Austrian Cavalry

Austria had one of the most powerful cavalry forces of the Napoleonic Era with around 45,000 horsemen under arms. It was a mix of the traditions of Europe's east and west, drawing many men from Hungary and the Balkans, as well as southern Germany. Austria's tactic of attacking in two lines often came unstuck against the French use of columns.

Cavalry Weapons
Cuirassiers' Facing Colours
Hussars' Facing Colours
Light Dragoons' Facing Colours
Chevauxleger Facing Colours


Austria took advantage of its control of Hungary in creating its cavalry mix and almost all of that land's wild horsemen saw service as hussars. The hussars dressed flamboyantly and had a daring and ruthlessness that few could match, as well as excellent skills in controlling, and fighting on, a horse.


Austria's heavy cavalry was drawn mainly from the German areas of influence and, like their French counterparts, wore breastplates. However, the black-enamel armour only covered their chests and this resulted in a larger number of casualties than those suffered by the French, who wore additional back plates.


In effect cuirassiers without breastplates, the dragoons were German-styled heavy cavalry.



The Chevauxlegers were essentially medium dragoons and would carry out the work of light and medium cavalry units - patrolling, reconnaissance and screening army movement.


Styled on Polish lancers, the uhlans borrowed that nation's headdress, the czapka, and traditional weapon, the lance. They were principally used as light cavalry and were best when used to harass retreating enemy troops.




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