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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

cm_spitfire

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From the 11th of December the GRENADIERS had the foremost honour to stand guard in the ancient castle and palace of Milan. Whilst symbolic in nature the duty required the utmost vigilance given the castle’s proximity to the border with the Ottoman-occupied Southern-German and Italian states. The flood of refugees from these provinces, seeking to escape the harsh rule of religious law, threatened to overwhelm the French and Savoyard border stations; from time to time the REGIMENT was ordered to reinforce these posts.

On the 21st of March 1763, Emperor Louis XV passed away at Versailles. A national week of mourning was declared as the Empire was turned over to the senior Ducs of the Realm once again until the Dauphine, Philip, would come of age in 1775.

During the years 1765, 1766 and 1767, the regiment was stationed successively at Bergamo, Parma, Bardi, Sassuolo, Chur, Zurich and St Gallen; on the 10th of January, 1768, it was reviewed by His Royal Highness the Dauphine, afterwards Emperor Philip VII, who was then in the eighth year of his age, and his person and accomplishments excited the admiration of all who beheld him. In a few days after the review, the REGIMENT returned to Milan.

Colonel de Bretteville retired his commission on the 12th of April 1768 and was succeeded by Colonel Charles d’Incourt, from the 3e Regiment de Normandie.

The GRENADIERS were stationed on the island of Corsica in the years 1768 and 1769 but were returned to the mainland in anticipation of War in August 1769.

The Christian powers of Europe, being outraged by the unquenchable drive of the Ottoman Turk into European states and enforce their religious law, and having no further recourse to evict them from their unjustified conquests, declared war upon the Ottomans on the 2nd of November 1769. Having been recalled from Corsica in August, the REGIMENT reformed with the 3rd Division in Parme and proceeded to the city of Mantova which had only recently been surrendered to the enemy.

The speed of the advance of the French divisions and those of the members of the Grand Coalition and in bypassing a number of strategic cities and fortresses precluded interference with that of the 3rd Division at Mantova; the siege was largely static in nature and the small garrison surrendered on the 18th of April 1770 when it was clear no reinforcements would be forthcoming.

On the 28th of April, the REGIMENT was part of the covering force screening the approaches to the city of Treviso which was besieged by the 4th Division. On the 24th of July the combined might of the 1st and 2nd Guards’ Divisions clashed with a larger Janissary army at Salzburg and won a heroic victory that would halt any further Ottoman designs in that campaign season.

Treviso was delivered up to the 4th Division on the 31st of October; the 3rd Division was subsequently directed into the former Austrian territories, freeing those towns and cities that had previously been bypassed by the advancing Divisions.

On the 25th of November, as the baggage train were pitching the tents of the army on a fine plain beyond the fort of Landschut, they were suddenly assailed by a heavy cannonade from an eminence in front; at the same time the advance-picquet, under Capitaine Boiselle of the GRENADIERS, was attacked by a force of very superior numbers, but repulsed its assailants with distinguished bravery. The army arriving on the plain, advanced in close column of regiments towards the eminence, upon which large bodies of Slavic mercenary cavalry and infantry were formed, who withdrew their heavy guns, but annoyed the advancing columns with rockets.

As the French columns approached the height, they formed line, and ascended to the summit, which was abandoned by the enemy, but a short distance beyond the eminence appeared the army of Slav and Balkan mercenaries in order of battle. As the GRENADIERS moved forward, a large body of cavalry formed in the shape of a wedge appeared advancing to charge the REGIMENT, and the French line halted to receive the attack. Immediately afterwards two other very large bodies of the enemy were discovered in two wooded areas preparing to support the first charge. The Duc de Burgundy, commanding the Division, and seeing the danger which menaced the REGIMENT, placed himself in its rear, frequently repeating the words, ‘Steady, Normans!’ Steady, the Grenadiers!’ and when the wedge approached within a hundred yards of the line, the enemy cavalry discharged their carbines and pistols, but without doing execution. The GRENADIERS remained steady, with their muskets at the recover, until the enemy arrived within about thirty yards, when a well-directed volley, followed by a rapid file firing, carried destruction into the enemy’s ranks; a rampart of killed and wounded men and horses lying along the front of the REGIMENT. The rear of the wedge was embarrassed by the killed and wounded in front, and could not continue their charge. A few mercenary horsemen broke through the REGIMENT, but they were instantly shot in its rear, and the French artillery arriving, and opening its fire, decided the fate of the day at that part of the field; a distant cannonade, however, indicated that the battle was raging elsewhere.

The left of the right wing was opposed to the enemy infantry, and gained a complete victory; between seven and eight thousand Balkans and Slavs being put hors de combat: the loss of the French did not amount to so many hundreds.

Following the battle, the 3rd Division was directed to the city of Klagenfurt in Karnten which place they reached on the 2nd of January, 1771 and the GRENADIERS had the honour to take part in the capture of this city. They were on duty in the trenches on the 7th of January; and they were repeatedly engaged in storming the outer works and exterior defences. On the 17th of January, Aspirant Gorgons of the REGIMENT was killed, and Aspirant Devereaux wounded, at the attack on the counterscarp; and on the 28th of January, Capitaine Bastille was wounded at the extending of the lodgement on the covered way. On the following day, when preparations were making for another assault, the garrison hoisted a white flag and agreed to surrender the town.

The REGIMENT also had the honour to take part in gaining another splendid victory of the Turkish forces, at Gorz, on the 20th of February. During the early part of the action the GRENADIERS, the 3e Regiment de Normandie, and three regiments of cavalry, were stationed on the heights of south-east of Gorizia, where they had a view of the field of battle. An important crisis in the battle arriving, these corps descended from the heights, - the GRENADIERS and compatriots forced their way through a morass, cross the Vrtojbica River, ascended the acclivity between that river and the opposite bank, and charging the enemy’s left flank, forced three Ottoman regiments into some low grounds, where the greater part of them were either killed or taken prisoners. The French were successful at every part of the field, and the legions of the enemy were overpowered, and pursued from the plains of Gorz with great slaughter until the following morning, by which time nearly all the enemy’s cannon, with many standards, colours, and kettle-drums, had been captured. The REGIMENT suffered the loss of Major-Chef d’Ecouis and Lieutenant de Mortemer, one serjeant and six soldiers killed. Capitaine d’Avre, SousLieutenant Wissant and 11 soldiers wounded.

The Ottoman armies, numerous though they were, had been defeated time and again by the rampant French, Savoyard, Roman and Dutch troops and had been forced on to the defensive as they exchanged ground for time. The 3rd and 4th Divisions, with accompanying Savoyard and Roman troops continued their drive through the occupied states of Northern Italy and lower-Austria; the GRENADIERS were instrumental in the victory at Istria, in modern day Croatia, on the 13th of June 1771, when, accompanying a Papal brigade and two regiments of French cavalry, delivered staunch volley fire into the flank of the enemy, from a wooded copse, and sent the entire wing of the army into flight.

While resting on the battlefield on the 29th of June, the allied forces were counter-attacked by a Janissary army in the waning hours of the evening. Owing to the zeal and devotion to duty of those posted on sentry, the Janissaries were observed in their preparations and the allied forces were roused into line. As darkness descended, the enemy, with their eerie hallooing and chanting, appeared not 50 yards from the French line, bayonets and yatagan swords held before them. They promptly charged into the fire from French muskets but, failing to reach the French line, quickly withdrew into the dark of night once more.

The actions of the following day were precipitated by move and counter-move while the artillery of both armies duelled. The Duc de Burgundy states in his public despatch: “About three o’clock, the action proper began by a very vigorous attack on the French line, and was continued with great obstinacy until sunset; the enemy being constantly supplied with fresh troops. The stress lay upon the Norman Grenadiers, the 3e and 5e Regiments de Normandie, most parts of which were engaged nearly four hours without intermission…Just as night closed, the enemy gave ground on all sides, and left us completely masters of the field of battle.” The REGIMENT had Capitaine Belleville, Lieutenants de Rou and de Ver and Sous-Lieutenant de Pontchardon, four serjeants and 12 soldiers killed; Capitaines de Cambrai and Eustache, Lieutenant de Canaigres, Aspirants de Saint-Ouen, d’Aignaux and de Mortain, two serjeants and 21 soldiers wounded.

The battles of 1st and 2nd Istria would later be bestowed by the Emperor as official battlefield honours to the REGIMENT’s glowing and prestigious history.

In August, a detachment of the REGIMENT proceeded to Trieste to take part in the duties of that garrison, while other French troops were working at the fortifications on the heights of Pivka.

In the meantime, the progress of the war had continued to be unfavourable for the Ottomans; the French divisions were rampant yet significant numbers of enemy troops remained in the field. Under this circumstance, the Duc de Burgundy resolved to lead the Division deeper into Turkish-held territory and make a powerful effort to oust them from the Balkans.

To engage in this splendid enterprise, the GRENADIERS marched east and were joined by the 4th Division and the Trieste detachment on the 4th of October. The designs of the French commander were secret; the object, for which the movements were made, held Europe in perplexing anxiety, suspended the operations of the Turkish commander, and confounded his generals; and the moment the advance assumed a specific direction, the enemy was no longer able to render the plan abortive. Arriving near Zagreb, the GRENADIERS were formed in brigade with their familiar companions the 3e and 5e Normandie and the 3e Caud Regiments, and this brigade was posted in the second line.

