Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Art and Science of War

At first glance the brown cloth cover of Pläne zu dem Abrichtungs-Reglement der k. k. Linien-Infanterie, or Plans for the Training Regulations of the Imperial-Royal Line Infantry, 1843, doesn't seem to be any more unusual than any of the other books in Giovanni's collection.

  Upon opening, a beautiful handwritten inscription indicates it once belonged to military leaders of the Austrian Infantry in the 1840's.  Going further reveals a number of illustrations related to marksmanship, trajectory, troop formations and battle strategies.  At one time there were also illustrations of uniforms.  Unfortunately, those have not withstood time as well and mostly faded away.  On a few pages there were still some faint outlines which I was able to digitally enhance enough to make out the images there.  But for a better idea of what they looked like, there are already images online or for a musical illustration, see the video below:

I hoped to find a digital version already online which would include the missing uniforms, but no such luck. In fact I had trouble finding many other references to this particular book.  World Cat only lists two libraries, Yale and West Point, which have copies.  I found a library in the Netherlands which also owns this particular book and a set listed for sale in an antiques catalog.

Since there are few written details in this book, I looked to copies of similar training guides of other topics by the Austrian Army for more information.  A link and quote from the 1843 companion edition is listed below:
Abrichtung Reglement für die k.k. Linien-Infanterie 
Armee - Befehl
Zufolge allerhöchster Anordnung hat die k.k. Linien - Infanterie künftighin nach den in dem gegenwärtigen Reglement enthaltenen Vorschriften ausgebildet zu werden.
Diesem nach erwartet man, dass sämmtliche Commandirenden Herren Generale, Feldmarschall, Lieutenante, insbesondere aber die Brigadiere, mit aller Strenge darueber wachen werden, dass die Commandanten der Linien - Infanterie sich genau nach den hier festgesetzen Vorschriften benehmen, und sich überhaupt Niemand eine willkürliche Abweichung von denselben erlaube.
Wien am 1. October 1843
A rough translation of the statement above is as follows:
Training regulations for K.K. Line Infantry
Army - Command
The following of the highest order for the Imperial -Royal Line Infantry  to
henceforth be trained according to the provisions contained in the present regulation.This after one expects, that all the commanding men generals, Field Marshal, Lieutenants, but especially the Brigadiers, will watch with the utmost severity about it, that the Commanders of the Line Infantry behave exactly in accordance with these laws of regulations, and allow no one at all arbitrary deviation of the same.
Vienna on 1 October 1843

For a better understanding of Europe and the scope of the Austrian Empire as it was in 1843, click here to see the full post:

According to the inscription in the book, this was used by the "Wukovier Feld Compagnie Nr 1" however search for that name or even for just "Wukovier" produced very few results.  However there is a clue to be found in Statistik der Militärgränze des österreichischen Kaiserthums: Volume 1  by Carl B. von Hietzinger written in 1817.  Under a table of place names for Warasdiner Gränze (Frontier), Warasdiner Kreutzer Regiment, the name Wukovie is listed.  This may be an alternative spelling for Wukowar, known today as Vukovar, Croatia.

 I also tried searching for information on the names of Commanders written on the left side:

As for Hauptmann Raim Wuchkovich, I did find someone by that name listed as an Unterlieuenant (Second Lieutenant) in Kais. Königl. Militär-Schematismus published in 1830.  There is no information on Capitan - Lieutenant Franz Winckhler.

One thing is certain - the history of the Austrian Army and the Austrian Empire is complex and takes some amount to understand.  One recent publication, The Austrian Army 1836-1866, would be a good place to begin.  For a contemporary point of view, see Campbell's Foreign Monthly Magazine, Volume 2 published in 1843.

Plate 1

Plate 2

Plate 3

Plate 4

Plate 5

Plate 6

Plate 7

Plate 8

Plate 9

Plan 10

Plate 11

Plate 12

Plate 13

Plate 14

Plate 15

Plate 16

Plate 17

Plate 18

A few of the faded illustrations (left) and their digital enhancements (right):

Soldier on horse:


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