Origin and History
This Swiss regiment was placed under French pay on February 17 1672. Its soldiers came from the cantons of Bern, Schwyz, Luzern, and Graubünden/Grisons.
From 1733 to 1735, the regiment took part in the War of the Polish Succession.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially stationed at Saint-Omer in 1741. In 1743, it served in Palatinate. From 1744 to 1747, it served in Flanders. In 1748, it returned to the coasts of Normandie.
The regiment counted two battalions.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 51st and was under the command of:
- from March 20 1756 to July 1 1763: Baron de Reding Frawenfeld
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine for the planned invasion of Hanover. On April 11, one of its battalion joined the troops occupying Wesel. From April 27 to June 17, the regiment was part of the Reserve under the Prince de Soubise. On July 26 at the Battle of Hastenbeck, the regiment was brigaded with Salis Infanterie. This brigade was part of the reserve of the right wing, it covered the edge of the woods to support the attack of the Champagne Brigade on a strong redoubt at the outskirts of a forest. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven on September 8, 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. On November 5, the regiment was at the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Planta Infanterie in the first line of the centre. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army at Minden.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was assigned to the garrison of Wesel where it remained even during the Allied campaign on the west bank of the Lower Rhine in June. On August 5, the regiment formed part of Chevert's Corps and took part in the Combat of Mehr where its brigade formed the left flank. It did not behave very well and was broken. By August 20, the regiment was operating as part of an independent detachment with Jenner Infanterie and Lochmann Infanterie under La Chenelars.
At the end of May 1759, when the French Army of the Rhine launched its offensive in Western Germany, the regiment remained on the Rhine as part of the corps of the Marquis d'Armentières. By October 25, still attached to d'Armentières's Corps, the regiment was at the main camp at Bochum.
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, Saint-Germain had assembled the Army of the Lower Rhine near Düsseldorf, the first battalion of the regiment was part of d'Auvet's Division who was sent to the right bank of the Rhine along with his 2 artillery brigades and 15 pontoons; while the second battalion garrisoned Wesel. On June 16, the first battalion remained in Mettmann, awaiting to escort a convoy. By June 21, the first battalion had taken position at Elberfeld to protect Saint-Germain's lines of communication. On July 4, as part of d'Auvet's Division, the first battalion reconnoitred the area of Arnsberg. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Giessen.
To do: 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 both sides
|Waistcoat||blue with two rows (one row as per Taccoli) of small pewter buttons; horizontal pockets, each with 5 small pewter buttons|
|Breeches||blue (surprisingly, Taccoli illustrates red breeches)|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
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Colonel colour: white cross; each canton consisted of 4 white flames.
Ordonnance colours: white cross; each canton consisted of 4 flames (red, white, green, yellow).
N.B.: the Manuscript of 1757 depicts a different ordonnance colour where each cantons has 8 flames (slate, white, red, yellow, slate, white red, yellow).
Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris
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, pp. 198-199
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
Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.