At three o’clock on the morning of the 18th of October, the two divisions advanced in the direction of Zapresic, to attack a body of Ottomans, in an entrenched camp on the heights of Bliznec, on the northern bank of the Sava River. Arriving in front of the enemy’s position, the attack was commenced about six in the evening, by a detachment from each Division. The difficulty of the ground, - the formidable preparations of the enemy – and the steady bravery of the Turkish soldiers, occasioned this to prove a particularly severe contest; but the determined assaults of the French soldiers shook the strength and weakened the resistance of the enemy; and eventually the soldiers of the army overpowered all resistance, captured the heights, and pursued the Turkish across the Sava capturing sixteen pieces of artillery, a number of standards and colours, with the enemy’s tents and the equipage and plate of the Ottoman Imam.

The GRENADIERS shared in this splendid triumph of the French arms on the banks of the Sava. Its loss was one serjeant and nine rank and file killed; Capitaines de Senarpont and de Trelli, Lieutenant de Merle, three serjeants and nineteen rank and file wounded.

After this victory the Divisions penetrated further into the Balkans, and the Turk, awaiting reinforcements from his ally in Russia, concentrated his forces at Bjelovar where he formed an entrenched camp. The GRENADIERS advanced to the vicinity of Bjelovar; but the fortified camp was found too strong to be attacked with any prospect of success and the troops retired a few stages.

The Turk quitted his entrenched camp, and joined the Russians; the united armies encamping near the village of Klisa, in Slavonia.

Commanding soldiers whose chivalrous spirit panted for distinction in the shock of battle, the French general, having been joined by the 1st Guards and 5th and 6th Divisions, led his columns forward, on the morning of the memorable 19th of November, 1771, in full confidence in the firmness and prowess of his troops. About mid-day a column, of which the REGIMENT, under Colonel d’Incourt, formed part, developed its attack against the enemy’s right. The 3e Caud, GRENADIERS, 3e and 5e Normandie and 7e Picardie, under the Comte de Cotentin, led the attack in gallant style, followed by four battalions of Savoyards, and supported by the infantry of the 4th Division including fifteen squadrons of horse and dragoons. This column proceeded to the banks of a small creek, and took possession of a horse stud, which the enemy had evacuated and set on fire; then advancing through the enclosures, made a determined attack on the Turkish troops posted in the village of Klisa; the Comte de Cotentin striking his sword into the enemy’s palisades before he gave the word “fire.” The assault was made with spirit and resolution, but the brigade was unable to force the entrenchments against the superior numbers of the enemy; and while retiring was charged by the Turkish troopers, who were repulsed by the Savoyard brigade. After repeated attempts on the village had proved unavailing, a few corps blockaded the avenues; the army traversed the rivulet, and attacking the Russian position along the front, engaged in a sanguinary conflict. The combat of musketry, and the charges of the cavalry, were continued with varied success; and amidst this storm of war, the GRENADIERS had repeated opportunities of distinguishing itself. Eventually the legions of the enemy were overpowered, driven from the field with great slaughter, and the loss of the many officers and men taken prisoners, among whom was the Turkish commander, Imam al-Sood.

The main body of Turks being defeated with the loss of its artillery and baggage, the Russian troops posted in Klisa attempted to escape by the rear of the village; but were repulsed. They were environed on every side, and being unable to affect their escape, twenty-four battalions of infantry, and twelve squadrons of cavalry, surrendered prisoners of war. Thus ended the mighty struggle of this eventful day.

The 3rd and 4th Divisions made a retrograde movement in the week following the battle; the winter weather turning and the roads rapidly becoming unpassable, the French commander determined to have his forces grouped where they may better assist one another. The GRENADIERS passed into the fortress at Zagreb on the 2nd of December and shared garrison duties with the other regiments of the division.

No sooner had they arrived however that the Duc de Burgundy was notified of another Ottoman army threatening Zagreb from the south, having been landed at the port of Senj. The fortifications of Zagreb, being in questionable strength, would not sustain a siege of any duration and so the 3rd Division with accompanying brigades of Savoyards and Papal guards, moved into an entrenched position south of Zagreb, near Karlovac, and astride the road leading towards Senj.

The REGIMENT was, on the 6th of January 1772, stationed a number of kilometres in the rear of the position when the advance of the Ottoman army was discovered. Hurrying forward, part of the distance at running pace, the REGIMENT arrived at the field of battle during the action between the Allied and Turkish armies. As the REGIMENT approached the left of the line, a numerous body of Turkish cavalry was seen advancing to charge that flank; Colonel d’Incourt observed the movement, and throwing the GRENADIERS into a small cover on the enemy’s flank caused so heavy and well directed a fire to be opened upon the Turkish horsemen, that the attempt was completely disconcerted. The Duc de Burgundy detailed this gallant and successful action of the REGIMENT in his public despatch, and added – “This was the last struggle of the enemy, who, astonished and dismayed by the intrepidity with which they were assailed, began precipitately to retreat, leaving the field covered with carnage…our victorious infantry continued the pursuit of the routed enemy as long as they were able; but as the latter dispersed in every direction, and we were under the necessity of preserving our order, the trial of speed became unequal. The total loss occasioned to the enemy by this conflict, cannot be less than four thousand men. When I oppose to the above our own small comparative loss (forty-five killed, two hundred and eighty-eight wounded), His Majesty will, I hope, discern in the fact, the happy effects of that established discipline, to which we owe the triumphs by which our army has been so highly distinguished.”

The loss of the REGIMENT was limited to a few Grenadiers killed and wounded: Capitaine d’Orbec, commanding one of the flank companies, was mortally wounded.

For its distinguished conduct on this occasion, and at the battles of (1st) Zagreb and Slavonia, the REGIMENT received the approbation of the Emperor and the Royal Authority to bear the words ‘1st ZAGREB’, ‘SLAVONIA’ and ‘2nd ZAGREB’ on its colours.
 

stnylan

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Quite a significant clash with the Ottomans and Russians - but these Eastern Empires are proving no match for the discipline and determination of our storied regiment.
 

Le Jones

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This is a wonderful AAR @cm_spitfire and absolutely reads like a regimental record, the mix of very technical detail and mildly eccentric 'by the way' remarks is brilliant. Looking forward to seeing more.
 

cm_spitfire

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Following up the advantages acquired by victory of 2nd Zagreb, the French advanced south in pursuit of the retreating Ottomans and were engaged on multiple occasions with the enemy’s rear guards and culminating in the short but bloody Battle of Lika on the 28th of February, where the remaining Turkish soldiers laid down their arms and surrendered. The REGIMENT suffered Lieutenant de Torteval, three serjeants and 11 grenadiers killed; Aspirant du Bois and 13 grenadiers wounded on this occasion. The Ottoman Turks no longer being a factor in this domain of the war, the 3rd Division was retired from the front and returned to Brescia on the 26th of March where they entered cantonments to rest and receive a body of reinforcements from France.

At last, on the 10th of December, the REGIMENT and Division being in a state of readiness for further operations, they were dispatched from Brescia to the city of Mostar in the Duchy of Bosnia. A fast passage being made, the Division arrived at the recently liberated city on the 27th of January 1773; subsequent orders directed the Division, with the 2nd Guards and 7th Divisions, for the Ottoman capital, Constantinople; the desire of the Emperor being to strike an unrecoverable blow to Ottoman designs.

The route to this most famed and celebrated city of the Eastern Roman Empire being clear of enemy troops, the 3rd Division arrived and commenced activities to besiege Constantinople on the 24th of March. The Turkish Caliph, being alarmed at such action, recalled his forces from south of the Bosporus and some days later, a force of near 121,000 troops landed at Silivri, and advanced towards the siege lines.

General al-Huq, having organised his forces following the landing, advanced to raise the siege of Constantinople and attacked the French posts early on the morning of the 7th of April. On this occasion the REGIMENT ascended the heights of Sevgililer Omani at day-break, and proceeding the ridge of Pirincci, the right wing halted at the foot; but the left wing, and a regiment of Romans, ascended to the summit, the Romans taking post in front in skirmishing order. The skirmishers were driven in by a very superior force of the enemy; the right wing was ordered to ascend and support the left; but the Duc de Burgundy, finding it impossible to maintain the ridge, ordered the REGIMENT to descend. Capitaine Luc de Trelli covered the movement, with his company, with great gallantry, but he lost many grenadiers. A position at the foot of the ridge was maintained throughout the day.

The REGIMENT had Capitaine Buiat, two serjeants, two corporals and ten grenadiers killed; Major-Chef Jean d’Avre and Lieutenant de Louf later died of their wounds; Capitaine Alexandre de Villon, Lieutenants Marc Greslet, Louis de Theil, Hughes de Champagne, Charles le Carnet and Jerome de Touchet, two serjeants, five corporals, and ninety-eight grenadiers wounded; twelve grenadiers missing.

The REGIMENT retreated during the night, and a series of retrograde movements brought the GRENADIERS into position in front of Constantinople, where it had the honour to take part in repulsing the fierce attacks of the enemy on the 8th of April, and in inflicting severe loss on the Turkish troops, by whom the post, which the REGIMENT occupied, was assaulted. Its loss on this occasion was Capitaine Victor de Noyers and eighteen grenadiers killed; Capitaines Jean de Clinchard and Manuel des Vaux, Lieutenants Rogier de Saint-Helene, Pascal Guinebond, Charles de Rennes and Tomas de Ferrieres, two serjeants, four corporals and seventy-seven rank and file wounded.

