Monday 1 May 2023

Flags of the Piedmontese Guards in the 1740s

First raised in 1636 by Duke Charles Emmanuel II as the Regiment de la Garde or Regiment aux Gardes. From 1704 and through the reign of Charles Emmanuel III it had two battalions.

The regiment fought in the War of the Polish Succession. It was heavily involved in the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1742 it was in N E Italy in the Po plains. In September that year it advanced to the Alps from where it then fought in Savoy as part of the advance against an invading Spanish army. In January 1743 it returned to Piedmont to await the Franco-Spanish invasion of Piedmont. In the mountains around Casteldelfino it was involved in a bitter struggle against an enemy column on the 8th October. In 1744 it fought with other units at the redoubt of Monte Cavallo on the 19th July. The 2nd battalion was fortunate to lose only 36 men. Both battalions were at the battle of Madonna dell'Olmo on the 30th September 1744. They were on the right wing, the position of honour, in the first line. Enemy cavalry attacks were driven off. In 1745 the Gardes were again on the right wing of the Sardinian line at the battle of Bassignano on the 27th September. In 1746 they were part of Leutrum's counter attack and fought under the walls of the city of Valenza 17th April to 3rd of May. Both battalions fought in the south-west in the Mediterranean theatre and the 1st battalion was employed in the Provence offensive. The 2nd battalion fought at the siege of the fort of Priamar in Savona from he 1st to the 18th December 1746 followed by the siege of Genoa; on the 21st May 1747 along with Regiment Piemont it fought off an enemy attack at Madonna della Misericordia. From there it was sent protect the southern frontier of Piedmont. The 1st battalion was recalled from Provence to the Alpine frontier to oppose a French army crossing the Montegeneve. At the battle of the Assietta Ridge on the 19th July 17147 the battalion held the centre of the line.

This was the uniform in the 1750s; the 1740s uniform was very similar, with yellow lace on the tricorne and coat and waistcoat, and brass buttons.