Royal-Pologne Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Royal-Pologne Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on May 30 1653 by the Comte de Nogent. It took the name of “Roi Stanislas” in September 1725, at the marriage of Louis XV, and was incorporated into the French army. By a regulation dated March 30 1737, the regiment was renamed “Royal-Pologne”.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733 and 1734.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Flanders from 1742 to 1748.

In 1751, the regiment was stationed at Sainte-Menehould; in 1753, at Sarrelouis; and in 1754, at Rethel.

The regiment counted 2 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the king was the Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:

  • since 1746: Comte de Béthune
  • from March 19 1760 to January 3 1770: Duc de Villequier

When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons. The 2 additional squadrons came from Marcieux Cavalerie who was incorporated into Royal-Pologne Cavalerie.

Service during the War

In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was stationed at Charlesville.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main body. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the second line of cavalry of the left wing. It was ordered to support the Grenadiers de France who had advanced into the village of Hastenbeck. After the victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Army of the Lower Rhine from July 31 to August 2. After the Convention of Klosterzeven, it followed the main body, now led by the Maréchal de Richelieu who encamped at Halberstadt, in Prussian territory, from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed on the first line of the right wing. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the third line of the French army in Herford.

From March 30 to April 4 1758, after the retreat of the French army towards the Rhine, the regiment was with Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the first line of the right wing.

By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the right wing of the first line of Broglie's Army. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the second line of the centre. On October 2, Broglie sent M. d'Aubigny's detachment (including this regiment) from Stainville's Corps towards the Lower Rhine. On October 11, this detachment took position between Neuss and Meerbusch. On October 16, the regiment fought in the Battle of Clostercamp where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing.

To do: details on the campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform in 1753 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
the Etat Général des Troupes Françoises of 1753 and Etat Militaire of 1761
completed when necessary as per Funcken and Mouillard
Headgear black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button

N.B.: Mouillard and Pajol both mention a black bearskin cap with a red flame

Neck stock probably a black cravate
Coat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with pewter buttons on both sides (with white buttonholes as per Mouillard) and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
Collar small red collar
Shoulder straps blue and white epaulets
Lapels none (red in 1761)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 pewter buttons (with 4 white buttonholes as per Mouillard)
Cuffs red (blue with a red triangle laced white as per Mouillard)
Turnbacks red (blue from 1761)
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with copper buttons
Breeches kid (goat leather)
Greatcoat blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt yellow
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth
Saddlecloth lace - Source: PMPdeL
blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid decorated in blue and white
Housings blue bordered with an aurore (light orange) braid decorated in blue and white
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.

NCOs

no information found

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
  • brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs

Musicians

King's Livery - Source: PMPdeL

Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the king's livery alternating with silver braids.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; sown with golden fleur de lys

Royal-Pologne Cavalerie Regimental Standard – Source: PMPdeL


References

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

  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 334

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

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

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

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.