Tercio de Pamplona

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

Origin and History

The tercio was created on 21 July 1705 in the Kingdom of Navarra for the “Maestre de campo” Count de Ripalda. It consisted of only 600 men.

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

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

  • from 1705: Count de Ripalda
  • from 20 July 1709: Don Eugenio Zabalza

The regiment was disbanded on 20 April 1715 and incorporated in the "Regimiento de Navarra" as its second battalion.

Service during the War

At the end of August 1705, the new tercio (600 men) marched to Saragossa in the division of General Witerfeld. By October, it was cantoned in Fraga for the defence of the Cinca. On 1 November, it was attacked by a large number of Catalan insurgents led by Don Antonio and Don Manuel Desvalls, protected by a dense fog. The tercio joined the “Tercio de Navarra” in a strong place and opened its way at the point of the bayonet, dislodging the insurgents who had taken possession of San Pedro Square and driving them down from the height of San Miguel outside the village. In this attack, the colonel of the tercio received two gunshots in a foot. The two tercios then retired to Barbastro where they were encircled by a large number of insurgents. After a honourable capitulation, they set off with arms and baggage and rejoined the division of General Amézaga. This division then marched to effect a junction with the forces of the Count de las Torres campaigning in the Province of Valencia.

On 1 January 1706, the tercio took part in the action of Salsadella and in the siege of Villareal who was taken on 12 January. It then went to Alcira which it evacuated when an Allied army under Archduke Charles advanced into the region. The tercio then marched to Aragon where it served under General Don Cárlos de San Gil y la Justicia to fight the insurgents. The rebels were defeated at Magallon. On 22 October, the tercio took part in the relief of the garrison of Sádaba. When a French force under the Duc d'Orléans arrived in Spain, the tercio was incorporated in the detachment of the Marquis de Saluzo. On 19 December, this detachment marched on Egea de los Caballeros. On 20 December, it stormed that place.

From 11 September to 11 November 1707, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Lérida. While cantoned in Graus, it was attacked by the Austrians and the insurgents who were driven back.

On 30 March 1708, part of the regiment was assigned to the division of General Don Félix de Marimon for the capture of Iniesta. On 1 April, it took 24 insurgents as prisoners during their retreat. In May, the regiment was incorporated in the column of General Comte d'Estain for the siege of Benasque. The siege was raised because of the general uprising of the mountaineers. D'Estain's column was forced to open its way at the point of the bayonet to retire to the County of Rivagorza to ensure communication of the fortified posts and the passage of the convoys arranged for the siege of Tortosa. During this campaign, the regiment suffered heavy losses.

At the beginning of 1709, the regiment counted only 250 men. Thanks to the efforts of its new colonel, Don Eugenio Zabalza, it was brought back to full strength during the Summer.

In 1710, the regiment was in the entrenched camp of Balaguer in Catalonia. On 13 June, it sustained an attack in that camp and after a sanguinary combat was forced to retire with the rest of the army to the Kingdom of Aragon. During the retreat, the regiment fought near Almenara on 27 July and near Peñalba on 15 August. On 20 August, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Saragossa where it suffered heavy casualties. After replenishing its ranks, it marched to the camp of Casatejada on the Tagus. On 9 December, it fought in the Combat of Brihuega and, on 10 December, in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa.

In 1711, the regiment formed part of the garrison of Tortosa. On 25 October, the Austrian General Wetzel tried to capture Tortosa by surprise but he was driven back,.

By 1713, the regiment was still part of the garrison of Tortosa.

In 1714, it was 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. 237-240