Cannonieri Battalion

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Savoyard Army >> Cannonieri Battalion

Origin and History

The unit was called Battaglione Cannonieri (Battalion of Cannoneers). When fielded with the infantry, its soldiers were usually armed with flintlock muskets.

The battalion also included a company of miners, dressed like the artillerymen but with a blue woollen bonnet instead of a tricorne and an apron. They were equipped with picks and shovels.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the battalion fielded two batteries which were usually deployed in the various fortresses of the duchy. The overall strength of the battalion fluctuated throughout the war: 253 men in 1701, 253 men in 1702, 257 men in 1703, 410 men in 1704, 294 men in 1705, 315 men in 1706 and , 285 men in 1707.

Service during the War

From 1701 to 1705, only 50 men served with the field army, the rest of the battalion was stationed in the fortresses of the duchy.

In 1706, the 300 men of the battalion (including miners) took part in the defence of Turin.

In 1707, the entire battalion was stationed in the fortresses.


From 1701 to 1709, the unit wore the model 1691 uniform described hereafter.


Uniform in 1701 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per Michel Savasta Fiore
Musketeer black tricorne, laced yellow and with a yellow cord around the crown; the brim was already turned upwards (by 1709 the brim was firmly fastened to the crown in three points, a blue cockade appeared on the left side of the tricorne and the cord around the crown of the tricorne had been removed)
Miner blue fatigue cap
Neck stock white, wrapped several times around the collar of the shirt to keep it closed, and knotted with the ends hanging freely on to the breast (from 1714 the ends were fastened behind the neck and were not hanging freely)
Coat Savoy blue with grey-white lining and with copper buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets placed low on the coat, each pocket flap was fastened with 3 copper buttons
Cuffs Savoy blue, each with 3 copper buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat Savoy blue (red from 1706) with small copper buttons
Breeches Savoy blue (buff from 1706)
Stockings grey-white (blue or red from 1706) fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters ???
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Waist-belt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Pouch black leather probably with a brass decoration
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard black with brass metal fittings
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle

Armaments consisted of a musket and a sword (brass hilt). Miners were equipped with picks and shovels.


Uniforms of NCOs were almost identical to those of privates but had a lace edging each cuff (silver for corporals, gold for other NCOs).

NCOs carried a linstock.


Until 1750, officers didn’t have to wear any official uniform. In fact, they usually wore a uniform similar to the one of the troops but of better quality, probably decorated with golden lace on the edges of the coat and cuffs, and with gilt buttons.

Officers always wore a blue sash around the waist.


no information found yet


The battalion did not carry any colour.


Bona, Federico: Bandiere e Uniformi Sabaude

Cavalieri, Giorgio: Uniformi Piemontesi 1671- 1798, L'Arciere - 2004 - Riva di Chieri

Deputazione Sopra gli Studi di Storia Patria per le Antiche Provincie e la Lombardia: Le Campagne di Guerra in Piemonte (1703- 1708) e l'Assedio di Torino (1706), Vol. I, Torino Fratelli Bocca Librai di Sua Maestà

Fiorenti, Fabio: A me i miei dragoni, Gaspari Editore, Udine, 2006

Mola di Nomimaglio, Gustavo with Roberto Sandri Giachino, Giancarlo Melano, Piergiuseppe Menietti: L'esercito ducale sabaudo nel 1706. Organizzazione, uniformi, bandiere., Turin: Centro Studi Piemontesi, 2006


Michele Savasta Fiore for the initial version of this article