders to cross at the back (kürasskreuz) and fastened to the rear of the waist belt, the tips of the straps fastening to the breast of the kurass with black leather straps. All buckles and fittings were white metal. It seems that in all german speaking countries the so called Doppelkürasse was abandoned (for ideological ?? perspectives). In facts many usually said that: “Eine brave Cavalerie dürfe dem Feinde niemals den Rücken kehren” (good cavalry must never show its back to the enemy).

Light Cavalry

(Dragoons retained the heavy cavalry basic organization but gradually they became “light cavalry”)

In theory the dragoons wore white and chevaulegers wore green jackets, but due to frequent changes, lack of money and shortage of uniforms there was some uncertainty in uniformology. The lambskin was white until 1803 then was changed to black. In 1805 the comb on dragoons helmet was heightenet but on campaign the crest was removed.

In 1811 :

- white jackets were worn in 3rd, 5th and 6th Chevaulégers Regiment

- green jacket in 1st, 2nd and 4th Chevaulégers Regiment

- the 7th was formed in 1814 and wore green jackets in 1815.

Uhlans had green jackets with red lapels for all regiments. The pennons on lances were black over yellow. All wore green trousers with red stripes and strengthened with black leather on the bottom. On campaign they wore grey overalls. There is some confusion over the color of lambskin on saddle. One version tells that it was white for parade and black for campaign and other version tells that until 1803 the lambskin was white then replaced by black one.

However the most famous Austrian cavalry was the hungarian Hussars Corps. The 1798 regulation allowed the hussars wore grey overalls with buttons for use on campaign. They were stiffened with leather on the sabre side. The standard long boots were cut in the national style with strong, durable decoration on top. The 1811 pattern reintroduced the yellow/black edging, which was twisted to form a simple rosette at the top front. The overalls were without red stripes.

For service in the field the plume was replaced by a pompon and pelisse was usually worn over the dolman. The greatcoat was strapped across the pommel. The lambskin over the saddle was generally black.

Firearms of cavalry

·       Carbine for hussars M 1798 - 84.5 cm long, 2.45 kg heavy

·       Carbine for dragoons M 1798 - 123.5 cm long, 3.25 kg heavy

·       Rifle for cavalry M 1798 - 71 cm long, 2.65 kg heavy

The cuirassiers carried 2 pistols and straight broadsword. Each squadron of cuirassiers had 8 men armed with rifles and 8 with carbines. (Before the helmets were introduced the cuirassiers wore protective iron crosses inside their tricorn hats.)

The dragoon was armed with carbine and straight and heavy pallash. Each squadron of dragoons had 16 men armed with rifles.

The uhlan carried 2 pistols, curved saber and a lance. Each squadron of uhlans had 8 men armed with rifles and 8 with carbines. In uhlan regiment of 4 divisions, the central 2 divisions were armed with lances, the 2 flank divisions with carbines.

The chevaulégers carried a carbine and saber (until 1802 heavy Pallasch sabers). From 1804 all carried the longer carbines.

Each squadron of chevaulegers had 16 men armed with rifles.

The hussar carried 1803-pattern saber (84 cm long blade), with iron scabbard. The hussar carbine was 1798-pattern weapon, 85 cm long and weighing 2.45 kg with disproportionately large butt. The short ramrod was carried on the cartridge box crossbelt and was also used for the pistol. The 1815-pattern hussar carbine had an even shorter barrel (75.7 cm). Six sharpshooters per squadron were designated to be issued with rifles. The rifle was heavy (4.4 kg) and was replaced by the shorter 1789-pattern modelled on a Prussian design.

Horses

Horses were acquired from 3 sources:

·       from Imperial breeding factories established in Hungary, Galicia and Bukovina

·       from Germany (for heavy cavalry)

·       from Galicia and Poland (for light cavalry).

The Austro-Hungarian empire was known for its horse breeding programs which were based on a number of imperial stud farms. The role of these farms was to produce farm horses for the citizens, riding and carriage horses for the nobility, cavalry mounts and artillery horses for the military. Although the former empire is also famed for producing the Kladruber and Lipizzaner, prominent among these stud farms were those located at Mezőhegyes and Bábolna.

The former was founded in 1785, the latter was purchased by the government in 1789, and both are located in modern-day Hungary. Mezőhegyes produced the Nonius, which was similar to the western Heavy Warmbloods, used for light agricultural work and for pulling artillery wagons.

Bábolna was originally an extension of Mezőhegyes, but in 1816 the administration decided to use only Arabian and Arab-bred stallions to achieve their cavalry goals.

The Austrian cavalry utilized Neapolitan, Spanish and Arabian breeds, developing local lines like the Kladrubers (utilized to be a galakarosier; a heavy type of carriage horse used to pull the imperial coach).

The arabian-blooded white horse Lipizzaner is currently the most renowned Austrian horse, but they were historically carriage horses, and dressage horses (it was also used in many countries for trial driving and endurance (long distance) riding). The name came from the slovenian town Lipica (pron. Lipiza) [2]. This horse was bigger than Arabian and was well known in the Austrian army. The Stud at Lipica survived many wars and revolutions, and even an earthquake, although the horses had to be evacuated many times. However after World War I, in 1920 the Stud was finally moved to Piber, a tiny village in the mountains of Styria, Lower Austria, which had been used for horse breeding since 1798. The Austrian State Stud at Piber supply all the Dancing White Stallions used in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna today.

The purchased mounts were aged between 4 and 7 years old and 14-15 hands [3] high. In 1807 a 10-years use of the horse was rewarded with three ducats with one more ducat for each year thereafter.

The horse was branded with Imperial cipher and a number. The cleaning and feeding of horse was often emphasized, in rain the tail was tied up or bound to half of its length. All horse harness was brown in every cavalry regiment. The lambskin on saddle was either white or black, and the big shabraques were red.

The minimum height of horses in Austrian cavalry:

·       cuirassiers and dragoons - at least 15 hands, 1 inch tall

·       hussars, uhlans and chevaulegers - at least 14 hands, 1 inch tall.

This is what Dave Hollins had to say about horses for the hussars; "The Hussars preferred Hungarian and Transylvanian horses or Polish ponies between 4 and 7 years old, standing 14-15 hands ... usually colored wholly dark bay, brown or black, although each squadron tried to maintain as little variation in color as possible... Each officer on the buying party would carry a horse measure ('Hippometer'), more than 18 Faust' high and a finger-thickness in width."

Austrian Napoleonic Cavalry: a Short History

In 1792 the cavalry of the K.K. Armee consisted of thirty-five regiments, two carabiniers, nine cuirassiers, six dragoons, seven chevauleger, nine hussars, one uhlan regiment and a halfregiment of Stabs-dragoner. With the reorganisation of 1798, the carabinier regiments were absorbed into the cuirassiers and a further regiment raised bringing the total to twelve regiments. Also the dragoons and chevaulegers were combined into a single branch and two new regiments formed. The hussars were brought up to twelve regiments, a new uhlan regiment raised and a single regiment of Jäger-zu-Pferde brought into being.

In 1801 the cavalry was again re-organised and the cuirassier regiments reduced to eight, whilst the dragoon regiments were again divided into dragoons and chevaulegers, the mounted jäger regiment was disbanded, as was one regiment of hussars, and the Stabs-dragoner were reduced to a single division.

A third uhlan regiment was raised in 1809 and a fourth in 1814.

Austrian Cavalry Organization

Initially the cavalry of all arms were organised into four divisions, each of two squadrons, plus a depot squadron consisting of the regimental supernumerary personnel and troopers under training. The cuirassiers had a strength of 150 men to each squadron (the dragoons and light cavalry between 170 and 180 men). The depot squadrons were usually 60 (and 90 men strong respectively).

