Sparre Infanterie

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

Origin and History

After the Battle of Fleurus, fought on 1 July 1690, Henri Leisler, of German origin, who was serving as captain in the Swiss Stuppa-Jeune Infanterie, obtained a commission date 1 August 1690, to raise a regiment of German infantry from the numerous prisoners taken at Fleurus. Leisler thus organised ten companies, mostly composed of the 500 men of an excellent Swedish regiment formerly in the Dutch service. All colonels who would later succeed to Leisler would be Swedes. Leisler brought with him several officers who had served with him in Stuppa-Jeune Infanterie.

In 1691, during the Nine Years' War (1688-97), the regiment was increased to twelve companies and joined the Army of Roussillon. In 1693, it took part in the siege of Roses; in 1694, in the siege of Ostalrich; in 1695, in the relief of Castelfollit and Palamos; in 1696, in the combat of Ostalrich; and in 1697, in the siege of Barcelona.

In 1698, the regiment was reduced to six companies. In 1701, on the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment was increased to two battalions.

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

  • from 20 October 1694 to 10 March 1714: Erik-Magnus Toffeta, Baron de Sparre (promoted to brigadier on 29 January 1702; to maréchal de camp on 26 October 1704; and to lieutenant-general on 10 September 1707)

In 1714, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion.

Service during the War

In 1701, the regiment was increased to two battalions and sent to the Spanish Netherlands.

On 11 June 1702, the regiment took part in the combat of Nijmegen.

Note: Susane mentions that the regiment was at the Combat of Ekeren in 1703 but the order of battle does not list this unit.

In 1704, the regiment was transferred to the Moselle under the Comte de Coigny.

In 1705, the regiment served under the Maréchal de Villars.

In 1706, the regiment was sent back to Flanders. On 23 May, it took part in the Battle of Ramillies. It was later thrown into Menin where its two battalions, reduced to only 702 officers and men, made a nice defence. When the place was invested, M. Gooke daringly took position with 300 men in the Hallwyn hornwork. On 1 August, Captain de Stuzen, at the head of 100 grenadiers, made a successful sortie.

In 1707, the regiment was part of the brigade of Royal Infanterie.

On 11 July 1708, the regiment took part in the Battle of Oudenarde. During the siege of Lille, it remained with the Marquis d'Hautefort at the camp of Meldert.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment took part in the Battle of Malplaquet.

In 1711, the regiment took part in the attack upon Arleux.

In 1712, the regiment took part in the recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain.

In 1713, the regiment served on the Rhine, taking part in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg. On 9 October, in front of Freiburg, its grenadiers together with those of Royal-Italien Infanterie repulsed a sortie made by 400 Imperialists.


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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. 207-209