Sunday, 26 June 2011

SYW French Cavalry: Colonel Général

This is the very excellent French Cavalry regiment No.1 Colonel Général. All figures by Front Rank. The following article is from Kronoskaf and is useful although it only covers the regiment's early war record.

Organisation and pre-SYW service

This regiment was raised probably raised in 1631 by the duke of Saxe-Weimar when Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden intervened in the affairs of Germany. The regiment was among the contingent who joined the French service in 1633. It was incorporated into the French army on October 26 1635.

In 1651, the house of Turenne acquired the regiment. On April 24 1657, when Turenne became colonel-general, his regiment was renamed Colonel-Général Cavalerie and took precedence over all other line cavalry regiments and ranked first.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine in 1733, taking part to the siege of Kehl. In 1734, it was at Ettlengen and Philippsburg, in 1735 at Klausen.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part to the invasion of Bohemia in 1741. In February 1743, it returned to France. In 1744, the regiment served at Saint-Quentin, then in Flanders. On May 11 1745, it took part to the battle of Fontenoy. In 1746, it was at Bruxelles and fought at Rocoux on October 11. On July 2 1747, it took part to the battle of Lauffeld. In 1748, it was at the siege of Maastricht.

Exceptionally, this regiment counted 3 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 1st among the line cavalry and was under the command of:

  • since July 7 1740: Godefroi Charles Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, prince de Turenne
  • from April 16 1759: Armand, marquis de Béthune

When the French cavalry was reorganised on December 1 1761, the regiment was increased to 4 squadrons, each of them consisting of 4 companies of 40 troopers, for a total of 640 troopers. The additional squadron came from I./Montcalm Cavalerie.


SYW service

In 1756, the regiment was stationed at Strasbourg.

In June 1757, the regiment was with the Lower Rhine Army under d'Estrees encamped at Bielefeld. On July 26, the regiment took part in the battle of Hastenbeck where it was among the cavalry of the right wing. 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 Kloster-Zeven (September 8), 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 Weener in Ostfriese, in the fourth line of the French Army.

In April 1758, when Clermont redeployed his army along the Rhine, the regiment was stationed in the villages of Till, Moyland, Huisberden, Warbeyen, Grieth, Kaltenberg, Hasselt and Bedburg in the area of Kleve. After the successful crossing of the Rhine by Ferdinand's army on May 31, the regiment retired towards Rheinberg where it joined Clermont's army on June 2. It remained in this camp until June 12. It was placed on the right wing of the first line. On June 23, the regiment took part to the battle of Krefeld where it was placed on the right wing of the first line, under d'Armentières. In Mid August, after Ferdinand's retreat to the east bank of the Rhine, the regiment, as part of the army of the Lower Rhine under Contades recrossed the Rhine to follow the Allied army. On August 20, it was encamped near Wesel where it was placed on the right wing of the first line.

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