In 1809, each Grenz ("border" or "frontier") regiment had 2 field battalions of six companies each. A company was 200 men strong, at least on paper (180 for Siebenburgen [Transylvanian] units). There were also 50 artillery crew, about 200 sharpshooters and 228 administrative staff per regiment. Each regiment also had a Reserve battalion of 6 companies with 1,437 men (4 companies with 785 men for Siebenburgen units). Karlstadt and Banal regiments also had 200 Seressaner scouts, refugees of Bosnian origin. The formation of Landwehr battalions was also ordered in 1808, intended to serve as home defense forces and thus free up more Grenz for service with the main armies.
There were 17 units of Grenz ("border") infantry in 1809, with their titles and regimental distinctions as follows:
Regt/Title Facings Buttons
1 Licca Violet, Emperor Yellow (1814) yellow
2 Ottocac Violet, Emperor Yellow (1814) white
3 Ogulin Orange, Orange-Yellow (1814) yellow
4 Szluin Orange, Orange-Yellow (1814) white
5 Warasdin-Kreuz Crab Red (1813) yellow
6 Warasdin-St Georg Crab Red (1811) white
7 Brod Pale Red (1813) white
8 Gradiska Pale Red (1813) yellow
9 Peterwardein Light Pike Grey (1813) yellow
10 1st Banal Crimson (1814) yellow
11 2nd Banal Crimson (1814) white
12 Deutsch Banat Dark Brown, Light Blue (1810) white
13 Wallasch-Illyrian Light Pike Grey (1814) white
14 1st Szeckel Rose Red (1814) yellow
15 2nd Szeckel Rose Red (1811) white
16 1st Wallach Poplar Green (1813) yellow
17 2nd Wallach Poplar Green (1813) white
Regiments 1 - 4 belonged to the Croatian Command, Karlstadt district, Regts 5 & 6 to the Croatian Command, Warasdin District, Regts 7, 8, & 9 to the Slavonian district, Regts 10 & 11 to the Banal district, Regts 12 & 13 to the Banat district, and finally Regts 14 - 17 to the Siebenburgen district. Loss of their territories to the French as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Schoenbrunn that ended the 1809 war caused Regts 1, 2, ,3, 4, 10, and 11 to be disbanded (Napoleon then raised his own Croatian Light infantry from these lands) until their territories were recovered in 1813.
There is a list of Vallejo paint equivalents for Austrian Facing colors on Iannick's excellent Clash of Empires site, developed in concert with Dave Hollins, as well as a direct illustration of many of the shades, again with the collaboration of Mr. Hollins on Mark Severin's "extra crispy" site. I use craft paints for the most part, myself.
The uniforms of the Grenz underwent a number of changes during the wars of the French Revolution and Empire. In 1798, a white jacket cut and faced similarly to the line units was adopted for field service. It was worn with medium to light blue trousers with gold and black braid on the seams and knots, similar to the Hungarian Line infantry units. A shako without a peak (visor), called a klobuk, was worn. The cuffs were pointed with white baerentatzen lace similar to the Hungarian regiments. For home (frontier) service, a simpler dark brown coat with the facings on the collars and cuffs was worn with white pants. In 1808, a new uniform was decreed; with dark brown coats with the facing colors on the collars, pointed cuffs (with white bear's paw lace), and turnbacks, black leatherwork, blue Hungarian pants with yellow black/braid decorations, and a peak was added to the shako. Short boots were worn. buttons were either yellow (brass) or white (pewter) depending upon the regiment. This uniform was introduced gradually, the changes in facing colors occurring because some of the old colors wouldn't show well with the new brown coats. A unique feature of the Grenz was the frequent use of bright red cloaks, a traditional element of Balkan dress, made from government supplied cloth, and stored folded atop the packs.
Well, on to some pictures...
Close up of the Otocaner Grenz. The red cloaks definitely lend the Grenz a certain panache, don't they? And yes, this regiment repeats the same error in painting. The mistake is that I've painted the leather belt work white instead of black (contrast with the first unit). I'll fix that, and probably the color of the pants.... eventually! The other issue is that in 1809, despite the new uniform regulations, the older white uniform was still being worn in the field. Here I make no apologies. I think the uniforms above are among the most striking of the Napoleonic wars. The brown coats make the Grenz pop out on the tabletop, as well as being much more sensible for troops supposed to skirmish than white coats! Thus all *my* Grenz will always be in the brown coats. I'm der Kaiser, remember?
The walled farm model seen in the pictures is by Hudson and Allen, and was available from Old Glory in the past. I had a lot of fun painting it. I think it looks great and makes a fantastic focal point for a game!
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed the tour of this unique aspect of the Habsburg military. Thanks for putting up with the bad puns, too. Remember to take a bottle of that good Bulgarian wine on the way out!
Till next time,