Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1) : Infantry by Philip Haythornthwaite, Bryan Fosten

By Philip Haythornthwaite, Bryan Fosten

The main implacable of Napoleon's continental enemies, on the outbreak of battle Austria maintained an enormous military, yet one rooted firmly within the 18th century. Hampered via the inherent conservatism of the hierarchy, the Austrians needed to struggle the main glossy military in Europe. regardless of this the regulars, who have been drawn from many territories lower than Austrian sway, played with nice self-discipline, answer and stoicism. This name examines intimately the employer, uniforms, deployment and improvement of the Austrian infantry through the Napoleonic Wars, masking Line infantry, gentle infantry, Grenz-Infanterie, Landwehr military, and Frei-Corps devices.

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Officers had bicorns with black silk binding, iron grey long-tailed infantry coats, white waistcoats, white or grey breeches with lace and thigh knot of the button colour (silver or gold), black boots, epee with gold knot, gold and black sash, and grey overcoat. If we continue to use the Styrians as an example, they raised four battalions affiliated to Line regiments nos. 27 (Graz) and 47 (Marburg); the Graz battalions thus used the 27th's 'Emperor yellow' facings and yellow buttons, and the Marburg units green facings and white buttons.

The organisation was divided into 'normal' and volunteer units, in three 'directorates' (Bohemia/Moravia, Inner Austria, Upper/Lower Austria); establishment was 170 battalions, each offour to six fusilier companies and two Jager or Schiitzen companies, armed with rifles. Officers were recalled from the retired list, and units were to train on Sundays and at an annual three-week camp; but training was patchy and officers indifferent. Between five and ten battalions were to form each brigade--though when the Landwehr actually saw service they were usually attached to Line formations.

In peacetime the Grenzers wore their ordinary brown coat, a felt cap (Klobuk) , and ordinary trousers. When mobilised, the official uniform was white waistcoat and breeches. , rose pink; Transylvanian (Siebenbiirgische), parrot green; Banalisten, dark brown; Slavonier (Brooder, 37 sabres on shoulder belts. In 180g their equipment included carbine and bayonet with black leather shoulder belt, and powder horn with tasselled cord. The artillery carried sabres on black leather shoulder belts, though in 1798 had white belts with brass match cases.

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