The Feldjäger battalions were bigger in personnel than the usual infantry battalions and had an independent command. They were used alongside the traditional infantry regiments. Their equipment and training were somewhat different from those of the infantry regiments. Their task was to reconnaissance, to embrace, to move quickly. That’s why the Feldjäger battalions also had a cycling squadron. The mobile, maneuvering application has become more and more overshadowed. Therefore, the Feldjäger were also used for usual infantry tasks in the trenches and mass attacks carried out by ordinary infantry. But until the end of the war, their organization survived as before.
A distinctive piece of the uniform of these units was the hunter’s hat, on the side of which they wore a horn badge decorated with the battalion number under a feathered swivel. Though, the hat wasn’t worn on the battlefield. Instead, the commonly used field cap was the regular headgear. However, the numbered horn remained. This was worn between the two buttons on the front of the cap. A total of 32 battalions were operating in the Army of the Monarchy. Thus, the numbering of horns ranged from 1 to 32. The size of the horns pinned to the cap was smaller than that of the ones on the hats. The badge could be fastened by two clamps pierced through the cap material and bent at the back. But the small horns were applied also to the officer’s headgear. The harder material of these hats was not pierced, but the clamps were hidden behind the cord on the front side of the cap.
Among the badges of the units were other depictions in addition to the small horns, but the horn appears to have been a regular wear. For this reason, the postcards of the Feldjäger battalions were often decorated with the horns and not by other badges.
The small horns were manufactured by several companies. Pieces of different sizes and designs occur. Arkanzas, the big Budapest-based Kappenabzeichen manufacturer produced a series of feathered hats like the one above. Not all serial numbers occur. We find the hats of Hungarian battalions mainly. They all have colorful feather decoration, and are very spectacular badges. The 26th field hunting battalion was re-established in 1915 after decades of hiatus. Its headquarters were in Nagytétény close to Budapest.