Oldest Unit still in existence

Jul 2018
269
London
#1
I was wondering: what is the oldest military unit still in existence?
I think we should differentiate in two categories: new units which pick up traditions of older units somewhat related, and units which have been continually in existence for a period as an organization.
In the former case we may have centuries, in the latter, I suspect, the time is much shorter.

I made a video on the history of regiment here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzL2tG1Ez5w
but it is just a quick educational and entertaining thing, not a documentary.

Any ideas?

Thank you very much.
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,421
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#3
The Coldstream Guards are the oldest British regiment, iirc, but I have trouble thinking of anyone oldre than the Swiss Guard really ...
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,141
Spain
#4
The oldest military unit still existing is the Regimiento Inmemorial del Rey número 1 (King´s Inmemorial Regiment)... the unit is active from 1248 to today (770 years) It was stablished by the King Ferdinand III of Castille and Lion and had fought from the conquest of Seville to Afghanistan...one unit fought in every continent. Its nickname is El Freno (The Brake)...because it was stablished to "stop" (brake) the enemies of the Crown.

Between battles regiment fought: Seville, Navas de Tolosa, Salado...Inmemorial fought Coldstream Guard in battle of Brion in 1800 and of course America, Asia etc.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,141
Spain
#7
I knew that list, I used it in my video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzL2tG1Ez5w

However it is not clear if they have been continuously in existence, or they have been recreated picking up the traditions.
I think it makes quite a lot of difference.
Inmemorial del Rey have been existing from 1248 onwards... not recreated at all. Logically the organization have changed from 1248...
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,223
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#8
Papal Swiss Guard?

Mercenaries? I was just thinking to it! Sure it's among the most ancient military formations still in service. In Europe they are quite unique, overall because from a functional perspective they are still mercenaries ... those Swiss Catholic citizens won't live in the State of the Church [Vatican], once they will end their service they will go back to Switzerland.
 
Jul 2018
269
London
#9
Inmemorial del Rey have been existing from 1248 onwards... not recreated at all. Logically the organization have changed from 1248...
Well, if this is correct is really difficult to beat, but ... what is number two then? the Swiss Papal Guards don't really count, they haven't been fighting for 4 centuries ...
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,223
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#10
Ok, if we leave the field of mercenaries ... a Knight Order which had created in the age of the Crusades is still a Sovereign Military Order. The Italian Republic recognizes [like the international community, UN] the sovereignty of the Malta Order on an area of Rome [in a certain sense the SMOM is similar to the Vatican].


The Hospitallers [now Knights of Malta] appeared in late XI century CE in Jerusalem.

Are Malta Knight still a military corp? Theoretically yes, they are ... theoretically.


P.S. the dimension of the standard of the Order here is a bit impressive ... I've just found out that it's not possible to change the dimensions of a linked picture on this forum using the mouse ...
 

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