This is the third of what will be six battalions in this French AWI collection.
Formed in 1757 by Duke Christian IV of Pfalz-Zweibrucken as a result of the Duke’s indebtedness to Louis XV of France Régiment de Royal Deux-Ponts remained in French service throughout its 240 year existence despite its home territory, the "two bridges" area (Deux-Ponts/Zweibruken), ping-ponging between the French and Germany over the years.
It’s first action was in the Seven Years War where it fought under Soubise at Rossbach, then later at Sandershausen, Lutterberg, Frankfurt, Minden, Corbach and Vellinghausen. After the war it was first posted to Thionville, then to it’s home region of Zwiebrücken.
The Regiment was chosen by Rochambeau to take to America in the American Revolution because of the hard fighting reputation in established in the Seven Years War. That reputation was greatly enhanced by its service at Yorktown where facing the Hessians they were involved in the storming of Redoubt 9 the loss of which led to the British surrender, losing 46 killed and 68 wounded. For their part in the victory Washington presented them with one of the captured guns and the regiment presented captured British colours to the King.
In 1790, after the Revolution it lost its royal designation and became the 99e régiment d’infanterie de Ligne and ceased recruiting Germans. It was heavily involved in the Revolutionary War and fought at Marengo, Wagram and Borodino.
Under the Second Empire it served in Algeria, Italy in 1859, Mexico, and in the Franco-Prussian War, notably at Froeschwiller and Sedan.
It later fought with distinction in the Great War, particularly in the Second Battle of Champagne and at Verdun. It went on to fight in the Second World War and was employed after the war in Algeria and then Bosnia. In 1997, after 240 years in service, the regiment was disbanded as a part of the downsizing of l’armée de terre.
In Rochambeau‘s army in America, it wore the distinctive blue costs of the German regiments and carried the wonderfully ornate standards below: the Colonel’s colour (drapeau blanc) on the left (with the motto “outnumbered but not overpowered”) and the drapeau d’ordonnance on the right.
Completed before this unit, but left dawdling in the basing department is the 1st Battalion, 15th Regiment for the Franco-Prussian army.