Condé Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Condé Infanterie

Contents

Origin and History

The regiment was initially raised by Henri II of Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Duc d'Enghien, on June 11 1644. During the Fronde, it was disbanded twice due to the role of the Prince de Condé in this rebellion. The regiment was reintegrated into the French Army after the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659 and the submission of the Prince de Condé. However, it lost its former rank.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served in Italy from 1733 to 1735. In 1736, it was at Collioure.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Alsace in 1743. In 1744, it was at Augenheim and Freiburg. It then served in Bavaria in 1745. In 1746, the regiment was sent to the defence of Provence.

The regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 38th and was under the command of:

  • since August 22 1743: Marquis de Langeron
  • from May 7 1758 to January 3 1770: Comte de Latour-Landry

Service during the War

In May 1757, a corps under Chevert left Neuss to join the Army of the Lower Rhine at Breda for the planned invasion of Hanover. This corps consisted of Vaubécourt Infanterie and Condé Infanterie and Rochefoucauld-Langeac Cavalerie. At the end of June, the regiment was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' Main Corps. On July 1, again under Chevert, a corps consisting of Picardie Infanterie (4 bns), Vaubécourt Infanterie (2 bns), Condé Infanterie (2 bns), one regiment of Grenadiers Royaux (2 bns), the Carabiniers and 20 guns left Bielefeld. On July 2, they arrived at Hervorden from where they left for Hoya on July 8. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the centre under the Marquis de Contades. After this victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. It then took part in the conquest of Hanover with the Maréchal de Richelieu. In October 1757, the regiment was part of the reinforcements sent to the Prince de Soubise. On November 5, the regiment took part in the Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Touraine Infanterie in Saint-Germain's Corps. After the defeat, it returned to the Army of Hanover. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the first line of the French Army at Schladen and Wiehdela.

In January 1758, the regiment took part in the surprise attack on Halbertstadt and in the attack on Quedlinburg. In February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in West Germany, it retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French Army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the second line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the second line at Wachtendonk. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's Army on May 31, it did not join Clermont's Army at Rheinberg but was rather deployed at an unspecified location. On June 23, the regiment took part in the Battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the left wing of the first line under Lorges. In Mid August, after Ferdinand's retreat to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the Army of the Lower Rhine under Contades, recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed in the centre of the first line.

By May 10 1759, the regiment was part of the corps under the command of the Comte de Noailles who had taken position near Deutz on the right bank of the Rhine. In June, during the French offensive in West Germany, the regiment was part of the main army, under the command of the Marquis de Contades, where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed at the extreme left of the first line of the infantry left wing under the command of Guerchy. For most of the day, it sustained the attacks of the Hanoverian regiments but was saved by the intervention of the Saxon troops. The decimated regiment was sent to garrison Cassel.

In March 1761, the regiment was besieged in Cassel. In September, it took part in the Siege of Meppen.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758,
La Chesnaye in 1759 and Etat militaire 1761

completed where necessary by information from the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757" and Taccoli's work
Headgear
Musketeerblack tricorne laced gold with a black cockade (white cockade as per Taccoli)
Grenadierblack tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers of the French infantry

Neckstockblack
Coatgrey-white with copper buttons down to the waist on the right side
Collarnone (red in 1759)

N.B.: the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757" illustrates a red collar as soon as 1757, so does Taccoli

Shoulder Strapswhite fastened with a copper button (left shoulder only)
Lapelsnone
Pocketshorizontal pockets, each with 5 copper buttons
Cuffsred, each with 5 copper buttons
Turnbacksnone
Waistcoatred with one row of copper buttons
Breechesgrey-white
Gaiterswhite
Leather Equipment
Crossbeltnatural leather
Waistbeltnatural leather
Cartridge Boxnatural leather
Bayonet Scabbardblack with white metal fittings
Scabbardn/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

n/a

Musicians

Arms of the House of Bourbon Condé - Source: WikiMedia Commons

Drummers wore the livery of the House of Bourbon Condé: chamois yellow laced and lined red. The arms on the drums had an azure field with three golden fleurs de lys couped by a small red baston (de France au bâton péri en bande de gueules).

Colours

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross

Ordonnance colour (from 1740 to 1780): red and ventre de biche opposed cantons and a white cross

Colonel colour- Source: Kronoskaf
Colonel colour- Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance colour- Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance colour- Source: Kronoskaf

For the larger part of its existence (from 1659 to 1740 and 1780 to 1791), this regiment carried a different Ordonnance colour: blue and ventre de biche opposed cantons and a white cross

Ordonnance colour- Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance colour- Source: Kronoskaf


References

Anon.: Manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I", Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Evrard P.; Praetiriti Fides

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé

Mouillard, Lucien; Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris 1882

Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Taccoli, Alfonso; Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

Vial J. L.; Nec Pluribus Impar

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

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