Betschart Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Betschart Infantry

Origin and History

A Swiss regiment of 3,200 men (4 battalions) was raised in 1703 in equal parts in the Cantons of Schwyz and Uri by Johann Dominik Betschart and Josef Anton Püntener according to a contract signed with King Philip V of Spain. The contract specified that the regiment could only be used in Italy.

The regiment had a full staff but had no pikemen or halberdiers. In their place, each battalion was assigned a grenadier company of 64 men, including the staff (a captain, along with a lieutenant and a second lieutenant).

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from 1703: Colonel Johann Dominik Betschart (wounded during the Siege of Ivrea in 1704)
  • from 1704 to 1706: Colonel Josef Anton Püntener (former lieutenant-colonel of the regiment)

The regiment was disbanded in 1706 when the Bourbon evacuated Italy, since its contract did not allow it to be used elsewhere.

Service during the War

The regiment served in Italy from 1703 to 1706.

When Philip V evacuated Lombardy at the end of 1706, the regiment, which then numbered only a third of its initial strength, was disbanded.


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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.

Auf der Maur, Franz: Johann Dominik Betschart. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz. 14. Juli 2004.

Püntener, August: Josef Anton Püntener von Brunberg. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz. 15. Dezember 2011.


Jörg Meier for the initial version of this article