KINGDOM OF SARDINIA
 


 

MILITARY COLORS OF THE INFANTRY  •  EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
 

Notes
 

Sometimes called “the Prussia of Italy,” the Kingdom of Sardinia (also known as Savoy, Piedmont and Piedmont-Sardinia) would play a leading role in the nineteenth-century unification of Italy. In the eighteenth century, Sardinia was a substantial medium power with a small but effective army. During the reign of King Charles Emmanuel III, Sardinia participated in the War of the Polish Succession (1733-38) and the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Its principal territorial gain from these wars was western Milan, including the city of Novara. 

The infantry of the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the Royal Guard, the so-called regiments or national ordinance and the (mostly Swiss and German) foreign regiments. The Guard and the ordinance regiments were composed of national volunteers, while the foreign regiments were raised according the time-honored system of “capitulations” or contracts with foreign governments. The cavalry consisted of two regiments of horse and five of dragoons. The artillery was made up of independent companies with 4-6 guns per company. Infantry uniforms generally followed the French style. Up to 1750, the Guard wore blue coats and the rest of the infantry grayish white; after that date all infantry regiments dressed in blue. 

In addition to this regular force, there were several other infantry corps. The Regiment of Invalids, raised in 1710, provided permanent fortress garrisons.  This regiment was made up of old soldiers and others no longer fit for service in the field. The regiments of provincial infantry, made up of men between the ages of 18 and 40, was a second-line reserve force. In peacetime these regiments were required to assemble twice a year for inspection and drill. Finally there was the militia, which embodied all able-bodied male subjects not otherwise liable for military service. It had no fixed organization and would only be called up in the event of a serious crisis.

The colors shown below date mostly from 1740 and were replaced by new designs around 1775. All infantry regiments carried two colors. The colonel’s color was the same for all: blue with the black eagle, shield and crown of Savoy. The regimental colors displayed the Savoy cross, with distinctive designs and coats of arms in the quarters.

Flag Proportions: Sardinian infantry colors were about two meters square, made of painted silk.
 



 

INFANTRY REGIMENTS OF NATIONAL ORDINANCE

 

REGIMENT OF SAVOY

 

REGIMENT OF SARDINIA

 

REGIMENT OF PIEDMONT

 

REGIMENT OF MONFERRAT

 

REGIMENT OF NICE

 

REGIMENT OF FUSILIERS

 

REGIMENT OF SALUCE

 

FOREIGN INFANTRY REGIMENTS

 

ROYAL SWISS REGIMENT

 

SWISS REGIMENT KALBERMATTEN

 

FOREIGN REGIMENT DE PORTES
 



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