On the 9th, the REGIMENT was obliged to switch positions and thus marched a considerable distance, making a detour to gain the enemy’s right at Esenyurt. Two regiments of de Revier’s Brigade were extended in skirmishing order, and the GRENADIERS covered the division guns. A Papal brigade proceeded to the relief of the advanced regiments; but was driven back with severe loss, and one Savoyard regiment gave way on the road; when the GRENADIERS were ordered, by the Duc de Burgundy, to recover the lost ground. Brigadier de Revier being wounded, the command of the brigade devolved on Colonel d’Olgeanc of the 2e Regiment de Cotentin, who directed the REGIMENT to reserve their fire, and charge, with three cheers. The command was gallantly obeyed, and the REGIMENT drove back a strong column of the enemy at the point of the bayonet; but becoming exposed to the Turkish artillery, the REGIMENT sustained severe loss. The 7th Division, until then held in reserve, came up at the moment of the charge and the 2e Cotentin afforded the GRENADIERS an opportunity of rallying and capturing two of the Turkish guns. After a contest of some hours’ duration, the enemy was finally driven from his position, and pursued with severe loss.

The REGIMENT had its Commanding Officer, Colonel d’Incourt, Major-Chef Lucienne de Bondeville, Capitaine Jerome de Saint-Aurin, Aspirant Jacques de Bapaur and six grenadiers killed; Capitaines Jean de Caen, Robert de Brix and Denis de Sauvigni, Lieutenants Charles de Cailli and Edouard Goulaffe, three serjeants, two corporals and ninety-three grenadiers wounded; Capitaine Luc de Trelli taken prisoner.

90,000 French, Savoyard and Papal troops had turned away 121,000 Ottoman Turks at the largest meeting of armies in the history of European conflict. It was a glorious victory and spelled the beginning of the end of Turkish military ability for many years. The GRENADIERS suffered greatly during the three-day battle but equally won approbation and honours worthy of their illustrious name. Following the battle, many of the surviving Turks surrendered and were dispatched back to French prisons; yet the siege itself continued unaffected, and did not fall until the 22nd of July when the populace rose up to force the Governor’s hand.

The word “CONSTANTINOPLE” is inscribed on the colours, by Royal Authority, as a testimony of the gallantry of the REGIMENT on this occasion.

On the 26th of July, Colonel Alexandre de Caen, Marquis de Caen, was appointing Commanding Officer and immediately took charge of the REGIMENT in Constantinople.

On the 8th of August, the REGIMENT was called into action upon the ramparts of Constantinople’s walls when a force of 10,000 Janissaries made a desperate attempt to dislodge the French forces; this attack was repulsed with great loss amongst the Turkish troops.

On the 24th of July, 1774 peace was finally reached with the Ottoman Caliph; much of Northern Italy was liberated with the lands passing into control of Savoy and the Papal State. But perhaps more importantly, certainly for future conflict between the Empires, the Turks were forced to annul their alliance with the Russians.

The REGIMENT was returned to the fortress at Chur on the 20th of January 1775 where they received a large body of reinforcements from France and conducted a number of training activities and parades. On the 11th of March they were inspected by the future Emperor Philip VII and received the praise of this illustrious leader.

A grand parade was held in Paris on the 22nd of September to commemorate the coronation of Philip VII; a company from the REGIMENT, under Capitaine Charles de Briqueville, attended and it took its place beneath the Arc de Savoie.

In October, two companies were removed to Milan.

In December 1775, the REGIMENT was removed from Chur and through January and February, 1776, travelled to Versailles, where it had the honour of doing duty during His Majesty’s residence at that palace.

From Versailles the REGIMENT was removed to Lyon, in the spring of 1777, and afterwards to Genoa; it was subsequently stationed at Milan, and in October returned to Genoa where it embarked for Corsica; it landed at Bastia, from whence it proceeded to the barracks at Borgo.

The REGIMENT was removed to Porto-Vecchio, in June, 1778; and in May, 1779, the headquarters proceeded back to Bastia, with parties at Borgo, Lama, Lumio and Calvi.

In September, 1780, the REGIMENT marched for Bastia, where it embarked for France in October, landing at Nice, afterwards proceeded to Cuneo. In January 1781 it was removed to Turin.

On the 21st of March, the military alliance between France and The Netherlands was activated for the Dutch/Brunswick Nationalist War; The Franco-Dutch coalition would face forces from Brunswick, Bohemia, the Palatinate and Trier.

Initially, the REGIMENT did not received orders but, on the appointment of General Alphonse de Vergennes as Commander of the 3rd Division, they departed cantonments in Turin and proceeded with the 4th Division to the Bohemian capital of Praha where they arrived on the 28th of August. On the 5th of September, while the GRENADIERS were in the screening force north of the city, a force of some 40,000 Bohemian and German mercenary troops were observed moving to raise the siege. The REGIMENT, in brigade with the 3e Normandie, 3e Cotentin and some units of cavalry and artillery, occupied a defensive position, to block the advance, while the remainder of the Division could be organised.

On the arrival of the remainder of the Division the following day, with regiments from the 4th Division, the Bohemian force deigned to attack and the REGIMENT was engaged in a severe musketry action, and it succeeded in driving the Bohemian corps opposed to it from field to field, until the darkness of the night put an end to the conflict. Before the following morning the wreck of the enemy army had retreated towards Dresden.

After this victory, the siege of Praha was prosecuted with greater vigour and the GRENADIERS took their place in the lines of circumvallation. Eventually, on the 23rd of June 1782, a number of breaches being deemed practicable, the REGIMENT was selected to participate in the attack of the city. The REGIMENT had several men killed and wounded in carrying on the approaches, and at the attack of the counterscarp it had thirteen men killed; Capitaine Ansger, Lieutenants de Noyers and de Torteval and Aspirant de Brebeuf, four serjeants and sixty-six rank and file wounded. The capture of the place was confirmed on the 25th of June, when the citadel surrendered.

Having reposed a few months in quarters, and received a body of fine recruits from France, the REGIMENT joined the Division and was employed in covering the siege of Dresden, between July 1782 and September 1783 when the citadel surrendered; the Division afterwards marched to Hannover which it occupied on the 10th of December. The war was concluded on the 18th of December and the GRENADIERS were returned to the fortress at Chur once again.

On the 2nd of March 1784 the REGIMENT was removed to the fortress at Freiburg.

The terms of the settlement between the coalition nations and the Ottoman Turks having expired, the Emperor informed his allies that a state of war existed once more on the 10th of April, 1785. Reconvening with the remainder of the 3rd Division, now Commanded by the Duc de Berry, the REGIMENT was directed to the Imperial City of Salzburg, which was besieged by an Ottoman army – the German states had been invaded by the Turk seven months before the French declaration of the 10th of April. The Ottoman siege party, perhaps being unaware of the movement of the French legions, was ambushed in their entrenchments on the 10th of May to great slaughter.

The siege having been lifted and the Germans returning to the field, the Division commenced marching towards Landschut however, an overwhelming Turkish force was spotted marching to Salzburg. The 3rd and 4th Divisions drew themselves up, knowing they were outnumbered and sent couriers to seek assistance as quickly as possible.

The battle commenced on the 2nd of June; Turkish Dragoons made an offing towards the part of the French line which the GRENADIERS occupied but retired quickly after the French artillery began targeting them. At about nine o’clock on the morning of the 2nd, the Turkish van-guard of infantry approached the lines, and were engaged in a sharp skirmish with the GRENADIERS. The French drove back their adversaries across several fields to a large heath, where the main body of the Turkish appeared in order of battle. Fresh troops from the Division advanced and renewed the conflict; and the Turks, extending their attack to the left, encountered a body of gallant Grenadiers from Picardie. These Grenadiers displayed their usual valour – being attacked by very superior numbers, they were forced to retire to the camp; but during their retrograde movement they disputed every defensible spot of ground with great bravery.

The Turks advanced in great force across the battlefield, and the Norman GRENADIERS, extending themselves along the fields, held their adversaries in check for two hours, but were nearly overpowered, when the 3e Regiment de Normandie arrived and restored the fight. The Turks brought forward a large body of armed men to charge against the right of the REGIMENT’s position, when Capitaine d’Angleville’s company took post on a small hill, and, after sustaining the charge of the Turks, he was driven from thence to a main road, where a sanguinary contest was maintained with unequal numbers. “Lieutenant de Cioches, a giant from Caen, stern of countenance, strong of hands and courageous of heart, like a lion, casting down, overthrowing, and overmatching whomsoever he met with…”2 made great havoc amongst his foes. Colonel de Caen was seen, like another Hector, cutting down his adversaries with dreadful carnage.

Thrice the Turks drove back the French line, and thrice the French renewed the fight with an obstinacy which knew not how to yield. Colonel de Caen had three horses killed under him, yet he continued the combat. At length, darkness fell and the two armies withdrew from each other, leaving thousands, predominantly the un-skilled conscripted Turkish troops, killed and wounded on the field between them.

Through the night, reinforcements arrived in the shape of the 7th Division, and two Milanese and Dutch Divisions; the allied forces of Europe now outnumbering what remained of the Ottomans.

