The Austrian Cavalry Units in Russia
The Austrian campaign in Russia in 1812 was carried on more frequently by cavalry
patrols than corps or armies. The purpose of the Austrian and 7th Corps was to
protect the communications of the main army moving on Moscow, and such work was
best performed by cavalry units backed by battle-ready corps. There were dozens
of minor engagements broken by long spells of patrols and vendettes. Listed below
are some of the more noteworthy skirmishes and battles of the Austrian cavalry
regiments stationed in Russia in 1812.
Dragoon Rgt. Nr. 1, Erzherzog Johann
Two divisions were present and detached to a reserve corps in Galicia observing
Tschitshagov's Army of Moldavia. Commanded by Oberst Johann von Sück, they
saw no action in 1812. The second Inhaber for Archduke John wasFML Emanuel Freiherr
Schustekh von Herve. From 1812-15 the regiment was awarded 5 gold and 5 silver
Dragoon Rgt. Nr. 6, Reisch
Only two divisions were present in Russia. They fought at Liuboml, where the regimental
commander, Oberst Wilhelm von Kronenberg, was in charge of a small patrol. They
also were in the raid on Oradniki and performed with bravery and distinction at
Pinsk. Oberlieutenant Joseph Pfister won the MTO for his attack on Lohiczin with
only 50 dragoons and 30 infantry. From 1812-1815 the regiment was awarded 4 gold
and 36 silver bravery medals.
Hussar Rgt. Nr. 1, Kaiser
Three divisions of the regiment were present in Russia, the second major's division
being deployed elsewhere. Initially the regiment was commanded by Oberst Freiherr
von Horváth, but he died of wounds received in the battle of Signiewiezi
and he was replaced by Oberst Vincenz von Jünger. The regiment fought in
actions at Signiewiczi (where the first major's squadron distinguished itself),
Gorodeczna, Wizwa and Wisoko-Litowisk. Rittmeister Michael von Pauling won the
MTO for his leadership of a detachment at Wisoko-Litowisk in a raid that did much
harm to the enemy, and at Gnidawa. The second Inhaber for Kaiser Franz was Szent-Kereszty
de Zagon. From 1812-15 the regiment was awarded 4 gold and 22 silver bravery medals.
Hussar Rgt. Nr. 4, Hessen-Homberg
The regiment was in action at Kartuszkaja-Bereza and Kobrin, where a half squadron
was taken prisioner. They later served under Oberst Prince Gustav Hessen-Homberg,
commander of the regiment, at Sielo-Welykoje. Ultimately two squadrons ended up
on the Moskova. The Oberst commanding (Prince Gustav) was the son of the Inhaber
Friedrich, crown prince and later Landsgraf Hessen-Homberg. From 1812-15 the regiment
was awarded 4 gold and 29 silver bravery medals.
Hussar Rgt. Nr. 6, Blankenstein
The regiment was engaged at Signiewiczi, Pruszany, Kobrin, Lieuboml. Starawizwa
and other small affairs under the command of Oberst Georg Freiherr von Wieland.
Major Franz Graf Bigot de St. Quentin with 4 squadrons distinguished himself at
the battle of Sielo-Welykoje and the action at Ogorodnicki. From 1812-15 the regiment
was awarded 10 gold and 28 silver bravery medals.
Hussar Rgt. Nr. 8, Kienmeyer
Commanded by Oberst Philipp Freiherr von Lilien, the regiment had three divisions
in Russia. They were in action at Pruzany and Diwin. One division only was engaged
at Rudnja and Wiezulki (Tryczimer Hill). From 1812-15 the regiment was awarded
5 gold and 14 silver bravery medals.
Chevauleger Rgt. Nr. 2, Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Commanded by Oberst Matthias Loederer, the regiment was in action at Podubnie,
Divin, Kudnja and other places. Oberst-lieutenant Freiherr von Walterskirchen
distinguished himself as battle commander at Nieswiez and Glinki. From 1812-15
the regiment was awarded 3 gold and 17 silver bravery medals.
Chevauleger Rgt. Nr. 3, O'Reilly (FML Andreas Graf)
Commanded by Oberst Johann Heinrich Graf Auersperg. The regiment was at the battles
of Podubnie, Ploska, Krimini (Wizwa), Nieswiez and Gnidawa. A sudden attack by
the Russians on the regiment's baggage train at Nieswiez led to the capture of
3 squadrons. From 1812-15 the regiment was awarded 2 gold and 6 silver bravery
Much of this information is from: Geschichte der K. und K. Wehrmacht, Oberst
Lieutenant Alphons Freiherrn von Wrede, Wien, 1901, Band III.
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