Welcome to the Strelets Forum.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of 1/72 scale plastic figures, not simply Strelets.
If you have any questions about our products then we will answer them here.
Absolutely correct - NO TROUSERS. They were never issued. Especially silly is this choice, as on the box are none visible.
And also a major error are the turned back edges on the lower part of the coat (for better movement). There are no buttons (or something else) to hold them in place. This is a feature of many years later. In no Napoleonic army you will find it. Again - compare with the box.
The drum looks a little small and having too less cords.
The apron of the sapper looks also a little short. It should end well below the knee.
Thanks to Opinion for the pic - I did't know it.
The Austrian army wore indeed trousers (official title), but these ended one hand below the knee according to regulations - so in english it is perhaps best translated as breeches (?)
Undress was a white single breasted waistcoat, breeches and stockings (all according to regulations) and a cap up to the taste of the Inhaber (vary widely). The depiction of the barrack dress by Steininger with the double breasted jacket in French 1812 style is very curious (I never saw something similar).
The NCO is quite correctly depicted, but the painting qualities of Steininger were definitely not the best (helmet!)
Landwehr uniforms are a different matter, as many items worn were more civilian than military. There was a wide range of trousers, breeches, stockings, gaiters, etc. The plate depicted is rather a wishful thinking in case of uniformity by the Austrian High Command.
It's not my intention to be dogmatic. Actually, there may have been more variety than assumed by some uniformologists. E.g., the trousers shown by Steininger (I don't doubt the accuracy of the illustration as it was made by the commander of the unit himself) - and also those of the Moravian and Silesian Landwehr - may have been sort of "Überhosen", or protective trousers, worn over breeches and (black OR white) gaiters. Or they were worn instead of breeches, perhaps with gaiters over stockings only. There are a lot of pictures which appear to corroborate these assumptions but, unfortunately, most are slightly post-napoleonic. I'm thinking of pictures like these:
Another variety by Finart, c. 1815:
Sorry but I totally agree with Thomas Krug: the first image shows a white uniform with trousers but the jacket has two rows of buttons while the Austrian uniform has only one. The police cap is also not sufficient to identify the nationality of the soldier. The second image concerns a landwher unit and it is known that these soldiers were dressed in uniforms very different from those of the regular army. It can therefore be considered that these two examples are not representative of the Austrian regular army.
An interesting discussion.
I'd like to support what 'Opinion' has provided (I'd refer to you by name, but perhaps you prefer the anonymity of the pseudonym?) with some published material.
I don't have any direct translations of primary documents so am relying on recent compilations in English.
Rawkins, in his 'The Austro-Hungarian Army 192–1814' states, under the heading of 'Regulation 1769-1798' (for both Hungarian and German regiments):
"The breeches and/or pantaloons remained basically the same as before except that the high over-the-knee gaiters began to be replaced with shorter knee length black gaiters with either brass or cloth covered buttons for campaign wear by the ‘German’ regiments. The high gaiters were initially retained for parade by some regiments but by the time the army took the field in 1805 all regiments had adopted the more practical and comfortable shorter versions. Although many regiments had been issued with overall trousers for campaign wear, during the campaigns of 1792-1799, usually wool for winter and cotton or linen for summer these only really made an appearance during the 1805 campaign. The garments were manufactured locally for the individual regiments and varied greatly in colour and quality from dark grey to white and some regiments even using cheap beige or light brown cloth."
Street, in 'The Army of the Empire of Austria-Hungary 1798–1814' has a lot of extremely similar, sometimes exactly the same words as Rawkins. Dunno who influenced whom. Perhaps they both utilised the same source...?
Of course, regulations are not practice. The latter being influenced by preference, practicalities, wear and tear and the 'liberation' of garments and materials along the way.
Let's face it, there is no clear indication regarding uniform items. Even the patch on the grenadier's hat. Most commonly it is represented in the facing colour, which looks most impressive in painted figures.
For what it is worth, I'll be most happy to have these figures represented in trousers. I really like the mix of covered and uncovered grenadier headgear too. The waving officer is a beaut pose, I reckon.
Thank you James. Some people just don't understand that regulation is not the same as reality and that the latter may markedly depart from the former, especially in wartime, and for a number of reasons. As you say, individual commanders' preferences may also matter. Contemporary sources often help to make this clear. Of course, not all contemporary material is of the same quality but if originating with an actual regimental commander I'd say it's highly reliable. Nevertheless, many people prefer to unshakeably believe in what has been established by uniformology gurus (many of whom just rehash convictions and opinions of their cherished colleagues), apparently "once and for all", and that what diverges from the norm must be wrong. It's their choice. :upside_down_face:
Your point was:
"...as far as I know trousers have never been issued to German regiments."
Well, clearly, whether for drill only or not, they were issued (at least for the Nr. 3 Erzherzog Carl Regiment). The evidence is there. Of course, you are free to ignore it.
Have a nice day.