Origin and History
A Swiss regiment of 3,200 men was raised in 1703 in Luzern by Karl Anton Amrhyn according to a contract signed with King Philip V of Spain. It initially served in Italy although the contract specified that it could also be used in Spain.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1703: Colonel Karl Anton Amrhyn
- from 1706 to 1716: Colonel Jost Amrhyn (cousin of the previous colonel, formerly lieutenant-colonel of the regiment)
The regiment was disbanded in 1716 after the complete submission of Catalonia.
Service during the War
On 19 April 1706, the regiment fought in the Battle of Calcinato, and suffered heavy losses. Between May and September, the regiment is reported at the Siege of Turin. On 8 September, it took part in the Battle of Castiglione. Philip V then evacuated Lombardy, and formed a regiment of two battalions from the former four battalions of Amrhyn Infantry. Karl Anton Amrhyn returned to Switzerland and resigned his command. His cousin Jost Amrhyn led the regiment back to France, where it spent the winter in General Medavi's Corps in Montpellier.
In 1707, the regiment marched to Spain. On 25 April, it distinguished itself in the Battle of Almansa.
In 1714, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Barcelona.
Note: despite its supposed involvement in many battles, we have not been able to find this regiment listed in the order of battle any of these engagement.
At the end of 1706, the regiment was the first Swiss unit in Spanish service to be clad in the sky-blue uniform.
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Wikipedia German Edition – Schweizer Truppen in spanischen Diensten
May (von Romainmôtier), Beat Emmanuel: Histoire Militaire de la Suisse et celle des Suisses dans les differents services de l’Europe. Tome I et VII, J. P. Heubach et Comp., Lausanne 1788.
Merki, Martin: Karl Anton Amrhyn. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz. 5 July 2001
Jörg Meier for the initial version of this article