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The French Army of the eighteenth century included a number of German regiments, recruited mostly from the Catholic states and principalities of western Germany. They were organized, armed and equipped like French regiments, but their coats were blue and the word of command was German. Like most other "foreign" regiments on the French establishment, their colors differed from the standard pattern. The Colonel's Color often featured the "sun in splendor" of Louis XIV, and their drapeaux d'ordonnance generally displayed the heraldic colors of the colonel. Three fleurs-de-lis, crowned, within a wreath, was a device used frequently on these German colors.

Though it bore a territorial title, Regiment Alsace was classed as German; however, its colors were markedly plainer than those of the other German regiments. Regiment Sparre (later Royal Swedish) was also classed as a German regiment. Despite its title, it was largely German in composition. The regiment's drapeau d'ordonnance, circa 1760, displayed the triple crowns and lions of the Swedish arms, with the crowned arms of France in the center of the white cross.

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. Dates indicate the regiment's period of service under the name given. Usually, a German regiment's name and drapeaux d'ordonnance were changed when a new colonel took command. For example, Regiment Saxe became Regiment Bentheim and then Regiment Anhalt.

See also The French Army at Yorktown.

Images Added December 2011

Régiment Nassau-Ussingen  •  Régiment Dauphine


Régiment Alsace  •  1705-60


 •  Régiment Alsace  •  1760-91


Régiment Greder  •  Circa 1705


Régiment La Marck  •  Circa 1745


Régiment Königsmarck  •  Circa 1755


Régiment St. Germain  •  Circa 1745


Régiment Royal Bavière  •  Circa 1705


Régiment Saxe  •  Circa 1745


Régiment Bentheim  •  Circa 1755


Régiment Anhalt  •  Circa 1760


Régiment Nassau-Ussingen  •  Circa 1756


Régiment Sparre  •  Circa 1705


Régiment Royal Suédois  •  Circa 1760


Régiment Dauphine  •  Circa 1760