Chasseur – History

Short history of the 3ème Régiment Chasseurs à Cheval (Chasseurs de Flandre)

Chasseurs are a type of French light cavalry comparable to the British Light Dragoons. The Chasseur regiments formed the basis of the French cavalry. There where none less than 31 Chasseur regiments. The light  cavalry was a rapid force used for swift attacks and reconnaissance. They were the vanguard of the army and often the first to come in to contact with the enemy.

In 1748 the regiment was raised in France as the  Volontaires de Hainaut, the recruits were volunteers from nowadays Belgium. In 1788 the regiment amalgated with the Régiment Dragons du Hay and renamed the 3ème Régiment Chasseurs à Cheval (Chasseurs de Flandre). During the Napoleonic period the regiment consisted of conscripts; a large number of them came from Flanders and nowadays Dutch Brabant. The regiment saw action in almost all the major campaigns of the Napoleonic wars.

1792: Valmy and Jemmapes
1793: Nerwinden and Wattignie
1794: Maestricht
1798: Castlebar
1799: La Stura and Genola
1800: Pozzolo
1805: Caldiero
1807: Passenwerder and Heilsberg
1809: Vilsbiburg, Aspern-Essling and Wagram
1812: Krasnoe and La Moskowa
1813: Dresden and Leipzig
1814: Champaubert and Nangis
1815: Quatre-Bras and Waterloo

Battle honours on the regimental colours were:
Jemmapes 1792, Maestricht 1794, Wagram 1809 and Krasnoe 1812