Origin and History
The tercio was created in Naples in 1591, from the union of several companies from the Tercio de Saboya in addition to those raised in Naples. Initially, it counted 194 officers and 1,334 soldiers, organised in 27 companies. It was designated as the “Tercio departamental de Bravante”.
In 1592, the tercio took part in the battle of Aumale and in the sieges of Neuchatel and Caudeberk; in 1593, in the siege of Noyon; in 1593, in the siege of Huy and in the relief of Grol; in 1596, in the sieges of Calais, Ardres and Hulst.
In 1598, the tercio took part in the operations in the Duchy of Cleves, participating in the capture of Orsoy and in the siege of Rheinberg.
In 1599, the tercio took part in the attack on the Island of Bommel; in 1600, in the Battle of Nieuwpoort; and in 1601, in the relief of Rheinberg and in the siege of Ostend.
In 1604, the tercio briefly abandoned the Spanish service and joined the Dutch but its commanders were soon persuaded to rejoin the Spanish army. In 1605, it took part in the siege of Oldenseel in Frisia and Rheinberg; in 1606, in the capture of Lochen, in the attack on Grol and in the siege of Rheinberg. It was then known as the Tercio de la Sangre (Blood Tercio) because of its valour. From 1607 to 1614, the tercio garrisoned Lierre in Brabant.
In 1614, the tercio took part in the campaign against Brandenburg, in the invasion of the Duchy of Jülich and in the siege of Wesel.
In 1620, the tercio joined the army who marched on Frankfurt and laid siege to Trarbach. In 1621, it was at the siege of Jülich; in 1622, at the blockade of Bergh; in 1624 and 1625, at the siege of Breda. In 1629, the tercio took part in the invasion of Holland. In 1634, the tercio took part in the relief of Breda.
In 1635, at the outbreak of the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59), the tercio took part in the battle of Les Avins, in the relief of Louvain and in the siege of Diest; in 1636, in the capture of Chapelle, Chatelet and Corbie; in 1637, in the relief of Breda and in the capture of Menlau and Charlemont; in 1638, in the relief of Saint-Omer; in 1639, in the defence of Hesdin; in 1640, in a failed attempt to relieve of Arras; in 1641, in the defence of Aire; in 1642, in the sieges of Lens, Bassée, Aire, Landrecies and Armentières. In 1643, the tercio fought in the battle of Rocroi; in 1644, in the defence of Saint-Omer; in 1645, in the recapture of Mardick; in 1647, in the sieges of Armentières and Lens, and in the recapture of Landrecies and Dixmude; in 1648, in the siege of Courtrai and in the battle of Lens; in 1649, in the siege of Ypres; in 1650, in the capture of Chapelle, Retel and Mouzon; in 1652, in the capture of Gravelines and in the siege of Dunkerque; in 1654, in the relief of Stenay; in 1656, in the capture of Condé; and in 1658, in the battle of the Dunes near Calais.
In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–78), the tercio took part in the failed attempt to relieve Maastricht; in 1674, in the battle of Seneffe; in 1677, in the unsuccessful siege of Charleroi; and in 1678, in the battle of Saint-Denis.
In 1690, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), the tercio took part in the battle of Fleurus and then took refuge under the guns of Bruxelles; in 1691, in the defence of Bruxelles and in the relief of Luxembourg; in 1692, in the defence of Namur; in 1693, in the battle of Landen; and in 1695, in the siege and recapture of Namur.
In 1703, when the War of the Spanish Succesion began, the tercio was in Flanders, and was asigned as garrison at Namur. It then fought at the battles of Ekeren and Capell. In 1705, it fought at the siege of Huy. In 1706, it was in garrison in Ghent, when this city fell before Malborough. The second battallion fought at Ramillies. In 1707 the second battallion returned to Spain (Alicante), and soon after was sent to Africa (Mazalquivir). It returned to Spain (Navarra) in January 1708. In 1710, the first battallion returned from Flanders, and fought at Balaguer, Almenara and Zaragoza, where it was almost destroyed. In 1711, the first battallion fought in Aragon and Cataluña, and the second was sent to Extremadura. In 1712, the second battallion fought at the siege of Campomayor. In 1713 and 1714, it fought in Cataluña, ending with the fall of Barcelona. It remained as garrison in this city.
