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Origin and History
This Swiss regiment was raised according to a warrant issued on January 28, 1677 during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), under the name of “Stuppa-Jeune”, in Marseille. It initially consisted of eight free companies for a total of 1,600 men and was immediately sent to Sicily to fight the Spaniards. The same year, it took part in the defence of Taormina. In 1678, it returned to France where it received four additional companies. Its twelve companies were then organised in three battalions. It was then sent to Flanders where it took part in the blockade of Mons and in the Battle of Saint-Denis.
In 1679, the regiment garrisoned Rheims and Épernay; in 1680, the two first battalions were sent to Bayonne and the third to Montauban; in 1681, the two first battalions were sent to Pinerolo and occupied Casale while the third went to Ré Island.
In 1684, the entire regiment took part in the passage of the Ter, in the storming of Girona and in the investment of Cap de Quiers. It then returned to Roussillon. In 1686, it was transferred to Châlons, then to Arras, Le Quesnoy and Philippeville.
In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment occupied Bonn. In 1689, it fought in the Battle of Walcourt. In 1690, it took part in the Battle of Fleurus. The same year, it was increased to four battalions. In 1691, a battalion served at the siege of Mons and the three other ones with the army of M. de Luxembourg. In 1692, the entire regiment covered the siege of Mons. On August 3, it fought in the Battle of Steenkerque, where Colonel Stuppa was mortally wounded. On October 16, of the same year, Colonel Jean-Jacques de Surbeck replaced Stuppa at the head of the regiment. During the winter of 1692-93, it took part in the siege and capture of Furnes. In 1693, it took part in the Battle of Landen and in the siege of Charleroi; and in 1695, in the defence of La Knocque, in the bombardment of Bruxelles and in the siege of Dixmude. In 1696, the four battalions served on the Meuse. In 1697, they were at the siege of Ath.
In 1698, the fourth battalion of the regiment was disbanded and the other ones placed in Douai and Condé. In 1699, the regiment was at Lille and Menin.
In 1700, the regiment was stationed in Dunkerque and Furnes.
In 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14), the regiment occupied Nieuport and Ostend in the Spanish Netherlands. In 1702, two of its battalions took part in the unsuccessful attack on the Fort of Kykuit near Holst. In 1703, the entire regiment took part in the relief of Trarbach, in the sieges of Altbreisach and Landau and in the Combat of Speyerbach; in 1705, in the capture of Wissembourg and in the siege of Homburg; in 1706, in the recapture of Haguenau and the relief of Fort-Louis. On July 11, 1708, the regiment arrived too late to take part in the Battle of Oudenarde but acted as rearguard during the retreat. It later took part in the unsuccessful defence of Ghent. In April 1709, it was sent to the Lines of the Lauter where it remained till July 1710. In 1711, the regiment took part in the Combat of Arleux; in 1712, in the Battle of Denain and in the sieges of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain; and in 1713, in the sieges of Kaiserlautern and Landau. In June 1714, the regiment returned to the Lines of the Lauter where it remained posted till the end of the war.
In 1715, the regiment was reduced to two battalions. In 1716, it was stationed in Rocroi, Philippeville and Givet.
In 1733, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1733-35), the regiment, now known as “Bezenwald Infanterie” was charged to guard the northern frontier between the coast and the Meuse. It was increased to four battalions.
In June 1736, the regiment was sent to Versailles to work at the embellishment of the domain. In October it returned to Saint-Omer . On January 8, 1737, it was reduced to two battalions. In 1738, it was transferred to Lille.
In 1742, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment, now known as “La Cour-au-Chantre” was at the camp of Dunkerque and was destined to the planned expedition against Scotland. On September 22, 1743, the regiment was increased to three battalions. In 1744, the regiment took part in the covering of the sieges of Menin, Ypres and Furnes; in 1745, in the siege of Tournai, remaining there to guard the trenches during the Battle of Fontenoy, and in the sieges of Oudenarde, Ostend and Nieuport; in 1746, in the conquest of Dutch Flanders and in the capture of the Citadel of Antwerp and of the castles of Namur, and in the Battle of Rocoux. In 1747, the regiment was at the Battle of Laufeld but was not involved in fighting; it then took part in the capture of Berg-op-Zoom. In 1748, it was at the siege of Maastricht.
