THE FINEST SOLDIERS ON EARTH
 


 

SWISS REGIMENTS IN FRENCH SERVICE  •  1700-91
 

Images Added October 2011

Régiment de Boccard  •  Régiment de Brendlé
 

Notes
 

The soldiers of Switzerland had long been renowned for their bravery and discipline, and many eighteenth-century European armies included Swiss regiments. In the French Army, they wore red coats but were otherwise armed and equipped like the rest of the French infantry. In most Swiss regiments, German was the word of command.

When the French Army was reorganized by the revolutionary government in 1792-94, all "foreign" regiments except for the Swiss were abolished. These peerless soldiers, still wearing their traditional red coats, were destined to serve as gallantly under the Tricolor as they had under the white flag of the Bourbons.

With the exception of the Swiss Foot Guards, each Swiss regiment took the name of its colonel and the regimental drapeaux d'ordonnance displayed his livery colors in the Swiss manner as "flames issuing from the corners of the flag. The colonels' colors were mostly based on the white flag with white cross used by French regiments, but with numerous variations.  There were usually ten or twelve Swiss regiments on the French establishment but since a regiment's name and colors usually changed when a new colonel took command, the drapeaux of the Swiss in French service were many and various. The dates given below pertain to a regiment's period of service under a particular name.

Note on the Illustrations: For each regiment, the Colonel's Color is shown on the left and the drapeau d'ordonnance is shown on the right.
 

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Gardes Suisse  •  Swiss Foot Guards

 

Régiment de Boccard  •  1752-82

 

Régiment de Brendlé  •  1701-38

 

Régiment de Castellas  •  1756-91

 

Régiment de Courten  •  1740-92

 

Régiment d'Eptingen  •  1758-83

 

Régiment de Greder  •  1673-1714

 

Régiment de Jenner  •  1751-62

 

Régiment de Karrer   •  1719-62

 

Régiment de Lochmann  •  1751-77

 

Régiment de Manuel  •  1694-1701

 

Régiment de Reding  •  1756-63)

 

Régiment de Sonnenberg  •  1768-91

 

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