Royal Pologne Infanterie

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Origin and History

The regiment was raised on December 25 1747 by Pierre-Grégoire, Comte d'Orlick de La Ziska.

The regiment counted only one battalion.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 116th and was under the command of:

  • since December 25 1747 until January 18 1760: Pierre-Grégoire Comte d'Orlick de La Ziska

On January 18 1760, when the German Infantry was reorganised, the regiment was disbanded. Its single battalion was incorporated into Royal Suédois Infanterie.

Service during the War

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 corps. On November 5, under the Comte de Lorges, it took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was placed in the second line of the centre. At the end of the year, it took its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army at Celle (Zell) on the Aller River.

At the end of January 1758, the regiment was assigned to the army that Louis XV planned to send to Bohemia for joint operations with the Austrian Army. However, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his offensive in western Germany in February, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the first line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. By July, it had been transferred to Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse.

By June 1759, the regiment garrisoned Giessen.

On September 13 1760 at daybreak, the regiment was part of M. de Stainville's Corps who was marching towards Frankenberg when it clashed with a retiring Allied corps between Rhadern and Münden/Ork. Both forces were separated by a wood and a small stream flowing into the Eder. Stainville reinforced his left with Bouillon Infanterie (2 bns) placed in the Castle of Lichtenfels. Combat began around 10:00 a.m. when M. de Scey at the head of Du Roi Brigade and M. de Melfort with the Légion Royale advanced. The Allies occupied positions on a steep hill. Nevertheless Auvergne Infanterie stormed these positions on the double. Fersen counter-charged the dragoons of the Légion Royale at the head of his cavalry but was made prisoner with some of his men. Then, the grenadiers and chasseurs of the brigades along with the dragoons of Légion Royale; with du Roi, Auvergne, Bouillon and Royal-Pologne infantry brigades pursued the Allies up to the village of Neukirchen near Sachsenberg. Bülow was forced to abandon some guns to pass the defiles. In this action M. de Stainville took 400 prisoners, 8 pieces and considerable baggage.

To do: campaigns of 1761 and 1762

Uniform

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.

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren
Uniform Details as per
Etat Militaire 1758 and 1760 and Abrégé du Dictionnaire Militaire 1759

completed when necessary with information from the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli's plate
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver (the manuscript of 1757 illustrates white pompoms in the lateral cornes)
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver

towards 1759, bearskins became increasingly common among grenadiers of the French Army

Neck stock black
Coat blue lined red with white laced buttonholes on both sides down to the waist and with white buttons on the right side
Collar red edged with a white lace
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button and a white laced buttonhole
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 4 white buttons and 4 white laced buttonholes
Cuffs red (Prussian style) edged with a blue lace (white lace as per the manuscript of 1757), no button (3 white buttons along the upper edge as per Taccoli)
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat blue with white laced buttonholes on both sides and white buttons on one side and with horizontal pockets (3 white buttons and 3 white laced buttonholes on each pocket)
Breeches white (blue as per Taccoli)
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Waistbelt natural leather (white as per Taccoli)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard brown leather


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


Colours

Colonel colour: white field; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of France (3 golden fleurs de lys on a blue field surmounted by a golden crown) surrounded by two green laurel branches. The whole was surmounted by a white scroll carrying the motto “Claro sub auspice invecti”.

N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 illustrates a very different colonel colour: white field sown with golden fleurs de lys; centre device consisting of a golden sun surmounted by a blue scroll; the white eagle of Poland underneath.

Ordonnance colours: a white cross of St. Andrew with blue upper and lower quarters and red left and right quarters; a golden sun in its centre surmounted by a white scroll bearing the motto “Claro sub auspice invecti”. Each of the two upper branches of the cross decorated by the crowned arms of France (3 golden fleurs de lys on a blue field) and 2 golden fleurs de lys. Each of the two lower branches of the cross decorated with the arms of Poland (white eagle with a golden crown, beak and talons) and 2 golden fleurs de lys.

Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Bunel, Arnaud: Vexillologie militaire européenne

Évrard, P.: Praetiriti Fides

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: 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

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, Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23

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.