In the darkness of the morning of the 3rd of June, the 4th Division dispatched 2000 men forward to a convenient post and commenced constructing a field-redoubt from which to disrupt the inevitable advance of the Turk; but while employed in this duty, where discovered by the Turkish videttes and attacked. Brigadier de Montaigu’s Brigade, with the GRENADIERS, was rushed forward to support this corps and assist its withdrawal. Against this attack, the French defended themselves above an hour, with both musketry and the bayonet, but they were eventually forced to retire. Whilst withdrawing, with the Turks at their heels, they met with the Milanese and Dutch Divisions seeking to exploit the disorder of the battle and coming to their aid; and, thus reinforced, turned the combined force and confronted the enemy. A volley of musketry pierced the head of the enemy’s column, and the Turks fell back; the allies charged, the Turks face about and fled, and were chased three kilometres; seven hundred men were slain. The Turkish retreat was precipitate and the fear engulfed the remaining Turkish soldiers who turned and withdrew at the sight of the fierce and unstoppable allied line.

The GRENADIERS suffered the loss of Capitaines d’Argouges, Eustache and de Saint-Sanson, Lieutenants de Moion, de Tanie, de Ver and de Dol and Aspirants d’Andre, de Boulogne and Sourdeval, four serjeants 2 Villebraque’s The Turkish Wars and forty-six Grenadiers killed; Colonel de Caen, Major-Chef de Villon, Capitaines de Cambrai and de Theil, Lieutenants de Monceaux, Bavent, d’Orglande, de Blosville and de Coucon and Aspirants de Berville, Corbet, de Bapaume and Guernon, six serjeants and one hundred and eighty-three Grenadiers wounded. The casualties having been largely sustained during the heroic delaying action and vigorous hand-to-hand combat of the first day of the battle. The losses across the 3rd Division numbered in their thousands.

The 3rd Division withdrew towards Rosenheim where they entered cantonments to rest following the exertions at the battle. But short that rest would be as a third Turkish force advanced towards Salzburg and the Division would be required to take the field once more. The Turkish advance was rapid and the allied forces present were forced to give way, surrendering Salzburg to be besieged once more.

With a little over 500 Grenadiers on parade on the 29th of September, the REGIMENT took its place in the Divisional line near the church of Siegsdorf; and after a few volleys the allies charged and drove the enemy back to a strong post in the village. The enemy’s cavalry issued from the village to charge their adversaries; the French horsemen advanced to meet the enemy and a sanguinary conflict ensued, broken only by the need to retire, reform and charge once more.

While the 3rd Division occupied the centre of the battle, the 4th Division sought to turn the Ottoman flank; when passing a defile through a wood, a body of Turks came boldly forward and commenced a sharp fire, but were driven back by the French. As the rear-guard emerged from the trees, an immense force of the enemy appeared marching with colours flying, when the French General immediately charged them with part of his force; the other, meanwhile, unleashing devastating volleys of musket fire into the flank of enemy. A sharp conflict ensued but at length the enemy gave way before the superior valour and prowess of the French. With the flank of the Turkish corps turned, the pressure on the centre immediately gave way and the allied army pursued. Notwithstanding the success of the 4th Division’s manoeuvre, the 3rd Division had been pressed hard in the centre although their stern valour and discipline saw them far from giving way.

As Milanese and Dutch troops pursued the fleeing Turks, the 3rd Division remained on the battlefield. On the 30th, the GRENADIERS could only muster 363 officers and men. The sacrifice and dedication to duty that regiments like the GRENADIERS evinced during the battles of Salzburg would later be recognised by the Emperor with the honour of displaying “SALZBURG”, by Royal Authority, upon the regimental colour.

The 3rd Division was taken out of the line on the 1st of October and entered cantonments in the province of Vaud on the 23rd of November. They would remain here to rest and refit as many regiments, including the GRENADIERS, required significant numbers of reinforcements from the home provinces.
 

stnylan

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How much room do their colours have left for honours I wonder.
 

Cromwell

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They may need to give them more flags than their brothers in other regiments at this rate.
 

cm_spitfire

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How much room do their colours have left for honours I wonder.
They may need to give them more flags than their brothers in other regiments at this rate.
They've certainly been awarded plenty enough honours! While the record doesn't discuss it, in my mind I pictured the colours changing from time to time, particularly in regards to those battle honours. I have an artist working on a set of colours that will reflect a period of time with 6-9 of these honours displayed.
 

cm_spitfire

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With two fewer French Divisions in the field, the Ottoman forces began to take the upper hand and the Turkish General Saleem Malik saw the opportunity to exploit this. 40,000 troops, in two corps, were able to avoid engagement in Austria and Northern Italy, bypassing various fortifications and cities, and strike through the mountain passes into Southern France. One corps, of 24,000 men, on the 28th of June 1786, placed Bayonne under siege while a second of 16,000 struck north for Normandie and Brittany. Having rested for almost eight months by this time, the 3rd and 4th Divisions were directed to lift the siege of Bayonne and crush the Turkish invasion forces.

On the 3rd of September, the advance of the French divisions forced the Turks to prosecute the siege with vigour and they duly captured the city, at significant cost, before the French arrived. The REGIMENT was thus occupied with surrounding the city fortifications and cutting off Turkish foraging parties in the following days. General Mathieu de Vere, commanding the French forces, desired a speedy resolution to this matter and so advanced this troops against the walls on the 7th of September. As the troops advanced, a Turkish force appeared in order of battle before the city, and he resolved to attack them immediately.

The GRENADIERS, in the van of the assault, drove in the Turkish skirmishers in gallant style; but being attacked by the enemy’s main body, were retired upon the supporting column; and these two divisions, charging together, drove the Turks back with great slaughter. At the same time, General de Somme, with his 4th Division, joining the pursuit, the whole of the enemy’s force fled in confusion and dismay. The Turkish cavalry, quitting their horses, saved themselves – some by the gates and others by climbing over the walls. The French, following in hot pursuit, scrambled up the ramparts and fired upon the Turks who defended the wall; while Capitaine de Lisle of the GRENADIERS, with a few men, passing quietly along the ditch towards the bay, found a part weakly guarded, and forced an entrance. The Turks, astonished and confounded by the fury of their assailants, fled from their posts in disorder; and the French, pouring over the outer walls with their characteristic intrepidity, followed the fugitives towards the township in full career.

A warlike spirit of enterprise, a noble emulation for glory, and a feeling of animosity towards the cruel Ottoman Turks, fired the breasts of the French officers and men; the gallant General de Vere headed the assaulting force; the attack was made with an impetuosity which overcame all opposition – the inner gates were forced, and the victorious soldiers crowded into the town. On entering the streets, the GRENADIERS were assailed with musketry and stones from the tops of the houses, yet they forced their way to the market place, broke open a town house, and after a sharp fight with the Turks in the upper rooms, established themselves in this post, from whence detachments scoured the streets, and pursued several parties of the enemy into Fort St. Philip, and the abbey of St. Francis. The troops in the abbey surrendered immediately, and those in the castle and in Fort St. Philip on the following morning. Thus was relieved the peaceful city and castle of Bayonne and one of the insidious Turkish corps destroyed.

Following those Ottoman forces that manage to escape the fury of the French assault, the GRENADIERS caught up with the enemy, mustering a few thousand demoralised troops, at Agen and, the French cavalry cutting off their retreat north, forced them into battle where they were all captured or killed on the 14th of November. In these two battles, the REGIMENT had eleven men killed; Capitaine de Berville, Lieutenants Eude and de Vivile, four serjeants and thirty-seven rank and file wounded.

On the 1st of December the REGIMENT marched north and on the 24th of January, 1787, crossed into Normandie and began sweeping away roving bands of Turkish soldiers. On the 5th of February, the REGIMENT, accompanied in Brigade with the 3e Regiment de Normandie, 2e and 4e Regiments de Cotentin with horse and artillery, ambushed a Turkish brigade of 4,000 men near Rohan and defeated them. Finistere was relieved from siege on the 12th of April before the REGIMENT returned south and defeated a third Turkish corps at the battle of Roussillon on the 8th of June.

With the Ottomans seeking to continue to hold the 3rd and 4th Divisions in France, a fourth corps was dispatched and Bayonne was occupied once more. A more static siege was conducted in this instance by General de Vere; the city was eventually liberated on the 1st of February 1788 and the Divisions could finally return to the front lines, now pushing deeper through the Balkans and Moldavia towards Constantinople once more.

The long march eastwards commenced on the 10th of February with the 3rd Division arriving in the Moldavian province of Akkerman, where the city of Kilia was besieged, on the 6th of July; it surrendered quickly with French troops passing through the city walls on the 9th of November. On the 13th of December the REGIMENT was instrumental in pacifying Ozu; the township of Keefe duly surrendered on the 30th of March, 1789, as the Ottoman opposition began to capitulate.

The Treaty of Vienna was signed by both parties on the 3rd of April bringing the 2nd War of the Grand Coalition to an end; Firenze and Romagna were returned to Mantua; Modena and Ferrara to Ferrara; Mantua, Verona and Trent to the Milanese. Italy, excluding some eastern Venetian provinces, was now free of the Ottoman yoke.

The REGIMENT was removed to Alsace and entered cantonments there on the 15th of October. The decease of the Marquis de Caen having occurred in November, 1789, the Emperor conferred the command of the REGIMENT on Colonel Claude d’Aubernon, the Marquis d’Aubernon, by commission dated the 12th of November, 1789. The REGIMENT remained in Alsace from 1789 until the spring of 1797 when, having been relieved by a REGIMENT from Piccardie, it was removed to Lyon where it arrived on the 21st of March.

