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Armée du Rhin
Bazaine.jpeg
Commander of the Army, Marshal Bazaine
Active 1870
Country  France
Allegiance Second French Empire
Branch French Army
Engagements Franco-Prussian War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Maréchal Bazaine

The Army du Rhin (French language: Armée du Rhin (1870)) was created since the declaration of war on July 18, 1870. The army dite du Rhin was a French military unit which combat engaged during the Franco-Prussian War.

The unit participated in combats of Lorraine, then divided in two elements while forming a second army, the Army of Châlons.

The unit finished by being capitulated on October 27 at the Siege of Metz.

Creation of the unit[]

The Army of the Rhin was the first French Army constituted at the declaration of war, formed from the available troops during peace time. Commander initially by the Emperor himself, the army included the Imperial Guard, 7 Army Corps and a general reserve. Each Army Corps was constituted of 3 or 4 infantry division and 1 cavalry division made up of 2 or 3 brigades each, one artillery reserve and one engineer reserve. Each brigade counted 2 or 3 line infantry or line cavalry regiments.

The infantry divisions included an artillery component with 2 batteries de canons de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuse, while the cavalry divisions constituted 2 batteries horse mounted.

The forthcoming of the formed troops and the constitution of these grand units took effect within the following format:[1]

  • The Imperial Guard of the Second Empire (French language: Garde Impériale du Second Empire), with commander, général Bourbaki, garrisoned in Paris in times of peace. The Imperial Guard joined Metz on July 28 and the Guard reserves on the 30.
  • The 1st Army Corps (French language: 1er Corps d'Armée), commanded by Marshal Mac Mahon, duc de Magenta, was formed in principal by troops of Algeria and the regiments of Eastern France. This Army Corps completed effectifs on August 1, 1870. The initial role of this Army Corps was to cover the Alsace.
  • The 2nd Army Corps (French language: 2e Corps d'Armée) was constituted from troops of the Camp de Châlons, commanded by Frossard, aide de camp of the Emperor. These units made way on Saint-Avold and Forbach.
  • The 3rd Army Corps (French language: 3e Corps d'Armée) was formed of troops of Paris, Metz and Nancy. Commanded by Marshal Bazaine until August 12, then général Decaen killed at Borny (August 12 to 14) and finally commanded by Marshal Le Bœuf.
  • The 4th Army Corps (French language: 4e Corps d'Armée), formed at Thionville starting July 23 from the garrisons of the north and north-east, commanded by général de Ladmirault.
  • The 5th Army Corps (French language: 5e Corps d'Armée), formed with the Army of Lyon, commanded by général de Failly. This Army Corps assembled in the regions of Bitche and Haguenau.
  • The 6th Army Corps (French language: 6e Corps d'Armée) of Marshal Canrobert constituted from troops of Paris, Châlons, and Soissons while assembling at the camp de Châlons.
  • The 7th Army Corps (French language: 7e Corps d'Armée) was which with the most difficult constitution since the forming components were dispersed. Troops of the Army Corps hailed from the south-east, de Clermont-Ferrand, Perpignan, Civitavecchia and had to make way to Colmar and Belfort. This Army Corps was commanded by général Douay.
  • The general Cavalry Reserve was supposed to be formed initially of 3 divisions with 2 brigades each. The reserve only conserved 2 since the 1st Division was employed to reinforce the Army of Châlons and constituted the cavalry of the 6th Corps.
  • The general Artillery Reserve, commanded by général Canu, formed at Nancy and made way to Metz.
  • The general Engineer Reserve was commanded by colonel Rémond.
Effectifs de l'armée du Rhin
Date[2] Officers Men Horses Battalions Squadrons Batteries Cie Engineer
Imperial Guard July 30 1,047 21,028 7,304 24 30 12 3
1st Army Corps August 1 1,651 40,165 8,143 52 26 20 5,5
2nd Army Corps August 1 1,172 27,956 5,016 39 18 13 4
3rd Army Corps August 6 1,704 41,574 9,810 52 31 20 5,5
4th Army Corps August 13 1,208 27,702 5,536 39 18 15 4
5th Army Corps August 1 1,174 20,243 5,527 52 31 20 5,5
6th Army Corps August 1 1,474 33,946 5,534 - - - -
7th Army Corps August 1 1,043 23,142 5,396 - - - -
Cavalry Reserve August 1 464 6,360 6,321 - - - -
Artillery Reserve August 9 87 2,675 2,725 - - - -
Engineer Reserve - 13 459 196 - - - 4

