Organization of the Savoy-Piedmont-Sardinian Armies 1792-1815
Part II: The French Alliance (May 1796 – December 1798)
After the Cherasco's armistice and Paris peace treaty, the Kingdom of Piemont-Sardinia recognised its military defeat against the revolutionary France. According to the accords the Duchy of Savoy and the county of Nice were to be annexed to France and the army of the kingdom was to be reduced a little.
These troops had to repel the assaults of the Levant's army (from the Cisalpine Republic) and of the Ligurian army, attacks that were guided by the Directoire in Paris, who had finally to commit French troops to annex Piemont.
Line and Light Infantry
All of them are kept, 11 regiments composed now of 2 battalions, 116 men in total, the only exception being the Guard Regiment who had 1500 men.
Regiments recruited in the county of Nice changed their name: La Marine became Oneglia and Nice became Cuneo (changing its status to provincial regiment)
The Chablais Regiment (referring to the Duke of Chablais, brother of the king and not to Chablais, the border province with Geneva canton) became Alessandria.
It is to be noted that the Savoy Regiment doesn't refer anymore to the province but now to the name of the King's dynasty.
The joint grenadiers and chasseurs battalion were dissolved and each unit returned to its original regiment.
On 18th October 1796, the provincial regiments were reduced to 10 regiments of a single battalion of 762 men:
The 2 Savoyard's regiments were logically dissolved (Genevois and Maurienne) and the Lombards regiments (Tortone and Novare) numbers were transferred to the national regiment of Alessandria.
The soldiers of the 2 provincial elite's regiments were to be transferred to national troops regiments:
Royal Grenadiers are suppressed and men transferred to the Guard Regiment
The pioneers and sappers formed a single battalion attached to the Royal Corps of Engineers.
Almost all of the foreign regiments were kept. Chablais (composed of national officers and both French and Piemontese troops) became a national regiment: Alessandria (French troops were to be replaced by men of the disciplinary battalion, men of the Domerego free company and by chasseurs of the Tortone and Novare Regiments.
They were 3 foreign regiments (all Swiss):
and 4 battalions:
Battalion Schimdt was sdisbanded, mainly due to the massive desertion of the men, left to enlist in an English regiment recruited in Corsica.
The light regiments were disbanded and created in their place were:
Artilley and Engineers
Artillery was reduced:
For the engineers:
Milita, Free Corps and Miscellaneous Troops
In May 28th 1796 the King ordered the disbanding of the militia, the general headquarters, logistic services (notably the "Dragoni di provianda")
The numbers of various free corps company were to be transferred in national regiments:
Two regiments were disbanded: Aoste Cavalry and Chablais's dragoons as well as the 2 Sardinian dragoons serving on the main land.
Only 6 regiments were left (all national), comprising 4 squadrons of 106 men (87 horsemen only)
Still in existence were the:
Gardes du corps (180 men)
On 25 February 1797, an offensive and defensive alliance was signed between France and Piemont. Piemont was to provide France with a division of 7000 infantrymen, 1000 horsemen and 40 guns against a possible maritime attack along the Mediterranean Sea. Such an auxiliary division was eventually formed under the command of Baron Fontanieux, former brigadier of the Chablais Regiment.
Its composition was:
1st Infantry Brigade (3711 men): Avogadro di Ronco (commanding Regiment
2nd Infantry Brigade (2735 men): Baron de Bellemont
Cavalry Brigade (1058 men): d'Oncieu de Chaffardon (commanding the King's Dragoons)
Miscellaneous Units (1492 men):
Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2006
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