maandag 31 december 2018

The Swiss guard -Zwitserse garde- (Dutch flags 3)

Although normally when you hear Swiss Guard you think of the French or Papal Swiss guards, other  smaller countries as the Dutch Republick also had Guards of Swiss origin.

The Dutch Swiss guards were raised in 1749 although Swiss troops (regiments or independent companies) were already in Dutch service for years.

The Swiss Guard consisted in the FR period of two battalions , each of 4 companies of which the first (of the first battalion) was called the Leib company. This company wore the colonels flag; it is not know if the first company of the second battalion did the same or that this had just a company colour.

The Swiss Guard (as other Swiss in Dutch pay) didn't have a grenadier company but grenadiers were included in the companies itself. As the grenadiers formed probably a separate grenadier company in each battalion in the field, the amount of grenadiers in a company was appr 15 to 20 grenadiers.
According to Sabron in 1794 the field battalion of the Swiss was theoratically 504 men which I think was 7 companies (6 musketeers and 1 grenadier) so a company was appr 70 men.

Underneath are some pictures of the Swiss guard of the FR period.

As said the Swiss guard had a flag per company of which the first was the white colonels' one, other companies had regimental flags; it is not known if all those flags ( in total 8) were carried in the field.

The two flags are one the left the colonels flag, on the right the regimental.
Both pictures from the Landesmuseum in Zürich.

Sometimes is shown the colonels flag worn by a grenadier. This is possible as maybe the grenadier company in the field was the Leibcompany (?). Underneath a picture but the flag is a little bit different.

Notice the blue/white hanging bag on the bearskin. Normally, I think the bag would be in the colour of the lacing.
Also, which is different from Dutch grenadiers, is the hanging tail. Dutch grenadiers had the hair tucked under the bearskin cf the reglement. Maybe a mistake by the painter?

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