Composition and order of battle[]

On August 1, 1870, the Army of the Rhin was constituted of seven Army Corps and of artillery and reserve cavalry. Lieutenant-colonel Rousset tendered an estimative decomposition by grand units:[3]

Commandement & état-major[]

Napoleon III, first commander-in-chief of the Army of the Rhin.

  • Commander-in-Chief : Napoléon III
  • Major General : Maréchal Le Bœuf
  • Aides-major generals :
  • Artillery Commander : général Soleille[4]
  • Engineer Commander : général Coffinières de Nordeck
  • Intendant of the Army : général Wolff
  • Medical Chief of the Army : baron Larrey

Imperial Guard[]

Général Bourbaki, commander of the Imperial Guard.

1st Infantry Division (voltigeurs)

The 1st Infantry Division of the Imperial Guard was commanded by général Deligny

  • 1st Brigade of général Brincourt
    • Imperial Guard Chasseur Battalion (French language: Chasseurs de la Garde Impériale) (commandant Dufaure du Bessol)
    • Imperial Guard 1st Voltigeurs Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Voltigeurs de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Dumont)
    • Imperial Guard 2nd Voltigeurs Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Voltigeurs de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Peychaud)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Garnier
    • Imperial Guard 3rd Voltigeurs Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Voltigeurs de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Lian)
    • Imperial Guard 4th Voltigeurs Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment de Voltigeurs de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Ponsard)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company

Detachment of the grenadiers of the Imperial Guard at Rezonville (painting of Édouard Detaille - 1870).

2nd Infantry Division (grenadiers)

The 2nd Infantry Division of the Imperial Guard was commanded by général Picard

  • 1st Brigade of général Jeanningros
    • Imperial Guard Zouaves Regiment (French language: Régiment de zouaves de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Giraud)
    • Imperial Guard 1st Grenadier Regiment à Pied (French language: 1er Régiment de Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Théologue)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Le Poittevin de La Croix-Vaubois
    • Imperial Guard 2nd Grenadier Regiment à Pied (French language: 2e Régiment de Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Lecointe)
    • Imperial Guard 3rd Grenadier Regiment à Pied (French language: 3e Régiment de Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Cousin)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the Imperial Guard was commanded by général Desvaux

  • 1st Brigade of général Halna du Frétay
    • 13e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 13e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel de Percin Northumberland)
    • Chasseurs Regiment (colonel de Montarby)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de France
  • 3rd Brigade of général du Preuil
    • Cuirassiers Regiment (colonel Dupressoir)
    • Carabiniers Regiment of the Imperial Guard (French language: Régiment de Carabiniers de la Garde Impériale) (colonel Petit)
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
Reserve Artillery (colonel Clappier)
  • 4 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • 1 Train equipped Squadron
Parc Artillery (colonel Elie Jean de Vassoigne)
Total artillery
  • 24 Battalions, 24 Squadrons, 72 pieces out of which 12 mitrailleuses, 2 Engineer Companies, 1 Train Squadron

1st Army Corps[]

Marshal de Mac Mahon, commander of the 1st Army Corps.

