THE ROYAL ARMY RESTORED
 

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Drapeaux of the French Army  •  1804-30  •  Line Infantry
 

Images Added August 2016

Colors of the 2nd & 8th Regiments of Light Infantry, 1814-16
 


 

Line & Light Infantry Regiments  •  1814-16
 

In a bid for national reconciliation, King Louis XVIII did not, following his assumption of the French throne in 1814, dissolve the army of Napoleon. Thus many regiments of infantry retained their identity, though some were disbanded due to the army's reduction in size and others were renumbered to fill up gaps in the Army List. However in addition to their numbers the first nine regiments of infantry of the line and the first six regiments of light infantry did receive ancient royal and princely titles, derived from the army of the Ancien Régime. Also the office of Colonel General of Infantry was revived, and the 10th Regiment of Line Infantry received the title Régiment Colonel Général. New colors with a white field and royal insignia were issued and these too recalled the past, with a dedication in the Napoleonic style from the King to the regiment on the obverse. Each regiment received one color and a number of battalion fanions d'alignement (marker flags): blue for the 1st Battalion, red for the 2nd Battalion and yellow for the 3rd Battalion. These fanions had gold fleurs-de-lis in the corners and the regimental number in the center. The colors were 120cm square plus a narrow gold fringe, and the fanions were 60cm square.

But the restored Bourbons’ efforts to attract the loyalty of the Army proved futile. Veteran soldiers found themselves placed under the command of haughty aristocrats whose knowledge of military affairs was limited to the parade ground. Resentment against the King and his cabal simmered among both officers and men, and finally exploded in 1815 when Napoleon escaped from his place of exile on the island of Elba and returned to France. The troops sent against him by the royal government refused to fire on their old general and his handful of comrades, and in short order Louis XVIII found himself fleeing Paris. He was not to return until the Hundred Days had run their course and Napoleon had fought his final battle at Waterloo.

 

1st Regiment of Line Infantry  •  Régiment du Roi 

 

10th Regiment of Line Infantry
Régiment Colonel Général

 

18th Regiment of Line Infantry
 

 

2nd Regiment of Light Infantry
Régiment de la Reine

 

8th Regiment of Light Infantry
 

 

Fanions d'alignement

 

1st Battalion

 

2nd Battalion

 

3rd Battalion

 

Departmental Legions of Infantry  •  1816-20
 

The alacrity with which the Army had deserted him in 1815 convinced Louis XVIII and his advisers that a clean break with the past was essential. In 1816, therefore, all the line and light infantry regiments were dissolved and the infantry was regrouped into eighty-nine "legions." These had their peacetime garrisons in the departments (administrative subdivisions) of the country, from whence they derived their titles. Each legion was supposed to be three battalions strong, though it proved difficult to bring them all up to strength. In a break with previous practice, each battalion received a color. That of the 1st Battalion was similar to the 1814 model colors, with a white field and an ornate border of  fleurs-de-lis. The second and third battalions received simpler colors with the same insignia and inscriptions but a plain field diagonally divided white and red (for the 2nd Battalion) or green (for the 3rd Battalion). The battalion fanions were still blue, red and yellow, but now they displayed only a large fleur-de-lis. Dimensions of the colors and fanions were the same as the 1814 models.

The system of legions proved problematical, it being difficult to find sufficient men in some departments to form the specified three battalions. In 1820, therefore, the legions were abolished and regimental identities for the infantry were reestablished.

 

1st Battalion, 58th Legion of Infantry  •  Légion de Nord

 

2nd Battalion, 58th Legion of Infantry  •  Légion de Nord

 

3rd Battalion, 58th Legion of Infantry  •  Légion de Nord

 

Fanions d'alignement

 

1st Battalion

 

2nd Battalion

 

3rd Battalion

 

Infantry Regiments  •  1820-30
 

The colors granted to the reestablished infantry regiments (no longer titled line infantry but simply infantry) in 1827 were similar to those of the first battalions of the departmental legions, the main differences being the wording of the dedication from the King on the obverse and the replacement of the corner devices on the reverse of the color with the regimental number. As before, the battalions had fanions d'alignement  colored blue, red and yellow, but now all the fleurs-de-lis were white. The dimensions of the colors and fanions remained the same. The design of the fanions was altered in 1827 and again in 1828, and that of the second battalions was increased in size to 80cm.

The 1830 Revolution and the fall of the Bourbon monarchy resulted in the abolition of the white regimental colors. The new ones granted to the Army by King Louis-Philippe were based on the Tricolor.

 

1st Regiment of  Infantry

 

8th Regiment of  Infantry

 

Fanions d'alignement


1820-27
 

1st Battalion

 

2nd Battalion

 

3rd Battalion

 

1827-28

 

1st Battalion

 

2nd Battalion
 

 

3rd Battalion

 

1828-30

 

1st Battalion

 

2nd Battalion
 

 

3rd Battalion



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