Wednesday 18 June 2014

Slight update to the text of Gardes Françaises - plus can't miss Kolin Day! (See blog header.)

I've added some explanation from Pierre Charrié on the numbers of fleurs de lys in the Gardes Françaises' ordonnance flags to the original posting (see below).

I cannot miss commemorating Kolin Day - 18th June 1757, when Frederick suffered his first major defeat at the hands of the Austrians. Hoorah! The blog header image is from the fresco in the Ruhmeshalle of the Heeresgeschichtlichen Museum in Vienna and shows the victorious charge of the Ligne Dragoon Regiment late in the battle. The regiment had many young and inexperienced recruits in its ranks and according to legend had been ridiculed by the army commander Daun himself for its lack of moustaches - he called them blancs becs and so they were itching to prove themselves, as they did magnificently but their casualties were very heavy.

After the battle the regiment was given the special distinction of not being required to wear moustaches unlike the other regiments and Maria Theresa also sent four special hand-embroidered standards.

The day of Kolin was chosen as the birthday of the new Military Order of Maria Theresa, an award that retained its lustre as an award of high status which was only sparingly bestowed right up to the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War One.

(The image is cropped and adapted from the one at Wikipedia and can be found here with its somewhat confusing copyright message: Hopefully giving this link will satisfy the requirement to acknowledge attribution.)