The 1st Army Corps (French language: 1er Corps d'Armée) was commanded by Marshal Mac Mahon, with chef d'état-major général Colson. général Ducrot, former commander of the 1st Division, succeeded Marshal Mac Mahon who recently assumed command of the Army of Châlons. général Joly Frigola commanded the artillery.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 1st Army Coprs was under the orders of général Ducrot

  • 1st Brigade of général Wolff
    • 18th Infantry Regiment (French language: 18e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Bréger)
    • 96th Infantry Regiment (French language: 96e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Franchessin)
    • 13e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 13e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant de Bonneville)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Postis du Houlbec
    • 45th Line Infantry Regiment (French language: 45e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Bertrand)
    • 1st Zouaves Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Zouaves) (colonel Carteret-Trecourt)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corps was under the orders of général Douay

  • 1st Birgade of général Pelletier de Montmarie
    • 50th Infantry Regiment (French language: 50e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Ardoin)
    • 74th Infantry Regiment (French language: 74e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Theuvez)
    • 16e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 16e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Anne Louis François Armand d'Hugues)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Pellé
    • 78th Infantry Regiment (French language: 78e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Carrey de Bellemare )
    • 1st Algerian Tiraileurs Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens) (colonel de Morandy)
    • 1st Marching Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Marche) (colonel Lecomte, 3 Battalions)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corps was under the orders of général Raoult

  • 1st Brigade of général l'Hériller
    • 36th Infantry Regiment (French language: 36e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Krien)
    • 2nd Zouaves Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Zouaves) (colonel Détrie)
    • 8e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 8e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Poyet)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Lefebvre
    • 48th Infantry Regiment (French language: 48e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Rogier)
    • 2nd Algerian Tirailleurs Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens) (colonel Suzzoni)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
4th Infantry Division

The 4th Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corps was under the orders of général de Lartigue

  • 1st Brigade under the orders of général Fraboulet de Kerléadec
    • 56th Infantry Regiment (French language: 56e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Ména)
    • 3rd Zouaves Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Zouaves) (colonel Bocher)
    • 1er Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 1er bataillon de chasseurs à pied) (commandant Bureau)
  • 2nd Brigade under the orders of général Lacretelle
    • 87th Infantry Regiment (French language: 87e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Blot)
    • 3rd Algerian Tirailleurs Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens) (colonel Gandil)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the 1st Army Corps was commanded by général Duhesme

  • 1st Brigade of général de Septeuil
    • 3rd Hussards Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel de Vieil)
    • 11e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 11e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Dastugue)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Nansouty
    • 2nd Lancers Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel Poissonnier)
    • 6th Lancers Regiment (French language: 6e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel Tripart)
    • 10th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 10e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Perrot)
  • 3rd Brigade of général Michel
    • 8th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 8e Régiments de Cuirassiers) (colonel Guiot de la Rochère)
    • 9th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 9e Régiments de Cuirassiers) (colonel Waternau)
Reserve Artillery

Artillery Reserve was under the orders of colonel Vassart d'Andernay

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc Artillery, Reserve and Parc Engineer

2nd Army Corps[]

Général Frossard, commander of the 2nd Army Corps.

The 2nd Army Corps (French language: 2e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by général Frossard, with chef d'état-major général Saget.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 2nd Army Corps was under the orders of général Vergé

  • 1st Brigade of général Letellier-Valazé
    • 32nd Infantry Regiment (French language: 32e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Merle)
    • 55th Infantry Regiment (French language: 55e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Waldner de Freundstein)
    • 3e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 3e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Thoma)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Jolivet
    • 76th Infantry Regiment (French language: 76e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Brice)
    • 77th Infantry Regiment (French language: 77e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Février)
  • 3 Artillery Batteies (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 2nd Army Corps was under the orders of général Bataille

  • 1st Brigade of général Pouget
    • 8th Infantry Regiment (French language: 8e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Haca)
    • 23rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 23e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Rolland)
    • 12e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 12e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Jouanne-Beaulieu)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Fauvart-Bastoul
    • 66th Infantry Regiment (French language: 66e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Ameller)
    • 67th Infantry Regiment (French language: 67e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Mangin)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 2nd Army Corps was under the orders of général Merle de Labrugière de Laveaucoupet

  • 1st Brigade of général Doëns
    • 2nd Infantry Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Saint-Hillier)
    • 63rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 63e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Zentz)
    • 10e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 10e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Schenk)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Micheler
    • 24th Infantry Regiment (French language: 24e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel d'Arguesse)
    • 40th Infantry Regiment (French language: 40e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Vittot)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the 2nd Army Corps was commanded by général Marmier

