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|Walloon Guards |
Military coat of arms of Philip V
|Engagements|| War of the Polish Succession |
War of the Austrian Succession
Motín de Esquilache
Spanish War of Independence
|Ramón María Narváez|
The Walloon Guards (Gardes Wallonnes; in Spanish, Guardia Valona) were an infantry corps recruited for the Spanish Army in the region now known as Belgium, mainly from Catholic Wallonia. As foreign troops without direct ties amongst the Spanish population, the Walloons were often tasked with the maintenance of public order, eventually being incorporated as a regiment of the Spanish Royal Guard.
Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organisation. A military innovation by Napoleon, the formation was first named as such in 1805.
The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies — dating back to the late 15th century.
Wallonia is a region of Belgium. As the southern portion of the country, Wallonia is primarily French-speaking, and accounts for 55% of Belgium's territory, but only a third of its population. The Walloon Region was not merged with the French Community of Belgium, which is the political entity responsible for matters related mainly to culture and education, because the French Community of Belgium encompasses both Wallonia and the majority French-Speaking Brussels-Capital Region.
The Walloon Guards were first raised at a time when the Low Countries were under the Spanish Crown as the Spanish Netherlands. "Walloons" was the German (walah) name for their romanized neighbors. Initially Walloon line infantry regiments were formed by the Flemish, the Brabantians and Walloons to the number of 4,000 men and were recruited among the strongest and tallest men available, to spearhead assaults or to cover retreats.
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or historically also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders.
Spanish Netherlands was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics, is the conversion of writing from a different writing system to the Roman (Latin) script, or a system for doing so. Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written text, and transcription, for representing the spoken word, and combinations of both. Transcription methods can be subdivided into phonemic transcription, which records the phonemes or units of semantic meaning in speech, and more strict phonetic transcription, which records speech sounds with precision.
The decision to raise a regiment of Walloon Guards was taken on 17 October 1702 by Philip V of Spain and the new unit arrived in Spain in December the following year. They were linked with the Spanish Guards (Gardes Espagnoles) raised shortly before. Both regiments had the same organisation, disciplinary regulations and uniforms of dark blue, red and silver. The model for both were the French Guards (Gardes Françaises) of the French Maison du Roi, a detachment of whom were sent to Spain in 1703 to act as instructors.
Philip V was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, and from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death, 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746.
After the independence of the United Netherlands in 1648 and the cession of the Spanish Netherlands to Austria at the Treaty of Utrecht in 1714, Walloons continued to serve in the Spanish army together with foreign soldiers from Switzerland, Ireland, and Italy. The Walloon Guards remained a primarily Walloon unit, although the Austrian authorities attempted to discourage recruitment in the former Spanish Netherlands. Most officers of the Regiment came from long established Spanish families of Walloon origin. Similarly, some rank and file members of the regiment remained in Spain when their period of service was over, took Spanish wives and encouraged their sons to enlist in the various Walloon units of the Spanish Army.
The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or simply United Provinces, and commonly referred to historiographically as the Dutch Republic, was a confederal republic formally established from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.
The Peace of Münster was a treaty between the Lords States General of the United Netherlands and the Spanish Crown, the terms of which were agreed on 30 January 1648. The Treaty is a key event in Dutch history marking formal recognition of the independent Dutch Republic and formed part of the Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War.
In March 1766, the Walloon Guard was amongst the troops defending Charles III of Spain during the Esquilache Riots, and shots fired by a detachment of the regiment killed a woman, intensifying the crowd's anger. Demands made by the rioters to the king included the disbanding of the Walloon Guards, several of whom were killed during the disturbances.
Charles III was King of Spain (1759–1788), after ruling Naples as Charles VII and Sicily as Charles V (1734–1759). He was the fifth son of Philip V of Spain, and the eldest son of Philip's second wife, Elisabeth Farnese. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he succeeded to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, upon the death of his half-brother Ferdinand VI, who left no heirs.
The Esquilache Riots occurred in March 1766 during the rule of Charles III of Spain. Caused mostly by the growing discontent in Madrid about the rising costs of bread and other staples, they were sparked off by a series of measures regarding Spaniards' apparel that had been enacted by Leopoldo de Gregorio, Marqués de Esquilache, a Neapolitan minister whom Charles favored.
The Walloon Guards played a significant role in the extended Great Siege of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783. By this date shortfalls in recruiting from the Netherlands were being made up by drawing on Irish and German sources.
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence.
Until the Austrian Netherlands were overrun and annexed by the First French Republic in 1794, the region continued to supply 400 to 500 recruits per year to the Walloon Guards through a recruitment office in Liège. The three Walloon line infantry regiments, Brabante, Flandes and Bruselas, were dissolved and redistributed to other regiments between 1791 and 1792.
Part of the Walloon Guards were stationed in Madrid at the time of the French occupation in October 1808. These were incorporated into the French Army, which already included a significant number of Belgian and Dutch units. Four battalions of Walloon Guards garrisoned in Barcelona and Aragon continued in Spanish service, seeing much action against the French. With recruitment from the Southern Netherlands effectively ceasing, the Walloon Guards were reduced in numbers to two battalions by January 1812, in spite of drawing on Spanish volunteers as replacements.
With the restoration of the Spanish Bourbon monarchy in 1814 the Royal Guard was reassembled, but continuing recruitment difficulties meant that the Walloon Guards had become a mainly Spanish unit. On 1 June 1818 the Walloon Guards were accordingly renamed as the Second Regiment of Royal Guards of Infantry, losing their traditional distinctions. In 1824 a new Guardia Real was raised drawing entirely on Spanish conscripts or volunteers from the regular army.
