Friday, October 28, 2011

French Army at Yorktown

Of all the French forces that fought in the American War for Independence, General Rochambeau's French expeditionary corps are probably the most famous in the United States, contributing greatly to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Rochambeau had over 6,000 troops with him from these infantry regiments (listed in order of precedence):

  • Bourbonnois

  • Royal-Deux-Ponts (German)

  • Soissonois

  • Saintonge

  • Agenois

  • Gatinois

  • Touraine

  • Metz Artillery Regiment

Rochambeau also had the exotic 2nd Legion of Volontaires-Etrangers de la Marine, better known as Lauzun's Legion. The Duc de Lauzen had 600 men, of whom half were hussars armed with lances, and the other half were infantry.

So why did the French fare so poorly in the Seven Years War, yet were able to pound the British twenty years later? Lord willing, I hope to answer this question next time I write.

Soldiers (above) from Gatinois Regiment, picture from Note the red plumes on the hats: these point out that the wearers are grenadiers, the elite of the regiment.

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