Austrian Grenz-Infantry of the Seven Years' War, 1756–1763

Austrian Grenzer Uniforms of the Seven Years' War, 1756–1763

The Austrian Military Border (Militärgrenze) was established in 1538 along the Austro-Ottoman border, when Kaiser Ferdinand I. offered sanctuary and permanent settlement to displaced Serbs (Rascian, Uskok) fleeing from the Turks, placing them under Austrian military administration. The Serb frontier farmers enjoyed freedom of faith and tax exemption in return for military service in the Austrian army. In addition, they were permitted to raid and pillage Turkish settlements across the border. The three Serb captaincies of Koprivnica, Križevci and Ivanic eventually formed the Varaždin general command.

On 12 September 1683, a relieving force under Polish King Jan III. Sobieski suprised and defeated the Turkish army at the Battle of Kahlenberg, thereby ending the second Siege of Vienna. Prince Eugene of Savoy's impressive victory at the Battle of Zenta, 11 September 1697, marked the turning point in the Austrian struggle against the Turks. Following the Treaty of Karlowitz, 26 January 1699, the Karlovac, Varaždin, and Banat general commands of the Military Border were created. During the reign of Emperor Leopold I. the Slavonian border was established by Luigi Ferdinando Conte de Marsigli in 1702, from lands along the Save, Theiß, and Maros rivers, which were largely incorporated into Hungary in 1747. General Adolf Buccow and, following his death in 1764, András Reichsgraf Hadik von Futak established the Transylvanian border, consisting of the Székely (1764) and Wallachian borders (1766). The cordon sanitaire of the Military Border was completed 1770 to 1787, and a system of permanent cantonments was installed.

Miniatures

  • Pandour Infantry advancing, 42 mm Irregular Miniatures LWSY25
  • Grenzers (Pandurs), 40 mm Matthias Manske
  • Standard-Bearer, 40 mm Nürnberger Meisterzinn Nr. 1004
  • Austrian Grenz Command, 28mm Crusader Miniatures SYA034
  • Austrian Grenz Characters and Casualties, 28mm Crusader Miniatures SYA033
  • Austrian Grenz Advancing, 28mm Crusader Miniatures SYA030
  • Austrian Grenz Skirmishing, 28mm Crusader Miniatures SYA031
  • Pandours skirmishing, 28 mm Front Rank Figurines SABP15
  • Grenzer, 25 mm Old Glory SYWA020
  • Grenzer, advancing, 25 mm Falcon Miniatures S-2007
  • Grenzer, firing musket, 25 mm Falcon Miniatures S-2008
  • Grenzers, firing, 25 mm RSM95 SYWA-GRF
  • Pandour, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6
  • Pandour with tapering shako, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6A
  • Pandour, kneeling, firing, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6B
  • Pandour, pointing, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6C
  • Pandour, reloading, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6D
  • Pandour, inspecting sole, 25 mm Eagle Figures ASYW6E
  • Pandour / Croat advancing, 25 mm Minifigs ASW15
  • Pandour / Croat Officer, 25 mm Minifigs ASW16
  • Austrian Grenzers, mixed poses, 20 mm Outland 20606
  • Grenzer, officer, 18 mm Eureka Miniatures 300SYW225
  • Grenzer, NCO/Sergeant, 18 mm Eureka Miniatures 300SYW224
  • Grenzer, bugler, 18 mm Eureka Miniatures 300SYW223
  • Grenzer, marching, 18 mm Eureka Miniatures 300SYW221
  • Grenzer, skirmishing, 18 mm Eureka Miniatures 300SYW222
  • Pandours, 15 mm Old Glory SYA-06
  • Grenzer, 15 mm Freikorps 15 ASY06
  • Grenzer Command, 15 mm Freikorps 15 ASY16
  • Croat or Pandour infantry advancing, 15 mm Irregular Miniatures FSYAR18
  • Austro-Hungarian Frontier Infantrymen (Cap), 15 mm Minifigs 33V
  • Austro-Hungarian Command for 33V and 34V, 15 mm Minifigs 38V
  • Austrian Grenzers, 1:220 Baccus6mm SAU5
  • Austrian Grenzers and Officers, 6 mm Adler Miniatures ADM7115
  • Austrian Grenzers (Croats), 1:300 Heroics & Ros MSY08

General Commands

  • Karlovac General Command (Croatian), 1699
  • Varaždin General Command (Serbian), 1699
  • Banat General Command, 1699
  • Slavonian General Command, 1702
  • Székely General Command, 1764
  • Wallachian General Command, 1766

Grenz-Infantry-Regiment

Around 1750, the Grenz-Infantry regiments were re-organized into 16 fusilier companies, 2 grenadier and 2 rifle companies, which formed two field battalions and a replacement depot. Company strength was established at 100 men. Each field battalion also had a squadron of 130 hussars attached. In times of war, the grenadier companies were detached from their parent regiments to serve in the imperial Grenadiercorps.