In 1715, after the War of the Spanish Succession, following the army reforms, the unit was renamed Regimento de Soria and, on June 14, incorporated the Regimiento de Utrera, first raised in 1704. In July, it embarked at Barcelona, to Mallorca, the city fell and it remained there as garrison.
From 1718 to 1720, the regiment fought against the French in Catalonia.
From 1723 to 1729, the regiment remained in Spain where it assumed garrison duty.
In 1732, the regiment took part in the expedition against Oran.
During the War of the Polish Succession, in 1734, the regiment fought in Naples, and took part in the battle of Bitonto and the siege of Pescara. In 1735, it embarked to Sicily. After the fall of Messina and Siracusa, it went to Lombardia and then retreated to Toscana. In 1736, it returned to Spain, and went to garrison Valencia.
In 1740, the regiment embarked to Mallorca.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, from 1741 to 1744, the regiment served in Savoie where it fought against the Sardinian army at Apremont, Tour du Pont, Monte Albano, Villafranca , Bains de Vinais, Demont and Madonna del Olmo. In 1745, it took part in the siege of Valencia del Po and Sant Angerlo, and then fought at Lodi. In 1746, the regiment took part in all the operations of the Spanish army in Italy and fought at the battle of Piacenza on June 16. Its two battalions were part of the column of lieutenant-general conde de Saive who attacked the right flank of the well entrenched enemy lines. After the battle, the regiment as part of the Franco-Spanish army crossed the Po river and retreated towards Nice. On October 7, the first battalion occupied the position of Notre-Dame de Lagnet while the second took position at La Turbie. On November 9, the regiment embarked at Antibes for Naples where it paraded in front of the king of the Two-Sicilies before being cantoned among the population.
In the first days of 1749, after the peace, the regiment evacuated Italy and returned to Spain where it assumed garrison duty at Cádiz.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 9th and was under the command of:
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In 1764, the regiment returned to mainland Spain and garrisoned Barcelona.
In 1767, it took part in manoeuvres at Madrid, before the king.
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was transferred to Ceuta threatened by the Moroccans.
On January 13 1761, the regiment returned to Cádiz. In June, its battalions counted 9 companies including its grenadiers. At the end of October, it embarked aboard the warships Atlante (74) and Astuto (64) and sailed for Palma de Mallorca where it relieved Nápoles Infantry. The regiment remained on this island until 1764.
|Coat||white with white buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||encarnado with white buttons and horizontal pockets|
N.B.: Taccoli's plates clearly illustrate different shades of red used by the Spanish army. We have rendered the colour encarnado used by this regiment as Taccoli represent it in his plate. However, this is not a guarantee of accuracy since it depends entirely on Taccoli's interpretation and on plates which are now some 250 years old.
Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and a sword (brass hilt)
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The coronela (colonel flag) of the regiment was white with a red Burgundian cross terminated in each corner by a medallion carrying the arms of the regiment (a silver tower on a red field) surmounted by a golden crown. In the middle: the arms of Charles III surrounded by the necklace of the order of the Toison de Oro (Golden Fleece).
The batallonas (ordonnance flags) of the regiment were white with a red Burgundian cross terminated in each corner by a medallion carrying the arms of the regiment (a silver tower on a red field) surmounted by a golden crown.
This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following book which is now in the public domain:
- Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. VII, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 463-494
Album de Taccoli, 1759
État militaire (circa 1737-1750), Anne S.K. Brown Collection
Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.
Emilio Moskowich for the condensed translation of the texts of the Conde de Clonard's book.