Previous to the return of the GRENADIERS to Lyon, a dispute had arisen respecting the possession of Tulangbewary, a coastal settlement in Southern Africa, between Great Britain and Portugal. The small trading village was discovered by the British in 1778 and in 1786 a small association of British merchants sent out two vessels to engage in a traffic with the natives, for the purpose of procuring spices for the Chinese market. In 1794 a free intercourse was opened with the neighbouring tribes. During the summer of 1796 two Portuguese ships of war arrived at this infant establishment, seized the British vessels as lawful prizes, for trading in a part of the country claimed by the king of Portugal, and imprisoned the crew. The British government demanded satisfaction from the court of Lisbon, and, when this was not answered, informed the Portuguese ambassador that a state of war now existed between the two nations.

Owing to the dominance of the French army upon the landmass of Western Europe, the British exercised the alliance to call France into the conflict on the 23rd of November, 1797. On the 1st of December, the REGIMENT arrived in the Catalonian province of Barcelona where it halted while other Divisions arrived. An advance guard of regiments from the 4th Division were repulsed by a strong Portuguese corps near Tarragona in mid-January, 1798, but were able to withdraw in good order to the French lines to the north. The Portuguese, undaunted by the massing French divisions, resolved to continue their drive north and so a great battle was fought on the 20th of January when 69,000 Portuguese met 80,000 Frenchmen near Barcelona.

The GRENADIERS, in brigade with the 3e Normandie and the 3e and 4e Regiments de Calais, had their post on the left of the line; and the French infantry sustained and repulsed the furious and repeated attacks made by very superior number of Portuguese regulars, with a firmness and resolution which gave undeniable proof of the innate valour of French soldiers. The gallant conduct of the REGIMENT on this occasion procured them the honour of having the word ‘BARCELONA’ inscribed on their colours. They lost their second-in-command, Commandant de Dive, who died of his wounds; and had also one serjeant and twenty-five rank and file killed; five serjeants and one hundred and two rank and file wounded.

From Barcelona the REGIMENT advanced with the Division to Tarragona; it was subsequently engaged in operations for the expulsion of Portuguese and Spanish troops from Tarragona, Aragon and Catalonia and after several marches, arrived on the 23rd of March, unperceived by the enemy, near the banks of the river Ebro, in the immediate vicinity of Tortosa. The French commander was desirous of passing the river, to drive the Spanish from the city; but the stream was deep, rapid, and more than three hundred yards in width, and ten thousand Spanish veterans guarded the opposite shore; yet the passage was effected in the following manner:

A Spanish trader, who was friendly to the French forces, had passed the river in a skiff, and a French staff officer, aided by the trader and the prior of the Santa Maria Cathedral, traversed the stream and returned in half an hour with three large barges. Between ten and eleven o’clock an officer and twentyfive Grenadiers of the REGIMENT entered the first boat, crossed the river without being observed, and took post in a large unfinished building, on the banks of the river, called the seminary, which was surrounded by a wall that extended to the water on each side of the building. Thus a lodgement was made in the midst of the enemy’s army without being observed. A second and third boat followed; but scarcely had the men from the third boat reached the shore, when a sudden burst of alarm was heard amidst the Spanish army.

The beating of drums, the shouting of men, with a tumultuous outcry resounded from the city, while the Spanish troops were seen in confused masses traversing the upper streets; and at the moment when the remainder of the GRENADIERS had gained the shore, a furious attack was made on the seminary, by cavalry, infantry and artillery. But the REGIMENT stood their ground manfully, and singly resisted the Spanish legions until supported by the 4e Calais and 4e Picardie regiments. A fierce conflict of musketry was kept up – the Spanish artillery played on the building – the French guns on the other side of the river opened their fire, and the struggle soon became violent. Meanwhile some other boats were captured and additional forces were enabled to pass in considerable numbers, and finally, the enemy was driven from Tortosa with the loss of five pieces of cannon, and about five hundred men killed and wounded, besides about seven hundred men left in the hospitals. Thus was effected one of the most gallant and brilliant exploits which had been performed for many years.

The Duc de Brittany observed in his dispatch: “I cannot say too much in favour of the officers and troops. They have marched, in four days, over eighty miles of most difficult country; have gained many important positions; and have engaged and defeated two different bodies of the enemy’s troops.”

While the siege of Huesca was prosecuted by other French divisions, the 3rd Division rested in Tortosa for some months, nominally securing the flank from an Iberian counterattack.

On the 23rd of October, the Division was instructed to invest the fortress at Cartagena. In concert with the 4th and Light Divisions, the 3rd advanced quickly with only minor, brief skirmishes with enemy forces experienced on the route. By the 14th of November the fortress, occupied by some 3000 Spanish irregulars, was besieged. The Spaniards demonstrated no inclination to neither sally nor provide a relief force and so, with more significant events occurring in the north of the country, the French commander determined to starve the garrison into surrender. Such proclamation was delivered on the 2nd of August 1799. The REGIMENT suffered minor casualties during this time as a result of sickness.

On the 14th of August the REGIMENT, now employed independent of the Division, marched through and received the surrender of the mayor of Jaen while other Divisional forces saw to the wider submission of the province. The GRENADIERS took part in subsequent movements and in October it was in position near the much-vaunted fortress at Badajoz which facility had been destroyed by the fleeing Spanish army. On the 23rd of October, the 3rd Division, now reformed, was instructed to capture the Portuguese capital, Lisbon; the French columns, penetrating with adventurous energy a number of a deep narrow valleys and rugged defiles, among rocks and mountains, traversed a wild romantic region, and thus, turned the flank of the enemy positions on the Spanish-Portuguese border; when the Portuguese army retired upon Lisbon, and drew up in order of battle before the city.

The French Divisions (3rd, 4th and Light) having been concentrated near Lisbon, advanced on the 14th of November and attacked the enemy’s position. The 3rd Division, of which the GRENADIERS formed a part, was in the right column commanded by the Duc de Brittany, and it was engaged in the attack of the posts on the enemy’s left; but the GRENADIERS had no opportunity to distinguish themselves. The Portuguese were driven from their position, and having lost their few pieces of artillery, ammunition, and baggage, they made a precipitate retreat behind the walls of Lisbon. The REGIMENT pursued the enemy and the city was immediately invested. Despite the fall of Lisbon, on the 29th of October 1800, the war carried on unabated; continental Iberia was occupied by the victorious French armies yet significant number of enemy yet remained in the field in North Africa.

The REGIMENT would pass the following 18 months in occupation duties in the Spanish city of Madrid while the French and British legions duelled the final enemy forces in North Africa. Finally, on the 9th of June 1802, the Spanish retired from the conflict; the REGIMENT was thus ordered to the Portuguese city of Oporto where they arrived on the 6th of July to the news that Portugal too had surrendered. Thus the gallant achievements for the army produced the most glorious result; a crushing and total victory for the Allies for which was largely delivered by the skill and bravery of the French legions in Iberia. The 3rd Division, following a short period of rest, commenced the long march back to France – they arrived in Alsace on the 23rd of October.

The REGIMENT was soon afterwards ordered to a new scene of conflict. During the progress of the war in Iberia, the Dutch expansion into the Holy Roman Empire continued unabated. Until, that is, they set their sights on territory presently occupied by the Duke of Saxony. Thus on the 16th of February, 1803, the Franco-Dutch alliance was invoked once more for the settlement of the province of Vogtland. The Saxon forces were small but well-drilled and so the Marechal de France instructed the entirety of the 3rd and 4th Divisions to enter the conflict. On the 21st of February, the GRENADIERS commenced their march north-west and on the 7th of April they joined the force that lay siege to Plauen.

Following the great battle of Nieukerchen on the 30th of April, the Duke of Saxony, with his forces all but destroyed, promptly sued for peace with accords being reached on the 2nd of June. The 3rd Division returned to their cantonments in Alsace on the 2nd of July.

The GRENADIERS remained in Alsace where they occupied border posts with a wary eye on the movements of the hostile Turkish forces in the occupied Holy Roman Empire. During those years of war with Iberia, the French Emperor had been lobbying the Free and Catholic states of Europe in a renewed campaign against the Ottoman Turk. At the turn of 1804, the Emperor was satisfied with the commitments and preparations of His allies and so war was resolved upon once more. On receipt of the instructions from Versailles, the REGIMENT, having been held in a state of readiness for a week already, marched across the border, quickly sweeping away what minor forces the Ottomans had in place.
 

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It seems like the final decades of EU4 will be spent focused on the Turks, perhaps a with final side order of Spanish.
 

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Their first target was the city of Augsburg and they arrived in this auspicious city on the 3rd of February. The REGIMENT engaged small pockets of enemy resistance as they made their way through the city and suffered minor casualties in the process; Lieutenant d’Aufrai was killed on the 7th of February in one such incident.

On the 21st of February, three companies of the REGIMENT were engaged by a larger force of Ottomans about two miles in front of the main regimental camp, occupying the heights near Mittelstetten. About nine o’clock the Turks diverged upon the grounds in front of the detachment’s position, and commenced the attack with great fury. The French forces, though inferior in numbers, sustained the first onset with admirable firmness; a fierce conflict of musketry ensued, and both forces displayed great gallantry. The GRENADIERS repulsed and drove back the troops in their front, but advancing too forward in the pursuit, the companies became exposed to the superior numbers of the enemy, and were overpowered and driven back with loss; they, however, rallied. A sharp fire of musketry blazed among the trees – many instances of valour were displayed by both parties – but the superior numbers of the enemy rendered it necessary for the French to retire upon the regimental position.

