Erzherzog Ferdinand Hussars No. 3

Of course by 1809 wearing the hair in a ‘queue’ was no longer the fashion in the Austrian army, a practice which had been discontinued as long ago as 1805. However, moustaches were obligatory for all rank and file of the Austrian cavalry. For some reason the Pendraken Austrian hussar standard bearer figure has a queue that had to be cut off, together with the necessary reshaping of his pulled back hair. The hussar officer figure does not have a moustache but – unlike officers of ‘German’ cavalry – hussar officers wore moustaches like their men so a little creative painting was necessary. The standard bearer is sadly lacking his standard belt which would have been distinguished with the same colour as the shako.
The Erzherzog Ferdinand hussars regiment was nominally 1,234 sabres in eight squadrons – so at 1:50 spot on three figures per squadron. However, the regiment had a role call of 1,048 sabres as it began the 1809 campaign (16 April) as part of FML Hohenzollern-Hechingen’s III Corps and was down to 821 sabres (two figures per squadron) by Aspern-Essling where it lost seven men and 33 horses killed, 56 men and 48 horses wounded, and one hussar made prisoner as part of Rosenberg’s IV Corps covering the left flank during the attack on the village of Essling. Under Rosenberg’s command, the regiment was brigaded with four squadrons of Rosenberg Chevauleger (see Post 95) under GM Stutterheim in the division of FML Rohan – the original riders of Rohan, no doubt. The regiment was active throughout the 1809 campaign – at times split four squadrons apiece between III and IV Corps – fighting at Teugen, Eggmühl, Alt-Eglofsheim, in the rearguard during the retreat to Bohemia, and at Aspern-Essling and Wagram, but not at Znaim. I elected my officer figure to be Oberst (Colonel) Ferdinand, Prinz von Sachsen- Koburg – a different Ferdinand – who commanded the regiment during the campaign and gained the regiment the nickname the ‘Koburg Hussars’. He was only 24 (on 28 March 1809) but obviously old enough to grow a moustache!