The reorganisation of 1806 reduced the heavy cavalry, cuirassiers and dragoons, to two divisions, each of two-squadron strength, and the chevaulegers, hussars and uhlans had eight squadrons in four divisions with the exception of the Grenz-Husar-Regiment 'Szekler' Nr. 11, which had only six squadrons.

The depot squadrons remained as previous and the heavy cavalry squadrons now consisted of 135 men (the light cavalry squadrons 150 troopers).

Regimental Personnel

Staff

horse

Cuirassier (or Dragoons Regiment)

 

horse

 

1

1

Superior and Regiments Inhaber

1

1

Superior and Regiments Commandant

1

1

Oberstlieutenant

2

2

Majore

1

1

Regiments Adjutant

4

4

Divisions Adjutanten

1

1

Regiments-Standarte-führer

1

1

Wachtmeister

1

1

Regiments Kaplan (pater)

1

1

Regiments Auditor

1

1

Regiments Feldarzt

1

1

Regiments Rechnungsführer

2

--

Stabs-Fourieren

2

--

Ober-Ärzte

1

1

Profosen

3

--

Unter-Arzten

4

4

Divisions-trompetern

1

1

Stabs-trompeter

4

--

Fourierschützen

1

--

Oberschmied

5

--

Privatdiener

39

 

total

Additionally each regiment had a staff of specialist craftsmen, saddlers, armourers, boot makers, tailors, blacksmiths, etc.

 

horse

Cuirassier or Dragoons Squadron

 

horse

 

1

1

Rittmeister

1

1

Oberlieutenant

1

1

Unterlieutenant

1

1

Wachtmeister

1

1

Standarten-Führer

4

4

Corporalen

6

6

Gefreyter

5

5

Vice- Corporalen

     

1

--

Fourierschützen

1

1

Trompeter

1

--

Schmied

4

--

Privatdiener

1

--

Sattler

     

28

 

total

Each squadron was divided into two Flügels (ailes or wings), or half-squadrons, and each flügel in turn into two züge. The divisions were numbered 1 to 4 consecutively and the squadrons 1 to 8 consecutively, with each flügel numbered 1 and 2 within its squadron. The züge, however, were numbered by their rank in the line, therefore the 1st Squadron containing züge 1, 3, 5 and 7, the 2nd Squadron züge 2, 4, 6, and 8, and so on. As with the Infantry, the regiments were named after their Inhaber and each division and squadron therein named after their commanding officer.

New Cavalry Regulations came from the Hofkriegsrat indication of August 7, 1810, approved by H.M. the Emperor on January 2, 1811 with the definitive layout of August 10, 1811. A Cuirassier or Dragoons Regiments had 6 Squadrons:

Staff

horse

Cuirassier or Dragoons Regiment

 

horse

 

1

1

Superior and Regiments Inhaber

1

1

Superior and Regiments Commandant

1

1

Oberstlieutenant

1

1

Majore

1

1

Regiments Kaplan (priest)

1

1

Regiments Auditor

1

1

Regiments Feldarzt

1

1

Regiments Rechnungsführer

1

1

Regiments Adjutanten

2

--

Ober-Ärzte

4

--

Fourieren

3

--

Unter-Arzten

3

3

Divisions-trompetern

1

1

Stabs-trompeter

3

3

Standarte-führern

1

--

Oberschmied

1

1

Profosen

5

--

Privatdiener

4

--

Fourierschützen

36

 

total

 

 

horse

Cuirassier or Dragoons Squadron

 

horse

 

1

1

Rittmeister

2

2

Oberlieutenant

2

2

Unterlieutenant

2

2

Wachtmeistern

1

1

Trompeter

1

--

Fourierschützen

12

12

Corporalen

1

--

Schmied

4

--

Privatdiener

1

--

Sattler

     

27

 

total

1809 Cuirassier

Austrian Cavalry - Cuirassiers in 1809

In March 1809 were: 8 cuirassier regiments - each of 975 men and 1031 horses in 6 squadrons. In 1812-1813 the cuirassier and dragoon regiment had 4 sq. of 144 men each. The Austrian cuirassier was protected with amor (frontplate only). Each squadron of  cuirassiers had 8 men armed with rifles and 8 with carbines. (Before the helmets were introduced the cuirassiers wore protective iron crosses inside their tricorn hats.) The kurass was of blank iron, blackened, lined and trimmed at the edges with white leather. The breastplate only (Brustharnisch) was worn and was fastened with a narrow whitened leather waist belt and straps which passed over the shoulders to cross at the back (kürasskreuz) and fastened to the rear of the waist belt, the tips of the straps fastening to the breast of the kurass with black leather straps. All buckles and fittings were white metal.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 1 Kaiser Franz I (Emperor Francis I Cuirassiers)

Recruitment: Bohemia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Daniel in Ödenburg under Alvinczy

Bohemia

2nd Owner

FML Joseph prince zu Lothringen

Depot cadre

Miskolcz, Sáros-Patak (Hungary)

Col. Commander

Wilhem von Motzen

count Franz Desfours

Oberstlieutenant

count Franz Desfours

Carl von Wiebbekink

1st Major

baron Karl Rehbach

 

2nd Major

   

- before Aspern: it began the war with 3 divisions (6 sqn.) 893 men and 812 horses. [4]

Entered Bavaria at Branau and moved to Piessing with the autonomous Brigade GM Andreas von Schneller, then in the 2nd Reserve Corps (Division Erbprinz Friedrich von Hessen-Homburg). Major Wibbekink (Wiebeking) was detached with the Major’s division to watch the depots of the columns near Ratisbon. On April 21 the regiment was at Thalmassing and stopped at Köfering from where it participated to the battle of Eggmühl with the division count Franz Saint Julien-Waldsee; one squadron was with the detachment of major Klehe. It suffered the heavy French charge at Alt-Eglofsheim, the evening of 22 and went in rout toward Traubling. From April 23 it was in the Main Reserve Corps (Haupt-Reserve Korps), marching in Bohemia. Later it was attached in the Cuirassiers division FML Erbprinz Friedrich zu Hessen-Homburg with the Cuirassier brigade oberst Carl von Kroyer (Cavalry Reserve).

- at Aspern: with the Division FML baron Michael von Kienmayer, brig. Kroyer (Cavalry Reserve).

- at Wagram: still with brig. Kroyher, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps (now under Desfours command). After the battle it lost 79 men (21 of which dead).

- after Wagram: same brigade but in the Div. FML prince Schwarzenberg. It was at Znaim and fought with no losses.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 2 archduke Franz Joseph von Österreich, duke of Modena-Este

Recruitment: Upper and Lower Austria, Bohemia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Dunoyer in Ungarisches Hradisch, Div. St Julien under Argenteau.

Upper and Lower Austria plus Bohemia

2nd Owner

Count Joseph Harnoncourt

Depot cadre

Margarethen (Ödenburg or Sopron)

Col. Commander

chevalier Joseph de Ennuy (Henny)

(interim before Aspern)

Major-Oberstleutnant Karl Schäffer

Oberstlieutenant

Major-Oberstleutnant Karl Schäffer

 

2nd Colonel

count Carlo Guicciardi

 

1st Major

Georg von Mann

 

2nd Major

Josef von Menninger

 

- before Aspern: the regiment began the campaign with 851 men and 771 horses (3 divisions and 6 sqn.) in the Division FML prince (Erbprinz) Friedrich Hessen-Homburg with the Brigade GM Heinrich Bersina von Siegenthal, I. Res. Corps GdK Liechtenstein. During the battle of Eggmühl it attacked the French division Nansouty, together with the Third Cuirassiers.

