Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics


 

 

 

Introduction

 

Austrian Regular Infantry

By Mike Embree

Artwork by Keith Vincent

Editor's Note: This paper was first published as a pamphlet by the Napoleonic Association in the late 1970s. The Napoleonic Association has very generously given us permission to place it on the Napoleon Series. It is reproduced in its entirety except for those parts that cover wargaming. Click here for more information on the Napoleonic Association.

 

Part I: Organisation

In 1806, with the advent of Erzherzog (Archduke) Karl as Generalissmus, the Austrian army underwent a considerable reorganisation. The Archduke was a manifestation of the idea that the infantry should be self-supporting, and as a consequence all line regiments lost their regimental artillery.

Line regiments were all organised on the same basis, and consisted of 3 fusilier battalions and 2 grenadier companies.

The three fusilier battalions had 3 'divisonen' each (until 1809, the 3rd battalions had only 2). Battalions were numbered 1-3, divisions 1-9, and companies 1-18 consecutively through the regiment. The grenadier companies were numbered 1 and 2. All companies were also assigned the name of the commander, and were generally known by that name.

The command of the regiment was assigned as follows:

1 oberst (colonel)

Hungarian Fusilier Hauptmann

German Officer in Haupenrock
Note: Kasket - Pre 1810

1 obersleutnant (lieuteant-colonel), second-in-command and commander of 1st Battalion

2 majors

1 regiments adjutant

3 battalion adjutants

3 führen (senior nco rank)

1 regiments tambur (drummer)

6 kadetten (cadets) - These cadets were responsible directly to a regiment's colonel. Their standing was very similar to that of a midshipman in navies of this period.

A 'German' company had 8 gefreyten (senior privates), as did the 'Hungarian', but whereas the former had 160 gemeinen, the latter had 180. A grenadiers company had 120.

Grenadier companies were formed from the grenadiers of each regiment, and were combined with the grenadiers of other regiments into autonomous battalions.

Tactically, the infantry used a 3 rank system, a company forming in this manner on almost all occasions. Battalion movement was usually by the column of companies, i.e. one behind the other, and this formation was used for storming, etc. In a fire-fight, the battalions would fight in line. The 1st (Leib) battalion of a regiment took the right of the line, with the 2nd in the centre, and the 3rd on the left. March step was 95 paces to the minute. All officers from the rank of major upwards were mounted. The infantry was generally well-disciplined, and could manoeuvre well, but the highly developed sub-unit system sometimes found difficulties in broken country.

Generally speaking, 2 infantry regiments formed a brigade which was named after is CO, and was sometimes numbered as well. Higher organisation was on an extremely ad-hoc basis, and was changed to suit circumstances. This could cause problems of control, but had the advantage of flexibility. A 'normal' corps would be made up of several divisions, in trun broken down into brigades, though the corps of 3 brigades plus artillery, etc was not unknown. In much the same way, light troops could be attached to infantry divisions, though again, they were usually formed in light divisions and kept with the grenadiers.

Grenadiers were brigaded together, and these brigades formed, together with light divisions, a 'reserve' corps. This was not an organisational entity, simply a corps of elite troops at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief (in Germany, in 1809, there were 2 in existence). Battalions or brigades could be detached from the reserve as and when necessary. The heavy cavalry and artillery were usually a part of this reserve, and not under (line) corps control.

Every regiment had a number in the line which accorded to its status and seniority. In addition, the reigment possessed a name which was normally that of the 'regiments-Inhaber', or colonel-in-chief. Permanent titles, such as that of regiment Nr 4 were occasionally granted as an honour. There has been some confusion regarding the identification of regiments since their names did, of course, change at times. The list of regiments given will, I hope, alleviate that confusion to some extent.

Number Name Nationality

1

Kaiser Franz

German

2

Hiller - (1814 - Alexander, Kaiser von Russland)

Hungarian

3

Erzherzog Karl

German

4

Hoch und Deutschmeister

German

5

1 Garnison (Garrison)

German

6

2 Garnison (Garrison)

German

7

Baron Schroder

German

8

Ludwig Joseph

German

9

Czarytoryski

Walloon

10

Mittrowsky (1809 - Reisky)

German

11

Rainer

German

12

Manfreddini (1809 - Lichtenstein)

German

13

Reisky

German

14

Baron Klebek (1811 - Erzherzog Rudolph)

German

15

Zach

German

16

Lusignan

German

17

Reuss - Plauen

German

18

D'Aspre (1809 - Reuss-Greiz)

German

19

Alvintzy (1813 - Hesse-Homburg)

Hungarian

20

Wenzel Kaunitz

German

21

Rohan (1810 - Graf Gyulai)