  • 1st Brigade of général de Valabrègue
    • 4e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 4e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel du Ferron)
    • 5e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 5e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel de Séréville)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Bachelier
    • 7th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 7e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel de Gressot)
    • 12th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 12e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel d'Avocourt)
Reserve Artillery

Artillery Reserve was under the orders of colonel Beaudoin

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc Artillery, Reserve and Parc Engineer

3rd Army Corps[]

Marshal Bazaine, commander of the 3rd Army Corps.

The 3rd Army Corps (French language: 3e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by Marshal Bazaine, with chef d'état-major général Manèque.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 3rd Army Corps was under the orders of général Montaudon

  • 1st Brigade of général baron Aymard
    • 51st Infantry Regiment (French language: 51e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Delebecque)
    • 62nd Infantry Regiment (French language: 62e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Dauphin)
    • 18e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 18e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Charles Rigault)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Clinchant
    • 81st Infantry Regiment (French language: 81e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Collavier d'Albici)
    • 95th Infantry Regiment (French language: 95e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Davout d'Auerstaedt)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 3rd Army Corps was under the orders of général de Castagny

  • 1st Brigade of général baron de Nayral
    • 19th Infantry Regiment (French language: 19e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Launay)
    • 41st Infantry Regiment (French language: 41e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Saussier)
    • 15e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 15e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Henri Anne François Archibald Lafouge)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Duplessis
    • 69th Infantry Regiment (French language: 69e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Le Tourneur)
    • 90th Infantry Regiment (French language: 90e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Roussel de Courcy)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 3rd Army Corps was under the orders of général Metman

  • 1st Brigade of général de Potier
    • 7th Infantry Regiment (French language: 7e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Cotteret)
    • 29th Infantry Regiment (French language: 29e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Lalanne)
    • 7e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 7e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Rigaud)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Arnaudeau
    • 59th Infantry Regiment (French language: 59e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Duez[5])
    • 71st Infantry Regiment (French language: 71e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel d'Audebard de Ferussac)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
4th Infantry Division

The 4th Infantry Division of the 3rd Army Corps was under the orders of général Decaen then Aymard

  • 1st Brigade of général de Brauer
    • 44th Infantry Regiment (French language: 44e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Fournier)
    • 60th Infantry Regiment (French language: 60e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Boissie)
    • 11e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 11e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant de Paillot)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Sanglé-Ferrière
    • 80th Infantry Regiment (French language: 80e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Janin)
    • 35th Infantry Regiment (French language: 35e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Plauchut)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the 3rd Army Corps was commanded by général comte de Clérembault

  • 1st Brigade of général de Bruchard
    • 2e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 2e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Pelletier)
    • 3e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 3e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Sanson de Sansal)
    • 10e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 10e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Nérin)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Gayault de Maubranches
  • 3rd Brigade of général Bégougne de Juniac
    • 5th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 5e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Euchène)
    • 8th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 8e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Boyer de Fonscolombe)
Reserve Artillery

Artillery Reserve was under the orders of colonel de Lajaille

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc Artillery, Reserve and Parc Engineer

4th Army Corps[]

Général Ladmirault, commander of the 4th Army Corps.

The 4th Army Corps (French language: 4e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by général de Ladmirault, with chef d'état-major général Osmont.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 4th Army Corps was under the orders of général Courtot de Cissey

  • 1st Brigade of général comte Brayer
    • 1st Infantry Regiment (French language: 1er régiment d'infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Frémont)
    • 6th Infantry Regiment (French language: 6e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Labarthe)
    • 20e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 20e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Augustin Marcel Maurice de Labarrière)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Golberg
    • 57th Infantry Regiment (French language: 57e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Giraud)
    • 73rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 73e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Supervielle)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 et 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 4th Army Corps was under the orders of général Rose[6] then Grenier

