Coppola Cavalry

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

Origin and History

Trooper of Figueroa Cavalry in 1706 - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore

On 19 February 1701, the Governor of the Duchy of Milan, the Prince de Vaudémont, ordered the reorganisation of all cavalry regiments of the principality.

On 20 April 1701, the four cavalry regiments born from this reorganisation were reviewed for the first time. They were:

  1. “Regimiento del general de la caballeria” or Marquis de Balbases
  2. “Regimiento del Teniente General de la Caballeria del Estado Prince de Trivulzio”
  3. “Regimiento de caballeria napolitana” or Valdefuentes
  4. “Regimiento de la caballeria extranjera del estado de Milan” (the subject of the present article)

The “Regimiento de la caballeria extranjera del estado de Milan” was constituted from the twelve companies of the "Caballeria Estranjera de Milan" (German mercenaries) serving the Duchy of Milan since 1685; and from 1 company of Neapolitan cavalry. It was placed under the command of Lieutenant-General Gaetano Coppola, Prince of Montefalcone.

On the occasion of its first review, the regiment counted 10 companies, 56 officers, 471 mounted troopers and 30 dismounted troopers. It traditionally recruited German soldiers.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:

  • from 20 April 1701: Lieutenant-General Gaetano Coppola, Prince of Montefalcone (appointed colonel of the Guardia de Italia in May 1702)
  • from May 1702: vacant
  • from 1703: Fernando Suárez de Figueroa (future Viscount de Surco)
  • from 12 December 1708: Philippe Richard du Puys (son of the Lieutenant-General of the Cavalry of Flanders, he took part in the campaign of Alsace and brought his regiment to Spain in 1713)

In 1715, the Aponte Cavalry was integrated into "Du Puys Cavalerie" (aka Dupuis). In 1718, this new regiment was renamed “Barcelona Cavalry”.

Service during the War

On 5 October 1701, eight companies of the regiment formed part of the reinforcements sent from Milan to the Viceroy of Naples by the Prince de Vaudémont to contain an uprising.

On 5 November, the regiment formed part of the detachment that the Duc de Vendôme placed under the command of the Comte d'Estaing at Mortara and Novara to cover Milan. By 30 November, it was attached to the corps of MM. de Colmenero and d'Estaing, and was posted at Cozzo near Novara.

By 27 January 1704, the regiment was part of d'Estaing's Corps near Novara. In mid-February, the regiment was posted between between Castello d'Agogna and Nicorvo.

In 1705, the regiment appears in orders of battle under the name of Caballeria Alemana with a strength of 550 men.

In 1706, the regiment took part in the siege of Turin. On 7 September, it was at the disastrous Battle of Turin. It then retired to France with the remnants of the Franco-Spanish army.

In 1707, the regiment, now under French pay, served in Germany. It was present at the combat of Offenburg.

From 1708, the regiment first garrisoned Besançon and then campaigned in Alsace, Franche-Comté and Germany until 1713.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to Catalonia.


Based on the arms of the House of Coppola and on the uniform of the "Barcelona Cavalry" circa 1720, the uniform of the regiment was probably white with blue distinctive (lining and cuffs, and waistcoat)


Uniform in 1703- Source: Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced white, with a red cockade fastened with a silver clip and a pewter button
Neck stock white
Coat white with pewter buttons on the right side
Collar none
Shoulder straps no information found
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs blue, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue
Breeches blue
Leather Equipment
Bandolier natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather worn above the coat
Cartridge Box natural leather ventral cartridge box
Scabbard black leather with a white metal tip
Footgear natural leather boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue edged with a wide yellow braid
Housings blue edged with a wide yellow braid
Blanket roll no information found

Troopers were armed with a sword, a pistol and a carbine.


Uniforms of officers differed from those of privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Their waistcoat, saddle cloth and housings were edged with a wide golden braid. They always wore a tricorne notwithstanding the headgear worn by soldiers.

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • colonel: a baton with a gold knob
  • lieutenant-colonel: a baton with a silver knob
  • sargento mayor: a baton with a silver topped knob
  • captain: silver or golden epaulettes (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on both shoulders
  • lieutenant: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the right shoulder
  • cornet: silver or golden epaulette (according to the metal colour of the regiment) on the left shoulder


The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • sergeant : baton without knob and halberd
  • mariscal de logis (quartermaster): small woolen epaulette (red or of the distinctive colour of the regiment)
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick


no information found yet


Dragonas Magazine

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.


Jean-Pierre Loriot for the initial version of this article.