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Austrian Regular Infantry

By Mike Embree

Sketches 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.



This booklet is intended to give an insight into the backbone of the 'Kaiserlich und

Hungarian Fusilier Gemeine in Kasket
Hungarian Fusilier Gemeine in Kasket

Königlich Armee', the line infantry. It is not always understood that Austria continually put more men in to the field against Imperial France than any other power during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1813-14, for example, the total activated strength of the army was well above half-a-million. These men, as much as any others, brought about the downfall of Napoleon.

It is possible to cover the 'regular' infantry (for the purposes of this, line regiments 1-63) in one booklet because the Austrian army was fortunate -- indeed notable at this period -- in that uniformity was the rule rather than the exception, and this was especially true with regard to the infantry. Changes in dress regulations were comparatively few, which avoided much of the confusion which reigned in the dress of other armies. Of course, another reason for this state of affairs was a stronger economy than some other nations, and much less reliance on British subsidies. Prussia's unfortunate situation post 1806 bears this out -- Mr. Mantle's companion booklet, Prussian Reserve Infantry: 1813-15, shows well how an army could suffer because of this problem. I have not included regiment Nr 64 in this study, since they were properly jäger, and will be covered in a later publication. The grenadiers are covered since they were an organizational, though not operational, part of their regiments.


Mike Embree





Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2001


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