Royal Cantabres Infanterie

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

Origin and History

The unit was raised on December 15 1745 in the Basque countries of Labourd and Basse-Navarre (Bayonne, Hendaye, etc.) by colonel chevalier Jean-Philippe de Bela as a light infantry unit for mountain warfare. The unit was originally known as Volontaires Cantabres and consisted of 1,500 infantrymen and 300 hussars with two field guns. Officers had to belong to the countries beyond the Adour and the county of Armagnac.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the unit served in Flanders.

On July 8 1757, the unit was incorporated into the French regulars as Royal-Cantabres. It counted a single battalion of 642 men (including staff) and consisting of:

  • staff of:
    • 2 lieutenant-colonels
    • 1 major
    • 1 aide-major
    • 1 chaplain
    • 1 surgeon
    • 4 drummers
  • 8 companies of
    • 4 officers
    • 11 sergeants
    • 2 drummers
    • 6 grenadiers
    • 56 fusiliers

On March 1 1759, the battalion counted 635 men (excluding staff) and consisted of:

  • 1 grenadier company of:
    • 3 officers
    • 8 NCOs
    • 1 drummer
    • 47 grenadiers
  • 8 fusilier companies of:
    • 3 officers
    • 9 NCOs
    • 1 drummer
    • 58 fusiliers

Finally, on November 1 1760, the battalion counted 720 men (excluding staff) and consisted of:

  • 1 grenadier company of
    • 3 officers
    • 7 NCOs
    • 1 drummer
    • 37 grenadiers
  • 8 fusilier companies of
    • 3 officers
    • 12 NCOs
    • 2 drummers
    • 66 fusiliers

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since 1747: chevalier de Luppé
  • 1760: baron de Poudreux

The regiment was disbanded on November 25 1762. Sergeants, corporals, anspessades, fusiliers and drummers who asked for it were allowed to serve in the artillery or in the Boulonnais, Foix or Quercy infantry regiments stationed at Saint-Domingue. The grenadier companies were incorporated into the Grenadiers de France till the end of their appointment.

Service during the War

In 1757, after its incorporation into the French regulars, the regiment was stationed in Auch.

To do: campaigns from 1758 to 1762



Uniform in 1760 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per
Les Guerres sous Louis XV by Charles P. V. Pajol
Musketeer sky blue beret with a tail and two white tassels
Grenadier n/a
Neckstock black
Coat sky blue lined white with 8 white buttons and 8 white button loops on each side, and 1 white button loop on each side in the small of the back
Collar red
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets (3 white buttons loops on each pocket)
Cuffs small red cuffs laced white
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a






The colonel flag was white with a white cross bearing crowned arms surrounded by a laurel wreath in its centre. Each canton consisted of a plain white triangle and a white triangle decorated with 16 golden fleurs de lys.

Ordonnance flags had a white cross bearing crowned arms surrounded by a laurel wreath in its centre. Each canton consisted of a plain red triangle and a blue triangle decorated with 16 golden fleurs de lys.

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


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

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin, 1903, Appendix 1

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

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