Royal-Cravate Cavalerie

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Royal-Cravate Cavalerie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised by Jean Comte de Balthazard on 13 August 1643 from foreign cavalry regiments in the French service since 1635, among which 3 Croatian regiments.

In 1645, the regiment took part in the siege of Llorens and Balaguer; in 1646, in the sieges of Lérida; in 1647, in the second siege of Lérida; in 1648, in the siege of Tortosa; and in 1649, in the relief of Barcelona.

In 1650, when after the arrest of the Prince de Condé, the Comte de Balthazard revolted. In 1653. he and his regiment were readmitted into the French service.

In 1653, the regiment served in Catalonia. In 1654, it was sent to Dauphiné but soon returned to Catalonia, where it took part in the sieges of Villafranca, Roses and Puigcerdà. In 1657, it campaigned once more in Catalonia. In 1658, it was sent to Champagne. In 1659, it garrisoned Nancy, where it would remain until 1661.

On 18 April 1661, when the French cavalry was reorganised, the regiment was reduced to a single company. In 1664, this company formed part of the French force sent to the assistance of the Emperor in Hungary.

On 20 May 1667, the regiment was bought from M. Balthazard by the Duc de Vivonne and renamed "Royal-Cravates". In fact the word "Cravate" derives from "Croate" (French word for Croatian) and was designating the typical scarves worn by Croatian cavalrymen. An accessory which became the ubiquitous necktie of today...

In 1667, the regiment campaigned in Flanders and was present at the capture of Douai and Lille.

On 4 February 1672, on the eve of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment was re-established to full strength. The same year, it took part in the capture of Burich, Rees, Arnhem, Skenke, Nijmegen and the island of Bommel. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht and in the relief of Woërden; and in 1674, in the Battle of Seneffe. It then joined Turenne in Germany and fought in the combat of Mulhouse. In 1675, it took part in the Battle of Turckheim before being transferred to Flanders, where it was present at the sieges of Dinant, Huy and Limbourg. In 1676, it took part in the capture of Condé, Bouchain and Aire; in 1677, in the capture of Valenciennes and Cambrai; and in 1678, in the sieges of Ghent and Ypres, and in the Battle of Saint-Denis. It was then transferred to the Rhine where it took part in the attack of the bridge of Rheinfeld.

In 1680, the regiment was at the camp in Lower Alsace. In 1684, it was assigned to the Army of Roussillon and distinguished itself in the Combat of the Ter. From 1685 to 1687, the regiment was at the camp on the Adour. In 1688, it was at the camp of the Saône.

In 1689, during of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment joined the Army of Flanders and participated in the Combat of Walcourt. In 1691, it took part in the siege of Mons and and in the Combat of Leuze; in 1692, in the capture of the Castle of Namur, in the Battle of Steenkerque and in the bombardment of Charleroi; in 1693, in the Battle of Landen and in the sieges of Huy and Charleroi; and in 1697, in the siege of Ath.

In 1698, the regiment was at the camp of Coudun, near Compiègne.

At the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment counted 3 squadrons.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the king was the nominal Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the successive Mestres de Camp Lieutenants commanding the regiment were:

  • from 1 August 1697: Yves Comte d'Alègre
  • from 21 October 1705 to March 1719: Jacques de Chabannes, Marquis de Curton

Service during the War

By April 1701, the regiment was posted at Louvain on the frontier of Brabant. By October, it was posted at Zellick. It took its winter-quarters in Tournai.

At the end of 1702, the regiment formed part of the French army posted in Upper Guelderland. In mid-September, it was attached to Tallard's Corps which had been detached from the main army for an offensive on the Lower Rhine.

In February 1703, the regiment was stationed in the Duchy of Luxembourg. At the beginning of June, it was attached to the Army of the Rhine. In August and September, it was at the Siege of Alt-Breisach. In October and November, it took part in the Siege of Landau. On 15 November, it fought in the Combat of the Speyerbach, where it was deployed on the right wing of the first line.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment was present at the Battle of Malplaquet.

On 24 July 1712, the regiment was present at the Battle of Denain. From August to September, it was at the Siege of Douai; and from September to October, at the second Siege of Le Quesnoy.

In 1713, the regiment was sent to the Rhine and was at the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.

Uniform

Troopers

Uniform Details as per Susane
Headgear black tricorne laced silver
Neck stock probably a white cravate
Coat blue lined red with white buttons
Collar none
Shoulder straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with white buttons
Cuffs red cuffs with white buttons
Turnbacks none
Gloves buff
Waistcoat buff leather jerkin with white buttons
Breeches kid (goat leather)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box red leather
Scabbard black leather
Footgear black soft boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with the regimental lace (an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with blue, red and white small squares)
Housings blue bordered with the regimental lace (an aurore (light orange) braid decorated with blue, red and white small squares)
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre.

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field embroidered and fringed in gold. One side: centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; 1 golden fleur de lys in each corner. Other side: centre device sown with golden Fleurs de Lys

Based on the standard captured by the Prussians in 1758
Regimental Standard - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Susane, Louis: Histoire de la cavalerie française, Vol. 2, J. Hetzel et Cie, Paris, 1874, pp. 75-85
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 329-330

Other sources

Funcken, L. and F.: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle