The Austrian infantry consisted of sixty-two line regiments, fourteen border (Grenzer) regiments and one independent battalion, one Jäger regiment (the Kaiser-Jägers), and twenty-five independent Jäger battalions. The line regiments were either Austrian or Hungarian in national origin.
The Austrian cavalry comprised eight regiments of Cuirassiers, eight regiments of Dragoons, twelve regiments of Hussars and twelve regiments of Uhlans (lancers). Of these only four regiments of Dragoons, five of Hussars and four of Uhlans took part in the Italian campaign.
The Austrian artillery comprised twelve field and one rocket regiment.
The Austrian Army was divided in four "Armies". Each of these comprised a number of Corps:
- Ist Army (Wien): 1st, 2nd,3rd, 9th Infantry corps
- IInd Army (Verona): 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Infantry corps
- IIIrd Army (Pest): 10th, 11th, 12th Infantry corps and Ist Cavalry corps
- IVth Army (Lemberg): 4th Infantry corps
Each corps comprised two or three infantry divisions, one cavalry brigade or division, and a reserve of artillery.
Each infantry division had two infantry brigades and two or four squadrons of cavalry (one or two "divisions"). A cavalry division had two brigades.
An infantry brigade had (a regiment of) four line infantry battalions (one of which was of grenadiers) , a Jäger or a Grenzer battalion and one foot 6pdr battery.
A cavalry brigade had two or three cavalry regiments and one 6pdr horse battery.
There were mixed brigades too: three or four line battalions, one light battalion, a division of cavalry (two squadrons) and one 6pdr battery.
Each line infantry regiment had a peace-time complement of four fusilier battalions of six companies each, one of which was of grenadiers. In wartime, grenadier companies were put together to form a grenadier battalion of four companies and four more fusilier companies were created to replace them. In the field, a line regiment had a grenadier and three fusilier battalions; the fourth fusilier battalion was left at home as reserve. A fifth battalion of four companies acted as depot battalion. Each company had a paper strength of 221 officers and men.
Each Grenzer regiment had two battalions, each of six companies with the same strength as the line.
The KaiserJäger regiment comprised seven battalions; the first six had four companies each; the seventh had six companies.
Each company had a strength of 204 officers and men. Of the other twenty-five Jäger battalions, five had six companies each (nos. 8, 11, 23, 24, 25), the others had four.
For tactical purposes companies of each line, border or Jäger battalion were grouped two by two in "divisions"; which were suitable for independent small actions if necessary.
Dragoon regiments had six squadrons grouped in three "divisions" , each of two squadrons. Each squadron had a paper strength of 175 officers and men.
Hussar and Uhlan regiments had eight squadrons, grouped in four divisions; each squadron had a paper strength of 200 men.
Each field regiment had four batteries of 6pdrs, six horse batteries, three batteries of 12pdrs and one battery of long howitzers.
Each 6pdr battery (foot and horse) had six 6pdr guns and two short7pdr howitzers; 12pdr batteries had six 12pdr guns and two long 7pdr howitzers; howitzer batteries had eight long 7pdr howitzers.
The rocket regiment (Raketeur Regiment) had twenty batteries, each with eight rocket-throwers.
The Engineers comprised twelve battalions of four companies, each of 195 men.
There were six Pioneer battalions, each of four companies, also of 195 men each.
The infantry's armament was in course of modernisation. In 1854 a new rifled musket was adopted, the Lorenz, but this was still being distributed when the war broke out. Many units received it when they were on the march or just before a battle, so that men could not practise with the new weapon. Many units were still armed with the old smoothbore percussion musket, the ConsoleAugustin. Muskets had a brown stock and white strap. Fusiliers had a bayonet carried in a black scabbard with gold fittings. Grenadiers had a short curved sabre too.
The armament of the Grenzer regiments consisted of the rifled Kammerbüchse MI842 (Delvigne system) with black strap and bayonet.
The Jäger's armament consisted of the good rifled Jägerstutzen M1854 with black strap. As it was a short weapon it had an unusual long, straight bayonet, sabre shaped. Scabbard was black with yellow metal fittings.
Dragoons and Hussars were armed with a sabre with white metal hilt, carried in a white metal scabbard, and a rifled carbine.
Uhlans carried a lance with black (upper) and yellow, two-pointed guidon, a sabre with white metal scabbard, and a rifled pistol. In each squadron sixteen men had only the sabre and a rifled carbine instead of the lance and pistol.
Gun calibres have been described above. Artillery crews carried either the rifled Kammerbüchse Ml842 (Delvigne system) or of the Jägerstutzen M1854, and a straight sword-bayonet with black scabbard and yellow metal fittings.
The infantry wore a black leather shako with a yellow metal, double-headed eagle on the front and a yellow tassel with a black centre. The shako was often covered with a black rubberised cloth. On campaign, it was often replaced by a more comfortable fatigue hat of light blue cloth with white edges.
Dress consisted of a white double breasted tunic (the Waffenfrock) with collar, round cuffs, epaulettes, and front and back pockets all piped in the distinctive regimental colour. Hungarian regiments had pointed cuffs adorned with an inverted T-shaped white lace. Buttons were white metal.
In summer a more comfortable fatigue tunic called a kittel was often worn. On this, regimental distinctions were worn in the form of coloured tabs on the collar. Buttons were white.
