Origin and History
The regiment was raised on May 30 1653 by the comte de Nogent. It took the name of “Roi Stanislas” in September 1725, at the marriage of Louis XV, and was incorporated into the French army. By a regulation dated March 30 1737, the regiment was renamed “Royal-Pologne”.
During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733 and 1734.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Flanders from 1742 to 1748.
In 1751, the regiment was stationed at Sainte-Menehould, in 1753 at Sarrelouis, and in 1754 at Rethel.
The regiment counted 2 squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the king was the Mestre de Camp of the regiment but the Mestre de Camp Lieutenant commanding the regiment was:
- since 1746: comte de Béthune
- from March 19 1760 to January 3 1770: duc de Villequier
When the French Cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons. The 2 additional squadrons came from Marcieu Cavalerie who was incorporated into the Royal-Pologne Cavalerie.
Service during the War
In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was stationed at Charlesville.
In 1757, the regiment joined the Lower Rhine Army commanded by maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées' main corps. On July 26, the regiment took part to the battle of Hastenbeck where it was deployed in the second line of cavalry of the left wing. It was ordered to support the Grenadiers de France who had advanced into the village of Hastenbeck. After the victory, the regiment encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the Lower Rhine Army from July 31 to August 2. After the Convention of Klosterzzeven, it followed the main body, led by the Maréchal de Richelieu, who encamped at Halberstadt from September 28 to November 5. The regiment was placed on the first line of the right wing. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the third line of the French Army in Herford.
From March 30 to April 4 1758, after the retreat of the French army towards the Rhine, the regiment was with Clermont's army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine, in the first line of the right wing.
To do: details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne (reinforced with an iron skullcap for combat) laced silver, with a black cockade on the left side fastened with a black silk strap and a small pewter button|
N.B.: Mouillard and Pajol both mention a black bearskin cap with a red flame
|Neckstock||probably a black cravate|
|Coat||blue lined red (lined blue from 1761) with pewter buttons on both sides (with white buttonholes as per Mouillard) and a pewter button on each side at the small of the back
|Waistcoat||buff leather jerkin with copper buttons|
|Breeches||kid (goat leather)|
|Greatcoat||blue lined red (lined blue from 1761)|
Troopers were armed with a carbine, two pistols and a sabre. They were also supposed to wear a breastplate under their coat during battle but this regulation was not always followed.
Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- Maréchal des logis: silver laced tricorne, housing bordered with a 2,7 cm silver lace
- brigadier: double silver lace on the cuffs
Trumpets and kettle-drummers wore a blue coat heavily laced with braids at the king's livery alternating with silver braids.
Regimental standards (4 silken standards): blue field fringed in gold; centre device consisting of a golden royal sun surmounted by a scroll bearing the royal motto “Nec Pluribus Impar”; sown with golden fleur de lys
This article incorporates texts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891, p. 334
Funcken, L. and F., Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Menguy, Patrice, Les Sujets du Bien Aimé
Mouillard, Lucien; Les Régiments sous Louis XV; Paris 1882
Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Service historique de l'armée de terre - Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23
Vial J.-L., Nec Pluribus Impar
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.