Infantry Regiment Organisation

Italian infantry regiments, both line and light, were organised in the same way as the French line infantry according to the orders of 18th February 1808. Smaller formations such as the Milan Guard battalion would follow the organisation shown here but with a smaller staff contingent.

Regimental Staff

The staff of a four-battalion infantry regiment was made up as follows:

Colonnello Colonel 1
Sotto Colonnello Colonel en seconde 1
Maggiore Major 1
Capo-Battaglione Chefs de Bataillon 3
Aiutante Adjutants 5
Aiutante-Sottufficiale Adjutant NCOs 10
Quartier mastro Quartermasters 2
Chirurgo-Maggiore Surgeon-Major 1
Sotto-Chirurgo Assistant Surgeons 4
Alfiere porta Aquila Eagle Bearer 1
Sergente porta Aquila 2nd & 3rd Eagle Bearers (Sergeants) 2
Tamburo-Maggiore Drum-Major 1
Caporale-Tamburo Drum Corporal 1
Musicanti Musicians 8
Mastro-Artigiano Master Craftsmen
(Bootmaker, Tailor, Breechesmaker & Armourer)
Total staff establishment 45

When the individual battalions of a regiment served in different theatres (as was often the case - see the deployment charts for examples) the staff would be split up accordingly. Presumably, some posts would be doubled up, for example, both portions of the regiment would require an armourer. Anyone who can shed any light on this issue should contact me.

Company Establishment

Each battalion was made up of six companies: four centre companies (Fuciliere), one of grenadiers (Granatieri) and one of light infantry (Volteggiatori). These companies were made up as follows:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente-Maggiore Sergeant-Major 1
Sergente Sergeants 4
Caporale-Furiere Quartermaster-Corporal 1
Caporale Corporals 8
Tamburi/Cornette Drummers/Hornists 2
Soldato Privates 121
Total establishment 140

In 1811 an artillery company and two four-pounder cannon were added to each line infantry regiment. These companies were organised as shown below:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente Sergeants 4
Caporale Corporals 4
Tamburo Drummer 1
Artiglieri Gunners 58
Total establishment 70

Thus, on paper, the strength of a six-company battalion would be 840 men (plus a commander and his assistants drawn from the regimental staff) and a complete four-battalion regiment would number 3405 men (3475 after 1811).

In practice, however, regiments in the field never got near this figure. Battle casualties, disease, desertion and other factors ensured that a regiment's "field strength" was much lower. Here are some examples taken at the beginning of their respective campaigns, active service would make them even lower...

2nd Line Regt, July 1812: 2776 men
3rd Light Regt, July 1812: 3126 men


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My thanks go to Marcello Marconi of Verona for checking and correcting the spelling of the military ranks & titles shown above.

See Also

Cavalry Organisation
Artillery Organisation