Chef de brigade

Chef de brigade was a military rank, equivalent to colonel, in the French Revolutionary army, in command of a demi-brigade. Both that unit (replacing a regiment) and that rank (replacing the rank of mestre de camp) were created at the same time, in 1793. The two designations disappeared just before the institution of the French Empire, in 1803, with the old designations restored.

107th Infantry Regiment (France)

The 107th Infantry Regiment (107e régiment d'infanterie; shortened to 107e RI or "107th RI") was a French Army infantry regiment that dates back to 1469, where it was originally created as the Francs Archers Angoumois. In 1755, the Augoumois battalion was stationed in Louisiana on a harbor defense mission. The regiment was later stationed—similarly—on a mission in 1772 led by the Pondicherry regiment in India. The 107th was one of many regiments created under the Ancient Regime to serve on board naval ships and in the colonies, and subsequently, all such regiments were—in 1791—given a number in the line-infantry order of battle. This means that the 107th could be considered as "ancestors" of the naval infantry regiments.

They are:

"La Marine" from ""Compagnies ordinaires de la mer"" (lit. "ordinary companies of the sea"), created in 1622 and became 11th Infantry Regiment

"Royal-Vaisseaux" which dates from 1638 and became the 43rd Infantry Regiment

"La Couronne" created in 1643 and became 45th Infantry Regiment

"Royal-Marine" created in 1669 and became the 60th Infantry Regiment

"Amirauté" created in 1669

"Cap" created in 1766 and became 106th Infantry Regiment

"Pondichéry" created in 1772; white uniform with orange facings. Became 107th Infantry Regiment

"Île de France, Île de Bourbon, & Port Louis; established in 1772 for the defense of the Mascarene Islands. Merged into the Île de France in 1775; uniform was white with blue facings. In 1776 Bourbon regained its separate identity. Île de France became the 108th Infantry Regiment

"Martinique et Guadeloupe" created in 1772 and became 109th Infantry Regiment

"Port-au-Prince" created in 1773 and became 110th Infantry RegimentThe regiment was set up in 1772. It was disbanded and re-established many times throughout the years before finally dissolving in 1989.

12th Cuirassier Regiment (France)

The 12th Cuirassier Regiment (French: 12e Régiment de Cuirassiers, 12e RC) is an armoured cavalry (tank) regiment of the French Army. It provides the armoured component of the 2nd Armoured Brigade. Currently stationed at Quartier Valmy, Olivet, France.

1st Parachute Hussar Regiment

The 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment (French: 1er Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes, 1er RHP) is an airborne cavalry unit in the French Army, founded in 1720 by Hungarian noble Ladislas Ignace de Bercheny. It is stationed in Tarbes and is a part of the 11th Parachute Brigade.

6th Dragoon Regiment (France)

The 6th Regiment of Dragoons (6e Régiment de Dragons) is a French regiment of cavalry formed under the old regime, and dissolved in 1992.

7th Hussar Regiment (France)

The 7th Hussar Regiment (7e Régiment de Hussards) was a regiment of hussars in the French Army.

Antoine François Brenier de Montmorand

Antoine-François Brenier de Montmorand (12 November 1767 at Saint-Marcellin, Isère – 8 October 1832) served as a French general of division during the period of the First French Empire and became an officer of the Légion d'honneur.

Army of the Danube order of battle

The Army of the Danube was a field army of the French First Republic. Originally named the Army of Observation, it was expanded with elements of the Army of Mainz (Mayence) and the Army of Helvetia (Switzerland). The army had three divisions plus an advance guard, a reserve, and an artillery park. The artillery park was under the command of Jean Ambroise Baston de Lariboisière and consisted of 33 cannons and 19 howitzers operated by 1,329 non-commissioned officers and cannoneers as well as 60 officers. There were approximately 25,000 members of the Army, the role of which was to invade southwestern Germany, precipitating the War of the Second Coalition.

The Army crossed the Rhine River on 1 March 1799 under the command of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, in the order of battle below. As elements crossed the Rhine, they took the name "Army of the Danube". The crossing was completed by 7 March. After passing through the Black Forest, the Army fought two battles in quick succession, the Battle of Ostrach, on 20–21 March, and Stockach, on 25–26 March. It suffered badly in both engagements and, following the action at Stockach, withdrew to the Black Forest. Jourdan established his headquarters at Hornberg, and the Reserve cavalry and the cavalry of the Advance Guard quartered near Offenburg, where the horses could find better forage.Initially, the Army included five future Marshals of France: its commander-in-chief, Jourdan; François Joseph Lefebvre; Jean-Baptiste Drouet; Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr; and Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier. After the defeat at Ostrach, the Army was reorganized and command shifted to another future marshal, André Masséna. Under Masséna's command, elements of the army participated in skirmishes in Switzerland, the eleven-hour Battle of Winterthur and the First and Second Battles of Zürich. The Army was disbanded in November 1799 and its units dispersed among other French field armies by mid-December.


