Origin and History
On May 13 1682, the king of Spain authorised the creation of a tercio of 1,000 men in ten companies in the city of Jaen and appointed Don Pedro Fernandez Navarrete as Maestre de Campo of this new unit which was destined to the Navy. Consequently, the new unit was designated as the “Tercio Nuevo de la Armada del Mar Océano”. During the Autumn, the tercio marched to Andalusia. In 1683, it embarked aboard the fleet.
In 1688, after six years of service at sea, a part of the tercio was assigned to the garrison of Oran and the other part to the garrison of Gibraltar.
On July 19 1689, the tercio received orders to embark aboard the galleys of Cerdanya and sailed to join the Army of Catalonia. On July 27, these orders were changed and the unit was instructed to go to Cartagena and wait there for the arrival of its two companies previously detached to Ceuta. Finally, on September 10, new orders arrived specifying to transport the tercio from Cartagena to Oran and then to Larache to reinforce the garrison. However, the tercio was unable to force its way to Larache. In 1690, when the maritime campaign came to an end, it marched from Cádiz to its new quarters in Sevilla. In 1694, the tercio was sent from its quarters at Sevilla to the relief of Ceuta, besieged by a Moroccan army. In March 1695, it was transferred to Gibraltar but soon recalled to Ceuta which was threatened once more. In 1696 and 1697, it took part in the defence of Ceuta.
In 1700, the tercio was relieved at Ceuta and returned to Spain where it was quartered in the Province of Sevilla before being sent to Cádiz.
In 1702, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the tercio was cantoned at Cádiz. At the end of August a large Anglo-Dutch amphibious force arrived to lay siege to Cádiz and the tercio was assigned to the defence of the Castle of Matagorda. In 1703, it was sent to the Province of Extremadura. In the Spring of 1704, it joined the Army of Extremadura for the war against Portugal and took part in the capture Salvatierra, Idanha-a-Nova, Castelo Branco, in an action at Sárceda. In 1705, detachments of the tercio took part in the defence of Valencia de Alcántara, Marvão and Salvatierra who surrendered one after another. In 1706, the tercio was exchanged and returned from Portugal to join the Army of Extremadura. It then took part in the storming of Orihuela and in an engagement at Elche. On 28 February 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Armada Nº 1”. It then took part in the battle of Almansa, in the reconquest of Valencia and in the siege and capture of Alcoy. In 1708, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Dénia In June a second battalion was added to the regiment. In 1710, the regiment took part in the disastrous battle of Sagarossa and was forced to retire to Old Castile where it received new recruits, arms , uniforms and equipment. During the following winter campaign, the regiment took part in the combat of Brihuega and in the decisive battle of Villaviciosa. In 1711, the regiment took part in the campaign of Ibars and Balaguer. In 1712, it was sent to garrison Tortosa. Detachments conducted raids in the Catalan region of Empordà and assisted during the blockade of Gerona. In 1713, the regiment fought the insurgents in the area of Seo de Urgel. In 1714, the regiment made itself master of Castell-Ciutat and fought against the Catalan partisans during the siege and reconquest of Barcelona.
In 1715, the regiment subdued and pacified Catalonia and reconquered the Island of Majorca. It replenished the ranks of its two battalions with soldiers from disbanded regiments.
In 1718, the regiment was renamed again to become the “Regimiento de Infantería Mallorca”.
In 1719, the regiment joined the army assembled in the Western Pyrenees which lost the places of San Sebastian and Fuenterrabia before being transferred to Catalonia. In 1720, the regiment took part in the recapture of Castell-Cintat before being transferred to Algeciras in Andalusia where it joined the expedition sent to relieve Ceuta. After the relief of the place, the regiment remained as garrison in North Africa until 1723 when it returned to Andalusia.
In 1728, the regiment was sent to Navarre and garrisoned Pamplona. In 1735, it assumed garrison duty in Barcelona.
In 1741, at the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment set off from Catalonia and marched through Roussillon and Provence to join the Franco-Spanish army assembling in Dauphiné. In 1742, the regiment campaigned in Dauphiné. In 1743, it took part in the invasion of Savoy; in 1744, in the storming of the entrenchments of Monte Albano, in the siege of Coni and in the battle of Madonna del Olmo; in 1745, in the capture of Serravalle, in the siege and capture of Tortona, in the capture of Pavia, in the battle of Bassignano and in the siege and capture of Valenza; in 1746, in the blockade of Milan, in the battle of Piacenza and in a sanguinary engagement on the Tidone before retiring to the County of Nice. In 1747, the regiment took part in the recapture of Genoa.
After the war, in 1748, the regiment returned to Spain where it was posted at Barcelona.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1753: Marquis de Simadas
- from 1759 to 1776: Don Claudio Macé
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was part of the garrison of Gerona.
In 1757, the regiment was sent to form part of the garrison of Saragossa.
In 1759, the regiment went to Barcelona to receive the new sovereign of Spain, Charles III.
In 1761, the regiment returned to Saragossa but was soon sent to the Province of Guipúzcoa to garrison the place of San Sebastian. It later embarked at San Sebastian for Coruña. During the journey, two companies perished. They were replaced by companies from Granada Infantry.
|Coat||white with yellow buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||garance red with yellow buttons and horizontal pockets|
Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and a sword (brass hilt).
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In 1746, for its conduct in an engagement on the Tidone River, the king authorised the regiment to carry the motto “Prius flammis combusta, cuam armis Mallorca victa”. However, in 1783, during the reign of Charles III, the colonel of the regiment, the Count de la Union, removed this motto from the colours of the regiment to diminish their cost.
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 (d'or à quatre pals de gueules et à la bande d'azur) 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 (d'or à quatre pals de gueules et à la bande d'azur) surmounted by a golden crown.
This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. X, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 82-100
Album de Taccoli, 1759
Boeri, Giancarlo, José Luis Mirecki, and José Palau: The Spanish Armies in the War of the league of Augsburg 1688-1697, C. Boeri, 2002
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.
Anton for the additional info provided.