Trousers were light blue with white piping. They were often turned up, or more often tucked into the black gaiters. Shoes were black. Hungarian regiments wore light blue breeches with black and yellow looping and short black boots.
Equipment consisted of a black cartridge box; white leather belts (grenadiers had a yellow metal grenade on each of them) ; a white cap box carried on the crossing of the belts; a brown knapsack and a grey greatcoat with white straps. On the first stages of the campaign this last was carried rolled around the knapsack, but with the hot climate of June and July this proved very uncomfortable and Kaiser Franz Joseph allowed the men to put aside the knapsack and to roll the greatcoat around the left shoulder. The canteen was light brown with a white strap; the haversack was brownish-grey with a strap of the same colour.
The Grenzer regiments wore uniforms similar to the line Hungarian regiments, but with a brown tunic instead of white. Like the line infantry, Frontier regiments were distinguished from each other by the colour of their collar, epaulettes, cuffs and piping. The kittel was often worn in campaign: white with tabs of the facing colour on the collar. All belts and leather equipment were black.
The independent Grenzer battalion had light blue tunic with red collar, round cuffs, epaulettes and piping. Trousers were light blue, styled like "German" regiments' ones. All leather was white.
The Jäger's headgear consisted of the characteristic cylindrical-shaped hat with green plumes on the left side. When on campaign it was covered with a black cloth.
Dress consisted of grey-green, double-breasted tunic with dark green collar , pointed cuffs, epaulettes, cords and piping. Trousers were the same colour as the tunic, with green piping. On campaign the kittel was often worn, white with green tabs on the collar. Equipment was like that of line infantry , but with black belts and leathers.
All cavalry had a red, pointed saddlecloth with Imperial ciphers on the tails and yellow-black-yellow braid on the edge; a black or dark brown fur was put over the saddle cloth. When on campaign the saddle cloth was covered with a protective grey-white cloth or had its tails turned up to protect the embroidery .The cloak was rolled on the back in a grey-white cover. Straps were white. All horse furniture was black leather.
The Dragoons wore a white metal crested helmet with yellow metal edges, fittings and chin straps.
A white, double-breasted tunic was worn, with collar, round cuffs, white piped epaulettes and piping in the regimental colour. Regimental facings were as follows: Stadion, black; Kaiser Franz Joseph, dark red; Prim Eugen v. Savoyen, green; Horvath, sky blue. All these had white metal buttons.
Trousers were light blue, piped white with applied false black boots. Equipment consisted of a black cartridge box, white shoulder belt and waist belt with white metal buckles and fittings, and tan canteen with white leather strap.
Hussars wore a shako in the regimental colour, with a yellow and black tassel. On campaign they were covered with a cloth of the same regimental colour.
Dress was a light blue or dark blue close-fitting jacket (an Attila), with collar and cuffs of the same colour, piped in yellow and black, worn with a pelisse of the same colour as the Attila, with dark brown or black fur trim. The Attila and pelisse had five rows of loops and embroidery of mixed black and yellow. Buttons were white or yellow metal, according to the regiment.
Breeches were dark blue or light blue, with yellow and black piping and looping. Black hussar-style boots were edged black and yellow. The sabretache was red, with yellow-black-yellow edge, yellow ciphers and white straps.
The headgear was the czapka: the characteristic square-topped, Polish lancer cap. This had a black peak and skull cap; the square upper part was in the regimental colour. The cords and chin straps were yellow. A drooping, black horsehair plume was carried on the left side. On campaign the czapka was covered with a cloth in the regimental colour.
Dress consisted of a dark green jacket (called an Ulanka) with red collar, pointed cuffs, breast lapels and piping. Waist sash and fringed epaulettes were yellow. Trousers were dark green with red band and false black boots.
Shako same as infantry. Double-breasted, "coffee"-brown tunic with red collar , epaulettes, round cuffs and piping. Buttons were yellow metal. Light blue trousers with red piping. Iron-grey greatcoat, rolled around the left shoulder; black belt on the right side; white belt on the right shoulder with yellow metal fittings.
Guns were painted with the traditional yellow ochre colour.
The uniform of the Train was same as for the artillery but with light blue distinctions. Black shoulder belt and cartridge box. Trousers were madder red. The service uniform was bluish-grey with light blue distinctions.
Engineers wore the same style of uniforms as the infantry. The tunic was dark blue with dark red collar, epaulettes, round cuffs and piping. Buttons were yellow. Trousers were light blue with dark red piping. All leather was black.
Pioneers wore the same style of uniform as the engineers. Tunic was grey with green collar, epaulettes, round cuffs and piping; trousers were grey too, with green piping. All leather equipment was black. Buttons were white metal.
Black kepi or low shako with gold and black tassel. Tunic was light blue with gold laced red collar and cuffs. Buttons were gold; gold cloth waist sash with two horizontal black stripes. Trousers were dark blue with a red band. Saddle cloth was red with broad gold-black-gold edge. Adjutants wore the gold sash over the left shoulder. General staff officers wore on the collar of the service tunic black velvet patches with red piping and a broad gold lace at the outer ends.
Austrian line infantry was average; with grenadiers perhaps being good. Jager's were average to good; Grenzer's poor.
Austrian cavalry was generally average to good.