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 bravery medals.

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 medals.


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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