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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 struggle Austria maintained an unlimited military, yet one rooted firmly within the 18th century. Hampered through 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 below Austrian sway, played with nice self-discipline, solution and stoicism. This identify examines intimately the organization, uniforms, deployment and improvement of the Austrian infantry in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, masking Line infantry, mild infantry, Grenz-Infanterie, Landwehr defense force, and Frei-Corps devices.

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Alleviate the economic hardships or the resentment Officers were clean shaven, but others wore of the peasants at having to supply so many men for moustaches. active service. Nevertheless, it was Grenzers who mounted in 1809 the heroic defence of Malborgeth 36 and Predil, the 'Austrian Thermopylaes'. Though nominally light infantry, they continued to be neither one thing nor the other. In 1809 the 17 Grenz regiments each had two field battalions of 2,966 men, 240 sharpshooters and 44 gunners, plus a reserve battalion of 1,437 men.

In 1808 the difference between ordinary ('Haus') and field uniform was suspended, though the white uniform was apparently retained by some despite new regulations which authorised a shako, dark brown infantry coat with regimental facings, and sky blue Hungarian breeches. Knotel, for example, lists for 1812 the 6th, 12th, 13th and 15th in brown, and the 5th, 7th-gth, 14th, 16th and 17th in white, with facings as above. Issued equipment included a canvas haversack, cloth mittens, and forage cap, but depended upon availability; black leather equipment was often carried instead pf white.

Commandant, Major de Mays. 1794, eight companies; re-styled Erzherzog Carl-Legion. Leather helmet similar to 1798 pattern, double peak, comb with horsehair crest, brass badge, upright black and yellow feather plume at left. Pike grey coat, red lining, short lapels, cuffs, narrow standing collar; white waistcoat; pike grey Hungarian breeches, hussar boots, white leatherwork; musket and bayonet. Gyulai's Croatian Corps (Croatisches Frei-Corps Gyulai) Mostly Croatian; 12 companies and three hussar squadrons served in Turkish war.

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