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"Swiss Cavalry and Artillery" Topic


11 Posts

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Ravenfeeder18 Nov 2022 8:26 a.m. PST

We all know of the efficacy of Swiss infantry regiments in the Napoleonic Wars and there are many plates showing their uniforms. But what about cavalry and artillery? Were there any and what were their organisation and uniforms?

I did a quick trawl of the Nafziger archive and couldn't find any cavalry marked as Swiss. The artillery attached to infantry regiments could easily be attached French batteries.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2022 8:30 a.m. PST

The regimental artillery belonging to Swiss infantry regiments were Swiss.

The Neufchatel Battalion had an organic combined artillery, train, and engineer company.

Au pas de Charge18 Nov 2022 8:43 a.m. PST

They have no horses in Switzerland, too many mountains…

I was always curious about what uniforms the Swiss army wore in 1815.

Ravenfeeder18 Nov 2022 8:51 a.m. PST

The regimental artillery belonging to Swiss infantry regiments were Swiss.

The Neufchatel Battalion had an organic combined artillery, train, and engineer company.


Thanks Kevin. Do we know what uniforms they wore?

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2022 9:55 a.m. PST

Think Histoire & collections has a volume on the Swiss regiments. Mebbe it was osprey ? Pretty thorough with lotsa illustrations. Can't find mine right now <sigh>

MightyOwl18 Nov 2022 1:14 p.m. PST

Some examples here link of Swiss canton troops including cavalry. Some saw service in 1815 at the Siege of Huningue.

Lilian18 Nov 2022 2:49 p.m. PST

The Helvetian Republic raised 2 Hussars Squadrons for its own Helvetian Legion, this cavalry becoming Companies of Chasseurs à cheval Helvétiques, then passing to the French service, then merged into 19e Chasseurs à cheval of the French Army

as already precised the Cantonal Militias had cavalry
the Federal Army of 1815 invading France had 14 cavalry companies of Dragoons Hussars and Chasseurs

Helvetian Chasseurs à cheval Jäger zu Pferd


a mounted Chasseur appears on the right (and a red Dragoon of the Leman on the left)

von Winterfeldt18 Nov 2022 11:58 p.m. PST

In the capitulation of 1812 each of the four infantry regiments had an artillery company attached to them

1 Lieutenant
1 sous lieutenant
3 sergents
3 caporaux
20 artilleurs
2 artisans
40 Train soldiers

Total 70

Their uniform was like the French foot artillery – with the exceptions of buttons and cockade, drivers as for gunners however with Bardin like style tunics, pocket piping on the tails however vertical in contrast to the horizontal ones for the gunners.

As Prince de Essling pointed out in his excellent contribution – from 1803 – 1804 Chasseus à Cheval Helvétique did exist (1 squadron), in the Légion Helvétique 1799 – 1803 3 companies of hussars (about 222 troopers) The légions Helvétiques shouldn't be confused with the Demi Brigades Helvétiques 1798 – 1805 – they had blue coats.

A good concise book is Stephen Ede – Borrett – Swiss Regiments in the Service of France 1798 – 1815 by Helion Press

Personal logo Flint and Bayonet Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2022 1:42 a.m. PST

Voir également : Confédération Helvétique (Suisse), menu : « Uniformes »
(sur mon SITE) :-)

Ravenfeeder19 Nov 2022 2:19 a.m. PST

Thanks guys, especially MightyOwl, pictures of those Cantonal troops are what prompted the question in the first place.

Prince of Essling19 Nov 2022 8:36 a.m. PST

For the Cantonal Army organisation 1803-1817 see my post at link

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