Spanish Swiss Line Infantry Organisation

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army >> Spanish Swiss Line Infantry Organisation

Introduction

In November 1755, king Ferdinand VI of Spain reorganised his three Swiss infantry regiments (Dunant Infantry was created only in February 1758). These regiments did not have the same organisation as the other line infantry regiments. This reorganisation was completed only in 1758. Only Catholics were admitted into these Swiss regiments.

Organisation of a Swiss line infantry regiment

Each regiment consisted of 2 battalions:

  • 1st battalion, consisting of:
    • battalion staff, consisting of:
      • 1 colonel
      • 1 lieutenant-colonel
      • 1 sargento mayor (sergeant-major)
      • 1 ayudante (adjutant)
      • 1 official supernumerarion residing in the Swiss cantons to supervise recruitment
      • 1 chaplain
      • 1 surgeon
      • 1 tambour-major
      • 1 Spanish secretary
      • 1 provost
    • 4 companies, each consisting of:
      • 1 captain
      • 1 lieutenant-captain
      • 1 lieutenant
      • 1 sub-lieutenant
      • 1 alferez (first class sergeant)
      • 6 sargentos second class sergeants
      • 1 grenadier corporal
      • 9 corporals
      • 12 grenadiers
      • 1 fifer
      • 3 drummers
      • 112 fusiliers
      • 2 trabantes
  • 2nd battalion, consisting of:
    • battalion staff, consisting of:
      • 1 commadant
      • 1 ayudante (adjutant)
      • 1 chaplain
      • 1 surgeon
      • 1 provost
    • 4 companies organised similar to those of the 1st battalion

Each battalion also counted 1 grenadier captain, 1 grenadier lieutenant and 1 grenadier sergeant responsible to review the grenadiers of each company of the battalion. This way, in case of need, it was possible to form an ad hoc company of grenadiers in each battalion. Such a converged grenadier company counted:

  • 1 captain
  • 1 lieutenant
  • 1 alferez (first class sergeant)
  • 2 sergeants
  • 1 fifer
  • 1 drummer
  • 4 corporals
  • 48 grenadiers

To become a grenadier one had to measure at least 5'3” and to be agile, experienced, robust and good looking.

References

Fernando VI, Reglamento instructivo del nuevo pie, en que ha resuelto el Rey se establezcan los tres actuales Regimientos Suizos, Madrid, November 3 1755

Acknowledgment

Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.