  • 1st Brigade of général Véron dit Bellecourt
    • 13th Infantry Regiment (French language: 13e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Lion)
    • 43rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 43e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Viville)
    • 5e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 5e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Carré)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Pradier
    • 64th Infantry Regiment (French language: 64e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Léger)
    • 98th Infantry Regiment (French language: 98e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Lechesne)
  • 3 batteries d'artillerie (2 batteries de 4 et 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 4th Army Corps was under the orders of général Latrille comte de Lorencez

  • 1st Brigade of général comte de Pajol
    • 15th Infantry Regiment (French language: 15e régiment d'infanterie de ligne) (colonel Fraboulet de Kerléadec)
    • 33rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 33e régiment d'infanterie de ligne) (colonel Bounetou)
    • 2e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 2e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Le Tanneur)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Berger
    • 54th Infantry Regiment (French language: 54e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Caillot)
    • 65th Infantry Regiment (French language: 65e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Sée)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 et 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the 4th Army Corps was commanded by général Legrand

  • 1st Brigade of général de Montaigu
    • 2nd Hussard Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel Carrelet)
    • 7th Hussard Regiment (French language: 7e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel Chaussée)
  • 2nd Brigade of général baron de Gondrecourt
    • 3rd Dragoon Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Bilhau)
    • 11th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 11e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Huyn de Verneville)
Reserve Artillery

Artillery Reserve was under the orders of colonel Soleille

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc Artillery, Reserve and Parc Engineer

5th Army Corps[]

Général de Failly, commander of the 5th Army Corps.

The 5th Army Corps (French language: 5e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by général de Failly, with chef d'état-major général Besson.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 5th Army Corps was under the orders of général Goze.

  • 1st Brigade of général Grenier then Saurin
    • 11th Infantry Regiment (French language: 11e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Béhagle)
    • 46th Infantry Regiment (French language: 46e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Pichon)
    • 4e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 4e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Foncegrives)
  • 2nd Brigade of général baron Nicolas
    • 61st Infantry Regiment (French language: 61e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel du Moulin)
    • 86th Infantry Regiment (French language: 86e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Auguste Florimond dit Alexis Berthe)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 5th Army Corps was under the orders of général de l'Abadie d'Aydren.

  • 1st Brigade of général Lapasset
    • 84th Infantry Regiment (French language: 84e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Benoit)
    • 97th Infantry Regiment (French language: 97e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Copmartin)
    • 14e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 14e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Planck)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Maussion
    • 49th Infantry Regiment (French language: 49e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Kampf)
    • 88th Infantry Regiment (French language: 88e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Courty)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 5th Army Corps was under the orders of général Guyot de Lespart

  • 1st Brigade of général Abattucci
    • 17th Infantry Regiment (French language: 17e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Weissemberger)
    • 27th Infantry Regiment (French language: 27e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Barolet)
    • 19e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 19e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Léon Michel Marie Louis de Marqué)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Fontanges de Couzan
    • 30th Infantry Regiment (French language: 30e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Wirbel)
    • 68th Infantry Regiment (French language: 68e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Paturel)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division of the 5th Army Corps was commanded by général Brahaut

  • 1st Brigade of général de Bernis
    • 5th Hussards Regiment (French language: 5e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel Flogny)
    • 12e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 12e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel de Tucé)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de la Mortière
    • 3rd Lancers Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel Thorel)
    • 5th Lancers Regiment (French language: 5e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel de Boério)
Reserve Artillery

Colonel de Salignac-Fénelon

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc Artillery, Reserve and Parc Engineer

6th Army Corps[]

Général de Canrobert, commander of the 6th Army Corps.

