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"Austrian "kadetten"" Topic

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Osage201724 Nov 2017 9:04 a.m. PST

There were 6 "kadetten" in regimental staff (Austrian infantry). They were "officers' sons selected by Hofkriegsrat.
The more competent were appointed as NCOs in companies."

Was the "kadetten" an equivalent to ensign ?

What role they played in the regimental staff if they were merely on the level of NCO ??

Prince of Essling24 Nov 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

According to page 28 of Gunther E. Rothenburg's "Napoleon's Great adversary" there were K.K. ordinaire cadets appointed by the Hofkriegsrat as well as ex-propriis cadets appointed by the regimental colonel proprietors. taught the rudiments of their trade by experienced sergeants, they normally reached the rank of sub-lieutenant in a year or so {this covers the period up to 1800ish].

Page 92 covering 1801-05 says to improve the professional level of officers, orders were issued to modernise the training of cadets, ensigns and lieutenants with less emphasis on formal drill and more attention to practical manoeuvres.

From Enrico Acerbi's excellent study on the Austrian Army at link see "The Austrian Imperial-Royal Army (Kaiserliche-Königliche Heer) 1805 – 1809: A Dictionary of K.K. Austrian Regimental Positions and Ranks" link


The term came from the medieval Latin word Capitetum (minor caput = lesser chief), which indicated the not firstborn sons (the minor brothers of an inheritor).

The rank originated from the period 1751-1752 when the Empress Maria Theresia allowed to the officers' sons to enroll in the father's regiment (or in other ones) as cadets. The so called Theresianische Militärakademie was organized by Maria Theresia on 14 December 1751 with the target: "Mach' er mir tüchtige Officirs und rechtschaffene Männer darauß" (to form valid officers and correct men). In that military school the Austrian Empire formed its new officers. Officially the rank was introduced on 1763 in two (early) specimens, then in three. Since 1777 they were also called Normale-Cadetten.

a) Fahnen-Cadetten. They came out from the Theresianische military academy (in Wiener-Neustadt) as the best pupils, directly admitted to first-line charges or as officer's sons come out from the Ingenieurs academy. During the service they were also called K.K. Cadetten. Two of them were assigned to each regiment's Staff, while only one had to remain there, the other being attached to the first (Leib or Obrist) battalion's Staff. Their position was in the battalion's middle, near the flags. The Lacy Regulations of 1769 equalized their rank to that of the young Fähnrich, with the same income. They had to learn how to become officers! An Adjudant or a Wachtmeister-lieutenant was their teacher. This rank lasted till March 16, 1798, when he was abolished by a special act "Allerhöchstes Handbillet" and transformed into the common Fähnrich rank.

b) K.k. ordinare Cadetten. Also called Kaisers-Cadetten, were also pupils in the Theresianische military academy but with a middle scholastic output and mediocre evaluations (not so good to become Fahnen-Cadetten). However they could have also been simple sons of officers on duty. They were assigned in a number of six per each regiment (to the general Staff) and then were attached one for each company. They must provide to buy uniform and equipment at their own expenses (as the above). With the 1807 Dienst-Reglement this rank was left only to the officers' sons. It will be abolished on 1849 when it will became all Feldwebeln. In effect the Kaisers-Cadetten were all NCOs and were able to had NCOs charges (sometimes definitive too).

c) Privat-Cadetten. With the 1777 Regulations (Normale) it was allowed to each Inhaber to promote valid young men as Cadetten (in addition to the six Kaisers-Cadetten) for NCOs tasks. They reached the NCOs ranks (also definitevely) after having mastered the appropriate characteristics of the tasks. During the battle they stood (as the Kaisers-Cadetten) near the flags (Fahnenhauptwache) and guarded them. This rank changed its denomination on 1822 when they were called Regiments-Cadetten.

wrgmr124 Nov 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

This is why I come to TMP. The good Prince comes with a detailed answer town obscure question, well done Sir!

Osage201730 Nov 2017 6:01 p.m. PST

Thank you Prince of Essling.

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