Normandie Infanterie

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

Origin and History

The creation of the unit dates back to March 1 1574 when the Bandes de Normandie were formed from the Vieilles bandes française.

On 15 August 1615, the regiment was raised mainly from the Bandes de Normandie garrisoning in Amiens by Concini, Maréchal d'Ancre. It inherited its seniority from these bands. On 29 October, it took part in the capture of Clermont-sur-Oise.

In April 1617, after the assasination of Concini, his son fell in disgrace and was banished. Since he commanded the regiment, the unit was left without an owner. On 16 May, the regiment was then given to M. de Cadenet, the Connétable de Luynes' brother, and received the name of the Province of Normandie. It then served at the siege of Soissons.

At the beginning of the Huguenot rebellions (1620–1628), in 1620, the regiment accompanied the king in his expeditions in the western provinces of France. It was at the attack of the Castle of Pont de Cé. In 1621, it took part in the sieges of Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Clérac, Montauban and Monheurt; in 1622, in the expedition on Riez Island, in the action in front of Sainte-Foy, in the storming of Négrepelisse, and in the siege of Saint-Antonin. The regiment then returned to Languedoc where it was at the captures of Bédarieux, Massillargues, Lunel, Sommières et Montpellier. In 1624, ten companies of the regiment left Montpellier to join the army preparing to march into Piedmont. Plans were changed and this army was sent to Valtellina where these companies of the regiment took part in the captures of Tirano, Sondrio, Morbegno, Traona and Dubino. In 1625, these same companies took part in the captures of Chiapino, Bormio, Chiavenna, Corcino and Traona; while the rest of the regiment was at the capture of Bonnac, at the sieges of Saint-Paul and Lamiatte. In 1627, the regiment was posted at Montpellier. In December, a detachment contributed to the capture of Corconne.

During the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–31), on 1 January 1628, ten companies of the regiment, under the Prince de Condé captured the Castle of Vauvers and, a few days later, prevented the fall of Montpellier. In March, they were at the siege of Pamiers; in April, at the capture of Réalmont; in May, at the captures of Saint-Sever, Castelnau and Brassac and at the assaults on Sainte-Affrique. Later the same year, the regiment took part in the sieges of Mazamet and Saint-Amand and then returned to Montpellier. In 1629, the regiment took part in the captures of Soyon and Privas, and in the siege of Alais. In 1630, it was transferred to Piedmont and was at the combats of Veillane and Pont de Carignan. In 1631, it returned to France where it initially served in Provence, taking part in the captures of Brégançon and Saint-Tropez, and was later transferred to Lorraine where it captured Moyenvic in December.

In 1632, the regiment was attached to the army of Maréchal de La Force, opposed to Monsieur's army in Languedoc. In 1633, the regiment was back to Lorraine where it took part in the capture of Freidembourg and in the siege of Nancy. In 1634, the regiment took part in the capture of La Mothe and then garrisoned Colmar and other places in Upper Alsace.

At the beginning of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), in 1635, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Spires, in the defence of Colmar, and in the siege of the Castle of Moyen; in 1636, in the relief of Ensisheim, in the storming of Turckheim, in a raid on Ruffach, in the storming of Oberhenheim and in the combat of Mont-Saugeon; in 1637, in the campaign in Franche-Comté, in the stormings of Saint-Amour and of the Castle of Chevreaux, in the siege of Lons-le-Saulnier, in the captures of the Castle of Crèvecoeur, of the Castle of Chailly, of Savigny, Château-Châlons, Saint-Laurent de la Roche, in the siege of Bletterans; in 1638, in the sieges of Chossin and Raon, in the storming of the entrenchments of Poligny, in the siege and capture of Poligny, in the capture of Arbois, and in the storming of Blamont. In 1639, the regiment was sent to Roussillon where it took part in the siege and capture of Salces, in the capture of Tautavel, in the relief of Salces where it suffered heavy losses. The regiment was then sent to Languedoc to replenish its ranks. In 1640, it was sent to Piémont as reinforcement. It distinguished itself on 14 September in the combat of Turin. The city surrendered on 19 September. In 1641, the regiment took part in the sieges of Ivrea and Coni; in 1642, in the sieges of Nice and of the Castle of Tortone; in 1643, in the sieges of Trino and Asti; in 1644, in the capture of Santia. In 1645, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia and took part in the siege of Roses. In 1646, it returned to Piémont before sailing to Tuscany where it took part in the capture of Fort San Stefano and in the unsuccessful siege of Orbitello. It then returned to Piémont where it fought in a combat near Alessandria. In 1647, it took part in the siege of Cremona; in 1648, in a new siege of Orbitello, in the capture of Procida Island and in the storming of Salerno; in 1649 and 1650, in the campaign in Italy. In 1651, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia. In 1652, it took part in the defence of Barcelona. In 1653, the regiment was recalled to Guyenne to contain the Fronde Rebellion, capturing the Castle of Lormont near Bordeaux and taking part in the capture of Libourne. In 1654, it returned to Catalonia and took part in the sieges of Villafranca and Puigcerdà and in the relief of Roses; in 1655, in the captures of Cap de Quiers and Castillon; in 1657, in the capture of the Castle of Boraçan. Transferred to Italy, the regiment took part in the siege of Alessandria. In 1658, it was at the capture of Mortare. In 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees, it was stationed in Perpignan.

In 1661, the regiment was reduced to 20 companies but rapidly re-established to 40 companies in 1663.

In 1664, the 10 oldest companies of the regiment took part in the expedition of Djijelli.

