Guardie a piedi

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Modenese Army >> Guardie a piedi

Origin and History

On the eve of the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1740, the duke Francesco III of Modena could field only his bodyguards (Guardia del Corpo) of 200 men and one infantry regiment: Palude Infantry. This infantry regiment was created with the remains of Villeneuve Infantry and Perini Infantry (800 men each), who had fought with the Imperial Army against the Turks in 1739 at the battle of Grocka and the defence of Belgrade). By May 7 1742, Palude Infantry counted 1,240 officers and privates.

In 1750, Palude Infantry was renamed Guardie a piedi (Foot Guards).

In 1755, the Modenese Army was reorganised. Infantry regiment then consisted of 1 battalion of 4 companies, each of 120 men. The companies were respectively commanded by the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, major and captain). Each regiment also comprised a grenadier company of 52 men. Thus, a regiment amounted to 528 privates, 18 drummers and pipers, 36 corporals, 18 sergeants and 20 officers for a grand total of 620 men. Exceptionally, the Guardie a piedi counted 2 such battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • no information found yet

Service during the War

In April 1759, after the appointment of the Duke Francesco III as governor of Milan by Maria Theresa, there were some 2,700 Modenese soldiers in the territory of Milan assuming garrison duties. The 2 battalions of the regiment were among this force, garrisoning Lodi and Pizzighettone.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform of privates in 1759 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white
Grenadier
Guardie a piedi Bearskin - Source: Ibrahim90
black Austrian-style grenadier bearskin with a white bag laced turquin blue and a turquin blue tassel
Neckstock red
Coat turquin blue, Austrian cut, white lining
Collar none
Shoulder Straps white fastened with a white button (both shoulders)
Lapels white with 6 white buttons (3-2-1) and 6 silver laced buttonholes
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons and 3 silver laced buttonholes
Cuffs white with 3 white buttons and 3 silver laced buttonholes
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with silver buttons
Breeches turquin blue
Gaiters white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white, worn over the left shoulder
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket and a bayonet. In addition, grenadiers carried a sabre.

Officers

no information available

Musicians

no information available

Colours

Colonel colour: blue field bordered with an intricate white frame; centre device consisting of the eagle of the House of Este (white eagle with a gold crown, and golden beak and claws); 1 golden fleur de lys in each corner.

References

Antonini, Eraldo and G.C. Boeri; Bandiere Militari Estensi del '700, in Bellica

Archivio Stato Modena; 1750 Stato delle Truppe di S.A. S.ma di Modena, Reggio, Mirandola

Ferri Personali, Fabrizio; L'Esercito Estense, in Araldica Nobili e Cavalieri

Menziani, Dr. Alberto; La Storia militare del Ducato di Modena - è tratto dal periodico illustrato di storia, arte, tradizioni e dialetti], in Il Ducato - Terre Estensi, Associazione Culturale “Terra e Identità”, Modena

Vinkhuijzen Collection of military uniforms, Italy – Modena, 1625-1765 New York Public Library

Acknowledgments

Luc Antonelli for gathering most of the information about this regiment