A demi-brigade (English: Half-brigade) is a military formation used by the French Army since the French Revolutionary Wars. The Demi-brigade amalgamated the various infantry organizations of the French Revolutionary infantry into a single unit. Each one was headed by a chef de brigade.

The term "Demi-brigade" was chosen to avoid the feudal ancien régime connotations of the term "Régiment". Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the term to be abandoned in 1803, and the demi-brigades were renamed "régiments". The term was reused by certain later units in the French Army, such as the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade, the only permanent demi-brigade in the modern French Army.

Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet

Jacques Gilles Henri Goguet (11 March 1767 – 21 April 1794) rose to command a French division during the French Revolutionary Wars before he was assassinated by his own soldiers after a defeat. Trained as a physician, he became a member of the French National Guard in 1789. He joined a volunteer battalion in 1792 and fought at Jemappes in November that year. In 1793 he was promoted to general officer and transferred to the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees. In September 1793 when a Spanish army threatened to surround Perpignan, the French army commander fled, leaving the army leaderless. In the emergency, Goguet cooperated with Eustache Charles d'Aoust to win the Battle of Peyrestortes. A few days later he led a column at Truillas.

Goguet transferred to the Army of the North with the rank of general of division. He led his division at Le Cateau. In one of the operations during the Siege of Landrecies his troops were defeated by the Coalition army. During the retreat, a mutinous group of soldiers fired on Goguet and fatally wounded him. Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, then a chef de brigade (colonel), harangued the guilty regiment and convinced the troops to arrest the assassins. A captain was condemned to death for inciting his men to commit the crime.

Jean-Baptiste Broussier

Not to be confused with Broussier, a French Foreign Legion captain present at Tuyên Quang, Yu Oc and Hòa Mộc during the Sơn Tây Campaign.Jean-Baptiste Broussier (10 March 1766 – 13 December 1814) was a French Divisional General of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.

Jean-Marie Defrance

Jean-Marie Defrance (1771–1855) was a French General of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was also a member of the Council of Five Hundred (the lower house of the legislative branch of the French government under The Directory), and a teacher at the military school of Rebais, Champagne.

Defrance had an extensive and successful military career in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. After the First Battle of Zurich, he refused a battlefield promotion to brigadier general, asking instead for a cavalry regiment; he received command of the 12th Regiment of Chasseurs-a-Cheval (light cavalry) as Chef-de-Brigade, a rank equivalent to colonel. He led this brigade in the campaigns of 1799–1800 in southwestern Germany and northern Italy. By 1805, he had been promoted to brigadier general. At the Battle of Austerlitz and the Battle of Jena-Auerstadt, he commanded a cavalry brigade of carabiniers in Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty's First Division. By the Battle of Borodino in September 1812, he had been promoted to general of division, commanding the 4th Cuirassier Division of Nansouty's reserves, where they charged the Shevardino redoubt. He fought his way across Germany to the Rhine River after the French loss at Leipzig and participated in the Six Days Campaign.

In the Hundred Days, he commanded part of Jean Maximilien Lamarque's Army of the West. At the second Bourbon Restoration, he retained his titles and honors and subsequently held several command posts until retirement in 1829. He died in 1855.

Jean-Michel Beysser

Jean-Michel Beysser (Ribeauvillé, 4 November 1753 – Paris, 13 April 1794) was a French general.

Louis Fursy Henri Compère

Louis Fursy Henri Compère (16 January 1768 – 27 March 1833) was a French general of artillery in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.

Compère was born in Péronne, Somme. In 1794, he was promoted to chef de brigade, the equivalent of colonel. On 1 May 1794, he was promoted to general of brigade. He was part of the Army of the Danube crossing into the southwest German states in 1799, and participated in the Battle of Ostrach and the Battle of Stockach.

He was the brother of the General Claude Antoine Compère (1774–1812).

Légion Noire

La Légion noire (The Black Legion) was a military unit of the French Revolutionary Army. It took part in what was the unsuccessful last invasion of Britain in February 1797.The Legion was created on the orders of General Hoche to take part in a three pronged attack against Ireland and Britain. It was commanded by chef de brigade William Tate.

Marie François Rouyer

Marie François Rouyer (2 March 1765 – 10 August 1824) was a French general during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1783 he joined the army of a German state and became a lieutenant of dragoons within three years. In 1791 he joined the French army as an infantry captain. He fought in the French Revolutionary Wars, becoming an Adjutant General Chef de brigade (colonel) on 12 April 1794. He won promotion to general of brigade on 30 July 1799. Napoleon Bonaparte named him a commander of the Légion d'Honneur on 14 June 1804.

