Regiment of infantry of national ordinance
par Jean Cerino Badone
Duke Charles Emmanuel II in 1636 gives order to raise a new regiment with the name of Regiment de la Garde or Regiment aux Gardes. It is originally organized in 12 companies. In 1664 it is the 1th regiment in order of seniority. During its operational history the regiment Gardes has two or three battalions. Since 1704 and during all the kingdom of Charles Emmanuel III it has two battalions. The two battalions of the Regiment Gardes are regarded as the best units of the Piemontese Army.
Service during the Polish Succession War
Gardes in 1733 takes its first action at the siege of Gera-Pizzighettone (18 november &emdash; 8 december). Gardes is present in the trenches around Castello Sforzesco (16 december 1733 &emdash; 2 january 1734). In the spring of 1734 Gardes is present at the battle of Parma (29 june) where it fights on the right wing. After a manouvred campaign, Gardes fights at Guastalla (19 september); it helds with Rgt. Piemont at the centre of allied front, entrenched in a farm. The austrian concentrated artillery fire can do little damage against these protected positions. In 1735 Gardes is campaigning in the east of Lombardy. In september it is present on the West side of lake of Garda supporting the french action on the East side. at the end of the year, the 8 november, Gardes takes winter quarters in the country around Cremona and Brescia.
Service during the Austrian Succession War
Gardes' reports of the War of Austria Succession are a monoment of the particular intense operational history of this elite unit. In 1742 Gardes is campaigning in north-east Italy in the Po plains. In September Gardes marches on the Alps; from the camp in La Thule in Aosta Valley the Regiment takes action in Savoy during the counter-offensive against an invading Spanish army. In jenuary 1743 Gardes returns again in Piedmont. Under the shadows of Monviso in Varaita Valley Gardes is waiting for the main french-spanish invasion of Piedmont. On the mountains around Casteldelfino Gardes has a bitter fight against a enemy column the 8 october. The follow year Gardes is one of the units that fight at the redoubt of Mount Cavallo (19 july 1744). During the harder combat of this war in Italy, the luky 2nd battalion of Gardes losts only 36 men. The whole regiment is present at Madonna dell'Olmo (30 september 1744). The two battalions are situated on the right wing, first line. It fight with the enemy cavalry helding firmly its position. In 1745 Maillebois' offensive gives no match to the Piedmontese hope to stop it. At the battle of Bassignana (27 september) Gardes is in the right wing of Sardinian line. The follow year Gardes is at the head of the Leutrum's counter offensive and the regiment takes a action under the walls of the city of Valenza (17 april-3 may 1746). Then the two battalions fight in the south-west in the mediterranean theatre; the 1st battalion fights during the offensive in Provence. The 2nd battalion of Regiment Gardes is employed at the siege of the fort Priamar in Savona (1 december &emdash; 18 december 1746) and at the siege of Genoa, where the 21 may 1747, with Rgt. Piemont, it beats off an enemy attack at Madonna della Misericordia. Then it leaves the siege to defend the south frontiers of Piedmont. The 1st battalion, after the Provence's adventure is recalled in Piedmont on the Alps where a french army is crossing the Montgeneve. This battalion alone helds the centre of the austrian-piedmontese front at the Assietta ridge (19 july 1747).
Commanders of Regiment des Gardes under Charles Emmanuel III
1730-1750: Dark blue coat with yellow laces, red lining, cuffs, waistcoat with yellow laces, breeches. White gaiters for fusilier, black for grenadiers. Seven brass buttons on each side of the coat, three on the cuffs. Horizontal pockets. Tricorne with dark blue cockade on the left brim and yellow hem for fusiliers, bearskin cap for grenadiers. All soldiers gird a sword.
1750-1773 (only principal differences from the previous issue): Dark blue coat with white pointed laces, red lapels and collar. Waistcoat with white pointed laces. Seven tinned buttons on lapels. Tricorne with white hem and yellow and red pompon. Bearskin cap with red tail and red-yellow-blu pompon.
Colonel's Colour: Blue with two rampant lions holding up the Great Savoy's Coat of Arms, overhanged by royal crown.
Regimental Colour: White cross over red. Royal crown and monogram in all the quarters. Blue decorated hem.
Jean Cerino Badone