The Marine regiment, 3 battalions

La Marine y est, j'ai le temps d'arriver

Origins of the regiment de la Marine

The Régiment de la Marine was created by an order of 26 September 1635 because Cardinal de Richelieu wanted to have his own regiment1. It was then formed of new companies and some companies taken from other regiments. The regiment got the name Cardinal-Duc, got Louis Chevalier de Montecler as lieutenant-colonel and was immediately given the privilege of permanence. The privilege meant that the regiment took rank as 16th in stead of 106th. At the end of 1636 Richelieu wanted to change the name of the regiment, and becauses he was also grand maitre and surintendant-géneral de la navigation he named the regiment 'De la Marine', a name it continued from then on. He then no doubt intended it for sea-service like the regiments des Vaisseaux and the regiment des Galères which were founded at the same time, but it never came to that.

The regiment de la Marine in the War against the United Provinces

In 1672 the Marine regiment was in the invasion of the United Provinces and the actions near Woerden. The first battalion was in the 1673 Siege of Maastricht and the second in the covering force. The regiment wintered in Trier and in October 1674 it was in the Battle of Enzheim. In the winter two of its battalions were in Breisach and the third was in Trier. This third battalion then participated in the June 1675 conquest of Limbourg. The others were in the battles of Muhlhausen and Turckheim. Later the regiment garrisoned Haguenau, which was besieged by Montecuccoli. Condé then said: 'La Marine y est, j'ai le temps d'arriver'. Another battalion was however less brave and after the army it was in had been beaten at Consaarbrück it retreated to Trier. There one of its captains 'sold' the place to the enemy and was later beheaded for his action.

In 1676 the Marine was in the Battle of Kokersberg and in 1677 at the siege of Freiburg. In 1678 the regiment was in the sieges of Kehl and Lichtemberg. In 1684 it was in the siege of Luxembourg.

The Nine Years War

In the Nine Years War the first battalion started in Boufflers army near Mainz and wintered in the Pfalz. The second battalion served under De Lorges and in 1689 the battalions wintered together at Saarlouis. In 1690 the regiment was in the army of the Dauphin and wintered in Breisach. In 1691 it went to Italy were it participated in the sieges of Veillane, Carmagnola and Montmélian, before it fought in the battle of the Col de la Fenêtre. It then wintered at Embrun where it again built a third battalion. After 1692 had been uneventful the regiment passed the Alps in 1693 where it helped in the defense of Pignerol. On 4 October 1693 it then fought in the Battle of Marsiglia where it held the place of honor at the extreme right wing. In 1694 Louis Jean Charles Marquis de Talleyrand was appointed as colonel. At the end of that year the regiment was sent to Nice and it passed 1695 in Antibes, Villefranche and Monaco. In 1696 the Marine was in the siege of Valence, and after peace was concluded with Savoy the regiment ended the War with the siege of Barcelona. Afterwards it was in the Rousillon, Pau and Bayonne.

The regiment de la Marine in the War of the Spanish Succession

In the War of the Spanish Succession the three battalions of the Marine left Bayonne on 2 January 1701 to go to Toulon, from where it was shipped to Italy. It was near the Battle of Carpi and in the battle of Chiari. On 26 June 1702 Pierre le Guerchois de Sainte Colombe was appointed as colonel. On 15 August the regiment was in the Battle of Luzzara, during which the second battalion guarded Felipe V at Castel Maggiore, but later joined the fighting. Here the regiment suffered heavy losses and later it was employed in the sieges of Guastalla and Borgoforte. In 1703 the regiment took part in the march into Tyrol. In 1704 it participated in the sieges of Verceil, Ivrea and Verrua, the latter ending in April 1705. After that it went with Vendome and fought at Cassano. In April 1706 the Marine was present in the Battle of Calcinato and was later sent to Alexandrie. From there it marched to Turin where it was in the lost battle of Turin. After that it retreated to the Provence with 725 men.

In 1707 the Marine started in the valley of Barcelonette and retreated to Toulon before Eugen's march. After the expedition to Toulon had failed the Marine spent 1708 in the army of the Dauphiné. In 1709 Colonel Le Guerchois handed the regiment to Michel Chamillard Marquis de Cany. The regiment then continued on the Italian front for most of 1712. In December of that year it went to Spain to lift the siege of Gerona and then returned to the Provence. In March 1713 the regiment went to the Rhine and two battalions participated in the Siege of Landau. After that it went to Freiburg, and later to the Siege of Barcelona. In January 1715 the regiment then finally did what it was intended to do by taking part in the conquest of Mallorca.

Notes

1) Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, page 235 for the regiment de la Marine