austrian hussars

The Hungarians formed light cavalry known as hussars. The name 'Hussar' derives originally from Latin cursarius, meaning raider, and originally referred to marauders in the northern Balkans. However, it was adopted by the Magyar people of Hungary as the name for irregular light cavalry. The oldest regular regiment [9th Nadasdy] was formed in 1688 and by 1756, with the formation of the Kaiser Hussars and regularisation of a Jagzyier-Kumanier unit in that year as the Seven Years war (1756-1763) began, there were 12 regiments. The wild irregulars of the early 1700s were steadily regularized into army units, while maintaining their reputation for swift movement and unexpected appearances, they became more effective on the battlefield.

The Hungarian hussars had reputation of being excellent horsemen known for quality of their mounts. They had been familiar figures since XVII Century and had been imitated by other armies. Although the Hungarian hussars were not big guys (their height between 165 and 173.5 cm) they were known for dash in combat. They became so known in Europe that their outfit became popular across Europe, including France, Russia, Britain, Poland and Spain.

During the Napoleonic Wars there were 12 Hussar Regiments, recruited in Hungary and Slovakia (Regiments 8th and 10th), and dressed in the typical Hussar fashion. The distinctive colors and facings were:

Regiment/Area of recruiment Dolman/Pelisse Breeches Shako Buttons
1. Kaiser Franz
dark blue dark blue black yellow
2. Erherzog Joseph
light blue light blue red yellow
3. Ferdinand d'Este
dark blue dark blue grey yellow
4. Hessen-Homburg
light green light green poppy red white
5. Ott (then Radetzky)
dark green crimson red white
6. Blankenstein
light blue light blue black yellow
7. Liechtenstein
light blue light blue green white
8. Kienmayer
light green light green poppy red yellow
9. Frimont
dark green crimson black yellow
10. Stipsich
light blue light blue green yellow
11. Szekler
dark blue dark blue black white
12. Palatinat
grey light blue black white

Several Regiments fought in the Campaign of Leipzig: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 12th, included in the Austrian Army of Bohemia. Two of them belonged to the Bubna's 2nd Light Division, and fought in Sellerhausen: the Kaiser Franz No.1 and the Liechtenstein No.7 Regiments.

In my collection of figures there is an Austrian Hussar unit: Stipsicz No. 10 Regiment, with the same facings than No.7 exception made from lace, so these units are exchangeable with a small historical license!. However, the Kaiser No.1 Regiment is not amongst my units, so I will need to paint that unit.
There are not Napoleonic Austrian plastic sets in the market, so a conversion is mandatory. By searching into my pile of old acquisitions, I found a box of Airfix 01743 Waterloo British Cavalry (Hussars) wearing their pelisse hanging, so they are a better choosing than other hussar alternatives such as the Revell 02586 French Hussars, wearing the pelisse over the dolman.
However, the Airfix Hussars have busbies and not shakos, so I need also to swap heads with another figure. I'll use the same set than for the Gardes d'Honneur, i.e. HaT 8042 French Light Infantry, and the same technique than used in previous occasions:


The Austrian Hussar Regiments were large units so, in Lasalle terms, they are 'big units' comprising six bases.

AUSTRIAN KAISER FRANZ  No. 1 REGIMENT  AIRFIX 01743 Waterloo British Cavalry (Hussars)  with heads taken from H─T 8042 French Light Infantry


Links of interest:

Austrian Cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars

Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (2) Cavalry. Philip Haythornthwaite and Bryan Fosten. Men-at-Arms 181, 1986


The full movie: Austrian Hussars