The 6th Army Corps was (French language: 6e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by Marshal Certain de Canrobert, with chef d'état-major général Henry.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 6th Army Corps was under the orders of général Tixier

  • 1st Brigade of général Péchot
    • 4th Infantry Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Vincendon)
    • 10th Infantry Regiment (French language: 10e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Ardan du Picq)
    • 9e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 9e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Mathelin)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Leroy de Dais
    • 12th Infantry Regiment (French language: 12e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Lebrun)
    • 100th Infantry Regiment (French language: 100e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Grémion)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 6th Army Corps was under the orders of général Bisson[7]

  • 1st Brigade of général Noel puis Archinard
    • 9th Infantry Regiment (French language: 9e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Roux)
    • 14th Infantry Regiment (French language: 14e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Louvent)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Maurice
    • 20th Infantry Regiment (French language: 20e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de la Guigneraye)
    • 31st Infantry Regiment (French language: 31e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Sautereau)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (2 batteries de 4 et 1 de mitrailleuses) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 6th Army Corps was under the orders of général Lafont de Villiers

  • 1st Brigade of général Béquet de Sonnay
    • 75th Infantry Regiment (French language: 75e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Amadieu)
    • 91st Infantry Regiment (French language: 91e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Daguerre)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Colin
    • 93rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 93e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Ganzin)
    • 94th Infantry Regiment (French language: 94e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Geslin)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries batteries de 4 et 1 Engineer Company
4th Infantry Division

The 4th Infantry Division of the 6th Army Corps was under the orders of général Levassor-Sorval

  • 1st Brigade of général de Marguenat[8] then Gibon
    • 25th Infantry Regiment (French language: 25e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Gibon[9])
    • 26th Infantry Regiment (French language: 26e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Hanrion)
  • 2nd Brigade of général comte de Chanaleilles
    • 28th Infantry Regiment (French language: 28e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Lamothe)
    • 70th Infantry Regiment (French language: 70e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Henrion Bertier)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries de 4 and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division[10]

The Cavalry Division of the 6th Army Corps was commanded by général de Salignac-Fénelon

  • 1st Brigade of général Tilliard
    • 1st Hussard Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Hussards) (colonel de Bauffremont)
    • 6e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 6e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Bonvoust)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Savaresse
    • 1st Lancers Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel Oudinot de Reggio)
    • 7th Lancers Regiment (French language: 7e régiment de lanciers) (colonel Périer)
  • 3rd Brigade of général Yvelin de Béville
    • 5th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 5e régiments de cuirassiers) (colonel Dubessey de Contenson)
    • 6th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 6e régiments de cuirassiers) (colonel Martin)
Cavalry Division

The Cavalry Division attached to the 6th Army Corps since August 18 in replacement of the division of Salignac-Fénelon, was commanded by général du Barail

  • 1st Brigade of général de Lajaille
    • 2nd African Chasseurs Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique) (colonel de la Martinière)
    • 2nd Chasseurs Regiment of France (French language: 2e Régiment de Chasseurs de France) (colonel Pelletier)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Bruchard
    • 3e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 3e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel de Sansal)
    • 10e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval (French language: 10e Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval) (colonel Nérin)
Reserve Artillery
  • Artillery reserve under the orders of général Bertrand[11]
    • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12
    • 4 Artillery Batteries de 4 montées
    • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted
  • Parc d'artillerie, réserve et parc du génie

7th Army Corps[]

Général Douay, commander of the 7th Army Corps.

The 7th Army Corps (French language: 7e Corps d'Armée) was commanded by général Douay, with chef d'état-major général Renson.

1st Infantry Division

The 1st Infantry Division of the 7th Army Corps was under the orders of général Conseil-Dumesnil.

  • 1st Brigade of général Nicolaï
    • 3rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Champion)
    • 21st Infantry Regiment (French language: 21e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Morand[12])
    • 17e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 17e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant Jules Florimond Germain Merchier)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Maire
    • 47th Infantry Regiment (French language: 47e Régiment d'Infanterie de ligne) (colonel de Gramont[13])
    • 99th Infantry Regiment (French language: 99e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Chagrin de Saint-Hilaire)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (two batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuse) and 1 Engineer Company
2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division of the 7th Army Corps was under the orders of général Liébert.