- at Aspern: still with Brig. Siegenthal, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps (cavalry Reserve prince Liechtenstein) the regiment defended the left flank of the IV Corps at Essling. It lost 44 dead (and 88 horses too), 38 men and 41 horses missing.

at Wagram: with the Brigade GM Roussel d’Hurbal, Div. Hessen Homburg, the regiment attacked but was repulsed till Aderklaa and Wagram.

after Wagram: deployed from Brenditz to Winau (rear front) with the Brigade GM Roussel d’Hurbal at Znaim.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 3 FM Albert Herzog zu Sachsen-Teschen (Albert duke of Saxony Cuirassiers)

Recruitment: Krain, Gorizia/Gradisca, Moravia and Silesia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Wien, Div. Anton Mittrowsky under O’ Reilly.

Carniola, Gorizia and Coastlands, Moravia and Silesia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Ödenburg

Col. Commander

Carl von Kroyher

Ferdinand Kuttalek von Ehrengreif

Oberstlieutenant

Ferdinand Kuttalek von Ehrengreif

Franz von Gallois

2nd Colonel

   

1st Major

Heinrich von Beierweck

 

2nd Major

count Moritz Clary

 

The regiment began the campaign with 805 men and 756 horses (3 divisions and 6 sqn.)                                                                                                                                      

- before Aspern: the regiment was the twin of the 2nd above. in the Division FML prince (Erbprinz) Friedrich Hessen-Homburg with the Brigade GM Heinrich Bersina von Siegenthal, I Res. Corps GdK Liechtenstein. During the battle of Eggmühl it attacked the French division Nansouty, together with the Second Cuirassiers.

- Aspern: still with Brig. Siegenthal, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps (cavalry Reserve prince Liechtenstein) the regiment defended the left flank of the IV Corps at Essling.

- Wagram: with the Brigade GM Roussel d’Hurbal, Div. Hessen Homburg, the regiment attacked but was repulsed till Aderklaa and Wagram.

- after Wagram: deployed from Brenditz to Winau (rear front) with the Brigade GM Roussel d’Hurbal at Znaim.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 4 archduke Ferdinand Carl d’Este or “Kronprinz Kürassiere” (Crownprince rgt.)

Recruitment: Upper and Lower Austria. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Wien, Div Anton Mittrowsky under O’ Reilly. The regiment began the campaign with 913 men and 809 horses (3 divisions and 6 sqn.). In many sources it retained the old number 12. [5] 

Upper and Lower Austria

2nd Owner

Count Andreas Karaczay (dead 1808) then FML Johann Fresnel

Depot cadre

Grosswardein – Totis (Hungary)

Col. Commander

Baron Philipp Christoph von Bechtold

Oberstlieutenant

Maximilian von Harnach

Count Carl Mercandin

2nd Colonel

prince Gustav von Hessen-Homburg

1st Major

count Carl Mercandin

 

2nd Major

Baron Franz Bannitza von Hohenlinden

- before Aspern: in the Brigade GM baron Ignaz von Lederer, Div. Hessen Homburg, I Res. Corps (cavalry reserve). During the battle of Eggmühl, late evening of April 22, the regiment deployed itself on a low hill in front of the village of Köfering. Two heavy cavalry French corps (St. Sulpice and Nansouty) supported by two wings of light cavalry (Bavarians and cavalry of Württemberg) attacked just before the sunset (this was called the battle of Alt-Egglofsheim). The Austrian cavalry, in two frontal lines separated by a distance of around 1000 footsteps, received the terrible strike of the French elite cavalry, the Carabiniers, and withdrew. The 4th Cuirassiers (or 12th in many orders of battle) covered the Austrian cavalry right (Austrian infantry left) retreating in order toward Traubling. The overrun Austrian cavalry gathered behind the 4th rgt. which stood in order to stop the enemy’s pursue.

The day after the regiment was ordered to protect the march through Ratisbon till the left Danube bank. The eight regiments of the French division Nansouty renewed their attacks, repulsed the Austrian uhlans and hussars of the outer lines and punched three times the Kronprinz cuirassiers’ wall. The Austrians resisted with heroism, but were forced to retreat and colonel Bechtold received severe wounds. During the April 23 battle of Ratisbon the regiment had 162 men and 169 horses dead, wounded or missing with an official Mention of Honour.  

- at Aspern: still with the Brig. Lederer, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps the 6 squadrons of the regiment had only 518 men. They were severely engaged in many cavalry attacks and lost 4 men and 15 horses, dead, 19 men and 13 horses wounded, 21 men and 37 horses missing; a total of 46 men and 65 horses.

- at Wagram: the regiment was always with Lederer Brigade, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps. and was employed at Aderklaa against the Saxons. On the second day it was employed also against the French elite cavalry but suffered violent canister shots from the enemy artillery and had to retreat. There it lost 134 men and 143 horses.

- after Wagram: at Znaim it followed, with Lederer, the first cavalry brigade Roussel in the rear of the frontline.

K.K. Kürassiere N°5 Marquis Hannibal Sommariva

Recruitment: Styria and Carinthia. 2 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Kerekes in Pressburg under Alvinczy. Committed with the VII Corps in Poland with 854 men and 820 horses. Fought at Raszyn.

Styria and Carinthia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Rzeszów - Krakow

Col. Commander

Friedrich von Minutillo then Count Maximilian Auersperg

Oberstlieutenant

Franz von Seymann

 

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Christoph Otto von Ottlilienfeld

2nd Major

Paul von Wernhardt

- before Aspern: Brig. GM baron Späth, Div. FML baron Schauroth, VII Corps. During the battle of Raszyn (April 19) colonel von Minutillo’s horse was hit and died. After the battle the regiment was kept in reserve.                                                                   

K.K. Kürassiere N° 6 FML prince Moritz Liechtenstein

before Aspern - Baron Friedrich von Gottesheim [6] Kürassiere

Recruitment: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. 1 Depot (Res). Sqn. Brig. Daniel in Ödenburg under Alvinczy. It began the campaign with 838 men and 780 horses.

Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Gyöngyös – St.Georgen (Hungary)

Col. Commander

Franz Roussel, vicomte d’Hurbal

baron Carl von Flachenfeld

after Wagram

Oberstlieutenant

baron Carl von Flachenfeld

Count Ludwig St.Aldegonde

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Anton Klehe

Anton Costenai

2nd Major

prince Heinrich LXIV von Reuss-Köstritz

- before Aspern: it began with the 2nd Reserve Corps FML baron Michael Kienmayer in the Brigade GM Andreas von Schneller, Div. Hessen Homburg with the name of Gottesheim cuirassiers. Five squadrons remained in reserve, while one was with the major Klehe detachment. On April 23 evening the five squadrons tried to stop the advance of the French heavy cavalry (battle of Alt-Eglofsheim) but they were put in rout. It lost 50 men and brigadier Schneller was severely wounded. Then they retreated till Bohemia.

- before Aspern: with Brig. Kroyher, Div. Hessen Homburg, Res. Corps.

- at Aspern: now with the new name of Liechtenstein Cuirassiers under the brigade GM baron Ignaz von Lederer, Div. Hessen Homburg, cavalry Reserve Corps the regiment, under Roussel, did many attacks (the colonel was awarded with the Commander Cross of the MTO – Maria Theresien Order). During the two days of the battle the regiment lost: 42 men and 44 horses dead, 83 men and 41 horses wounded, 19 men and 22 horses missing. Corporal Lorenz had a golden medal for having saved prince Liechtenstein from prisony, when he falled down from his horse. The regiment was then attached to the Brig. Kroyher, Div. Hessen Homburg and Div. Kienmayer.

- at Wagram: with a new colonel commander was with the Brig. Kroyher, Div. Hessen Homburg, Reserve Corps. The regiment, surprised in the first day of battle, advanced till Stadtl Enzersdorf and then withdrew to Markcount Neusiedl. The next day it was employed in the Austrian right wing and, after the front collapse, acted to protect as rear guard. During these actions colonel Flachenfeld got the Knight Cross of MTO.  

