The Régiment Royal-Allemand cavalerie was a regiment in the French Royal army, composed of German-speakers (both French-born and immigrants from German states). In 1791 it became the "15e régiment de cavalerie" (15th Cavalry Regiment), and in 1792 it was disbanded.
Raising and renamings
- 10 August 1671 : Raised as Régiment de Kœnigsmark cavalerie
- 15 November 1688 : renamed: Régiment Royal-Allemand cavalerie
- 1 December 1761 : Incorporation of the Régiment de Wirtemberg cavalerie
- 1 January 1791 : renamed: 15e régiment de cavalerie
- 1792 : disbanded
Commanders and/or Colonels as owners
- 10 August 1671 : Otto Wilhelm Graf von Königsmarck, Brigadier at 15 April 1672, Maréchal de camp at 13 February 1674, Lieutenant général at 25 June 1676, † 1688
- 15 November 1688 : de Bolhen (or Bohlen)
- 29 August 1693 : Ludwig Kraft Graf von von Nassau-Saarbrücken, Brigadier at 17 April 1692, Maréchal de camp at 30 March 1693, Lieutenant général at 23 December 1695, † 13 February 1713
- 21 February 1713 : Guillaume Henri de Quadt de Landscron, Brigadier at 10 February 1704, Maréchal de camp at 20 March 1709, Lieutenant général des armées du roi at 1. October 1718, † 31 March 1756
- 19 July 1737 : Wilhelm Heinrich Fürst von Nassau-Saarbrücken, Brigadier at 1 May 1742, Maréchal de camp at 29 June 1744, Lieutenant général at 1 January 1748
- 18 January 1742 : Ludwig IX. Landgraf von Hessen Darmstadt]
- 12 March 1746 : Karl Ludwig, Herzog von Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, Brigadier at 10 February 1759, Maréchal de camp at 1 May 1762
- 24 March 1772 : Karl Heinrich, Prinz von Nassau-Siegen
- 8 April 1779 : Karl Konstantin von Hessen-Rheinfels-Rotenburg
- 3 March 1785 : Karl Eugen Prinz von Lothringen, Prince of Lambesc
- 23 November 1791 : Colonel de Mandell
Between its establishment under Louis XIV in 1672 and 1760, the Royal-Allemande saw extensive active service in Flanders and various German states. It was subsequently employed in garrison duties.
Role in French Revolution
In June 1789 the Royal-Allemand was one of the regiments of the Royal Army summoned to Paris to suppress the growing disturbances in the city, that preceded the outbreak of the French Revolution. About half of this force was made up of Swiss and German mercenaries who were considered more dependable in a time of civil unrest than the rank and file of the French regular regiments.
While the Royal-Allemand was mainly recruited within the borders of France, its German speaking troopers proved willing to act against the Paris population when ordered. On 12 July 1789, a squadron of the regiment, under the command of Charles Eugene, charged a crowd of demonstrators in the Tuileries Garden killing one and injuring others. A detachment of the French Guards, who formed the permanent garrison of Paris and had strong local ties, then fired on the cavalrymen of the Royal-Allemand. The regiment was subsequently withdrawn from Paris and returned to its frontier garrison. While desertions from both French and foreign regiments were running at a high rate during the revolutionary disorders of 1789, the Royal-Allemand lost only three men during this period. In part this appears to have because of the widespread hostility that developed towards this unit following its clashes with civilians in Paris on 12 July.
In 1791 the bulk of the regiments of the French Army lost their historic titles and were renamed under a system of numbering. The Royal-Allemand became the "15e régiment de cavalerie" (15th Cavalry Regiment).
After the overthrow of Louis XVI in August 1792, the bulk of the regiment, led by its officers, defected and took service with the army of royalist emigres being raised by the Prince de Condé at Coblenz. The remnants of the Royal-Allemand fought in the Battle of Aldenhoven beside the Austrian Army, before being finally disbanded.
General Jabłonowski served as Lieutenant in the regiment before losing his commission after failing to return from leave.
- Tozzi, Christopher J. Nationalizing France's Army. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8139-3833-2.
- Pachonski Jan, Jan & Wilson, Reuel K. (1986), Poland's Caribbean Tragedy: A Study of Polish Legions in the Haitian War of Independence 1802-1803, New York: East European Monographs, p. 60-61