Royal-Piémont Cavalerie

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

Origin and History

The regiment was originally raised in 1670 in Turin by the Duke of Savoy. On 9 August 1671, it was ceded to Louis XIV while he was arming against the Dutch Republic. At its arrival in France the regiment, which was considered as a foreign unit, was completed with Catholic English officers and soldiers who had taken refuge in France.

In 1672, at the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War (1672-78), the regiment took part in the conquest of Holland. In 1673, it took part in the siege of Maastricht; in 1674, in the Battle of Seneffe. It then served on the frontier of the Netherlands until 1678, when it was reduced to a single squadron and incorporated into the French regiments.

In 1684, the regiment was at the siege of Luxembourg.

In 1688, at the outbreak of the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment, now re-established to full strength. On 6 May 1690, the regiment, which had hitherto been the property of the Duke of Savoy now an enemy of France, became “Royal Piémont”. In the same year, it took part in the Battle of Fleurus; in 1691, in the combat of Leuze; and in 1692 in the Battle of Steenkerque. In 1693, the regiment campaigned in Germany, in 1694 and 1695, in Flanders, and in 1696 in Piedmont, where it took part in the siege of Valencia. In 1697, it was on the coasts of Flanders and took part in the siege of Ath.

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

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 10 May 1690: Joachim-Louis de Montaigut, Marquis de Bouzols
  • from 25 October 1705 to 6 October 1723: Marquis de Manicamp

Service during the War

At the end of 1701, the regiment was sent back to Flanders. In December, it took up its winter-quarters in Louvain.

By April 1702, the regiment was part of the French Army in Upper Guelderland. It was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing. On 11 June, it regiment was present at the engagement near Nijmegen. At the end of June, it was transferred to the Army of the Rhine.

In February and March 1703, the regiment was at the Siege of Kehl. In August and September, it took part in the Siege of Alt-Breisach. On 20 September, it fought in the Battle of Höchstädt, where it drove back a regiment and captured its standards and kettle-drums. In December, it took part in the siege and capture of Augsburg. It then took up its winter-quarters in this city.

On 13 August 1704, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim, where it charged twice. It then retired towards Flanders.

In May and June 1705, the regiment took part in the siege of Huy.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde, where it suffered heavy losses. It was then sent back to Alsace to recover.

In 1709, the regiment returned to Flanders where it campaigned until 1712.

In 1713, the regiment was sent to the Rhine.

Uniform

To do

Standards

Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field embroidered and fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; one golden fleur de lys in each corner

Tentative Reconstruction
Royal-Piémont Cavalerie 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. 95-101
  • Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, pp. 331-332

Other sources

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