- after Wagram: it was at Znaim with the Reserve cavalry of  Div. FML prince Schwarzenberg, Brig. Kroyher, without participating in the battle.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 7 GdK Carl Eugen Prinz von Lothringen-Lambesc

Recruitment: Moravia and Silesia. Galicia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Kerekes in Pressburg under Alvinczy . In January it had 883 men and 772 horses.

Moravia and Silesia. Galicia.

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Zolkiew then Szombor (Hungary)

Col. Commander

Johann Piccard von Grünthal

Prinz Ferdinand

von Hessen-Homburg

Oberstlieutenant

Franz Sedelmayer von Seefeld

 

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Prinz Ferdinand

von Hessen-Homburg

chev. Anton de Convay de Watterfort

2nd Major

Franz Hayden

- before Aspern: as the 5th Cuirassiers it was in Poland with Brig. Späth, Div. Schauroth, VII Corps archduke Ferdinand. Was at Raszyn, in the advance till Warsaw and at the Grochow battle. Then retreated to Galicia.

K.K. Kürassiere N° 8 GdK Friedrich Anton prince Hohenzollern-Hechingen

Recruitment: Bohemia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Wien, Div. Ant. Mittrowsky  under O’ Reilly . It began the campaign with 865 men and 783 horses.

Bohemia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Debreczen – Kittsee – Bath (Hungary)

Col. Commander

chevalier Jacob O’Ferral

baron Clemens Grosselsberg

Oberstlieutenant

baron Clemens Grosselsberg von Hohenforst

chevalier Robert Martyn

2nd Colonel

Prinz Gustav von Hessen-Homburg (transf. to Cuirassier N° 4)

1st Major

Georg von Hirsch

Franz Meller

2nd Major

baron Ferdinand Falkenhausen

baron Philipp Zedlitz

- before Aspern: in the Brigade GM baron Ignaz von Lederer, Div. Hessen Homburg, I II Reserve Corps and in the cavalry Reserve of the 3rd Column (Hohenzollern) at Eggmühl. On April 21 the regiment lost all baggages and money on the way to Landshut. On April 22 evening it was involved in the French attack and pursue at Alt-Eglofsheim. The day after it was deployed between Eggmühl and Ratisbon in order to cover the withdrawal, and was sturdily engaged in a large cavalry battle.

Brig. Lederer, autonomous, then Brig. Lederer,

I. Res. Corps (Kav. Res.)

- at Aspern: it was with the Reserve Corps (prince Liechtenstein) in the Brig. Kroyher, Div. Kienmayer. Led by prince Johann Liechtenstein himself during the first day, the Cuirassiers fought a very hard battle in the second day, again attached to Brig. Lederer, but with few losses: 7 men and 15 horses dead.

- at Wagram: with brig. Lederer, the regiment advanced till Raschdorf. In spite of a daring conduct the Hohenzollern were forced to retreat at Markcount Neusiedl. They took place under the II Column and were sent to help the IV corps, under attack, in an hopeless mission because of the infernal artillery fire. The chaotic battle determined their attachment to the cavalry Brig. Rothkirch (div. Nostitz), withdrawing with it till Korneuburg. Losses at Wagram were referred as very high.

- after Wagram: it returned with the Brig. Lederer, Div. Hessen Homburg, in the cavalry Reserve Corps, deploying in the rear of the first frontline.


Austrian Dragoons and Chevau-Légers in 1809

The Dragoons were historically a branch of infantry armed with muskets, mounted to be fast to reach terrain points in which they left back horses and fough afoot. In effect their company commanders were called Hauptmann (Captains) and not Rittmeister like all cavalry captain in Austria. Their companies had more drummers than trumpeteers. The dragoon was armed with carbine and straight and heavy pallash like the Cuirassiers. Each squadron of dragoons had 16 men armed with rifles.

In 1809 Austria tried to create large masses of cavalry as the French had just done. They had cavalry brigades and divisions but there was a severe lack of precise instructions for multi-regiment formations and large scale exercises; “Divisionweise” employment. In facts they preferred the old common use to split regiments in a lot of detachments, mainly for reconnoissance tasks: “Abteilungsweise” employment. Naturally the consequences of this practice of scattering their cavalry in small bodies, typical for Dragoons, were very severe. It greatly reduced the combat effectiveness.

One of the reasons for such careful use of horses was, maybe, their relative low numbers. Austria was a largely mountainous country and had low ratios of cavalry vs infantry; being Hungary the most evident exception. For example in 1809 the ratio between cavalry and infantry (line infantry, jagers, Grenzers) was only 1 to 7.5 (or sometimes even lower, 1 to 10).

In comparison France had ratio 1 to 6, while in the flat and open Russia was 1 to 5  and in Poland (Warsaw Duchy) was probably the highest, 1 to 4. At Wagram the Austrians had 113.830 infantrymen and 15.130 cavalrymen, ratio of 1 to 7.5. In comparison, in several battles, (especially when Napoleon was present) the French reached the very high ratio of 1 to 3.

At the end of the century, Austria tried to specialize the army in the tasks of intelligence, reconnoissance and raids and raised its Light Infantry battalions, autonomous units, very quick in movements. This, in some ways, overcame the Dragoons afoot tasks and so it was decided to make Dragoons more similar to light cavalry than to mounted infantry. Austria created the Light Dragoons regiments, which later originated the Chevau-légers. From 14 regiments of Light Dragoons, only six entered the 1809 war.

In March 1809 Austria had: 6 dragoon regiments - each of 975 men and 1031 horses in 6 squadrons, same pattern as the Cuirassiers or as an infantry battalion. Austria also had one more dragoon regiment (or 10 independent "wings") for guard duties and staffs escort. They were called Staff Dragoons (Stabsdragoner) and were formed before campaigns by detaching the most reliable men from every dragoon regiment. For this reason they can be considered as being elite troops. The Staff Dragoons helped to keep the baggage in order, but it had a more active police role than did the Staff Infantry and also augmented the generals' escort on reconnaissances. The unit was raised in 1758.

Generally speaking the Austrian cavalry regiment consisted of 2-4 cavalry divisions, each of 2 squadrons. The division and not the squadron was considered as "the main tactical element." Squadrons had 4 Zuge (Troops)

Organization of a cavalry regiment:


K.K. Stabs-Dragoner abteilungen

General Quartermaster

GM Anton Meyer von Heldenfeld (Vienna)

Vienna

Commander: Oberst

Xaver von Richter

Oberstlieutenant

Johann Meyer von Heldenfeld

Oberstlieutenant

baron Franz Abele

Oberstlieutenant

Menrich von Geppert

Oberösterreich

Commander: Oberst

Franz von Czerwenka

Oberstlieutenant

Martin Czolich

Croatia

Commander: Oberst

Franz von Tomassich

Oberstlieutenant

Carl von Quosdanovich

Austria

Commander: Oberst

Andrä Petrich

Bohemia

Commander: Oberst

baron Joseph Stutterheim

Oberstlieutenant

Werner Trapp

Recruitment: all other Dragoons districts. In 1809 was raised a single division. This will be disbanded in peacetime. So also happened in 1810 and till 1815.

Officially disbanded after the heavy losses at Marengo 1800, the Staff Dragoons were present with some wings (züge). They mantained the old uniform of the Light Dragoons N° 9, disbanded in 1802.

K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 1 – FM Erzherzog Johann Baptist (Archduke John Dragoons)

Recruitment: former 3rd dragoons disbanded in 1802. Recruited in Inner Austria (Styria, Carinthia). 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Vienna, Div. Ant. Mittrowsky unter O’ Reilly. It began the campaign with 829 men and 794 horses.