  • 1st Brigade of général Guiomar
    • 5th Infantry Regiment (French language: 5e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Boyer)
    • 37th Infantry Regiment (French language: 37e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel de Formy de la Blanchetée)
    • 6e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (French language: 6e Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied) (commandant de Beaufort)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de la Bastide
    • 53 Infantry Regiment (French language: 53e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Japy)
    • 89th Infantry Regiment (French language: 89e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Munier)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (two batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuse) and 1 Engineer Company
3rd Infantry Division

The 3rd Infantry Division of the 7th Army Corps was under the orders of général Dumont.

  • 1st Brigade of général Bordas
    • 52nd Infantry Regiment (French language: 52e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Aveline)
    • 79th Infantry Regiment (French language: 79e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne)[14] (colonel Bressolles)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Bittard des Portes
    • 82nd Infantry Regiment (French language: 82e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Guys)
    • 83rd Infantry Regiment (French language: 83e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne) (colonel Séatelli)
  • 3 Artillery Batteries (two batteries de 4 and 1 de mitrailleuse) and 1 Engineer Company
Cavalry Division

Général Ameil, commander of the cavalry division of the 7th Army Corps.

The Cavalry Division of the 7th Army Corps was commanded by général baron Ameil.

  • 1st Brigade of général Cambriel
    • 4th Hussards Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel de Lavigerie)
    • 4th Lancers Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel Féline)
    • 8th Lancers Regiment (French language: 8e Régiment de Lanciers) (colonel de Dampierre)
  • 2nd Brigade of général Jolif-Ducoulombier[15]
    • 6th Hussards Regiment (French language: 6e Régiment de Hussards) (colonel Guillon)
    • 6th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 6e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Tillion)
Reserve Artillery

Colonel Aubac

  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 12,
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 mounted,
  • 2 Artillery Batteries de 4 horse mounted.
  • Parc Artillery, Reserves and Parc Engineer.

Reserve Cavalry[]

1st Cavalry Division [16]

The 1st Reserve Cavalry Division was commanded by général du Barail.

  • 1st Brigade of général Margueritte.
    • 1st African Chasseurs Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique) (colonel Clicquot)
    • 3rd African Chasseurs Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique) (colonel de Galliffet)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Lajaille.
    • 2nd African Chasseurs Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique) (colonel de la Martinière)
    • 4th African Chasseurs Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique) (colonel de Quélen)
  • 2 Artillery Batteries horse mounted

The 2nd Reserve Cavalry Division was commanded by général de Bonnemain.

2nd Cavalry Division
  • 1st Brigade of général Girard.
    • 1st Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Leforestier de Vendeuvre)
    • 4th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 4e Régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Billet)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Brauer.
    • 2nd Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 2e Régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Rossetti)
    • 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 3e Régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Lafutsun de Lacarre)
  • 2 Artillery Batteries horse mounted
3rd Cavalry Division

The 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division was commanded by général de Forton.

  • 1st Brigade of général Prince Murat.
    • 1st Dragoon Regiment (French language: 1er Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Forceville)
    • 9th Dragoon Regiment (French language: 9e Régiment de Dragons) (colonel Reboul)
  • 2nd Brigade of général de Gramont, duc de Lesparre.
    • 7th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 7e régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Nitot)
    • 10th Cuirassiers Regiment (French language: 10e Régiment de Cuirassiers) (colonel Juncker)
  • 2 Artillery Batteries horse mounted

Reserve Artillery and Engineer[]

General Reserve Artillery

Commanded by général Canu.

  • 1st Division of colonel Salvador (8 Artillery Batteries de 12)
  • 1st Division of colonel Toussaint (8 Artillery Batteries horse mounted)
Grand parc de campagne

Commanded by général de Mitrecé.

General Reserve of Engineer

Commanded by colonel Rémond.