In 1755, the regiment took part in the training camp of Richemont on the Moselle.
On the eve of the Seven Years’ War, the regiment, now known as “Planta Infanterie”, counted two battalions and had prévôté (provostship).
During the Seven Years’ War, the regiment ranked 63rd and was under the command of:
- from January 20, 1754: Louis-Auguste Baron de Planta de Wildemberg
- from August 10, 1760 to February 18, 1763: Louis-Frédéric d'Arbonnier de Dizy
Service during the War
Somewhere between August 23 and September 6, 1757, the regiment joined the Army of Saxony, led by the Prince de Soubise, in the area of Erfurt and Eisenach for the planned reconquest of Saxony. On September 27, it was brigaded with Diesbach Infanterie and Rohan Montbazon Infanterie under the Marquis de Custine in the second line of the left wing of the Franco-Imperial Army. On November 5, the regiment was at the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it formed a brigade along with Reding Infanterie in the first line of the centre. The regiment suffered heavily in this battle: Lieutenant-Colonel d'Arbonnier was wounded and taken prisoner with the battalion commandants Jossaud and Arder, Aide-Major Wielandt, Captains Grenut, Affleger, Turtin, Gallatin, Bertenschalz, Bouscard, Faller and six lieutenants. At the end of the year, the regiment took up its winter-quarters in Berka and Vacha on the Werra River near Eisenach in Hessen.
In April 1758, when the Comte de Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in Nierst, Langstkierst and the villages vis à vis Kaiserswerth/Düsseldorf. On May 31, when Ferdinand of Brunswick successfully accomplished the crossing the Rhine with an Allied army, the regiment had already left the Lower Rhine theatre of operation and was on its way to Hesse to reinforce Soubise's Army. On October 10, it took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the first line.
On April 12 1759, during the Allied spring offensive in Western Germany, the Duc de Broglie's Army bivouacked near Bergen. He immediately deployed the regiment in the orchards near the village. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the right wing under the command of Prince Camille de Lorraine. The regiment was among the infantry entrenched in the village of Bergen. Around 10:00 a.m., it was heavily involved in a fire fight against the Allied units advancing against Bergen and drove them back. In June, at the beginning of the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the “Right Reserve” under the command of the Duc de Broglie who had taken position at Friedberg in Hesse. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the first line of Broglie's Corps. On October 19, the regiment was part of the force sent by Contades to reinforce d'Armentières on the Lower Rhine.
By May 23 1760, the regiment was part of the Reserve of the second line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of M. d'Auvet. On June 15, the regiment was at Ratingen and Mettmann. On July 31, the regiment took part in the Battle of Warburg where it was deployed in the first line of the left wing. On October 3, Lochmann Infanterie and Planta Infanterie made an unsuccessful attempt to reinforce Wesel. At the end of October, the regiment, who had heavily suffered in front of Wesel, was sent back to France.
In 1761, the regiment was attached to the Army of the Lower Rhine. By November, it was posted in the district of Gueldre along the Meuse from Venlo to the Country of Kleve and along the Niers
In March 1762, the regiment formed part of the Army of the Lower Rhine under the Prince de Condé. In April, the regiment was at Wesel. By May, it was encamped at Rees, under M. de Saint-Chamans. It remained on the Lower Rhine till the final evacuation.
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.
|Coat||garance red lined blue with pewter buttons down to the pockets on the right side and blue trimmed buttonholes on the left side
|Waistcoat||blue edged white with one row of pewter buttons and white laced buttonholes on both sides; pockets edged white|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
Under the command of Planta, the colours were:
- Colonel Colour: white with a white cross.
- Ordonnance Colours: white cross; each canton consisted of 4 flames (black, yellow, blue, red).
N.B.: the Manuscript of 1757 illustrates an ordonnance colour quite similar to the one described for d'Arbonnier.
Under the command of d'Arbonnier, the colours were:
- Colonel Colour: white cross; each canton was white with a golden fleur de lys in the outer corner.
- Ordonnance Colour: white cross; each canton consisted of 11 flames (black, red, yellow, blue, yellow, red, black, blue, yellow, red, black).
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 7, pp. 45-58
Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Bunel, Arnaud: Vexillologie militaire européenne] - Régiment de Vigier (Suisse)
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, p. 201
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.