Inner Austria (Styria, Carinthia) – Austria - Salzburg

2nd Owner

FML baron Carl Lilien

Depot cadre

Keszthély (Hungary) – Vienna - Debreczen

Col. Commander

chevalier Johann Belloutte et Watters

count Carl Grünne to the General Staff

Col. Commander

Johann von Szombathely (after Wagram)

Oberstlieutenant

baron Sigmund Enzenberg

chevalier Jakob Sück

2nd Colonel

Johann von Szombathely

1st Major

Josef Sturm

 

2nd Major

count Armand Dudressier

Joseph von Schuster

- before Aspern: began with II corps Kollowrath. 3 Sqns. with Brigade GM count Heinrich Rottermund, Div. FML baron Thomas von Brady; other 3 Sqns. with Brigade GM Carl von Fölseis, Division FML Franz Weber von Treuenfels. The Majors division fought at Regensburg while the rest was always in reserve till middle May. In that period it was with the 1st Reserve Corps, cavalry Division Hessen-Homburg, Brig. Rottermund.

- at Aspern: The regiment was at Aspern with the Division FML baron Michael von Kienmayer, Brig. Rottermund and in the Hiller Column. Detachments were also with Div. Kottulinsky, VI Corps. There it lost 36 men and 76 horses (dead, wounded and missing)

- at Wagram: was in the Brig. Rothkirch, Div. Nostitz, Reserve Corps and was sent to Pischdorf and Glinzendorf, later was sent to reinforce the left wing at Markcount Neusiedl.

- after Wagram: it fought at Korneuburg and Znajm, being part of the rearguard Division FML prince Schwarzenberg, Brigade GM Theumern von Neckersfeld.


K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 2 – FML Friedrich Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Recruitment: Bohemia, Upper and Lower Austria. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Daniel in Ödenburg under Alvinczy. It was also entitled to King of Bavaria, Maxmilian Joseph, but, after the beginning of the war against Bavaria, the proprietor opportunely changed.

Bohemia, Upper and Lower Austria.

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Keszthely - Pecsvar

Col. Commander

Emerich von Bésán

 

Oberstlieutenant

baron Dagobert von Wimpffen (retired)

Oberstlieutenant

Ferdinand Holzbecher von Adelsehr

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Valentin von Veigel

 

2nd Major

   

It began the campaign with the army of archduke John, with 846 men and 772 horses.

- before Aspern: Brig. Hager, Div. Wolfskehl, IX Corps FZM count Gyulai. It was at Sacile, Vicenza and the retreated towards the Piave where it was engaged in an attack together with Ott Hussars and Savoy Dragoons. There the general Wolfskehl was killed in action and the regiment’s colonel Besan, taken prisoner. He will return back in Styria, during the Marburg operations.

- between Aspern and Wagram: the regiment was at Raab under its colonel, Brig. Bésan, Div. Frimont, VIII. Corps, without any important part in actions. Then one squadron was sent to Pressburg under attack with the task of linking the Inner Austria army with the Main Army.

- at Wagram: idem. The regiment did not take any combat and its Major Division was left to the IX Corps.

K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 3 – FML baron Vincent Knezevich von Sankt-Helena

(Württemberg Dragoons)

Recruitment: originally Moravia, Silesia and Württemberg. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Vienna, Div. Anton Mittrowsky under O’ Reilly. It was the renowned regiment of the king of Württemberg (Friedrich Wilhelm Carl König von Württemberg), which obviously changed its proprietor after Württemberg entered the war with France.

Moravia, Silesia and Württemberg, then Hungary

Depot cadre

Landau – Ujbecs in Banat – Grosswardein

Col. Commander

baron Wenzel von Ollnhausen

 

Oberstlieutenant

count Carlo Guicciardi

Oberstlieutenant

baron Andreas Rassler – chevalier Maximilian von Paumgartten

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Andreas Rassler

 

2nd Major

Anton Häring

Josef Regelsberg von Thurnberg

It began the war with 819 men and 779 horses, in the 2nd Reserve Corps FML Michael Kienmayer, brigade GM Josef von Clary. The first clash was at Pfeffenhausen where they lost all baggages. At Landshut (April 21) 4 squadrons were detached with baron Constantin d’Aspre and fought partially the battle. During the days of Teugen and Abelsberg the brigade split in two groups. The regiment followed the southern troops fate after Eggmühl. On April 24 two squadrons divided in half squadron detachments, with vanguard tasks, (Div. Kottulinsky and brig. Weissenwolf; Brig. Hoffmeister) fought the battle of Neumarkt an der Roth.

On May 3, a regiment’s division was detached in order to support grenadiers and Rosemberg Chevaulegers (Div. Vincent) at Asten (battle of Ebelsberg).

The regiment withdrew to Vienna where the Reserve Squadron was taken prisoner when the capital city surrendered. The rest of the “Württemberger” crossed the Danube reaching the main army (2nd Reserve Corps Kienmayer).

- at Aspern: it was with Brig. Clary, Div. Kienmayer or Reserve Corps. The regiment was in the first line and defended the front against the French Guards “à cheval”. At Aspern it lost 14 men and 95 horses dead, 24 prisoners and 119 wounded. After the battle it was able to re-organize only two divisions (4 Sqns.)

- at Wagram: it was with the Brigade GM Theumern (Teimer) von Neckersfeld, Division FML prince Schwarzenberg of the Reserve Corps. Committed at Pischdorf and then at Rasdorf, the regiment suffered for the strong artillery fire. It lost 26 men and 105 horses dead, 25 men and their 25 horses prisoners.

- after Wagram: was with the Brigade GM baron Rothkirch, Division FML count von Nostitz and deployed at Tesswitz near Znaim, without fighting that battle.

K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 4 – FML baron Franz Levenehr

Recruitment: Upper and Lower Austria - Moravia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Ambschel in Vienna, Div. Ant. Mittrowsky under O’ Reilly. Former 14th Rgt. Chevaulegers, it was the twin regiment of the 3rd Dragoons and began the war with 867 men and 778 horses.

Upper and Lower Austria – Moravia - Hungary

Depot cadre

Neusatz then Theresiopel (Hungary)

Col. Commander

count Anton Hardegg

Georg von Hirsch

Oberstlieutenant

Wenzel Bachmann (dead at Abensberg)

Oberstlieutenant

Bernhard Agies

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Bernhard Agies

 

2nd Major

Stanislaw Poradowski

 

- before Aspern: in the 2nd Reserve Corps FML Michael Kienmayer, brigade GM Josef von Clary. After the first battle of Landshut the regiment left the brigade to form a vanguard unit under GM Ludwig Thierry (4 sqns and ¾) while other 1 ¼ Sqn. were in the Detachment oberst Anton von Hammer. The two detachments attached to the Div. Lusignan (III Corps) were overrun during the battle of Abensberg, involved in the chaotic retreat and, for a large part, taken prisoner. During the two days of April (19 and 20) the regiment lost 98 men (with the Oberstlieutenant Bachmann), 280 men wounded or missing and 293 horses out of combat. These facts practically destroyed the regiment, which was for three months in a reorganizing camp at Rohrendorf, employed in small detachments for watching and outposts duty along the left Danube bank from Countenwörth and beyond in the autonomous Brigade (left Danube bank) oberst count Johann Ignaz Franz von Hardegg auf Glatz uund im Marchlande. It was formed by: Dragoons N° 4 Levenehr – 2 Sqn., 3rd batt. IR 29 Lindenau –Ergänzungstransport of IR 40 Mittrowsky - Detachment of the Depotdivision IR 59 Jordis and Depotkompagnie of Feldjäger batt. N° 9.

K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 5 – FM Eugen Franz prinz von Savoyen, Count von Soissons

Recruitment: Bohemia. Upper and Lower Austria. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Daniel in Ödenburg under Alvinczy. It began with 730 men and 715 horses.