  • Regimentsstab (regimental staff)
  • 1. Bataillon
    • Bataillonsstab (battalion staff)
    • 1. Grenadierkompanie
    • 1. Füsilierkompanie
    • 2. Füsilierkompanie
    • 3. Füsilierkompanie
    • 4. Füsilierkompanie
    • 5. Füsilierkompanie
    • 6. Füsilierkompanie
    • 1. Schützenkompanie (rifle company)
  • 2. Bataillon
    • Bataillonsstab
    • 2. Grenadierkompanie
    • 7. Füsilierkompanie
    • 8. Füsilierkompanie
    • 9. Füsilierkompanie
    • 10. Füsilierkompanie
    • 11. Füsilierkompanie
    • 12. Füsilierkompanie
    • 2. Schützenkompanie
  • 3. Bataillon (Depot)
    • Bataillonsstab
    • 13. Füsilierkompanie
    • 14. Füsilierkompanie
    • 15. Füsilierkompanie
    • 16. Füsilierkompanie

Tschaikisten-Bataillon

The Tschaikist battalion was a naval force protecting the riverine borders in the Slavonian and Syrmian frontier areas against smuggling and the spread of the bubonic plague. The unit remained on the military establishment of the Military Border after 1747, and redeployed to Titl in the area between the Danube and Theiß rivers in 1763. In 1764, the battalion establishment was increased from two to four companies. The Tschaikist battalion operated light rowed and sailed gunboats, imperial Freikriegsschiffe, armed with one heavy and several smaller guns. Tschaika gunboats (slavic for "lapwing"), were similar in construction to the Nassadist flatbottomed gunboats built in Hungary. They proved much more suitable for riverine warfare on the Danube and its navigable tributaries, than the large 40- to 64-gun ships of the Danube Flotilla which were lost by grounding without exception. Komárom Fortress in Hungary became the key strongpoint, naval shipyard and repair facility of the Tschaikist battalion.

In February 1742, Bavarian Obristwachtmeister (Major) Matthias Freiherr von Droste received permission to raise a Freikompanie Droste, operating two Tschaika gunboats, one armed with four and the other with seven light guns, to fight Austrian Tschaikas on the Danube. The Bavarian flotilla did not survive long: the gunboats had to be disarmed and burned on 5 July 1742 to prevent their falling into enemy hands (SGBH, 106).

Uniforms of the Seven Years' War

Soldiers of the Grenz-Regiments initially wore a variety of regional costume or folk dress, which was replaced by military uniforms "à la Husarde" after 1750. Karlstädter (Croat) and Banaler Grenz-Regiments wore hussar-style coats with pointed cuffs. Warasdiner (Serb) and Slavonian Grenz-Regiments were distinguished by round cuffs. The Grenzers wore brimless shakos, tight-fitting Hungarian breeches, short Hungarian boots or laced Opanka sandals, and red overcoats. The soldiers were armed with infantry muskets and cavalry sabres. At the Battle of Kolin, 18 June 1757, Prussian infantry was reportedly unnerved by the unusual sound of 1-pdr battalion guns employed by the Austrian Grenzers opposing them.

Regiment Formation Coat Facings Battles
1. (Karlstädter)
Likaner Regiment
1746 red green Prag, Moys, Schweidnitz, Liebau, Wisternitz, Kunersdorf, Landeshut, Liegnitz, Glatz, Chemnitz
2. (Karlstädter)
Ottochaner Regiment
1746 red light blue Prag, Welmina (Reschni-Auje), Gottleuba, Liebau, Kunersdorf, Liegnitz, Landeshut, Glatz, Meißen
3. (Karlstädter)
Oguliner Regiment
1746 blue yellow Lobositz, Prag, Welmina (Reschni-Auje), Gottleuba, Liebau, Kunersdorf, Liegnitz, Landeshut, Glatz, Meißen
4. (Karlstädter)
Szluiner Regiment
1746 light blue red Kolin, Kaltenberg, Berlin, Buchau, Meißen, Dresden, Torgau, Strehlen, Pretschendorf
5. (Warasdiner)
Kreutzer Regiment
1749 white green Prag, Kolin, Striegau, Landeshut, Sebastiansberg, Meißen, Leutmannsdorf, Peilau
6. (Warasdiner)
St. Georger Regiment
1749 white grass green Prag, Landeshut, Moys, Breslau, Liebau, Stolpen, Dresden, Maxen, Meißen, Berlin, Schweidnitz, Adelsbach, Burkersdorf, Peilau
7. (Slawonisches)
Broder Regiment
1747 black brown yellow Kolin, Landeshut, Moys, Breslau, Dresden, Torgau, Grebeniz, Fischerberg
8. (Slawonisches)
Gradiskaner Regiment
1747 red blue Kolin
9. (Slawonisches)
Peterwardeiner Regiment
1747 black brown red Landeshut, Schweidnitz, Grünberg, Kunersdorf, Maxen, Sauberdorf
10. (Banaler)
Erstes Banaler Regiment
1750 dark blue red Prag, Kolin, Moys, Schweidnitz, Neisse, Grünberg, Meißen, Cosdorf, Dresden, Wittenberg, Leipzig
11. (Banaler)
Zweites Banaler Regiment
1750 blue red Lobositz, Prag, Kolin, Welmina (Reschni-Auje), Nollendorf, Gottleuba, Schweidnitz, Meißen, Buchau, Strehlen, Torgau
12. (Banater)
Deutsch-Banater Regiment
1747
13. (Banater)
Walachisch-Illyrisches Regiment
1747
14. (Siebenbürger)
Erstes Szekler Regiment
1764
15. (Siebenbürger)
Zweites Szekler Regiment
1764
16. (Siebenbürger)
Erstes Walachisches Regiment
1766
17. (Siebenbürger)
Zweites Walachisches Regiment
1766
Tschaikisten-Bataillon
Titler Grenzbataillon, 1769
1740? light blue red

The Grenzers were among the best and most experienced soldiers of the Austrian army. They fought primarily in open order, taking advantage of difficult terrain which favoured skirmishes. They played an important part in raids against enemy supply lines and outposts.

Bibliography

Frequently Asked Questions

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Seven Years' War Miniatures