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 III: Standards

Every regiment of infantry possed two types of flag, which were carried at a number of one per battalion. These were the 'Leibfahne' and the 'battaillonsfahne'. Both types measured 132 by 176 cm. All flags were carried by Fahnenführen. At this period, Infanteriefahnen M 1806 were in use.

A The Leibfahne

The 'Leibfahne', or regimental standard was carried either by the Leib (1st) battalion of a regiment, or the grenadiers. Made of white silk, it had a border on three sides of red and black 'flames' pointing outwards.

The reverse of the 'Leibfahne' had an image of the Virgin Mary within a gold aura. Twelve silver stars circled the Virgin's head.

On the obverse was the Imperial 'doppeladler' (double-headed eagle) in black, with a number of heraldic devices thereon. In the eagles' claws were a sword and sceptre (left), and an aube (right). In the centre of the eagle was the Dynastic Brustschild. In a semi-circle angled downwards were the provincial Länderwappen. Above the eagle was a crown representing the Imperial and Royal crown.

The staff of the standard was of wood with a brass spearhead top. The 'fahne' was nailed to it with brass nails. The staff was often painted in diagonals in a combination of black, red, yellow and white. This gave something of a 'barber-pole' effect.

B The Bataillonsfahne

The 'battalionsfahne' was carried by the 2nd and 3rd battalions of regiments and sometimes the 1st battalions of those regiment whose grenadiers possessed the 'Leibfahne'.

The 'battalionsfahne' was made of yellow silk with black, red and white 'flames' pointing outwards on three sides.

Both sides of this 'fahne' sported the 'doppeladler' which was of a similar type to that described for the 'Leibfahne'.

Battle honours on standards were by means of 'ribbons' affixed to the staff.



Grenadier Short Sword
The Leibfahne
The Bataillonsfahne




Placed on the Napoleon Series: April 2001


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