Bohemia. Upper and Lower Austria

2nd Owner

Count  Ferdinand Tige

Depot cadre

Moor, Iharos-Bérenyi then Reps (Transylvania)

Col. Commander

count Karl Aichelburg (dead at the Piave)

baron

Franz von Gabelkoven

Oberstlieutenant

baron Franz von Gabelkoven

Oberstlieutenant

count Portolazzi then Florian von Babel

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Karl Spens

 

2nd Major

   

- before Aspern: in the Inner Austria army of Archduke John (Italy), IX Corps FML count Ignaz Gyulai, Div. Wolfskehl and Brig. Hager. At Pordenone and Fontanafredda (Sacile) they attacked together with Ott Hussars, under command of the General Staff Major Csorich, the French cavalry of Sahuc. After the first advance till Vicenza, the regiment withdrew till the Piave river. There it was committed at Piavesella, right of Campana, to cover three artillery batteries. The regiment deployed in second line with the 2nd Dragoons in the first one. The two regiments were shot by the French 12 pdr. guns and suffered heavy losses. After two hours of heavy gunfire between the opposite artilelries, the dragoons moved ahead but were counterattacked by the French. General Wolfskehl died as the colonel commander count Carl Aichelburg. The regiment lost 81 men dead and many wounded. Then followed the retreat towards Styria. Some detachments took part to minor clashes at Windisch - Feistritz, seize of Graz and Leoben

- between Aspern and Wagram: at Graz with the main Corps (left bank of the river Mur) FML Gyulai and FML Knezevich, in the Brig. Amade (only one division); another division in the Brigade Kálnássy and the last division with Brig. Gavassini. Then the regiment was in a Reserve cavalry Corps of the VIII Corps, Brig. Besan, Div. Frimont. It was at the Raab battle but only itse Reserve squadron took part to the combats.

K.K. Dragoner Regiment N° 6 – FML Count Johann von Riesch

Recruitment: Bohemia and Moravia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. de Baut at Chrudim under Riesch and Loudon. It began with 921 men and 805 horses. It was raised as new regiment in 1802 thanks to the Oberst Division of the disbanded Czartorisky Cuirassier (the memoir of this Cuirassier origin remained in their blue trousers).

Bohemia and Moravia.

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Nikolsburg, Časlau then Rohatyn (Galicia)

Col. Commander

baron Heinrich von Scheither

 

Oberstlieutenant

Wilhelm von Kronenburg

Oberstlieutenant

 

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Friedrich Wangen

 

2nd Major

   

- before Aspern: attached to the I Reserve Corps (prince Liechtenstein) , Div. Hessen-Homburg, Brig. Rottermund. On April 22 it reached Stadt-am-Hof (Ratisbon) and detached one squadron to Straubing (where it was taken prisoner). After this unlucky episode the regiment remained in reserve.

- at Aspern: still with the Brig. Rottermund, Div. Kienmayer, Reserve Corps and 623 effectives. During the battle it charged the French (together with Blankenstein Hussars) against its right flank. Part of the regiment shifted back to support the third line (with Insurrectio cavalry) and some were taken prisoners. The losses were important: 19 men and 74 horses dead, 52 men and 13 horses wounded, 5 men and 5 horses missing.

- at Wagram: in the Brig. Rothkirch, Div. Nostitz, Reserve Corps (Liechtenstein). During the battle the Oberstlieutenant division was under gunfire of 25 French pieces. The Major division was the only unit to attack the French. The regiment lost 89 m. and 103 h. dead, 39 m. and 37 h. wounded, 34 m. and 26 h. missing (a total of 162 men and 165 horses).

- after Wagram: was at Znaim without fighting with the Brig. GM Theumern (Teimer) von Neckersfeld, Reserve Div. Schwarzenberg.

Changes in the Austrian Light Cavalry since 1802

From 1798 till 1802 Austria had 15 Light Dragoons regiments (Leicht Dragoner, 14 regular and one Staff regiment). They were all disbanded on 1802 in order to form new units: 6 regiments of Dragoons and 6 regiments of Chevau-légers.

(leicht) 1st Dragoner-Regiment Kaiser became the Chevau-légers-Regiment Nr. 1

(leicht) 2nd Dragoner-Regiment Erzherzog Ferdinand disbanded, troops to other Dragoons and Chevaulégers

(leicht) 3rd Dragoner-Regiment Erzherzog Johann had the new name of  Dragoons-Regiment N° 1

(leicht) 4th Dragoner-Regiment Hohenzollern became the Chevau-légers-Regiment n. 2

(leicht) 5th Dragoner-Regiment Modena disbanded, its troops to other Dragoons

(leicht) Coburg disbanded, its troops to the Chevau-légers

(leicht) 7th Dragoner-Regiment Waldeck was the new Dragoons-Regiment N° 2

(leicht) 8th Dragoner-Regiment Wiirttemberg was the new Dragoons-Regiment N° 3

(leicht) 9th Dragoner-Regiment “the Stabsdragoner” was disbanded

(leicht) 10th Dragoner-Regiment Lobkowitz became Chevau-légers-Regiment N° 3

(leicht) 11th Dragoner-Regiment Latour became the new Chevau-légers-Regiment N° 4

(leicht) 12th Dragoner-Regiment Kinsky became the new Chevau-légers-Regiment Nr. 6

(leicht) 13th Dragoner-Regiment or 2nd Neu-Dragoner became the new Chevau-légers-Regiment N° 5

(leicht) 14th Dragoner-Regiment Levenehr was the new Dragoons-Regiment N° 4

(leicht) 15th Dragoner-Regiment Savoyen was the new Dragoons-Regiment N° 5

Until 1792 the dragoons regiments had 2 squadrons of chevauxlégers and 6 squadrons of dragoons each. In 1799-1801 there were no longer dragoons and chevauxlégers but all were merely light dragoons. Then was another change and were formed 6 regiments of dragoons and 6 of chevaulégers. In 1809 however Dragoons were still considered to be heavy cavalry-like (had 6 squadrons).

Chevaux-Légers (Light cavalry = Leichte Reiterei)

In 1801-1802, five light dragoon regiments and a newly formed dragoon regiment became chevauxlégeres. In 1814 the seventh regiment of chevauxlégeres was formed with Italian troopers.

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 1 Kaiser Franz I

Recruitment: Moravia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Starczinsky in Krakow Div. Meerveldt under Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen. Sent with archduke Ferdinand in Poland. For a long time it occupied Warsaw. Two squadrons were involved in the capture of Jedlinsko. It began the war with 8 Sqns. (4 div.) 1280 men and 1175 horses.           

Moravia

2nd Owner

GdK count Heinrich Bellegarde

Depot cadre

Gródek (Galicia) then Gyöngyös (Hungary)

Col. Commander

count Carl Raigecourt

baron Paul Taxis

Oberstlieutenant

count Carl Klebersberg

Oberstlieutenant

count Vincenz Desfours

2nd Colonel

baron Thädeus Reischach

1st Major

chevalier Simon Fitzgerald

 

2nd Major

Michael von Civrany

 

- before Aspern: in the brigade GM von Branovatzky, Div. Schauroth, later in the Brig. Geringer, Div. Dinnersberg, VII Corps in Poland. In June two squadron were with the special “Streif-kommando” of major count Gatterburg (2 Sqns. Kaiser Hussars and 2 Sqns. Kaiser Chevaulegers).

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 2 Prinz Friedrich Xaver Hohenzollern-Hechingen

Recruitment: districts of Silesia and Moravia. From 1809 partially in Bohemia too. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Daniel in Ödenburg, under Alvinczy. It began with 1330 men and 1185 h.

