Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics


 

 

 

 

 

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 II: Uniforms and Equipment (Continued)

As with uniform, there were no constant changes or differences with equipment. This naturally offered considerable advantages in the realms of supply and ordnance. This of course enables troops to be maintained int he field with less difficulty.

All line infantry wore white leather equipment, with a black cartridge box (other ranks.) With fusiliers, all ranks below feldwebel carried musket and bayonet. Feldwebels and fuhren carried a sabre. The musket was similar to the French 'Charleville', and its performance like those of other nations in most respects. It is interesting to note that the worst muskets of the period were considered to be the ex-Prussian type used to equip the troops of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw after 1807. Austrian line troops rarely carried inferior muskets, as these were for the most part passed to the reserve formations.

Officers carried either the issue epee, or a sabre, and frequently a brace of pistols. It was the height of fashion in the Austrian infantry for the sword-slings to be of a similar length to the cavalry. This, naturally was all well and good if swaggering down the Herrengasse, but it gets in the way in a muddy field!!! A consequence was that officers often 'hitched-up' their swords.

Grenadiers carried the short sword in addition to the musket and bayonet. Previous to 1798, this short sword, which was much like the French sabrebriquet, had been carried by the fusiliers. It was withdrawn from them under an ordinance of that year.

A brown cow-hide pack was carried by the non-commissioned ranks, upon which was normally strapped the greatcoat, when not worn. Some troops, however, did wear this slung like a blanket roll. The water bottle could be of either wood or metal (below), and was sometimes carried by officers.

Wooden Waterbottle
Metal Waterbottle
Wooden Waterbottle
Metal Waterbottle

 

The zimmerman carried an axe, and wore an apron to perform. Otherwise, his equipment was identical to that of an ordinary infantryman. The musket was not always carried by the company zimmerman, though he was permitted to do so.

Drum
Grenadier Short Sword
Drum
Grenadier Short Sword

Drums carried by the line infantry had a brass shell, and the rims were painted with black and yellow diagonals. All roping on drums was white. Drummers and fifers all carried the infantry pattern short sword.

 

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2001

 

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