Provence Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Provence Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on 4 December 1674 by the Comte de Grignan, lieutenant-general in Provence to give assistance to Messina against Spain. It initially counted 21 companies.

From 1676 to 1677, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment campaigned in Sicily. In 1678, it was transferred to Catalonia before returning to Provence.

In 1681, the regiment contributed to the occupation of Casale.

On 15 June 1684, the regiment took the name of the Province of Provence.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was sent to the Netherlands where it garrisoned Nuyts. In 1689, it took part in the defence of Bonn. In 1690, the regiment was increased to two battalions and fought in the Battle of Fleurus. In 1691, it received a third battalion and participated in the siege of Mons and in the combat of Leuze. In 1692, it took part in the siege of Namur and in the Battle of Steenkerque; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen and in the siege of Charleroi; in 1695, in the siege of Courtrai, in the combat of Tongres and in the bombardment of Bruxelles; and in 1697, in the siege of Ath.

In 1698, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion.

By the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted only one battalion but, on 1 February 1701, it was increased to two battalions.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was commanded by:

  • from 9 March 1700 to 15 March 1718: Louis du Plessis-Châtillon, Marquis de Nonant

The second battalion was disbanded in 1715.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment served in Flanders.

In 1702, the regiment was transferred to Germany and took up its quarters in Bonn.

First Battalion

In August and September 1703, the battalion served at the Siege of Alt-Breisach. In October and November, it was at the Siege of Landau.

In 1704, the battalion arrived in Bavaria with Maréchal Tallard and, on 13 August, fought in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim where it was posted in the village of Blenheim, alongside Artois Infanterie. Surrounded, these two units managed to break through the initial encirclement but were finally forced to retire into Blenheim where they learned that the French had capitulated. In his rage, Lieutenant-Colonel de Seignier broke his sword while his soldiers tore down their colours and broke up their arms. The battalion was escorted to the Dutch Republic as prisoners of war.

Second Battalion

In February and March 1703, the battalion took part in the Siege of Kehl under the command of Villars, in the attack of the Lines of Stollhofen, in the assault of the entrenchments in the Homberg Valley, in the Combat of Munderkirchen, in the Battle of Höchstädt on 20 September, and in the reduction of Kempten and Augsburg.

On 13 August 1704, the battalion, as part of Marchin’s Corps, fought in the Battle of Blenheim but escaped disaster.

In 1705, the battalion remained in the Lines of the Lauter.

In 1706, the battalion served in Flanders and, on 23 May, fought bravely in the Battle of Ramillies.

Reunited regiment

In 1707, the prisoners belonging to the first battalion were exchanged and rejoined the second battalion. The reunited regiment then served in Flanders.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. During the Siege of Lille, it followed the Comte de La Mothe in his expeditions in Flanders.

In 1709, the regiment was brigaded with Bretagne Infanterie and, on 11 September, fought in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1710, the regiment took part in the defence of Aire which resisted during 58 days. Lieutenant-Colonel La Barlie was killed during the siege. When the place surrendered, the regiment retired to Saint-Omer.

On 1 July 1711, the regiment set off from Saint-Omer on its way to the Alps.

During the campaign of 1712, the regiment remained at the camp of Sault-d’Oulx.

In 1713, the regiment was transferred to the Rhine where it took part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

In 1714, the regiment was sent to Catalonia where it took part in the siege of Barcelona.


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Colonel Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Ordonnance Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf


This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain: Susane, Louis: Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, J. Corréard, Paris, 1849-1856, Tome 7, pp. 32-37