Silesia and Moravia. From 1809 partially in Bohemia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Pecsvár then Wels (Austria)

Col. Commander

baron Leopold von Ludwigsdorff

Theophil von Zechmeister

Oberstlieutenant

Matthias Löderer

Oberstlieutenant

baron Adam Walterskirchen

2nd Colonel

Theophil von Zechmeister then Franz von Müller

1st Major

baron Adam Walterskirchen

 

2nd Major

Anton Vinzenz Lachowski

 

3rd-4th Majors

baron Peter Gasser

Nikolaus Henrion

It was in the 8th corps in Italy. 3 squadrons went in Tirol to Chasteler. The 1st Majors-2nd Sqn. remained in Dalmatia participating at the battle of Gospich. The Oberst-Division and 2nd Major-division were in Italy under the Regiment commander baron von Ludwigsdorff, who was severely wounded at Pordenone during the Avant-garde combat at Rorai Grande. The 2nd Majorsdivision under Major Lachowski fought at Sacile (Brig. GM von Wetzel). Later was sent to Tirol as reinforcement, remained with Chasteler and covered his retreat in Carinthia fighting at St.Veit and Klagenfurt. In middle of June the regiment re-united in the Armee of archduke John in Hungary at Pápa.

The squadrons in Tirol were, in part, at Laditscher Brücke and at Volano, later in North-Tirol. An half squadron fought the May 28 battle of Berg Isel. After the retreat of the Chasteler corps, in Tirol, one squadron remained in South Tirol fighting near Trento. Rittmeister Banizza was also the District-commander there.

The part of the regiment sent to North Tirol fought at Murnau saving the Schützen column of Major Teimer from a complete disaster. The Vorarlberg Detachment under Rittmeister baron von Esch was taken prisoner after the attempt to escape through Bavaria and Bohemia, at Neumarkt in Oberpfalz.

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 3 FML-FM Count Andreas O’ Reilly

Recruitment: Upper and Lower Austria and, after 1807, Bohemia.. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. brig. Ambschel in Vienna, Div. Anton Mittrowsky under O’ Reilly. It began the campaign with 1250 men and 1105 horses maintaining the white coats.

Austria

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Wels

Col. Commander

baron Leopold Rothkirch promoted GM (between Aspern and Wagram)

Simon von Sardagna

Oberstlieutenant

Simon von Sardagna

Oberstlieutenant

Count Johann Heinrich Auersperg

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Caspar von Danzer (dead at Aspern)

 

2nd Major

Count Johann Heinrich Auersperg

baron Georg Wimpffen

3rd-4th Majors

Alois Haenke

Count Ernst Haugwitz

- before Aspern: was in the Brigades Provencheres, Ettingshausen and Legisfeld, Div. Jellachich, VI Corps Hiller, sent to Salzburg. Advanced inside Bavaria with 3 Sqns. under Provencheres and the rest under Jellacich. It was employed to seize the bavarian capital city Munich. After the first unlucky Austrian battles the regiment retreated again to Salzburg. On April 28 they had a clash at Waging against the bavarian cavalry of general Preising. During the retreat towards Tirol the regiment acted as rearguard till the mountain passes. In this period it lost 20 men. Jellacich detached the remaining 3 platoons of the 1st (Oberst division) squadron sending them to the Corps Chasteler, with the Gruppe Reissenfels and Gruppe Taxis. The other 7 squadrons were sent to reinforce Hiller VI Corps. However having got the new of the defeat at Ebelsberg, the O’Reilly chevaulegers marched directly to Wiener-Neustadt and from there to the Marchfeld. The 2nd Major division (under command of the major count Auersperg) was sent to reinforce the Pressburg bridgehead.

- at Aspern: originally was in the 1st Column or right wing under FML Johann baron von Hiller, Div. Vincent, Brig. Provenchères, but then it was attached to the III column, the Centre, (prince Hohenzollern) with its five squadrons. On the second day baron Rothkirch had orders to attack six French infantry battalions, which marched in column toward Aspern. After the battle the losses were: 19 men and 78 horses dead (among them major Caspar von Danzer), 125 men and 79 horses wounded, 13 men and 16 horses missing.

- between Aspern and Wagram: at the June’s end the Pressburg detachment returned to the regiment now with 7 Sqn. and was attached to the Reserve Corps of prince Liechtenstein, Division FML count von Nostitz, Brigade GM count Wartensleben. Oberst Rothkirch, now GM, was the other Nostitz’s brigadier.

- at Wagram: it fought in the left wing before the withdrawal orders of July 6, 1 PM. Its losses were: 50 men and 89 horses dead, 50 men and 19 horses wounded, 17 men with the commander Sardagna and 15 horse prisoners, 49 men and 34 horses missing. After the battle the 1st Major-division (count Heinrich Auersperg now Oberstlieutenant) was attache to the IV Corps Rosenberg.

- after Wagram: retreated in Moravia without fighting.

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 4 GdK baron Carl Vincent

Recruitment: Lower Austria (former Dutch-Belgian regiment). 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. brig. Kerekes in Pressburg under Alvinczy. It began with 1377 men and 1184 horses.

 

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Gaja-St.Georgen-Pressburg-Rakonitz

Col. Commander

Goswin de Fielandt

Count Ludwig Ficquelmont

Oberstlieutenant

Count Adam Ficquelmont (dead at Aspern)

Oberstlieutenant

baron Karl Scheibler

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Wenzel Kapaun

 

2nd Major

Count August Deflines de Tombes

 

3rd-4th Majors

Johann von Lefèvre

Gabriel von Messmacre

- before Aspern: the 8 squadrons of the regiment did begin the war under the Division marquis Hannibal Sommariva, Brig. Neustädter then Brigade GM baron Carl von Stutterheim (Avant-garde of the IV Corps Rosenberg). At the battle of Teugen-Hausen 4 squadrons were in the Stutterheim vanguard, 1 Sqn. with the brigade GM Josef von Grill, 2 Sqns with GM von Riese and the last with the detachment of colonel Steyrer. At Abelsberg 4 Sqns remained with Stutterheim, a division was on Staff duty with Rosenberg-Orsini, and another division in the Brigade oberst Carl Steyrer von Edelberg. The squadrons reunited under Stutterheim before the battle of Eggmühl, then four went with the Brigade GM Johann von Neustädter. At evening Stutterheim gathered again the regiment and deployed it on the hills of Hagelstadt, to protect the retreat toward Ratisbon.

Seeing the French heavy cavalry coming, Stutterheim deployed his brigade on the left of the Cuirassier brigade Schneller, which was at Alt-Eglofsheim, Hussars in the first line, the regiment in the second. After the cavalry battle the regiment lost: 23 men and 103 horses dead,  54 men and 33 horses wounded, 24 men prisoners, 16 men and  76 horses missing. The regiment then withdrew to Bohemia under Division FML prince Victor de Rohan, Brig. Stutterheim, IV Corps. For a short period Stutterheim (the regiment together with the 3rd Hussars) was sent to Freystadt (north of Linz) in order to control the road to Budweis (originally they had to defend the Linz bridge, which was put in fire).

- at Aspern: the regiment moved from Bohemia in 746 men as the army’s vanguard with Brig. Stutterheim, Div. Rohan, of IV Corps. Some detachments were also with the Brig. Oberst Grätze, Div. Rohan, IV Corps. The losses at Aspern were: 10 men and 63 horses dead, 80 men and 61 horses wounded (the count Ficquelmont, Oberstlieutenant died on May 23 for the wounds),

- between Aspern and Wagram: it took part to various Streifkorps. Oberstlieutenant Scheibler went with his division and other troopers till Mauthausen, to rescue the local garrison. In the meantime the regiment was assigned to the II Corps (Hohenzollern) in the Div. FML Siegenthal forming (with the 2nd batt. of Bohemian Legion and the 8th Feldjäger) the brigade GM count Ignaz Hardegg. 61 men of the Reserve squadron reached the main unit.

