Diesbach Infanterie

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

Origin and History

This Swiss regiment was raised on January 1 1690 across the 13 Swiss Cantons.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Moselle from 1735 to 1737.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially stationed at Dunkerque in 1741 and 1742. In 1744, it took part in the expedition in Scotland. From 1745 to 1748, it served in Flanders, fighting at Lauffeld on July 2 1747 and taking part in the siege of Maastricht in 1748.

In 1753, the regiment was stationed at Sarrelouis.

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

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 90th and was under the command of:

  • since January 4 1721 until August 7 1764: Diesbach de Steinbruck

Service during the War

Somewhere between August 23 and September 6 1757, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach, for the planned invasion of Saxony. On September 27, it was brigaded with Rohan Montbazon Infanterie and Planta Infanterie under the Marquis de Custine in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, under the Comte de Lorges, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was placed in the second line of the centre. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Bad Soden in Hessen.

In March 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in Western Germany, the regiment retreated towards Düsseldorf and Deutz with the bulk of Broglie's Army. It passed the Rhine on April 3 and 4. In the first days of June, as a French army prepared for an offensive in Hesse, the regiment was part of a detachment under the command of the Duc de Broglie who followed up Ysenburg during his retreat. By July, it had joined Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. On July 23, the regiment took part in the Combat of Sandershausen where it was placed in the first line of the right wing and was engaged against the Hessian units occupying the Ellenbach woods. In the morning of September 27, the regiment entered into Kassel to prevent its capture by an Allied army under the command of Oberg. On October 10, it was present at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the second line.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the third line of the right wing under the command of Prince Camille de Lorraine. The regiment was deployed in column behind the village of Bergen. In June, during the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line, on the left wing of the infantry centre.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Homburg der Höhe, in the first line of the French army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the right flank brigade of the first line of Broglie's Army. On July 10, the regiment fought in the Combat of Corbach where it formed part of Broglie's leading brigades. By July 23, the regiment was at Wasbeck under the personal command of the Duc the Broglie. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Hirschfeld.

In 1762, the regiment served on the Fulda. On June 24, it took part in the Battle of Wilhelmsthal.

To do: details on the campaigns pf 1761 and 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes Militaires 1756 and 1758, Etat militaire 1758, 1760 and 1761, and Abrégé du dictionnaire militaire 1759

completed where necessary with information from Taccoli's uniform plates
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver (Taccoli illustrates a white cockade fasted with a pewter button)
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver

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

Neckstock probably black
Coat garance red lined blue with 11 pewter buttons down to the pockets on the right side and 11 blue trimmed buttonholes on the left side
Collar blue
Shoulder Straps blue fastened with a pewter button (as per Mouillard)
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with 4 pewter buttons and 4 blue trimmed buttonholes
Cuffs blue with 3 pewter buttons and 3 blue trimmed buttonholes
Turnbacks none (Taccoli's work published in 1760 shows blue turnbacks)
Waistcoat blue edged white with 11 pewter buttons and 11 white frogs (on both sides), pockets laced white with 4 pewter buttons and 4 white frogs
Breeches blue (surprisingly Taccoli illustrates red breeches)
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/ablack with white metal fittings
Scabbard n/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

n/a

Colours

Colonel flag: white cross carrying the golden motto “Fidelitate & honore” on its horizontal and vertical branches; each canton was white sown with golden fleurs de lys.

Ordonnance flags: white cross carrying the golden motto “Fidelitate & honore” on its horizontal and vertical branches; each canton consisted of 5 flames (black, yellow, red, yellow, black).

Colonel Flag - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Flag - Source: PMPdeL

References

Bunel, Arnaud: Vexillologie militaire européenne] - Régiment de Vigier (Suisse)

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

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

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 201

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.