Royal Suédois Infanterie
Origin and History
After the Battle of Fleurus, fought on July 1, 1690, Henri Leisler, of German origin, who was serving as captain in the Swiss Stuppa-Jeune Infanterie, obtained a commission dated August, 1 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 (1701-13), the regiment was increased to two battalions and sent to the Spanish Netherlands. In 1702, the regiment took part in the combat of Nijmegen. In 1704, it was transferred to the Moselle. In 1706, the regiment was sent back to Flanders and participated in the Battle of Ramillies and in the defence of Menin. In 1708, it took part in the Battle of Oudenarde; in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet; in 1711, in the attack upon Arleux; in 1712, in the recapture of Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain; and in 1713, in the sieges of Landau and Freiburg.
In 1714, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion. In 1727, it took part in the training camp on the Sambre; and in 1732, in the training camp in Alsace.
In 1733, during the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35), the regiment occupied Nancy and Lorraine. On November 1 of the same year, it was increased to three battalions. In 1734, it took part in the capture of Trier, Trarbach and Philisbourg; and in 1735, in the Battle of Klausen.
In 1737, the regiment was at Strasbourg. On January 8, it was once more reduced to a single battalion.
On May 15, 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment was increased to two battalion. In 1742, it took part in the invasion of Bohemia, in the relief of Frawemberg, in the capture of the Castle of Wodnian, in the Combat of Sahay and in the defence of Prague. For its behaviour during the siege, the regiment received the title of “Royal Suédois” on October 30, 1742. In 1743, the regiment served in Bavaria and took part in the defence of Eger before retreating to France. In 1744, it took part in the recapture of Wissembourg in Alsace and of the Lines of the Lauter, in the Combat of Augenheim, in the attack on Donauworth. In 1745, it fought in the Combat of Pfaffenhoffen in Alsace. In 1746, it took part in the Battle of Rocoux. On November 12 of the same year, it was increased to four battalions. In 1748, it was at the siege of Maastricht. On December 26 of the same year, it was reduced to three battalions.
On February 1, 1749, the regiment was reduced to two battalions. It had prévôté (provostship).
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 95th and was under the command of:
- from April 22, 1756 to June 17, 1770: Alexandre Toffeta, Comte de Sparre de Kronemberg
On January 18, 1760, when the German Infantry was reorganised, the regiment was increased to three battalions by the incorporation of Royal Pologne Infanterie. On December 21, 1762, it was once more reduced to two battalions.
Service during the War
In 1756, the regiment was sent to the camp of Dunkerque.
In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées for the planned invasion of Hanover. On April 16, the regiment arrived at Cologne. At the end of June, it was at the camp of Bielefeld with d'Estrées's main corps. On July 26, the regiment was at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it supported the leading columns of the left wing. In this battle, it lost Lieutenant Dahestierna, killed; and Captain Dalheim, wounded. The regiment then took part in the invasion of Hanover and contributed to the capture of Minden and Hanover. At the end of the year, it took up its winter-quarters in the second line of the French army at Neustadt am Rübenberge.
At the end of January 1758, the regiment was assigned to the army that Louis XV planned to send to Bohemia for joint operations with the Austrian Army. However in February, when an Allied army led by Ferdinand of Brunswick launched a winter offensive in western Germany, the regiment retired to the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the second line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. On June 12, it took part in the Combat of Alpen, near the canal of Rheinfeld. By July, it had been transferred to Soubise's Army assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. It later took part in the capture of Kassel.
On April 12 1759, as part of Broglie's Army, the regiment bivouacked near Bergen. Broglie immediately deployed the regiment in the orchards near Bergen. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the right wing under the command of Prince Camille de Lorraine. The regiment was among the infantry entrenched in the village of Bergen. Around 10:00 a.m., it was heavily involved in a fire fight against Allied units advancing against Bergen and drove them back.
|Voices from the Past|
|On December 26, 1760, a villager is shot by French soldiers at Rüddingshausen|
By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken up its winter-quarters in the first line of the French army. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Koblenz, still in the first line. By May 23, the regiment was part of the left flank brigade of the first line of Broglie's Army. On July 10, the regiment fought in the Combat of Corbach where it formed part of Broglie's leading brigades. By July 14, the regiment occupied a position between Berndorf and the main army. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Friedberg.
In 1763, when the regiment returned to France, it was placed in garrison at Huningue. In May, it was transferred to Fort-Louis where it remained until November 1764.
The following description has been verified against the manuscript "Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I" and Taccoli's book published in 1760.
|Coat||turquin blue lined chamois with 3 chamois laced buttonholes on both sides below the lapels and 3 yellow buttons on the right side
|Waistcoat||turquin blue with 10 copper buttons and 10 chamois laced buttonholes grouped 2 by 2 on each side, pockets were identical to those on the coat|
|Breeches||white (turquin blue before 1758, however the manuscript of 1757 depicts white breeches)|
Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.
All officers had to be Swedes.
no information found concerning their uniform
The drummers of the regiment wore the Royal Livery: blue coat lined red; red cuffs, waistcoat and breeches; laced with the braid of the small Royal Livery.
Colonel colour: white field with a white cross; a golden fleur de lys decorated each canton.
Ordonnance Colours: blue field with a white cross; a golden fleur de lys decorated each canton.
N.B.: the manuscript of 1757 depicts colours resembling those of 1760 with only a few differences:
- for the colonel colour: a blue instead of red scroll
- for the ordonnance colours: cantons disposed in the exact opposite
On January 18 1760, when the German Infantry was reorganised, the colours of the regiment changed.
Colonel colour: white field sown with golden fleurs de lys; centre device consisting of a golden sun surmounted by a red scroll bearing the motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” in gold and with a blue imperial globe and a golden cross beneath.
Ordonnance Colours: blue field with a white cross. The upper left canton (near the flagpole) and the opposed canton each carried a golden crowned lion superposed on 3 diagonal white waved bands. The lower left canton (near the flagpole) and the opposed canton each carried 3 gold crown lined red.
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. 207-215
Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I, Musée de l'Armée, Paris
Brolin, Gunnar: Queries - The Royal Suedois Regiment after the Revolution, 18th Century Military Notes & Queries No. 1
Menguy, Patrice: Les Sujets du Bien Aimé (a website which has unfortunately disappeared from the web)
Mouillard, Lucien: Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris, 1882
Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891
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
Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760
Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar
Weaver, R. E.: Military Answers - Regiment Royal Suedois, 18th Century Military Notes & Queries No. 2
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.