Tercio de Alava

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Spanish Army (Bourbon) >> Tercio de Alava

Origin and History

The tercio was created in the city of Vitoria on 30 October 1703 by the Provincial Council of Alava for the “Maestre de campo” Don Diego de Estrada y Nava. It consisted of only 500 men .

On 28 September 1704, the tercio was reorganised as a regiment.

On 28 February 1707, the tercio was renamed “Regimiento de Victoria”.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the tercio was under the command of:

  • from 30 October 1703 to 20 April 1715: Don Diego de Estrada y Nava

The regiment was disbanded on 20 April 1715: its second battalion was incorporated in the “Regimiento de Lisboa” on 22 May; and its first battalion in the “Regimiento de Saboya” on 15 June.

Service during the War

By 14 April 1704, the tercio had completed its formation and marched towards Andalusia to join the garrison of Cádiz which was threatened by an Anglo-Dutch fleet. While stationed in that city, on 28 September, the tercio was renamed “Regimiento de Alava”.

In 1705, the regiment completed its ranks and files with Andalusian volunteers.

In February 1706, the regiment received orders to reinforce the place of Ceuta on the coast of North Africa. However, the Army of Extremadura needing reinforcements, the regiment was finally redirected to the frontier with Portugal. When the Allies attacked Extremadura, the regiment was forced to retire to Salamanca where it joined the army of the Maréchal de Berwick. This army then marched by Segovia and Somosierra and encamped at Fuencarral, marching to Atienza shortly afterwards. In the camp of Atienza, the regiment was assigned to the second brigade of the second line under the command of Brigadier de Badie. After many manoeuvres, Berwick managed to drive the Allies back to Valencia. The regiment was then stationed at the camp of Tarazona. On 14 October, a corps (including the grenadiers of the regiment) laid siege to Cuenca. The grenadiers drove the enemy away from the bridge of Heute and the town of Cuenca capitulated. The grenadiers then rejoined the regiment at Molina in Aragon where it was attached to the division of General Don Miguel Pons y Mendoza. It served against the insurgents, attacking Nuévalos. The regiment was then transferred to the Army of Catalonia.

In 1707, the regiment was once more transferred, this time to Extremadura. It then advanced against the places of Serpa and Moura. On 29 May, it captured Serpa; on 3 July, Moura which it garrisoned during a few days. It then marched to Cádiz where it embarked for Ceuta.

In the Spring of 1708, the regiment was transported from Ceuta to Spain. It then marched to Extremadura where it arrived on 22 April. On 15 May, it entered into Valencia de Alcántara where it served as garrison, relieving the “Regimiento de Leon. When the general-in-chief decided to reconquer Ciudad-Rodrigo, the regiment followed the army to Castile. It then took part in the siege of Ciudad-Rodrigo and in the storming of the place on 4 October. It then retired to Extremadura.

In 1709, the regiment was attached to the second brigade of the first line under Brigadier Don Antonio del Castillo. On 7 May, it fought in the Battle of La Gudiña. In June, it took part in the blockade of Olivenza. A detachment was sent against the fortified village of Monforte. On 9 June, the regiment was authorised to raise a second battalion. In November, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Monforte.

At the beginning of 1710, the regiment was posted on the frontier with Portugal. However, after the Battle of Saragossa (20 August), it forced marched to reinforce the defeated army in Castile. On 15 October, it was reviewed by King Philip V at Plasencia. It then marched to the Tagus. On 8 December, it took part in the Combat of Brihuega; and, on 10 December, in the Battle of Villaviciosa. The regiment was then sent back to Extremadura to campaign under the General Marquis de Navamorquende.

In 1711, the regiment was stationed in the Province of Extremadura and saw little action.

In 1712, the regiment was assigned to the Carrillo Brigade in the first line of the Army of Extremadura. It took part in a reconnaissance around Elvas and participated in the blockade of the place. It ended the campaign by the siege of Campo Maior and was then sent to join the Army of Old Castile.

In August 1713, the two battalions of the regiment were transferred to Aragon.


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Uniforms of officers differed from those of privates and NCOs by the finer material used. Their waistcoat, saddle cloth and housings were edged with a wide golden braid.

In the infantry, officers wore a silver or gold gorget and a spontoon.

The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • colonel: a baton with a gold knob
  • lieutenant-colonel: a baton with a silver knob
  • sargento mayor: a baton with a silver topped knob
  • captain: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • lieutenant: baton as worn under the reign of the Habsburg
  • sub-lieutenant: baton with a horn band and a silver ring


The regulation of 30 December 1704 specified the distinctive of each military rank:

  • sergeant : baton without knob and halberd
  • mariscal de logis (quartermaster): small white woolen epaulette
  • brigadier: swagger stick
  • corporal of squadron: swagger stick
  • second corporal of squadron (rank suppressed in 1706): swagger stick


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This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:

  • Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XI, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 201-211