During the War of Devolution (1667–68), the regiment campaigned in Flanders, taking part in the sieges of Berghes, Furnes, Courtrai and Oudenaarde.

At then outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), in 1672, the regiment was at the camp of Dunkerque. It immediately joined Turenne's Army, passed the Rhine, took part in the capture of Zutphen and then garrisoned Emmerich. Its first battalion took part in the storming of the entrenchments of Wörden. The entire regiment participated in the raid in Holland. In 1674, part of the regiment was at the defence of Grave. In 1675, it recovered at Oudenaarde and Trier. In 1676, 6 companies of the regiment were at the defence of Philippsburg while the regiment took part in the siege of Bouchain. In 1677, the regiment took part in the siege of Fribourg; in 1678, in the affairs of Seckingen, Kohl and Lichtemberg.

In 1684, the regiment took part in the siege of Luxembourg.

At the beginning of the Nine Years' War (1688–97), in 1688, the regiment took part in the siege of Philippsburg. In 1689, the first battalion defended Saarlouis and the second, Luxembourg. In 1690, the regiment campaigned in Germany. In 1691, it took part in the capture of Achdesheim near Mainz; in 1692, in the defence of Worms and in the siege of Rheinfeld (it was increased to three battalions during the same year); in 1693, in the siege of Heidelberg and in the attack on Wingemberg. It was then stationed in Strasbourg till the end of the war. In 1695, one of its battalion was at the defence of Namur.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–13), in 1701, the regiment was still stationed in Strasbourg. It was then ordered to march to Italy where it took part in the Battle of Chiari. In 1702, it initially guarded the banks of the Secchia River. It then fought in Combat of Santa Vittoria and took part in the captures of Luzzara, Guastalla and Borgoforte. In 1703, the regiment took part in the blockade of Bersello, in the engagements of Stradella and Castelnuovo de Bormia and in the expedition against Trento; in 1704, in the capture of Robbio and Rosasco, in the sieges and capture of Vercelli and Ivrea, and in the siege of Verrua; in 1705, in the capture of Verrua, in the siege of Chivasso, in the Battle of Cassano and in the capture of Soncino; in 1706, in the Battle of Calcinato and in the unsuccessful siege and battle of Turin. In 1707, the regiment served with the Army of Spain and took part in the Siege of Lérida. In 1708, the regiment participated in the siege of Tortosa, in the capture of Pons and Olot, in the attack of the bridge of Montanana and in the siege of the Castle of Vénasque. In 1709, the regiment recrossed the Pyrenees and was stationed in Roussillon where it took part in the Combat of Ter. In 1710, it drove the British out of Agde and Sète and participated in the siege of Girona; in 1711, in the capture of Girona; in 1712, the regiment defeated a Spanish corps entrenched on the Sègre and took part in the siege of Vénasque; in 1713, it took part in the blockade and siege of Barcelona.

Normandie was among the six French regiments known as "Vieux Corps".

The regiment counted four battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 5th in the French Army and was commanded by:

  • since July 26 1753: Louis Nicolas de Péruse, Chevalier d'Escars
  • from February 1 1762 to June 5 1763: Louis de Chastenet, Comte de Puységur

Service during the War

By August 1 1757, the regiment was garrisoning Ostende in Flanders.

From 1758 to 1760, the regiment garrisoned different places in Artois.

In 1760, the regiment was sent to Germany along with Alsace Infanterie and Bourbonnais Infanterie. At the beginning of October, it was ordered to join the relief army of the Maréchal de Castrie at Neuss to lift the siege of Wesel. On October 12, two bns of the regiment arrived at Neuss. On October 13, the two other bns arrived at Neuss with Castries. On October 14, Castries selected Normandie Infanterie and Briqueville Infanterie to reinforce Wesel. On October 16, the regiment took part in the Battle of Clostercamp where it was placed to the right of the infantry. It supported Auvergne Infanterie who was bearing the brunt of the enemy's efforts. Normandie Infanterie finally managed to chase the enemy from the village of Camps. While it pursued the enemy in the plain at the end of the battle, the regiment was counter-attacked by the British cavalry who captured one of its colour. On October 18, the Allied finally lifted the siege of Wesel. At the end of October, the regiment, who had heavily suffered during the Combat of Clostercamp, was sent back to France.

On July 16 1761, the regiment was present at the Battle of Vellinghausen but did not take any active part in the combats. Later during the campaign, the regiment was assigned to the Corps of Comte de Stainville. The regiment later occupied Münden. In December, it returned to France where it was assigned to the guard of the coasts of Normandy.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes militaires 1758 and Etats militaires 1759
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neck stock black
Coat grey-white
Collar black (none before 1759)
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets pocket on each side, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs black, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat grey-white (black turnbacks were allowed by M. de Paulmy)
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipement
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

n/a

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


Colors

Colonel colour: white field with a white cross.

Ordonnance colours: yellow field with a white cross. The ordonnance flags remained unchanged from 1616 to 1791.

Colonel Colour - Source: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Source: Kronoskaf

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 3, pp. 176-216

Other sources

Chesnaye des Bois (de la), Aubert: Etrennes militaires, Paris, 1756, 1758, 1759

Evrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides

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

Louis XV: Ordonnance du Roy portant règlement pour l’habillement de l’Infanterie françoise, 19 Janvier 1747

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

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

Service Historique de l'armée de terre - Sommaire des forces armées Françaises à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la France - 1er Août 1757

Vial, J. L.; Nec Pluribus Impar