  • 2 Sapeurs Companies
  • 1 Mining Company
  • 1 Detachment of Sapeurs-Conducteurs
Grand parc du Génie

Chronology of operations[]

  • Battle of Sarrebuck (1870) (French language: Bataille de Sarrebruck (1870)).
    • Order of Battle during the Battle of Sarrebruck (French language: Ordre de bataille lors de la bataille de Sarrebruck).
  • Battle of Wissembourg (1870) (French language: Bataille de Wissembourg (1870)).
    • Order of Battle during the Battle of Wissembourg (1870) (French language: Ordre de bataille lors de la bataille de Wissembourg (1870)).
  • Battle of Forbach-Spicheren (French language: Bataille de Forbach-Spicheren).
    • Order of Battle during the Battle of Forbach-Spicheren (French language: Ordre de bataille lors de la bataille de Forbach-Spicheren).
  • Battle of Frœschwiller-Wœrth (1870) (French language: Bataille de Frœschwiller-Wœrth (1870)).
    • Order of Battle during the Battle Frœschwiller-Wœrth (French language: Ordre de bataille lors de la bataille de Frœschwiller-Wœrth (1870)).
  • Bitche during the Siege of 1870-1871 (French language: Bitche pendant le siège de 1870-1871).
  • Battle of Borny–Colombey (French language: Bataille de Borny-Colombey).
  • Battle of Mars-la-Tour (French language: Bataille de Mars-la-Tour).
  • Siege of Toul (French language: Siège de Toul).
  • Battle of Saint-Privat (French language: Bataille de Saint-Privat).
  • Siege of Metz (1870) (French language: Siège de Metz (1870)).
  • Siege of Strasbourg (French language: Siège de Strasbourg).
  • Battle of Noisseville (French language: Bataille de Noisseville).

References[]

  1. In Histoire générale de la guerre franco allemande - 1870-1871, Tome 1 pages 116 à 124.
  2. Les dates communiquées dans cette colonne sont les dates correspondant au relevés théoriques d'effectifs. Ces valeurs sont en effet théoriques car l'ensemble des unités n'étaient, à ces dates, pas toutes réunies autour de leur corps d'affectation.
  3. In Histoire générale de la guerre franco allemande - 1870-1871, Tome 1, pages 395 à 405.
  4. Marie Justin Lin Soleille or simply Justin Soleille
  5. L'ouvrage indique Harmand Lucien Duez
  6. général Etienne Hugues Rose was not able to join due to health challenges
  7. the 14th, 20th, and 31st Line Infantry Regiments did not join and were integrated in the 12th Army Corps. The Division was accordingly reduced to the 9th line Infantry Regiment.
  8. général de Marguenat was killed at Rezonville
  9. Promoted général on September 26, colonel Gibon replaced général de Marguenat and was killed at Ladonchamps on October 7.
  10. This division did not join the Army Corps and was replaced, on August 18, by the Division of général du Barail.
  11. The artillery reserves and engineers of the 6th Corps were not able to join. The artillery reserve was reconstituted from the general reserves of the army.
  12. Colonel Morand was pormoted to général August 25 and replaced général Nicolaï, prisoner. He was killed at Beaumont on August 30.
  13. Colonel de Gramont was promoted to général and replcaed général Maire, killed during the battle of Frœschwiller.
  14. 79th Infantry Regiment did not join initially and was replaced with the 72nd Infantry Regiment. Finally, the regiment was assigned to the 12th Army Corps.
  15. The 2nd Brigade of the Cavalry Division of the 7th Army Corps did not join.
  16. The 1st Cavalry Division (reserve) was dislocated before the blockade of Metz. The Margueritte Brigade was assigned to the Army of Châlons. Brigade Lajaille was assigned to the 6th Army Corps to constitute the respective Division Cavalry.

Sources and bibliography[]

  • Lieutenant-colonel Rousset, Histoire générale de la guerre franco allemande - 1870-1871, éditions Montgredien et Cie, 1900.
  • Paul et Victor Margueritte, Histoire de la guerre de 1870-71, Éditions G. Chamerot, 1903.
  • Général Niox, La guerre de 1870 - Simple récit, Librairie Ch. Delagrave, 1898.
  • Annuaire militaire de l'empire français 1870
  • Ferdinand Lecomte : Relation historique et critique de la guerre franco-allemande en 1870-1871
  • Annuaire militaire de 1870 (pour les prénoms)

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