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"British Dragoons - French Garde du Corps" Topic


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281 hits since 3 Aug 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0103 Aug 2022 8:39 p.m. PST

"Although dragoons had long been seen in England, including during the Civil War, the modern British Army largely dates from the restoration of Charles II in 1660, and the first official regiment of dragoons was raised in 1672 (although disbanded again in 1674 after the war came to an end). The first long-term regiment of dragoons appeared in 1684 when the Tangier Horse was renamed the King's Own Royal Dragoons. Although traditionally seen as mounted infantry, dragoons were already beginning the process of being seen and used as proper cavalry (if cheaper and of lower social standing), and the regiment was ordered to muster with the Horse when in the field, taking precedence over the infantry. By 1701 there were eight dragoon regiments, and more were added as the war progressed. Some were short-lived, but six were retained so that by the end of the suppression of the Jacobite Revolt in 1715 there were 14 such regiments…"


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"The most prestigious part of the army under Louis XIV was the Maison du Roi, the royal household troops, and naturally the cavalry were the elite of that group. As detailed in other reviews, the cavalry of the Maison du Roi was made up of several units, but the very first in order of precedence was the Garde du Corps, the King's personal bodyguard, so these figures represent the absolute highest level of the French military. The ranks of the Garde du Corps were filled from the nobility and the cream of society, and while there were only four companies of them, the size of each company was much larger than for ordinary cavalry – for the period of the War of the Spanish Succession a figure of between 300 and 400 seems likely. Although they attended the king personally, and took part in ceremonial, they were also a genuine fighting unit and were expected to be an example to the rest of the army. They seem to have lived up to this expectation, and had a fine reputation on the battlefield, particularly distinguishing themselves at Malplaquet (1709) amongst other actions…"


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Armand

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