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The regiment was established in 1625 by the Cypriot nobleman Johann Ludwig Hektor Graf von Isolani or Goan Lodovico Hector Isolano (1586 in Görz – March 1640 in Vienna), an Imperial Cavalry General during the Thirty Years’ War. He served four Emperors and fought in all the main battles of the Thirty Years’ War until the start of French phase (1635). For details see Isolani’s lemma in the Selbstzeugnisse.

Goan Lodovico Hector Isolano, author and date unknown

The fierce reputation of his regiment was matched by the personal impression he made on his contemporaries. After meeting him in Prague in 1628, the Hessian Landgrave Wilhelm V wrote in his diary: ‘Isolano is Colonel of the Crawats, has not a single hair on his entire body, neither on the head nor round the gob or anywhere else, and is an old idiot; they say it’s because he has the Frenchies (slang for ‘syphilis’ -ab).’

Modern artist’s impression of an Isolani Croat horseman

Isolani fought between 1600 and 1606 against the Turks in Croatia. In 1620 he fought as a cavalry Hauptmann (Captain) in the Battle of White Mountain. On 22 June, 1625, Emperor Ferdinand II on Wallenstein’s recommendation made Isolani Kavallerieoberst (Cavalry Colonel) in charge of his own 14-company (600 men) Croatian cavalry regiment. In 1632 he was promoted to General of all Croatian troops in Imperial service.

Military Record

  • The regiment took part in the Pommerian campaign from September 1630 to January 1631
  • A detachment fought at Neu-Brandenburg and Werben (August 1631) under Tilly, and at Breitenfeld (September 1631) on the right wing under Fürstenberg when it suffered heavy casualties.
  • The regiment fought at Alte Veste (August 1632) under Wallenstein, and at Lützen (November 1632) on the left wing under of Holk. After Lützen it was part of Holk’s corps during the invasion of Saxony.
  • After taking part in the battle of Nördlingen (September 1634) on the right wing the regiment was disbanded.
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