Reding Infantry

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

Origin and History

During the regency of the mother of Duke Victor Amadeus II, there very few Swiss regiments in the Savoyard Army. From 1690, new Swiss regiments were raised.

In 1694, the Marquis d'Adorno was authorised to raise one Swiss company of 400 men in the Canton of Valais. By 25 November 1695, his regiment consisted of two battalions, each of four companies. The first battalion was formed by the original 400 men while the second battalion was formed by incorporating three Swiss companies from the Canton of Valais, existing since 1675 form Valais: Kalbermatten, Quartery and Berthod. On 13 December 1696, this new regiment was reduced to only one battalion of seven companies.

In 1698, Victor Amadeus II requested that the capitulation contract with the Swiss did not contain any restriction about fighting. The same year, d'Adorno regiment was dissolved.

The regiment was created on 16 July 1699, when Colonel Joseph Anton Reding von Biberegg accepted to raise a Swiss regiment in compliance with the duke's request. The three already existing companies from Valais formed the second battalion of the new Reding Regiment, while some other men from the Swiss companies (Scmidt, Ghidt, Stocker) of Adorno's regiment formed the first battalion. The new regiment numbered 2,400 men, in three battalions of 800 men each (each battalion consisted of four companies of 200 men each). The fact that this regiment had three battalions created confusion and several authors considered that there were tow "Reding Regiment". In reality, the regiment garrisoned two different places: Fort of Bard and Ivrea.

In 1706, the regiment, which previously belonged to Reding, became the property of Ghidt (aka Kydt, Kyd). In April of the same year, it incorporated the soldiers of the disbanded La Regina Infantry.

At the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted one battalion and was under the command of:

  • since 1699: Colonel Joseph Anton Reding
  • from 15 March 1706: Colonel Franz Joseph Friedrich von Ghidt (aka Kyd)
  • from 15 November 1709: Colonel Charles Hackbrett (aka Hacbret)

The regiment became the first Swiss regiment in permanent pay of the Duke of Savoy, taking the title of the “Valaisan Regiment”.

Service during the War

In 1704, one battalion (800 men) of the regiment, then commanded by Hans Fredrich Reding, took part in the defence of the Castle of Bard, which was blocking the way to the French army to reach the Aosta Valley. On 19 July, after a siege of only nine days, Reding surrendered the castle without opposing any resistance. The soldiers of this battalion were later exchanged and incorporated into La Regina Infantry. In September, the two other battalions of the regiment took part in the defence of Ivrea. On 29 September, the entire garrison of the place surrendered as prisoners of war. Some men of the regiment managed to escape and were groupe in an ad hoc unit with men of the disbanded regiment Aygoin and one company of the Schulembourg Infantry. For his part, Hans Fredrich Reding, who had commanded the battalion which surrendered at the Castle of Bard, was disappointed by the fact that the Duke had refused to pay him because of his conduct. He passed to the French service (in 1705, he would raise the Swiss Reding Infanterie for France).

In March 1706, the men who had remained loyal to the duke formed the kernel of Ghidt Infantry.

In 1706, the soldiers who had remained loyal to Savoy formed the new Ghidt Infantry. After the incorporation of La Regina Infantry in April, the regiment counted 2 battalions, each of 4 companies of 150 men. In August and September, the regiment took part in the defence of Turin. It then counted 1,244 men in 2 battalions.

On 15 November 1709, a ninth company was formed and all companies were each increased to 200 effective men levied in the cantons of Valais, Berne, Schwytz and Schaffhausen. Charles Hackbrett from Berne, formerly lieutenant-colonel of the regiment was promoted to colonel of his unit.

In 1711, the regiment was increased to ten companies.


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


Uniform in 1706 - Copyright: Richard Couture
Uniform Details as per Michel Savasta Fiore
Musketeer black tricorne, laced white and with a white 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)
Grenadier bearskin cap, called bonnet, with a yellow hanging bag
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 blue with yellow lining; pewter 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 pewter buttons
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat blue with pewter buttons
Breeches blue
Stockings grey-white fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters ???
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Waistbelt natural leather (often whitened with pipe-clay) with a brass buckle
Cartridge Pouch natural leather
grenadiers had a bigger black pouch to carry grenades
Bayonet Scabbard black with a brass tip
Scabbard black with brass metal fittings
Footwear black shoes with a brass buckle

Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre. Grenadiers also carried a pistol.

N.B.: the regiment probably wore a red uniform with blue distinctive till its capture at the Castle of Bard in 1704.


Uniforms of NCOs were almost identical to those of privates but had a silver lace edging each cuff.

NCOs carried a halberd.


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 gold buttons.

Officers always wore a blue sash around the waist.


no information found yet


Colonella Colour (tentative reconstruction)

Ordinanza Colour: (tentative reconstruction)

Tentative Reconstruction
Reding Colonella Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore
Reding Ordinanza Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore

The following colours are those of Ghidt Infantry from 1706.

Colonella Colour (tentative reconstruction): white field with a white cross bordered with a thin red frame; golden and red flames in each canton; centre device consisting of a laurel wreath; a scene depicting a mounted horseman in the first canton (upper left).

Ordinanza Colour: green field with a white cross bordered with a thin red frame; golden and red flames in each canton; centre device consisting of a laurel wreath; a scene depicting a mounted horseman in the first canton (upper left).

Tentative Reconstruction
Ghidt Colonella Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore
Ghidt Ordinanza Colour - Copyright: Michele Savasta Fiore


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