Assigned to lead a brigade in the VI Corps, he fought at Haslach-Jungingen and Dürrenstein in the War of the Third Coalition. He earned advancement to general of division on 24 December 1805 but continued to lead a brigade. The following year he fought at Halle, Waren-Nossentin, and Lübeck. In the last action he captured Carl Carlsson Mörner and 600 Swedes. In 1807, he led his troops at Mohrungen and Braunsberg before being given command of a Hessian division.

He became a Baron of the Empire on 18 March 1809. In the War of the Fifth Coalition his division of French-allied Germans guarded Napoleon's line of communications. His forces were mauled at Franzensfeste on 4 August 1809 while attempting to suppress the Tyrolean Rebellion. In early 1810 he led a division in Catalonia. In 1813 and 1814, he commanded the 2nd Division in Italy at Caldiero and the Mincio. King Louis XVIII of France appointed him a chevalier of the Order of Saint Louis. He was buried at Barville, Vosges on 10 August 1824. ROUYER is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe, on Column 1.

Mestre de camp

Mestre de camp or Maître de camp (French pronunciation: ​[mɛtʁ də kɑ̃], camp-master) was a military rank in the Ancien Régime of France, equivalent to colonel. A mestre de camp commanded a regiment and was under the authority of a Colonel General, who commanded all the regiments in one "arme". The rank also existed in Portugal and Spain, as mestre de campo.

When the role of infantry colonel general was abolished in 1661, the mestre de camp took the title of colonel. The cavalry regiments, on the other hand, remained under the authority of a colonel general, were commanded individually by mestres de camp until the French Revolution. Like the rank of captain, the rank of mestre de camp was "vénale", that is, it could be purchased and/or handed on to another man without hindrance. Consequently, precocious rejects from the high aristocracy could accede to the rank at a very young age and thus be in a good position to obtain promotions (by seniority) to the rank of brigadier.

The rank of mestre de camp was demonstrated by wearing a pair of épaulettes with gilded or silver fringes.

The rank was abolished during the French Revolution and replaced by that of chef de brigade.

Nicolas Bernard Guiot de Lacour

Nicolas Bernard Guiot de Lacour (25 January 1771 – 28 July 1809) led infantry and cavalry brigades during the First French Empire under Napoleon. He joined the French Royal Army in 1787 and was sent to quell the Haitian Revolution in 1791. He fought in the Army of the North starting in 1793. He was promoted to chef de brigade (colonel) in 1797 and to general of brigade in 1800. He led a cavalry brigade at Caldiero in 1805 and initially commanded the Siege of Gaeta in 1806. He fought at Abensberg, Landshut, and Eckmühl in 1809 before being fatally wounded at the Battle of Wagram on 6 July 1809. Promoted general of division on the battlefield, he died of his wounds on the 28th. GUYOT DE LACOUR is one of the names inscribed under the Arc de Triomphe on Column 11 and his bust is in the Hall of Battles at the Palace of Versailles.

Nicolas Godinot

Deo-Gratias-Nicolas Godinot (1 May 1765 – 27 October 1811) was a Général de Division of the First French Empire who saw action during the Peninsular War. He was made Chef de Brigade of the 25th Légère on 30 June 1799 and rose to become Colonel of that regiment in 1803. Godinot gained promotion to Général de Brigade on 1 February 1805, and on 10 May 1811 rose further to Général de Division. He led his brigade in a feint-attack against the village of Albuera during the Battle of Albuera on 16 May 1811. He defeated a Spanish force at the Battle of Zujar on 9 August 1811. Godinot was made the scapegoat for an operation that failed to trap Francisco Ballesteros in the autumn of 1811. (See the Battle of Bornos article.) Despondent, Godinot took his own life.

Aside from his military rank, Godinot became a Commander of the Légion d'Honneur on 9 March 1806, and was made a Baron of the Empire on 27 July 1808.

William Tate (soldier)

Chef de brigade (colonel) William Tate was the Irish-American commander of a French military force known as La Légion Noire ("The Black Legion") which invaded Britain in 1797, resulting in the Battle of Fishguard.

The 1,200 to 1,400-strong Légion Noire landed at Carregwastad Point, near the Welsh port of Fishguard, on February 22 but surrendered three days later. After brief imprisonment, Tate was returned to France in a prisoner exchange in 1798, along with most of his invasion force. This was the last invasion of the British mainland by foreign forces.

Tate reportedly disliked the British because his family had been killed by pro-British Native Americans in the American War of Independence, and he advocated Irish republicanism.Many historians, following E. H. Stuart Jones, the author of The Last Invasion of Britain (1950), have suggested that William Tate was about 70 years old in 1797; he was in fact 44.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.