Tercio de la Armada

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

Origin and History

The tercio was created on 12 January 1703 in Cádiz by the “Maestre de campo” Don Jerónimo de la Puente y Herrera. It was designated as the “Tercio de la Armada” and consisted of 11 companies for a total of 1,000 men (pikemen and arquebusiers)

In 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Cádiz”.

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

  • from 12 January 1703: Don Jerónimo de la Puente y Herrera
  • from 24 March: 1709: Don Pedro de Oliver y Fullana

On 14 July 1715, the regiment was disbanded.

Service during the War

In 1703, the new tercio embarked at Cádiz and was transported to Ceuta on the coast of North Africa which had been continuously besieged by the Moors since 1694. On 18 May, the tercio took part in a sortie where it was deployed in the left column which was covered by 400 grenadiers. The Spaniards drove the Moors of the siege works and captured all their siege artillery.

In 1705, the tercio was relieved and transported to Algeciras. It then marched to the District of Extremadura. However, upon arrival, it was ordered to march to Cádiz and to join the garrison of the place.

In April 1706, the tercio was once more sent to the District of Extremadura where it joined the army of the Duc de Berwick. It was deployed in the centre of the second line. The army advanced to New Castile and encamped at Atienza. Detached from the main army and allocated to the division of General Don Tomás Vicentello, the tercio pursued the Allies, expelled them from Castile and forced them to take refuge in the District of Valencia. At the end of the campaign, the tercio was assigned to the garrison of Cartagena.

In 1707, the tercio was transformed into a regiment designated as the “Regimiento de Cádiz”. In October, it embarked at Cartagena along with militias from Murcia to reinforce the places of Oran and Mazalquivir (present-day Mers El Kébir) which were both besieged by the Moors. Part of the regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Don Guillermo Clou de Guzman embarked aboard the French ship Saint-Louis of Captain Augustin Geoffreville. This detachment was destined for Mazalquivir. However, the detachment was unable to land at Mazalquivir because of the strong opposition of the Moors.

On 21 January 1708, part of the regiment was captured by the Moors when the place of Oran surrendered. On 3 April, the rest of the regiment fell into the hands of the Moors when Mazalquivir capitulated. Only the staff of the regiment and a few soldiers were able to return to Spain.

On 24 March 1709, the king ordered to reorganise the regiment in the District of Navarra. It was formed from companies of Majorca and recruits from Pamplona, San Sebastian, Fuenterrabia and Pasages. In July, a second battalion was raised.

In 1710, the regiment joined the Army of Catalonia. After the Battle of Saragossa (20 August), the regiment retired to Old Castile to reorganise.

On 29 April 1711, the regiment set off to join the Army of Extremadura and formed part of the garrison of Badajoz.


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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. 29-42