- at Wagram: the regiment deployed the Oberst-division and the 1st Major-division (under colonel de Fierlant) in line to attack a French column, advancing along the Russbach, and the 2nd Major division (major Laitner) on the right. While the French were attacking Baumersdorf, defended by GM Hardegg, the regiment pursued the French units withdrawing to Raasdorf. During the second day the French repeated the attack against Raasdorf. Being undet a stark artillery fire, brigade Hardegg had to withdraw and the regiment covered the movement. At Wagram it lost: 18 men and 122 horses dead, 47 men missing (probably dead), 97 men and 62 horses wounded.

- after Wagram: still with the Brig. Hardegg, Div. FML Ulm, II Corps Hohenzollern. Major Scheibler, after the attachment to the Div. Schustekh along the Danube, joined the other six squadrons with his division. It took a minimal part in the battle of Znaim.

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 5 GM-GdK Count Johann Klenau von Janowitz

Recruitment: Bohemia . 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig. Szénassy in Jaromirz under Riesch and Loudon. It began the campaign with 1359 men and 1200 horses (1071-871 on April 1). 

Bohemia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Pardubitz

Col. Commander

Joseph von Mayern (Mayer)

baron Raban von Spiegel

Oberstlieutenant

Count Ferdinand Lippe (dead at Aspern)

Oberstlieutenant

Johann von Kopp

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

Johann von Kopp

Ludwig Durand

2nd Major

baron Taxis

 

3rd-4th Majors

Count Dominik Stürgkh

Baron Carl Tettenborn

- before Aspern: detached in the Brig. baron Peter Vécsey, IV Corps Rosenberg and then assigned also to the III Corps Hohenzollern. At Eggmühl 4 squadrons remained in the right wing with Vécsey, while other 4 Sqns. were with the Reserve of Liechtenstein. It took part at the great Ratisbon cavalry battle (April 23). There it lost: 87 men and 107 horses dead, 35 men and 41 horses wounded, 23 men and 80 horses missing. After the retreat Brig. Vécsey went with the Division FML Franz Weber von Treuenfels of the Hohenzollorn Corps (now II).

- at Aspern: it participated to the attacks against Essling. There it lost: 24 men and 44 horses dead, 89 men and 91 horses wounded, 13 men and 43 horses missing.

- at Wagram: it was in the Brig. Stutterheim, Div. Fresnel, I Corps Bellegarde. The regiment acted as the rearguard of the I Corps and lost at Wagram 14 men dead, 45 wounded,  17 missing and  80 horses.

- after Wagram: the regiment retreated to Znaim with 5 squadrons in the center of the army till Brenditz, in order to protect artillery heavy batteries, with the Division FML Hennequin de Fresnel, Brigade GM Stutterheim. The remaining 3 squadrons were in front of the position. The defence was hard and the losses were: 15 men and 35 horses dead.

K.K. Chevau-légers N° 6 GM-GdK Franz Fürst Rosenberg-Orsini

This was a unusual regiment since its beginnings. After the availability (on April 25, 1798) of the 4th (the Chevauxlegers-) division of the Dragoons-Regiment Coburg (disbanded in 1802), together with the same division from the Chevauxleger-Rgt. Latour (Dragoons 14th), and the French (Emigrants) Saxon division and of the Bercsényi-Hussars, it was raised in the camp of Engfurt, Bavaria, as Light Dragoons-Regiment N. 13 but officially took the name of 2nd New (raised)-Dragoons-Regiment". On 1802 it was changed into a Chevauxléger-Regiment with the number 6 incorporating also the Oberst-Division of the disbanded Dragoons Rgt. Coburg N. 6. In memory of the name of 2nd New Dragoons it retained the white coats.

Recruitment: Bohemia. 1 Depot (Res.) Sqn. Brig Franz Kinsky in Prague under Riesch and Loudon. It began the campaign with 1380 men and 1223 horses (4 divisions and 8 squadrons) with the VI Corps FML baron Hiller.

Bohemia

2nd Owner

 

Depot cadre

Brandeis – Klattau (Bohemia)

Col. Commander

Count Joseph Chotek

(dead at Wagram)

Chevalier Carl Latuillerie

Oberstlieutenant

Chevalier Carl Latuillerie

Oberstlieutenant

Count Ehrenreich Wurmbrandt

2nd Colonel

 

1st Major

baron Carl Scheibler

Count Eugen D’Ambly

2nd Major

chevalier Jakob Sük

Johann Claudius von Claudenburg

3rd-4th Majors

Count Eugen D’Ambly

Wenzel Fürst Liechtenstein

- before Aspern: under the direct command of the “Chef d’état-major” Oberst Markus Csollich (VI Corps) it was at Mainburg with 5 Sqns. One squadron was in the left wing with the Detachment Major von Scheibler, who, with the remaining two squadrons in Reserve, was sent to Moosburg. During the days of Abensberg, two Sqns. remained with Scheibler, one with the Avant-garde brigade GM Armand von Nordmann, Div. Vincent, VI Corps. Four Sqns. were with the “Hauptkolonne” Division FML comte Friedrich baron von Kottulinsky in the Brig. GM baron Carl Vincent and the last with Brig. Hoffmeister of the same division. At Landshut the regiment, now gathered, formed the rearguard covering the traffic jam of the retreating troops, deploying at Ergolding. It had some success in delaying the French advance and then withdrew across the Landshut bridges. On May 2 it had a rear guard combat at Eferding and the following day, at Ebelsberg, it was still in the Division GM baron Carl Vincent forming again the rear guard of the troops retreating across the river Traun.

Finally it was attached to the cavalry Reserve Brigade GM chevalier Carl Dolmaire (Dollmayer) de Provenchères, coming from Munich with O’Reilly Rgt., II Reserve Corps FML baron Michael von Kienmayer, while two squadrons where detached under major Scheibler to control the road Schärding – Linz.

- at Aspern: was in the 1st Column or right wing under FML Johann baron von Hiller, Div. Vincent, Brig. Provenchères, advanced to Enzersdorf and attacked Essling. The 2nd Major division (Sück) was the spearpoint of the 5th column vanguard. The regiment was then attached to the IV Corps Rosenberg. During the second day it fought between Essling and Enzersdorf. Its losses were: 8 men and 23 horses dead, 42 men and 40 horses wounded. After the battle it was attached to the Brig. Neustädter, Div. Dedovich, IV Corps (half rgt.), the other half with Brig. Stutterheim, Div. Rohan, IV Corps.

- at Wagram: it was in the Reserve Corps prince Liechtenstein, Division FML prince Schwarzenberg, Brigade GM Theumern von Neckersfeld (Brig. Teimer). With the cavalry of Nostitz it fought at Glinzendorf. During the second day it was at Aderklaa supporting the artillery under attack.

- after Wagram: retreated beyond Znaim now in the Brig. Rothkirch, Div. Nostitz, Reserve Corps.

Notes:

[1] Source : http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com

[2] The horse enjoyed a great reputation and even Napoleon obtained one Lipizzaner for himself. The French troops plundered much of the brood-stock from Lipizza and Piber.

[3] Today the Hand is primarily used to describe the height of horses, ponies, and other equines in a number of different countries, including the USA, Australia, and the UK. In this context, one hand equals four inches (10.16 cm), and the horse is measured from the ground to the top of the withers.

[4] Datas for end of January 1809 are courtesy of István Nagy.

[5] The regiment retained also the old number 12 (Cuirassiers N° 12) having inherited the number 4 from the former “prince Adam Czartorinsky-Sangusco” cuirassiers regiment, disbanded in 1802, while sending an own division to the actual 12th regiment.

[6] Dead at Prague on April 5, 1809

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2010

 

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