Cantabria Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army >> Cantabria Infantry

Origin and History

On 29 December 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, King Philip V asked the Province of Guipúzcoa to raise a tercio. This tercio was raised on 19 January 1703 for the “Maestre de campo” Don Tomás Idiaquez. It was designated as the “Tercio de Guipúzcoa” and consisted of 60 men in twelve companies. On 16 May 1703, the new tercio was reviewed for the first time at Salinas. It then marched to Madrid and finally to Cádiz. In February 1704, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Guipúzcoa”. It joined the Army of Extremadura and took part in the invasion of Portugal and in the siege of Salvatierra, in the capture of Segura and Monsanto, in the attack on Castelo Branco, in the storming of the entrenched camp of Sárcedas and in the sieges of Portalegre and Castelo de Vide. In 1705, a detachment of the regiment took part in the defence of Albuquerque and the regiment was at the defence of Badajoz and Játiva; in 1706, in the capture of Alcántara; in 1707, in the siege and storming of Ciudad-Rodrigo; in 1709, in the Battle of La Gudiña and in the blockade of Olivenza; in 1710, in the storming of Carvajales. In 1711, the regiment was at the bombardment of Elvas. In 1712, it took part in the unsuccessful siege of Campo Mayor. In 1713, it escorted convoys between Barcelona and the camps of Tarragona, Cervera and Igualada. In 1714, the regiment took part in the blockades of Oliana and Solsona.

After the war, on 20 April 1715, the regiment incorporated troops of the disbanded “Regimiento de Vizcaya” and the “Regimiento de Alava”, the other Basque-named units. The regiment was then renamed “Regimiento de Cantabria”.

In 1718, the regiment embarked for Sicily where it took part in the sieges and capture of Termini and Messina. In 1719, it participated in the Battle of Francavilla. In 1720, it returned to Spain, landing at Barcelona.

In 1723, the regiment was sent to Navarra

In 1727, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar. It then took up cantonments at Orihuela where it remained until 1732.

From 1732 to 1734, the regiment defended Oran in Algeria. In 1734, it was transferred to Ceuta before returning to Cádiz.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • no information available yet

The regiment was disbanded in 1960. Its heir was the Regimiento de Saboya (Savoy Regiment). Either legend or fact, the regimental black saltire pretended to be a Cantabrian or Asturian labarum, an ancient banner.

Service during the War

On 18 March 1761, the second battalion of the regiment embarked at Coruña for the expedition to defend Cartagena de Indias (present-day Cartagena, Colombia).

In 1762, while part of the regiment was serving abroad, the regiment was reorganised in Spain.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Album de Taccoli of 1759
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a red cockade fastened with a white button
Grenadier black bearskins probably with a blue flame
Neckstock white
Coat white with white buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs blue with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white with blue “heart-shaped” fasteners
Waistcoat white with white buttons and horizontal pockets
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard brown


Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and a sword (brass hilt).

Officers

The colonel, lieutenant-colonel sargentos mayores and officers carried a spontoon and an officer stick. They used to heng this stick at the second button of the coat. The type of handle of the officer stick was different for each rank:

  • gold for the colonel
  • silver for the lieutenant-colonel
  • silver (but only one finger wide) for the Sargento Mayor and the captains
  • ivory for assistants, lieutenants and for the chaplain
  • wooden with a silver ring for sub-lieutenants

Sergeants carried a halberd instead of a spontoon. Fruthemore, their officer stick had no handle.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

The coronela (colonel flag) of the regiment was white with a red Burgundian cross terminated in each corner by a medallion carrying the arms of the regiment (a black St. Andrew's cross on a silver field) surmounted by a golden crown. In the middle: the arms of Charles III surrounded by the necklace of the order of the Toison de Oro (Golden Fleece).

The batallonas (ordonnance flags) of the regiment were white with a red Burgundian cross terminated in each corner by a medallion carrying the arms of the regiment (a black St. Andrew's cross on a silver field) surmounted by a golden crown.

Colonel Colour - Source: Richard Couture
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Richard Couture

References

This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XI, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 58-69

Other sources

Album de Taccoli, 1759

État militaire (circa 1737-1750), Anne S.K. Brown Collection

Acknowledgment

Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.

Juan for information on the origin and history of the regiment.