Modena Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page)) >> Armies >> Modenese Army >> Modena Infantry

Origin and History

On the eve of the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1740, the duke Francesco III of Modena could field only his bodyguards (Guardia del Corpo) of 200 men and one infantry regiment: Palude Infantry. In 1740, Francesco III also raised 4 infantry national regiments, including Modena Infantry. These regiments each consisted of 4 companies of 150 men with drafts from the local Militia.

In 1755, the Modenese Army was reorganised. Infantry regiment then consisted of 1 battalion of 4 companies, each of 120 men. The companies were respectively commanded by the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major and captain. Each regiment also comprised a grenadier company of 52 men. Thus, a regiment amounted to 528 privates, 18 drummers and pipers, 36 corporals, 18 sergeants and 20 officers for a grand total of 620 men.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • no information found yet

The regiment was disbanded in 1769.

Service during the War

In April 1759, after the appointment of the Duke Francesco III as governor of Milan by Maria Theresa, there were some 2,700 Modenese soldiers in the territory of Milan assuming garrison duties. However, Modena Infantry remained in Modena.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform of privates in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced faked silver with a black cockade
Grenadier
Modena Infantry Bearskin - Source: Ibrahim90
black Austrian-style grenadier bearskin probably with a red bag laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock red
Coat white Austrian cut with white lining
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red edged white fastened with a white button (both shoulders)
Lapels red with 6 white buttons (3-2-1)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs red with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white with a red fastener
Waistcoat red (maybe white) with white buttons
Breeches turquin blue
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather, worn over the left shoulder
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket and a bayonet. In addition, grenadiers carried a sabre.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • a small red collar
  • a silver gorget
  • no turnbacks
  • a yellow and blue sash worn around the waist
  • maybe a white waistcoat

Officers carried a half-pike.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of privates with the following differences:

  • a small red collar edged silver
  • silver laced buttonholes on the lapels and on the pockets of the waistcoat
  • red cuffs with silver edging
  • no shoulder straps

Musicians

In 1740, musicians were distinguished only by a blue and white braid on the coat edges and seams.

The drum barrel was made of brass and decorated with turquin blue points edged white.

Colours

Colonel colour: blue field bordered with an intricate white frame; centre device consisting of the eagle of the House of Este (white eagle with a gold crown, and golden beak and claws); 1 golden fleur de lys in each corner.

Ordnance colours: turquin blue cross, each canton subdivided into red and blue triangles.

Modenese Infantry Colonel Colour – Source: Dr. Marco Pagan
Ordonnance Colour – Source: Dr. Marco Pagan

References

Ales, Stefano; Insegne military preunitarie italiane (1671-1870), Ufficio storico Stato Maggiore Esercito, Roma, 2001

Antonini, Eraldo and G.C. Boeri; Bandiere Militari Estensi del '700, in Bellica

Archivio Stato Modena; 1750 Stato delle Truppe di S.A. S.ma di Modena, Reggio, Mirandola

Ferri Personali, Fabrizio; L'Esercito Estense, in Araldica Nobili e Cavalieri

Menziani, Dr. Alberto; La Storia militare del Ducato di Modena - è tratto dal periodico illustrato di storia, arte, tradizioni e dialetti, in Il Ducato - Terre Estensi, Associazione Culturale “Terra e Identità”, Modena

Vinkhuijzen Collection of military uniforms, Italy – Modena, 1625-1765 New York Public Library

Acknowledgments

Luc Antonelli for gathering most of the information about this regiment

Dr Marco Pagan for the reconstruction of the colours