The retrograde movement was effected with the timely arrival of a squadron from the 11e Dragoons de Dauphine and the companies, now joined with the rest of the REGIMENT, took possession of a strong brick house of three stories, with its adjoining offices, others lodged themselves in an almost impenetrable coppice of rugged underwood, while yet others possessed a palisaded garden. And as the Turks came forward with Great Spirit and Vigour, having been reinforced themselves, the REGIMENT opened their fire, and the storm of battle soon raged with greater fury than before. The enemy brought forward four pieces of cannon to play on the brick house, and an assault against the coppice was forced, but every effort was ineffectual. Incessant peals of musketry from the windows poured destruction upon the Ottomans. In time, the 3e Regiment de Calais arrived at the scene, and, flanking the Ottoman line, poured a great fire into them, and followed with the bayonet; when the Turks knowing they were beaten, retired leaving two cannon and about sixty men in the hands of the French.

Among the officers who signalised themselves in this action, Capitaine Charles de Mucedant of the 5e Company, took charge of the initial resistance and was particularly distinguished for his cool and exemplary courage. The loss of the REGIMENT at this battle was Lieutenant Belet, one serjeant, one drummer and seventeen rank and file killed; Commandant Jean Hachet, three serjeants and thirty-four rank and file wounded.

The REGIMENT passed the night after the action at Mittelstetten and the following day, advanced but were unable to locate the retired Ottoman forces, save the detritus of their withdrawal. The Ottomans having quitted the entire province and Colonel d’Aubernon being satisfied that it was delivered up from the enemy, signalised his intent to advance into Munich on the 6th of March. Here the REGIMENT met Ottoman resistance once more with small rear-guards deploying across the various supply routes, forcing the French forces to deploy into battle formations, and quitting those positions after but a few cannon shots. It was a clear attempt to delay the French liberation of the important German city but such liberation was eventually made on the 6th of April.

The GRENADIERS then remained in Munich while other Divisional troops completed their own liberations but this suspension of operations existed only until the 23rd of May when the 3rd and 4th Divisions were force-marched to Landschut where a battle would shortly be entertained between 88,000 Turkish troops and a combined 45,000 troops from Milan, Rome and Catalonia.

Having entered Landschut, the Division proceeded towards the main allied encampment and halted near Geisenhausen. The Catalonians pushed forward, but were speedily driven back by the advance-guard of the Turkish army under Mohammed al-Bashir, who bore the title Caliphate of Vienna. A French brigade covered the retreat of the Catalonians, and the now-whole allied army went into position near Altenbach, the allies occupying the strong ground on the right, and the French extending to the left along the more exposed part of the field. In the centre, between the two armies, there was a commanding spot on which a redoubt had been commenced, with some open ground in its rear; at this important post the GRENADIERS were stationed, with several other corps under Brigadier-General Danault, and they proved themselves worthy of the trust reposed in them.

The Ottomans attacked the left of the French position on the evening of the 25th of May, and were repulsed. The attack was renewed at daylight on the following morning, and French skill and valour were again triumphant. A short respite ensued while the Turkish generals held a council of war; but soon after mid-day their army was seen in motion. The French stood to their arms and calmly awaited the approach of the hostile legions; a cloud of Yayas, the Ottoman skirmishers, covered the front of their army; they were followed by four dense columns, protected by eighty guns; and the GRENADIERS beheld the torrent of battle advancing towards them with the fury of a tempest, threatening instant destruction to all opposition.

The fourth column came running forward with such impetuosity that it speedily cleared the intersected ground in front, and attacked the GRENADIERS and other corps on the right of the French line with terrific violence. The French regiments met the storm of war with unshaken firmness, and breaking in on the front of the advancing columns, and assailing their wings with a heavy fire, forced them back with a terrible carnage: the GRENADIERS rushed gallantly forward to the muzzles of the Turkish artillery, and, after an obstinate resistance, captured seven guns, which the enemy endeavoured to recapture, but in vain. The Turkish veterans rallied on their supports, and appeared resolute on another attack, but they were assailed by so tremendous a fire of artillery and musketry that they retired in disorder and thus victory was secured in this part of the field. The Duc de Aquitaine, commanding the combined allied forces at this battle, observed in his despatch, - “I was highly satisfied with the manner this part of the position was defended;” he also mentioned the REGIMENT among the corps which had particularly distinguished themselves, and thanks the battalion and its commanding officer in orders. The Ottomans were repulsed at every point of attack, and they withdrew from a contest in which the superiority of French troops was eminently displayed.

The GRENADIERS had Lieutenant de Brebeuf and six rank and file killed; Lieutenants de Ceauce and de Mortague, Adjutant de Peis, one serjeant, two drummers and fifty-one rank and file wounded; one Grenadier missing. Their commanding officer, Colonel Claude d’Aubernon, Marquis d’Aubernon, was rewarded with a gold medal; and the REGIMENT was subsequently authorised to bear the word “LANDSCHUT” inscribed on its colours as an honorary distinction for its gallantry on this occasion.

The allied forces from Milan, Rome and Catalonia had suffered greatly at the exertions of the Ottomans and so were forced to retire at the conclusion of the battle. The 3rd Division thus remained in Landschut to clear remaining enemy forces and ultimately liberate the province; this task was completed by the 21st of July, 1804.

Marching further eastwards, the REGIMENT secured the Austrian city of Linz on the 19th of August before joining the 1st and 2nd Guards and 5th and 6th Divisions in Ostmarch on the 25th of September where another significant battle would take place against the Ottoman hordes a few short days later.

The French army, commanded by the Marechal de France, the Duc de Burgundy, took up a position to oppose the superior numbers of the enemy, now numbering some 100,000 troops, whose commander vaunted that he would drive the French back across the Alps, and plant the banners of the Ottoman Empire upon the towers of Paris. The GRENADIERS were formed in Brigade with the 4e Cotentin and 7e Normandie Regiments, under Brigadier-General Danault once again.

The French troops were in line on the ridge of the lofty and precipitous hills of Krems; in front lay the army of al-Said on another range of heights, and the dark mountains were crowned with the bivouac fires of the opposing bands. On the morning of the 27th of September, as the light appeared, the fire musketry commenced between the advanced posts stationed in the deep hollows which separated the two armies; shortly afterwards the Ottoman columns of attack appeared, and throwing forward crowds of skirmishers, they speedily emerged from the hollow beneath, and assailed the French position with that impetuosity which distinguishes the first onset of Turkish soldiers. They were opposed by the unconquerable firmness of French soldiers; the heads of columns were pierced by musketry, and charged with the bayonet; and the formidable masses of veteran Turks were overthrown and driven down the mountain sides with a terrible clamour and confusion, leaving crowds of killed, wounded, and prisoners behind.

Being unable to overcome the steady valour of the French infantry, the Ottoman commander desisted, and the French army stood triumphant on the contested heights. The GRENADIERS were stationed on a portion of this range of rocks which was not seriously attacked, and their loss was limited to two Grenadiers killed, Lieutenant Marchessault, and twenty-two rank and file wounded. Brigadier-General Danault, commanding the Brigade, was rewarded with a gold medal. After this vain attempt to force the rocks of Krems, the Ottoman commander made a flank movement to turn the left of his opponent’s position; when the French army withdrew a short ways to a prepared defensive position, and there opposed a resistance which the Ottoman Marshall did not attempt to force.

While the opposing armies confronted each other, several sharp actions took place between the advanced posts; and on the 13th of October a company of the GRENADIERS was ordered to drive back a reconnoitring party of the enemy which had entered the village of Traunstein, situated between the two armies. This service was performed with distinguished gallantry, and the Turks where driven back at the point of the bayonet.

After searching in vain for a vulnerable part in the French lines, the Ottoman commander, instead of driving the French lions across the Alps, retired to the great city of Vienna; the Duc de Burgundy advanced, and, establishing a series of posts to watch his opponents, placed his army in cantonments.

The GRENADIERS A PIED DE NORMANDIE were constituted into a Brigade with the other Grenadier Regiments of the 3rd Division, namely those of: Cotentin, Picardie and Calais under the command of Bridger-General the Comte de Amiens, Henri Ducharme: it was designated the “Grenadier Brigade” and would fight together the duration of the conflict.

At length disease, want of provisions, and the deliberate actions of the Dutch armies, turned the vain boasting of the Turkish commander into defeat; he retreated from Vienna, covering wantonly, and with brutal cruelty, the line of his retreat with rapine, bloodshed, devastation, and burning villages. The GRENADIERS moved forward in pursuit but were redirected to liberate Bratislava, which they reached on the 12th of December. The desolate Turkish soldiers inside the walls of the city, fearing the wrath of their Caliphate should they surrender resisted the French forces but ultimately laid down their arms on the 13th of February, 1805.

On the 2nd of March, the Grenadier Brigade were detached and took part in the relief of Poprad, which had been besieged by a mercenary force on individual operations. Fearing a massacre, the French commander directed the Brigade to move at haste. They arrived before the town on the 4th of March, as the mercenary column were marching out, when the 13e Hussars de Bourges charged with great gallantry, and threw the enemy into confusion.

The GRENADIERS were stationed at Poprad about a fortnight, and were subsequently employed in the siege of Kosice, which was terminated in seven days by the surrender of the garrison on the 15th of April. The loss of the REGIMENT was limited to one Grenadier killed and one wounded.

