Sunday, 9 December 2012

55e Regiment de Ligne: Le Haie Sainte

Perry Miniatures French Infantry painted by us at a Brush Too Far
Formed in 1791 the Regiment went through a number of reforms before finally being named in 1803 the 55e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne. It fought at a number of significant engagements before its final battle at Waterloo.
1792:    Valmy 
1793:    Landau 
1795:    Rosas 
1796:    Mantua 
1797:    Rivoli, Mantua, and Valvassone 
1799:    La Trebbia and Novi 
1800:    Genes 
1805:    Austerlitz 
1806:    Jena and Lubeck 
1807:    Eylau and Heilsberg 
1808:    Medina-del-Rio Seca 
1809:    Almonacid and Ocana 
1811:    Albuhera and Almandratero 
1812:    Campillo, Coin, Borisow, and Wilna 
1813:    Vittoria, Pampelune, Bautzen, Dresde, Culm and Arnheim 
1814:    Orthez and Toulouse 
1815:    Ligny and Waterloo



The Eagle of the 55e flanked by the 3rd (Orange) Company and the 2nd (Blue) Company

During the 100 days campaign the 55e Regiment consisted of two battalion totalling nearly 1200men. Commanded by Colonel Morin it was part of Colonel Charlet's 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division of the Comte D'Erlon's I Corps.. The 1st Brigade was an experienced formation having been present at Austerlitz, Eylau, Jena and the Peninsula Campaign against Wellington amongst others named above. The 55e along with the rest of D'Erlons Corps spent the engagements on the 16th June marching between Quatra Bras and Ligny as orders were passed and then changed. This can lead to a couple of what ifs when playing either of these scenarios. 
The French 55e advance in the same old fashion


On the 18th June the Division including the 55e launched its attack on the Allied centre at about 1:30pm  and was heavily involved in the fight at the fortified Farm at Le Haie Sainte at one point completely surrounding the German defenders within. 
Voltiguer of the 55e chosen for his shooting skill from amongst the companies. The box provides
both marching and skirmishing voltiguers
The 55e suffered heavily during the assault and the subsequent Allied Heavy Cavalry counterattack that followed D'Erlon initial assault.  The 105e Regiment of the 2nd Brigade famously lost its eagle during the cavalry assault. Colonel Charlet and his son Captain Charlet who commanded a battery of the divisions artillery are both believed to have survived the battle as is the Regiments Colonel Morin. It would take I Corps 5 hours to take Le Haie Sainte but their effort was in vain as there was no reinforcement available to exploit the gap in the allied line and the arrival of the Prussians sealed the Allied victory.

French Line Drummer

Line Grenadiers

Eagle Bearer of the 55e

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