Dragoons originally were a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 18th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry, trained for combat with swords from horseback.
A grenadier was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At that time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers. By the 18th century, dedicated grenade throwing of this sort was no longer relevant, but grenadiers were still chosen for being the most physically powerful soldiers and would lead assaults in the field of battle. Grenadiers would also often lead the storming of fortification breaches in siege warfare, although this role was more usually fulfilled by all-arm units of volunteers called forlorn hopes, and might also be fulfilled by sappers or pioneers.
Swiss Guards are the Swiss soldiers who have served as guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century.
The Battle of Lens was a French victory under Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé against the Spanish army under Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). It was the last major battle of the war and a French victory. The battle cemented the reputation of Condé as one of the greatest generals of his age.
In some militaries, foot guards are senior infantry regiments. Foot guards are commonly responsible for guarding royal families, or other state leaders, and they also often perform ceremonial duties accordingly, but in the same time are combat soldiers.
Chasseur, a French term for "hunter", is the designation given to certain regiments of French and Belgian light infantry or light cavalry to denote troops trained for rapid action.
The Flight of the Wild Geese was the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691, following the end of the Williamite War in Ireland. More broadly, the term Wild Geese is used in Irish history to refer to Irish soldiers who left to serve in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in the United Kingdom. The British Army has regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards predating the English Restoration (1660), and since the reign of King Charles II these regiments have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign's palaces. Despite tourist perceptions, the Guards are not purely ceremonial and are fully operational soldiers.
The Battle of Fleurus of August 29, 1622 was fought in the Spanish Netherlands between a Spanish army, and the Protestant forces of Ernst von Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick during the Eighty Years' War and Thirty Years' War. The bloody struggle left the Protestants mangled and the Spanish masters of the field, but unable to block the enemy's march.
A royal guard describes any group of military bodyguards, soldiers or armed retainers responsible for the protection of a royal person, such as the emperor or empress, king or queen, or prince or princess. They often are an elite unit of the regular armed forces, or are designated as such, and may maintain special rights or privileges.
The French Guards were an infantry regiment of the Military Household of the King of France under the Ancien Régime.
Marines, also known as naval infantry, are typically an infantry force that specializes in the support of naval and army operations at sea and on land and air, as well as the execution of their own operations. In many countries, the marines are an integral part of that state's navy. In others, it is a separate organization altogether, such as in the United States, where the Marine Corps falls under the US Department of the Navy, yet it operates independently. Marines can also fall under a country's army like the Troupes de marine and Givati Brigade.
The 56th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment in the British Army, active from 1755 to 1881. It was originally raised in Northumbria as the 58th Regiment, and renumbered the 56th the following year when two senior regiments were disbanded. It saw service in Cuba at the capture of Havana in the Seven Years' War, and was later part of the garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar in the American Revolutionary War. During the French Revolutionary Wars it fought in the Caribbean and then in Holland. On the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars the 56th raised a second battalion in 1804 as part of the anti-invasion preparations; both saw service in India and in the Indian Ocean, with the first capturing Réunion and Mauritius. A third battalion was formed in the later years of the war, but was disbanded after a brief period of service in the Netherlands.
The Royal Guard is an independent regiment of the Spanish Armed Forces that is dedicated to the protection of the King of Spain and members of the Spanish Royal Family. It currently has a strength of 1900 troops. While the guard does participate in parades and other ceremonial events, it is a fully functional combat unit. Its members are recruited from the ranks of all three branches of the Spanish Armed Forces and receive the same combat training as regular soldiers.
The Royal Saxon Army was the military force of the Electorate (1682—1807) and later the Kingdom of Saxony (1807—1918). A regular Saxon army was first established in 1682 and it continued to exist until the abolition of the German monarchies in 1918. With the formation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon the Royal Saxon Army joined the French "Grande Armée" along with 37 other German states.
The 83rd Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment, which was formed in Ireland in 1793 for service in the French Revolutionary Wars. The regiment served in the West Indies, South Africa and the Peninsular War, and after the end of the wars with France spent much of the nineteenth century in colonial garrisons. Among other service, the 83rd fought in the Ceylon Great Rebellion of 1817–18, the Canadian Rebellions of 1837, and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Under the Childers Reforms, the regiment amalgamated with the 86th Regiment of Foot to form the Royal Irish Rifles in 1881.
The French Royal Army served the Bourbon kings beginning with Louis XIV and ending with Charles X with an interlude from 1792 until 1814, during the French Revolution and the reign of the Emperor Napoleon I. After a second, brief interlude when Napoleon returned from exile in 1815, the Royal Army was reinstated. Its service to the direct Bourbon line was finished when Charles X was overthrown in 1830 by the July Revolution.
The Siege of Valenciennes took place between 13 June and 28 July 1793, during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition. The French garrison under Jean Henri Becays Ferrand was blockaded by part of the army of Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, commanded by the Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Valenciennes fell on 28 July, resulting in an Allied victory.
Juan de Courten (elder) or Juan Antonio Curten Massenet or Juan Courten or Juan Curten began his Spanish military career in the War of the Austrian Succession at the age of 14. His father was a brigadier general of engineers who died in 1745. Courten fought in the Spanish–Portuguese War (1761–1763), the Invasion of Algiers in 1775, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar. He was the last Spanish governor of Oran in 1792. As a lieutenant general, he led an infantry division during the War of the Pyrenees against the First French Republic in several actions including Perpignan, Peyrestortes, Truillas, Boulou, and the Black Mountain. He was appointed Captain General of Aragon in 1795.
This article incorporates material from the es:Diccionario Enciclopédico Hispano-Americano registered in 1892, nowadays in public domain