German

22

Sachsen - Coburg - Saalfeld

German

23

Grossherzog Wurzburg

German

24

Von Straugh

German

25

Graf Zedwitz (1809 - De Vaux)

German

26

Hohenlohe (1814 - Prinz Von Oranien)

German

27

Graf Strassoldo (1809 - Chasteler)

German

28

Von Frehlich

German

29

Lindenau

German

30

Prince de Ligne

Walloon

31

Benjowsky

German

32

Esterhazy

Hungarian

33

Graf Szatary (1809 - Colloredo - Mansfeld)

Hungarian

34

Furst A Esterhazy

Hungarian

35

Argentau

German

36

Kollowrat

German

37

Baron de Vins

Hungarian

38

Herzog Ferdinand Von Wurttemburg

Hungarian

39

Thomas Nadasdy

Hungarian

40

Graf Mittrowsky

German

41

Kottulinsky

German

42

Graf Erbach

German

43

Simbchen

German

44

Graf Belgiojoso

Italian

45

Krain de Vaux

German

46

Chasteler

German

47

Graf F Finsky

German

48

Baron Schmidfeld

Hungarian

49

Graf Pellegrini

German

50

Graf Stein

German

51

Baron Splenyi

German

52

Erzherzog Franz Karl

Hungarian

53

Johann Hellacic (1814 - Hiller)

Croat

54

Von Kirchrath

Croat

55

Reuss - Greiz

Walloon

56

Graf W Colloredo

German

57

Graf K Colloredo

German

58

Baron Beaulieu

Walloon

59

Jordis

German

60

Ignaz Gyulai

Hungarian

61

St Julien

Hungarian

62

Franc Jellacic (1810 - Wacquant)

Hungarian

63

Erzherzog Josef Franc

Walloon

Regiments number 5 and 6 (1 and 2 Garrison regiments) were disbanded in 1807, when it was decided pointless administrating these troops as regiments since they did not operate as such. These numbers remained vacant until 1851.

After the loss of territory resulting from the Treaty of Vienna in 1809, it became necessary to disband 8 line regiments. These were numbers 13, 23, 38, 43, 45, 46, 50, and 55. Four of these units, reformed in 1814, recruited from the Italian provinces; these being -

Nr 13

Wimpffen

Nr 23

Mauroy de Merville

Nr 38

?

Nr 43

?

During the 1813-15 campaigns, 1 and sometimes 2 Landwehr battalions were attached to each line regiment, and most operated in the same corps. A description of these troops is inappropriate here.

As stated previously, grenadiers operated in independent battalions separately from their parent regiments. These battalions bore the name of their commanding officer.

Grenadier Divisionen in 1809

Battalion

2 Companies from the Following Regiments

Battalion Hohenlohe

1/29/38

Battalion Hahn

2/33/39

Battalion Bissingen

3/50/58

Battalion Scovaud

4/49/63

Battalion Stark

7/18/21

Battalion Mayblumel

8/22/60

Battalion Legrand

9/55/56

Battalion Wienawsky

11/11/47

Battalion Oklopsia (then Cappy)

12/20/23

Battalion Puteany

14/45/59

Battalion Nissel

15/28/57

Battalion Salomon

16/26/27

Battalion Georgy

17/36/42

Battalion Janusch

19/52/61

Battalion Brzezinsky

24/30/41

Battalion Leiningen

25/35/54

Battalion Scharlach

31/32/51

Battalion ?

34/37/48

Battalion von Muhlen

53/62

Battalion ?

13/40/43

Battalion ?

44/46

Grenadier Divisionen in 1813 - 1815

Battalion Frisch

1/12/57

Battalion Lanyi (then Kramer)

2/19/33

Battalion de Best

3/4/63

Battalion Moese

7/20/56

Battalion Jurissich (then Possman)

8/22

Battalion Portner

9/24/44

Battalion Hromada

10/29/40

Battalion Fischer

11/25/54

Battalion ?

13/38

Battalion Puteany

14/49/59

Battalion Berger

15/28/47

Battalion Welsperg

16/26/27

Battalion Oklopsia

17/18/21

Battalion ?

23/43

Battalion Brsesinsky (then Obermayer)

30/41/58

Battalion Purcell

31/51

Battalion Habinay

32/39

Battalion Kirchebetter

34/37/60

Battalion ?

35/36/42

Battalion Faber

48/52

Battalion Chimani

53/61/62

The relationship between the grenadiers and their regiments was maintained as much as possible in the pursuance of esperit de corps. Whereas grenadier regiments were raised in other countries, this was though by the KK army to be detrimental to the line infantry, and the regimental bonds were consequently continued.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2001

 


 

 

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2001

 

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