Kappenabzeichen on postcards

21st Infantry Regiment

The 21st Infantry Regiment was founded in 1733. It was a Czech regiment, and the crew was taken out of areas east of Prague. The headquarters in Kutna Hora (Kuttenberg) was 30 km from Prague. Accordingly, 87 % of the crew were of Czech nationality. It belonged to the 10th Division, which was assigned to the 9th Corps. Later, the division was transferred to the 23rd Corps, which was set up during the war.

With the 9th Corps, the regiment was deployed on the Eastern Front in the first half of the war. The 23rd Corps, on the other hand, was on the Italian front. I’ve been able to find very little information about the operation of the unit. This is probably because, in Czech memory and military history research, the period of the Monarchy was neglected because of the deep national dislike for it. Nowadays, there is some movement among Czech colleagues. For example, we can read new contributions on the desertion of the “legendary” 28th nfantry regiment, and about its re-establishment. But nothing about 21st yet.

Only basic statistics and information are available on Czech sites as well. I found two small details. One is a cemetery of fallen 21st soldiers in Carinthia near Plöcken pass. The small cemetery in the accompanying picture contains the graves of a dozen fallen soldiers. The other information does not come from Czech sources, but from Austria. According to this, on March 23, 1915, the II. battalion of the Salzburg 59th Infantry Regiment was transferred to the 21st regiment, and the Salzburg regiment received the III/21 battalion. According to contemporary reports, the Salzburgers were not happy about the forced exchange. I did not see any explanation of the resons, but stopping the mass desertions that took place at that time (in the 28th and 36th Czech infantry) may have been the aim of the measure. It couldn’t have been easy for the Austrian military to work with the unreliable units.

The attached hat badge and post card are in any case very nice. The card also shows a portrait of the regiment owner, Graf von Abensperg und Traun. The same portrait was also used in the design of the regiment’s letter closing stamp.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x