This success was followed by the siege of the strong fortress of Beograd, situated on a beautiful plain on the Danube – a noble river five hundred yards broad; and the GRENADIERS were employed in this service. Marshall al-Sohail, who had retired after the capture of this fortress in March, quitted Jagodina, and, assembling a powerful force, advanced to its relief. The Grenadier Brigade, now joined again with the 3rd and 4th Divisions and some minor allies, turned the siege into a blockade, and moving forward to meet the advancing foe, took up a position at Ripanj.
 

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cm_spitfire

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I was going to say we must be getting close to our end.
Indeed. The next chapter will be just like the others but with the detail of the spectacle that was the Battle of Ripanj. The last will be very short; a summary and closure to the Record.
 

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The GRENADIERS formed part of the blockading force, but were subsequently ordered to join the larger force; and they arrived in position about nine o’clock on the morning of the 9th of June, at the moment when the Turkish were advancing to commence one of the most obstinate and sanguinary actions in which French troops were ever engaged. The Grenadier Brigade, yet commanded by Brigadier-General Ducharme, was ordered to form in an oblique line behind the right.

Being favoured by a height which the French had neglected to occupy, the Ottoman commander concentrated behind it fifteen thousand men and forty guns, within ten minutes march of the right wing of the French army, without his opponent’s knowledge; at the same time he extended the remainder of his forces along the woody banks of a small river, towards its confluence with the Danube. A little before nine o’clock on the morning of the 9th, these troops issued from the woods in one massive column, supported by a second, flanked by cavalry and preceded by artillery, and attacked the bridge where they met a formidable resistance. The French general, anticipating the principal effort would be against his right, directed a small Catalonian division under General Marquez to change front, and the 4th Division to support them: but the Catalonian general delayed to execute the movement, the enemy was among his troops before they were completely formed. A destructive cannonade, a heavy fire of musketry, and the approach of some Turkish squadrons menacing to charge, put the Catalonians into disorder, and they fell back fighting.

The Ottoman columns pushed forward; their reserves mounted the heights in their rear, and their batteries were brought into line.

The retrograde of the Catalonians laid open the position of the allied army, and the only good road by which a retreat could be conducted was exposed. To remedy this disaster, the leading brigade of the 4th Division rushed forward; it was speedily under a destructive fire; a heavy rain concealing distant objects; and four regiments of Turkish Janissary cavalry having turned the right flank in the obscurity, charged the French battalions in the rear at the moment when they developed their attack, and slew or took prisoners nearly two-thirds of their numbers: one battalion, being in column, maintained its ground, while the Turkish horsemen overthrew all other opposition, and captured six guns. A Janissary attacked General Dupont, commander of the 4th Division, who pushed a lance aside, and, grappling with the Janissary, threw him from his horse. Another French brigade of the 4th Division arrived; a Milanese corps moved forward, and the enemy’s infantry recoiled; but soon recovering, renewed the conflict with greater violence than before.

The fighting became vehement, and more than two-thirds of every French corps engaged had fallen, when their ammunition began to fail, and the enemy established a column in advance upon the right flank. The tide of success was evidently flowing in favour of the Ottomans, when the 3rd Division was ordered to the heat of the conflict, and a brigade of Germans under French command, which had only been slightly engaged, rushed forward into the fight. At this moment a number of captured French soldiers were being hurried to the rear of the Turkish army; the enemy’s reserves were pushing forward to reinforce their front; - the field was covered with heaps of dead bodies; - the cavalry were riding furiously about the upper part of the hill spearing wounded men, and six pieces of artillery were in the hands of the Turks.

A crisis had arrived, and a mighty – a determined – a desperate – effort alone could save the allied army from defeat. At this critical moment Brigadier-General Ducharme led the Grenadier Brigade up the contested heights to stem the torrent of battle and wrest the palm of victory from the Caliph’s veteran legions. The GRENADIERS – admired for their appearance – applauded for their order and discipline – moved forward with a resolute step to confront a host of foes; they felt the importance of the task which devolved upon them, and knew the high character of the troops they had to contend with; and national pride – an esprit de corps, - a noble enthusiasm to rival the regiments which triumphed at Krems – and to exceed their own achievements at Landschut – animated every breast; they were flanked by a battalion of the Bavarian legion; and mounting the hill at the moment when a regiment of Catalonian cavalry was fleeing before a body of Janissaries, they soon drove the enemy from the contested height, and recovered five of the captured guns. Encouraged by this presage of victory, the GRENADIERS marched sternly onward in line, over heaps of killed and wounded, to encounter three heavy columns of Ottoman infantry, supported by cavalry and artillery, and each column mustering about twice the numbers of the Grenadier Brigade.

Gallantly issuing from amidst the smoke and broken fragments of discomfited corps, the GRENADIERS marched with a firm and solemn step over the carcases of men and horses which obstructed their way, and their bearing was that of men determined to decide the fortune of a battle. The Turkish columns were pressing onward to complete the overthrow of the allied army, when suddenly the surprising spectacle of a majestic line of GRENADIERS burst upon their sight; they halted; fired a volley; then endeavoured to deploy; and their numerous artillery sent a storm of bullets against the French ranks. The commander of the Brigade, Brigadier-General Ducharme, was killed; the commander of the division, the Duc de Brittany, Colonel d’Aubernon, commanding the REGIMENT, and a number of other officers fell wounded; the colour staves of the GRENADIERS were shattered, and the colours torn; at the same time chasms were rent in the ranks of the Brigade; a momentary pause ensued: but instantly recovering, the GRENADIERS braved the tempest of iron and lead, and boldly confronted the fierce and numerous bands opposed to them. As the smoke cleared, the Turks beheld a line of bayonets coming upon them, and the next moment, the thundering volleys of the GRENADIERS broke the heads of formations.

The Turkish commander urged his veterans forward; individuals, spurred on by an unavailing intrepidity, sacrificed their lives to gain time for their companions to deploy; - the cavalry on the flanks threatened to charge; but French intrepidity could not be shaken; - the GRENADIERS knew not how to qual! The Brigade preserved its firm array; the murderous volleys of the GRENADIERS swept down hundreds of Turks, and suddenly raising a loud shot, they precipitated themselves upon the opposing multitudes, and plunging fearlessly into the crowds, they closed with desperate energy upon their opponents. The fortune of the day was no longer doubtful; French prowess prevailed, and the Turks were overpowered, slaughtered, and forced back in irremediable confusion upon their reserves. The supporting columns endeavoured to stem the torrent of French valour but in vain; - the whole were driven headlong down the ascent; - the key of the position was thus nobly recovered, and the GRENADIERS, - breathless, - besmeared with sweat and mud and gore, - stood triumphant upon the contested height, surrounded with heaps of dying and dead, and wondering at the brilliant success which crowned their manly efforts.

While the GRENADIERS were contending on the height, fresh men were brought forward; the Turkish generals perceived that the day was irretrievably lost, and withdrew their broken masses. Numerous instances of individual gallantry occurred, and Sergeant Gourcuff of the REGIMENT having recovered the regimental colour of the 2e Regiment de Bar, which corps had been nearly annihilated by the charge of the Janissaries, was rewarded with a commission into the 4e Regiment de Normandie, but which he turned down, such was his love for the GRENADIERS.

To the GRENADIERS, the honour of having triumphed over superior numbers of the Caliphate’s veteran bands, and the glory of having added lustre to the French arms, were justly due; but the splendour of victory was shrouded with grief at the loss of many brave officers and soldiers. Among others, the fall of their commander, the brave, the chivalrous Brigadier-General Ducharme, caused a sense of deep sorrow. His career, though short, had been brilliant; his manners were those of a finished gentleman and scholar, and every action was marked with the enthusiasm of a soldier whose noblest pride was his profession, and whose solicitude was always alive to the interests and honour of his corps. At the early age of twenty-eight he closed a life of honour in a death of glory.

The REGIMENT suffered Lieutenants de Picvini, de Montgommeri, de Senlis and d’Ecouis, three serjeants and 59 rank and file killed; Capitaines Cholet, de Saint-Ouen, de Cherbourg, Lieutenants de Warci, de Montrose, de Merle, d’Helion, de Moyaux, de Juli and Gorges, 14 serjeants and 263 rank and file wounded. The list of killed and wounded proclaims with dreadful eloquence the sanguinary character of the contest in which the GRENADIERS were engaged. Their heroic conduct was subsequently rewarded with the privilege of bearing the word “RIPANJ” inscribed on their colours. Colonel d’Aubernon was promoted the rank of Brigadier-General and assumed command of the Grenadier Brigade; Commandant Antoine de Bondeville was rewarded the rank of the Colonel and appointed Commanding Officer. The Brigadier-General and de Bondeville were both also awarded gold medals.

After the battle, the commander of the 4th Division, General Dupont, attested in the following letter:

“Sir, as you have been so kind as to permit me to transmit to you the names of the Officers of my Division who commanded corps on the 9th instant, it may not be deemed irregular if, during the absence of Brigadier-General Ducharme, I forward to you the names of the officers of the GRENADIER BRIGADE who were similarly situated. I am induced to lay before you, for such favourable report on the subject as you may deem expedient to the Commander of the Forces, the enclosed returns which have been put in my possession by the officer now in command of the GRENADIER BRIGADE, and who Commanded the same in action, after the successive incapacity from wounds of his four senior officers.

