Uniforms

The illustrations in this section have all been kindly provided by Philip J. Haythornthwaite, to whom I extend my thanks. Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

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Austrian fusilier pre-1798

Austrian Private pre-1798

Private soldier of a line company of a "German" infantry regiment. (The Austrian army was divided into units that were classified as "German" or "Hungarian" according to the areas where they were recruited. The nomenclature should not be taken literally. "German" regiments included those recruited mainly in Italy and Belgium, while the "Hungarians" included Poles and various others. There were various distinguishing features in their uniforms.) The uniform shown here is that of the period up to 1798. At the latter date the headgear was changed from the leather "casquet" to a peaked helmet with a crest running fore-and-aft. From a painting by Ottenfeld.


Austrian grenadiers

Austrian grenadiers pre-1798

Austrian grenadiers from a German infantry regiment, with mounted officers behind. The men are wearing the classic bearskin cap, while the officers have bicorns. From a painting by Wolff.


Austrian Hussar & Chevauxléger

Austrian Hussar & Chevauxléger pre-1798

The horseman in the foreground is a typical hussar of the period. The uniform was based on Hungarian national costume, and featured tasselled boots, tight breeches, a short jacket with frogging on the front, and a second jacket, commonly called a pelisse, which was trimmed with fur. In this scene the pelisse is being worn as a coat, instead of being slung from the left shoulder, as was usual in warm weather, or on parade. Headgear was either a shako or a fur cap.

The chevauxléger is in the background. They were a kind of light cavalry, recruited among non-Hungarians, and wore very plain uniforms. From a painting by Ottenfeld.


Austrian musicians

Austrian musicians and grenadier pre-1798

From the left: a fifer, a grenadier, and a drummer. They are all from a German regiment, as can be recognised by the knee-breeches and long gaiters they wear. From a painting by Ottenfeld.


French Revolutionary grenadiers

French grenadiers(?), Revolutionary period

Uniform regulations were interpreted loosely during the Revolutionary period. They had to be. Some French troops counted themselves to be lucky to have any uniform at all, and at least one eyewitness spoke of French soldiers on campaign wearing bed-curtains... In this illustration the uniform coats seem to be relatively standard, though trousers and waistcoat are quite non-regulation. Note the absence of bearskin caps, which traditionally formed part of the grenadier uniform, though red plumes and epaulettes are being worn. Watercolour by an unknown artist.


Austrian grenzers

Austrian Grenz (border) troops pre-1798

Grenz troops were those who lived and served in the Military Borders, which formed a buffer zone between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire. If there was no danger of war against Turkey they were often employed in other theatres of war. These two soldiers wear Hungarian-style trousers and the one on the left has some unusual weapons, including a pike and a short carbine. From a painting by Ottenfeld.


Hungarian fusiliers

Hungarian fusiliers pre-1798

These two figures are depicted at different stages in the procedure for loading. The soldier in the foreground is pouring powder from the cartridge into the priming pan, while the other is tamping down the charge in the barrel using the ramrod. The figures are distinguishable as members of a Hungarian regiment by the long trousers with the stripe down the seam. From a painting by Ottenfeld.

Amur leopards

A personal interest, and nothing to do with history.

Amur leopard conservation logo

They are perhaps the most endangered animals in the world -- there are only about 30 left in the wild. They desperately need help from humankind. See www.amur-leopard.org.

Unless otherwise credited, original text, translations and photographs on this site are ©2001 Martin Boycott-Brown

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