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Aug 16 15 8:55 AM

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I have been trying to find out whether the Austrian infantry in 1800 would have worn the new 1798 uniform. I have not found anything to state they did, or didn't. Logically I would have expected infantry units to gradually replace old uniforms, but at the same time it is possible whole units may have been re uniformed. I noticed the short lived light infantry wore the helmet in 1800, so this infers that these were definitely being issued to the units in the field. Can anyone point to any information that helps clarifythesituation?
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Rudorff

Brigadier

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#1 [url]

Aug 16 15 9:10 AM

I'd be reasonably confident that the bulk of the Austrian army in 1800 wore the older style of uniform, with the Light Infantry and the De Bussy Horse Jaegers being in helmet.  have a look here - 



It starts off about the pre 1798 Cavalry uniform, but there is loads of info buried in it,mostly in the post by Von Winterfeld. He mentions several times a contemporary series of watercolours, showing the Austrians in 1799 in Switzerland still in the old uniforms, and it's a pretty safe assumption that if they are in the old coat and casquet in an active theatre in 1799 then they'll still be in them 6 months later, although I suppose it can't be entirely ruled out.

My fledgling Revolutionary project is for Italy (1796-1800) and I'm planning to follow Von Winterfeld's prompts so I might be a little blinkered smiley: glasses

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#3 [url]

Aug 20 15 9:34 PM

This question must have been going round since the earliest days of the Net and still, there is no definitive answer!

We know that the famous 1798 uniform, portrayed in the set of plates published by Mollo, was actually promulgated on 1st January 1799 and that the 1798 black-lacquered musket was only completely introduced ten years later! We know the Austrians had a few thousand kasketts in the Mantua stores shortly before and that the officers would have bought their own uniforms in the new style, while the men had to wait for the issued kit.

The real problem is the sources, as the original issue records do not appear to have survived. The Mollo plates are very well known as are Seele's paintings, which are usually said to show the army in Switzerland in 1799 with the uniforms in transition. In fact, the latter were painted around 1805 in Munich, but maybe the sketches were drawn when the Austrian army was in southern Germany in 1799/1800? The "real" 1799 set mentioned above are here http://www.uniformen.napoleon-online.de/index.php?/category/77 but unfortunately, do not show the main infantry uniform. It does however show the Strozzi light infantry (1st light Infantry battalion) still in the old Freikorps unform.

The new uniforms and kit would have gone to Germany/Switzerland first, so the presumption has to be that the army in Italy would have still been in old uniforms with its officers mostly in new uniforms. That is not certain!   



 

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#4 [url]

Aug 23 15 8:07 AM

Dave, many thanks for the information. It seems I can add some battalions in helmets to a Force fighting in Germany or Switzerland now and feel that I am not stretching the "truth" too much! For Marengo and other actions in Italy it may be stretching it a bit far though.

Last Edited By: desdarkin Aug 23 15 8:12 AM. Edited 1 time.

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