Origin and History
This Swiss regiment was raised across the 13 Swiss cantons according to the decree of January 28 1677.
During the War of the Polish Succession, in 1733 and 1734, the regiment served along the border from the Meuse River to the sea. In 1736, it was stationed at Versailles, in 1737 at Saint-Omer and in 1738 at Lille.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially stationed at Dunkerque, destined to the planned expedition in Scotland. From 1744 to 1748, it served in Flanders.
The regiment counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 63rd and was under the command of:
- since January 20 1754: Baron de Planta
- from August 10 1760 to February 18 1763: d'Arbonnier
Service during the War
Somewhere between August 23 and September 6, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach for the planned reconquest of Saxony. On September 27, it was brigaded with Diesbach Infanterie and Rohan Montbazon Infanterie under the Marquis de Custine in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment was at the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it formed a brigade along with Reding Infanterie in the first line of the centre. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in Berka and Vacha on the Werra River near Eisenach in Hessen.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Nierst, Langstkierst and the villages vis à vis Kaiserswerth/Düsseldorf. On May 31, when Ferdinand of Brunswick successfully accomplished the crossing the Rhine with an Allied army, the regiment had already left the Lower Rhine theatre of operation and was on its way to Hesse to reinforce Soubises's Army. On October 10, it took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the first line.
On April 12 1759, during the Allied spring offensive in Western Germany, the Duc de Broglie's Army bivouacked near Bergen. He immediately deployed the regiment in the orchards near the village. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the right wing under the command of Prince Camille de Lorraine. The regiment was among the infantry entrenched in the village of Bergen. Around 10:00 a.m., it was heavily involved in a fire fight against the Allied units advancing against Bergen and drove them back. 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. On October 19, the regiment was part of the force sent by Contades to reinforce d'Armentières on the Lower Rhine.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the Reserve of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of M. d'Auvet. On June 15, the regiment was at Ratingen and Mettmann. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of the left wing. On October 3, Lochmann Infanterie and Planta Infanterie made an unsuccessful attempt to reinforce Wesel. At the end of October, the regiment, who had heavily suffered in front of Wesel, was sent back to France.
To do: details on the campaigns from 1761 to 1762
The following description has been verified against the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" and Taccoli's book published in 1760.
|Coat||garance red lined blue with pewter buttons down to the pockets on the right side and blue trimmed buttonholes on the left side
|Waistcoat||blue edged white with one row of pewter buttons and white laced buttonholes on both sides; pockets edged white|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Under the command of Planta, the colours were:
- Colonel Colour: white with a white cross.
- Ordonnance Colours: white cross; each canton consisted of 4 flames (black, yellow, blue, red).
N.B.: the Manuscript of 1757 illustrates an ordonnance colour quite similar to the one described for d'Arbonnier.
Under the command of d'Arbonnier, the colours were:
- Colonel Colour: white cross; each canton was white with a golden fleur de lys in the outer corner.
- Ordonnance Colour: white cross; each canton consisted of 11 flames (black, red, yellow, blue, yellow, red, black, blue, yellow, red, black).
Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris
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.