Dauphin Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War >> Armies >> French Army >> Dauphin Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was created by Louis XIV for his son the Dauphin de France on June 15 1667. In 1669, the regiment of the Marquis de Linières ceded its rank to Dauphin Infanterie.

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

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served mainly in Italy.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Flanders.

When the French army was reorganised in December 1762, the regiment was increased to 4 battalions by incorporating Guyenne Infanterie.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 16th. The Colonel of the regiment was the Dauphin. However, the effective commander was the colonel-lieutenant:

  • since September 11 1755 to May 11 1762: Marquis de Boufflers

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of La Hougue.

In March 1757, the regiment left Toul to join the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées at Wesel for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, the regiment was encamped at Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps. On August 26, the regiment and the La Marine Brigade advanced against Rethem forcing the Hanoverian troops to abandon the place. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven, the regiment followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt, in Prussian territory, from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed in the centre of the second line. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army at Münden.

In February 1758, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army and took post at Hanau. In April, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was placed in the third line at Roermond. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's army on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's Army on June 2. It then remained in this camp until June 12 and was placed in the centre of the second line. By July, the regiment had been transferred to Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. It was used to protect the lines of communication with the Rhine. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters at Friedberg.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of reserve of the left wing deployed in regimental columns behind the Warthberg. In June, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of Broglie's corps. The same year, the regiment also took part in the siege of Münster.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army along the Rhine and the Main from its mouth. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Babenhausen and Dieburg, in the third line of the French army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of the Prince de Croy. On May 29, a party of Ruesch Black Hussars appeared near Fulda and M. d'Apchon, who occupied Johannisberg, retired. The hussars engaged a grenadier company of Dauphin Infanterie, who was still in town, and captured it before retiring. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Fulda.

On July 16 1761, the regiment took part in the Battle of Vellinghausen. In October, it returned to France where it garrisoned Dunkerque.

In 1762, the regiment was sent back to Germany.

At the end of the war, the regiment returned to Dunkerque in France.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758
and Etats militaires of 1758 and 1761

completed where necessary as per Taccoli, the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat white with 14 copper buttons on the right side
Collar blue with 1 small copper button on the right side (Raspe illustrates 2 buttons on the left side, the right side being hidden)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets double vertical pockets (9 copper buttons arranged in patte d'oie on each single pocket)
Cuffs blue, each with 9 small copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue with 36 small copper buttons (18 in single row on the waistcoat and 9 small copper buttons on each horizontal pockets)

N.B.: Raspe's illustrations suggest vertical pockets

Breeches white (blue as per Raspe in 1762)
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


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

Officers

Exceptionally, sergeants of the grenadier companies of this regiment carried a fork rather than a halberd. Louis XIV had authorized this distinction to commemorate the storming of a defensive work by the grenadiers of Dauphin Infanterie on April 2 1691, during the siege of Mons. Indeed, the Austrians defending this work were armed with forks and scythes.

Musicians

The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.

Drummer wearing the Royal Livery - Source: Jocelyne Chevanelle

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

French Royal Livery - Source: reconstruction based on a sample from Jean-Louis Vial's collection


N.B.: it seems that in an earlier period (end of the XVIIth century) drummers of the regiment wore the Dauphin's livery: blue laced aurore (light orange) but during the XVIIIth century they adopted the Royal livery.

Colors

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross (the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757 depicts a white cross charged with the same arms and motto as the ordonnance).

Ordonnance colours: the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 describes them with a white cross wearing the arms of the Dauphin in its centre with his motto: "Res praestant, non verba fidem". Each quarter of the ordonnance flags was ondé (horizontal waved stripes) in red, blue and yellow and bordered in white and yellow. Contemporary illustrations give three different interpretations of the disposition of these stripes in each quarter:

  1. an illustration of 1748 depicts 3 repetitions of red, blue and yellow horizontal waved stripes for a total of 9 stripes per quarter
  2. an illustration of 1755 depicts a total of 3 horizontal waved stripes: 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow, this same illustration does not show the arms of the Dauphin on the white cross
  3. the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" depicts a very different colour in 1757, this is the colour we have chosen to illustrate in our own plate
Colonel 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

Anon.: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Gabriel Nicolas Raspe, Nuremberg 1761

Anon.: Recueil de toutes les troupes qui forment les armées françoises, Gabriel Nicolas Raspe, Nuremberg 1762

Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides

Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website who has unfortunately disappeared from the web)

Montandre: État militaire de France pour l'année 1758, Paris 1758, p. 132

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

Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23.

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.