Origin and History
This regiment was raised on 4 May 1694 in the Canton of Bern by Niklaus Tscharner for the Dutch service. In January 1693, Tscharner had been promoted to brigadier in the Dutch Army.
In 1697, Niklaus Tscharner raised a new regiment (Tscharner Infantry) and ceded the present regiment to Jean-Louis Charles de Montmollin, who was previously serving as lieutenant-colonel in Muralt Infantry.
Upon joining the Dutch service, the regiment consisted of 2 battalions, for a total of 1,700 men. It was later increased to 2,000 men in 2 battalions (each of 5 companies of 200 men) from Bern, Neuenburg, Schaffhausen, Appenzell and Ausserhoden.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, the successive colonels of the regiment were:
- from 1 January 1697 to 22 December 1701: Jean-Louis Charles de Montmollin (1666-1701)
- from 21 February 1702 to 1722: Vincent Sturler (1664-1734, promoted to brigadier in 1710, resigned in 1716)
N. B.: the biographies of Jean-Louis Charles de Montmollin and of his brother, François de Montmollin (a lieutenant-colonel, who died on 22 September 1704 from wounds received in combat at Donauworth) are often mixed up. Furthermore, the Dutch often wrote their names as “Montmoulin.”
In 1715, the regiment was reduced to only 1,000 men in two battalions.
Service during the War
From April to June 1702, the regiment took part in the Siege of Kaiserswerth. On 23 October, it took part in the storming of the Citadel of Liège.
In April and May 1703, the regiment took part in the Siege of Bonn. It later participated in the attack on the Waas Lines.
In 1704, the regiment accompanied the Duke of Marlborough in his march to the Danube. On 2 July, it was at the Battle of Schellenberg; and on 13 August, it fought in the famous Battle of Blenheim. From October to December, it was at the blockade, siege and capture of Trarbach.
On 23 May 1706, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ramillies.
On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. It later took part in the Siege of Lille, where its colonel was wounded.
In 1709, the regiment took part in the siege of Tournai. On 11 September, it fought in the Battle of Malplaquet, where its colonel was wounded once more.
In 1710, the regiment took part in the Siege of Douai, Béthune, Saint-Venant and Aire-sur-Lys.
From August to September 1711, the regiment took part in the Siege of Bouchain.
In 1712, the regiment (8 companies) took part in the defence of Le Quesnoy, where he had to surrender as prisoners of war on 4 October.
The uniform was blue with red as the distinctive colour, but we do not know more details. Here we assume that it was similar to the uniform of Tscharner Infantry.
|Coat||blue with red lining and with tin buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||red with red lining|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet; and a sword.
no information available
Officers wore a uniform similar to the one of the rank and file but of a better quality.
no information available
Colonel colour: white field; centre device consisting of a red lion rampant on a gold shield, flanked by a golden lion rampant on each side and surmounted by a gold crown and with a blue scroll underneath; the whole centre device was surrounded by a golden laurel wreath.
Ordonnance colours: white cross; each canton consisted of 9 flames (black, green, red, black, green, red, black, green, red).
Belaubre, J.: Les régiments suisses au service des Provinces unies, 1970
Wikipedia German Edition - Schweizer Truppen in niederländischen Diensten
Jean-Louis Vial for the initial version of this article