Saint-Germain Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Saint-Germain Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on July 1 1747.

In 1748, at the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Flanders.

In 1755, the regiment was stationed on the coasts of Flanders.

The regiment counted only one battalion.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 114th and was under the command of:

  • since July 1 1747 to January 18 1760: Comte de Saint-Germain

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

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was at the camp of Dunkerque.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. From April 27 to June 17, the regiment was part of the Reserve under the Prince de Soubise. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was part of the right wing under d'Armentières. After the Convention of Kloster-Zeven on September 8, it followed the main body, now led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt in Prussia from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed in the centre of the second line. At a certain time, the regiment was transferred to the Army of Saxony led by Soubise. On November 5, under the Comte de Lorges, it took part in the 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 Goslar.

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 in February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in western Germany, 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. On October 10, it was present at the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the first line. On December 1, the regiment, led by the Marquis de Castries, appeared before the gates of St. Goar. Some troops scaled the walls and captured the place, taking 50 prisoners. At 8:00 a.m., Castries summoned the castle of Rheinfels whose garrison (700 men) surrendered as prisoners of war without opposing any resistance.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it was deployed on the Wartberg, in front of the cavalry centre, to support the artillery. In June 1759, during the French offensive in western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line, on the right wing of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry right wing under the command of the Comte de Saint-Germain. As part of the Anhalt's Brigade, it covered the retreat of the defeated French Army but was driven back by the Prussian dragoons.

On January 18 1760, the regiment was disbanded and its single battalion incorporated into Nassau Prince Louis Infanterie.

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: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etat Militaire 1758, Abrégé du Dictionnaire Militaire 1759 and Etat Militaire 1760

completed when necessary with information from the manuscript of 1757 and Taccoli's plate
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced gold with a small yellow button (with a white cockade as per Taccoli)
Grenadier black tricorne laced gold with a small yellow button

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

Neckstock black
Coat blue lined yellow with yellow buttons arranged 2 by 2 down to the waist on the right side and white laced buttonholes on both sides; 1 yellow button on each side in the small of the back
Collar yellow
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 4 yellow buttons and 4 white laced buttonholes
Cuffs yellow without button (each with 3 yellow buttons as per Taccoli)
Turnbacks none but the skirts of the coat could easily be turned back for action, since the lining was yellow, the turnbacks would then be yellow
Waistcoat blue with one row of yellow buttons and white laced buttonholes on both sides; horizontal pockets, each with 4 yellow buttons and 4 white laced buttonholes
Breeches blue (white as per Taccoli)
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard brown


N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 shows plain unlaced buttonholes while Taccoli illustrates yellow laced buttonholes.

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 probably wore the colonel's livery which, for the Comte de Saint-Germain, was: gold with a blue bend (oblique band) charged with three silver crescents.

Therefore, the uniforms of drummers were probably yellow lined blue with blue facings.

Colours

Colonel colour: white field; centre device consisting of a golden sun surmounted by a red scroll (blue as per the manuscript of 1757) bearing the motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” and 1 golden fleur de lys in each corner.

Ordonnance colours: yellow with a blue field framed in red (in white as per the manuscript of 1757) in their centre; centre device consisting of 3 golden fleurs de lys surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by a golden crown.

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

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

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.