I am afraid lest by further delay the exertions of that brigade be not sufficiently known. From the circumstance of the GRENADIER BRIGADE having been joined with my 3rd Brigade in the hard-fought defence of our centre position for above three hours, and from the severe loss sustained by the GRENADIERS on the spot, and from the testimony of the surrounding allied army, I feel myself authorised in stating that the conduct of the GRENADIER BRIGADE on the 9th instant was admirable, and such as effectually secured the victory of that day.

It is a duty, moreover, which I owe to the brave soldiers under my command, to report that the 4th Division is indebted to the GRENADIERS for the recapture of a six pounder, and of a regimental colour of the 2e Regiment de Bar, both of which had been lost in the too successful attack of the enemy’s cavalry, on my 1st Brigade, in the beginning of the day.”

After the victory at Ripanj the siege of Beograd was resumed, the Grenadier Brigade forming part of the covering army. The siege was shortly discharged, when an assault on the night of the 24th of June carried the battlements of the old castle. The REGIMENT did not take an active part in this assault.

The 3rd and 4th Divisions continued their march south-east towards Constantinople once more; forcing the increasingly smaller Turkish forces back in front of them. On the 27th of July, the Grenadier Brigade were present at the siege of the citadel of Alba Iulia which was prosecuted with vigour on the night of the 18th of September. At distance, the great citadel, built by the Austrian engineer Giovanni Visconti, seemed a momentous and impenetrable obstacle. However the Ottomans had let it rot, believing it was safely far enough behind any front line of conflict and so the walls crumbled at the first shots from the siege train. The REGIMENT had Capitaine de Roux and eleven rank and file wounded in the brief assault. After the capture of Alba Iulia the REGIMENT remained at the village of Limba, where it was detained several days by the swelling of the Mures from heavy rains.

The former Wallachian city of Tirgoviste was next to fall to the rampant Divisions, on the 28th of the October; Ottoman troops had long departed and turned control over to a local government who were only too pleased to welcome the French liberators. The GRENADIERS were only allowed a short period of repose before being called upon to march further east to the Black Sea.

The fortress at Kilia, protecting the vital trade that flowed from the Black Sea and up the Danube, proved a tougher bargain for the Grenadier Brigade and the 3rd Division. Occupied by some 3,000 Janissaries, it was well provisioned and in a good state of repair. The fortress was surrounded by the 25th of November as the Division settled in for the siege. The batteries were opened, and, notwithstanding the sallies of the Turkish garrison, inundations from heavy rains, and other obstructions, practicable breaches were ready in the early part of March, 1806; and on the evening of the 13th of that month the GRENADIERS took part in the storming of the fortress. The 1st and Grenadier Brigades were to march against the breaches; the 1st Brigade was to assault the bastion of Prymorske, and the Grenadiers, the Lisky, with the breach in the curtain connecting the two bastions.

Moving silently from their camp-ground along the left of the river and the inundations, the Brigade made a short detour, and arrived at the glacis at the moment the 3rd Brigade attacked the castle. Ladders were placed, and about five-hundred men of the 1st Brigade had descended into the ditch with the most heroic bravery, cheering as they went, when suddenly a loud report like thunder was heard, and the storming parties were blown to pieces by the explosion of hundreds of shells and powder barrels. Undismayed by this terrific destruction, the men of the 1st and Grenadier Brigades raised a loud shout and plunged into the ditch, where many men perished in the inundations; others, after overcoming numerous difficulties, approached the breach exposed to a most destructive fire.

As they ascended, loose planks studded with sharp iron points wounded their feet and produced great mischief, and a range of sword-blades with sharp points and keen edges, firmly fixed in beams chained together and set deep in the ruins, arrested the progress of the soldiers; at the same time a terrible fire of musketry thinned their ranks. Again the assailants rushed up the breaches with the most determined resolution; but the sword-blades stopped their career, and the thundering powder-barrels and hissing shells exploded continually. Numerous and astonishing efforts of valour and intrepidity were made, and the most heroic bravery displayed, yet the obstacles were such as could not be overcome; and about midnight, when two thousand brave soldiers had fallen, the survivors received orders to retire, and reform for a second attack.

In the meantime, the 3rd Brigade had captured the castle; the town was thus forced; partial actions afterwards took place in various places; and the governor finally surrendered. Thus, by the union of ability, energy, and valour, the fortress was captured. The GRENADIERS suffered greatly at the hands of the enemy; Commandant Matthieu, Capitaines Roger and d’Anglesville, Lieutenants Carbonnel, de Blangi, de Sept-Mueles and de Buron, two serjeants and 57 rank and file were killed. Commandant Tirel, Capitaines d’Arcy, de Moyeaux, Marren and de Papilion, Lieutenants Longchamp, d’Hericy, de Brai, de Beaufou and de Sauvigni, 12 serjeants and 143 rank and file were wounded. The GRENADIERS were subsequently honoured with the royal authority to bear the word ‘KILIA” on their colours; Colonel de Bondeville and Capitaine Jean de Papilion received medals; but the REGIMENT had to regret the loss of many brave men.

Yet the war was finally reaching its conclusion. The rampant allied armies besieged, captured and defeated all that stood in their way as they closed in on Constantinople. Volodymyr was delivered up by the 3rd Division after a short barrage on the 2nd of June, followed by Burgas on the 14th of July. As the French legions came together for the final push on the Ottoman capital, on the 10th of December, the Turkish Caliph surrendered. The Peace of Varna was quickly signed with the vast majority of German and Austrian provinces returning to their natural people. At the termination of the war, France stood the most triumphant nation in the world, and the soldiers of the GRENADIERS had the satisfaction of having fought and conquered in the cause of justice, and for the permanent peace of Europe.

Thus the French army, after years of toil and conflict, endured to procure liberty for the oppressed inhabitants of Europe, had forced the intrusive monarch of the Ottomans from the various thrones he so claimed and stood triumphant before the gates of Constantinople.

The Divisions were promptly recalled to France; the GRENADIERS re-entering their cantonments in Alsace on the 11th of February, 1807.

In the early part of 1807 the establishment was reduced to eight hundred and sixty seven non-commisioned officers and Grenadiers; and in April the REGIMENT marched to the city of Valenciennes, and with the 3e Calais and 5e Picardie Regiments, formed the garrison of that fortress.

On the 6th of September the GRENADIERS were present at the review of the French and Milanese contingents by the King of Saxony; on the 9th of that month they were reviewed by Lieutenant-General the Duc de Gascogne; and on the 15th of October, by the Marechal de France, Duc de Burgundy.

Having passed the winter at Valenciennes, the REGIMENT were reviewed, in June 1808, near that fortress by the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, for whom the REGIMENT furnished a guard of honour.

Soon after this review the establishment was reduced to seven hundred and forty-six officers and soldiers and the REGIMENT was returned to Alsace. The REGIMENT remained here until August 1810, and its appearance, discipline, and interior economy were commended at the half-yearly inspections made by the War Department. The REGIMENT was relocated to Rethel in late August where it subsequently occupied extensive cantonments, the headquarters being at Resson. It was inspected by the commander of the 3rd Division, Major-General de Beauharnais, on the 13th of September, and obtained the approbation of this distinguished officer.

In the spring of 1811 the REGIMENT marched to Calais; from whence it was removed in June and July to Boulogne and Le Touquet, and had the honour of performing the Emperor’s duty during the residence of Emperor Phillip VII at the Royal Pavilion, Boulogne-sur-Mer.

The REGIMENT, at the end of the year 1812, when this Record concludes, was in barracks at Caen.
 

stnylan

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Another couple of bloody hard-fought actions to echo down the ages. The years of rest at the end though surely cannot last. This France is just not into peace.
 

Cromwell

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This is possibly the worst fighting the regiment has experienced? Granted there is an awful lot of competition.
 

cm_spitfire

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The foregoing pages contain a faithful history of the REGIMENT DE GRENADIERS A PIED DE NORMANDIE from the period of their formation in the year 1459, and of the particular service for which this Regiment was originally established. During a period of over 350 years, the GRENADIERS have proved themselves to be a faithful and zealous Regiment in the cause of Royalty, and in the interests of their country. Their service in various parts of the Europe, the Americas and Africa, when war has required their presence and exertions, have, on all occasions, been conspicuous; and their conduct on home-service, when relieved from their tour of duty abroad, has been marked by a strict adherence to the rules of order and discipline: these qualities have rendered them a valuable corps to the Emperor, and have obtained for them a continuance of the approbation of their Sovereign.

Posterity, looking back at the splendid achievements of the French arms in various parts of the world, will naturally inquire what regiments won honour and fame in the several fields of glory where French valour was sternly proved. To this it may be answered that, wherever a champion was required, wherever a race of men stood firm in the face of a gale, the REGIMENT DE GRENADIERS A PIED DE NORMANDIE were present. This Regiment has evinced equally brilliant qualities in actions and have attested the intrinsic merit of the corps, and have purchased numerous advantages to the commerce, power, stability and happiness of France.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And thus concludes the Record! Thank you to all who have read along, particularly those of you that have commented along the way (especially you, @stnylan !). I'll revisit this thread and post up the full .pdf once I have it finalised (artwork). The book looks much better when read in .pdf instead of what i have copied/pasted here in the forum. I'll also try and track down a few screenshots that I have to give a little more visual perspective on the save.
 
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stnylan

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A most excellent AAR, with a good concept well executed. Bravo!
 

Le Jones

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I am quite sad that I joined this so late, @cm_spitfire, it is a cracking AAR with a unique style and great writing. More please!