Oldest Unit still in existence

Sep 2017
635
United States
#13
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.
Impressive that they have seen combat for that long, many old units are relegated to guard/ceremonial duties now. I wonder how their culture is different than other units.
 
Oct 2014
262
Poole. UK
#16
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.
They are not mercenaries. just as the Ghurka's and the French Foreign Legion are not mercenaries. They are in Military service. Under military law, they are in official recognised military units and have signed terms of service.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,692
Georgia, USA
#18
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.

I heard that you don't have to be Swiss to join the Swiss Guard, but if you do join, you get Swiss citizenship.


Recruiting regiments of foreigners used to be common amongst the totalitarian Royal Houses of Europe.

Unable to totally trust their own people, European monarchs often recruited regiments of foreigners who would be more politically reliable.

Even Napoleon had regiments of foreigners in the Imperial Guard.
 

Similar History Discussions