History of the Rainer Regiment
The regiment was established as “Oberst van der Beckh” by Kaiser Leopold I in 1682 in response to a new threat to Austria by the Ottoman Empire. Thereafter this regiment proved itself on all the battlefields of Europe. In 1769, the regiment received the number 59.
When the principality of Salzburg finally became part of Austria in 1816, the regiment consisted of recruits from Salzburg and both the Inn and Hausruck regions in Upper Austria and thus became the house regiment of Salzburg.
In 1852, Archduke Rainer Ferdinand (painting by Eduard Kaiser, 1860, source: Wikipedia), a nephew of Emperor Franz I., was named as the last regiment commander, and after his death in 1913 Emperor Franz Joseph I. declared that this regiment would carry the name "Archduke Rainer from this day forward.” After the Battle of Solferino, the Emperor bestowed the following unforgettable words on the regiment: "This regiment is among the bravest of the brave."
After a four year deployment on the Russian and Italian fronts in World War I from 1914-1918, in the beginning of November 1918 after the war had ended, the regiment was reassigned from Bolzano in Tyrol back to its original garrison in Salzburg by its final commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Schilhawskiy von Bahnbrueck. It was disbanded there just like all of the other regiments of the Austro-Hungarian Army.