The fate of Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792

The French Revolution, a defining period in European history, brought profound changes to the political and military landscape of France. Among the foreign troops that played a significant role in the French army were the Swiss regiments. Known for their discipline, skill, and loyalty, the Swiss troops faced a moment of reckoning after the events of August 10, 1792. In this article, we will examine what happened to the Swiss troops in French service after that pivotal date, exploring the challenges they faced and the impact of the revolutionary upheaval on their ranks.

The role of Swiss troops in French service

Before the outbreak of the French Revolution, Switzerland had a long tradition of providing mercenary troops to European powers. Swiss regiments, admired for their military prowess, were sought after by various nations, including France. These troops served as an integral part of the French army, renowned for its discipline and steadfastness.

The Storming of the Tuileries and its Aftermath

On August 10, 1792, the French monarchy faced a major challenge when a mob stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. King Louis XVI and his family were forced to take refuge in the Legislative Assembly. This event marked a turning point in the Revolution, leading to the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the First French Republic.

Loyalty tested: Swiss Troops Caught in the Crossfire

In the aftermath of the storming of the Tuileries, the loyalty of the Swiss troops was severely tested. Faced with the dissolution of the monarchy and the rise of radical factions, some Swiss units found themselves torn between their allegiance to the French state and their loyalty to the king. Many Swiss soldiers faced a moral dilemma, unsure of how to navigate the changing political landscape.

The Massacre of the Swiss Guards

Tragically, the Swiss Guards, stationed at the Tuileries Palace to protect the royal family, bore the brunt of the revolutionary violence. On August 10, 1792, they bravely defended the palace, but were eventually overwhelmed by the mob. Most of the Swiss Guards were killed, while the survivors faced imprisonment or exile.

Dissolution and Aftermath

In the wake of the events of August 10, the remaining Swiss regiments in French service faced disbandment. The new republican government, suspicious of foreign troops and fearful of their potential loyalty to the monarchy, disbanded the Swiss units. Many Swiss soldiers were discharged, while others were integrated into French regiments or forced to return to Switzerland.

Effects on Switzerland and European Politics

The disbanding of the Swiss regiments and the massacre of the Swiss Guards had a profound impact on Swiss and European politics. The events of August 10 deepened the rift between revolutionary France and the conservative European powers, who viewed the treatment of the Swiss troops as an affront to the principles of national sovereignty and the rights of neutral nations.

Exile and integration

After the disbandment of the Swiss regiments, many Swiss soldiers found themselves in a precarious situation. Some chose to return to Switzerland, while others sought refuge in neighboring countries. Some soldiers integrated into other foreign armies, such as those of Austria or Prussia, and continued their military careers elsewhere.

Impact on Swiss society

The disbanding of the Swiss regiments had a significant impact on Swiss society. The loss of a significant number of skilled soldiers created a void in the Swiss military landscape. It also sparked debates and discussions within Switzerland about the country’s role in international conflicts and its reliance on mercenary forces.

Legacy and remembrance

The massacre of the Swiss Guards during the storming of the Tuileries left a lasting impression on the collective memory of both Switzerland and France. In Switzerland, the event became a symbol of sacrifice and loyalty. Monuments and memorials dedicated to the Swiss Guards were erected to commemorate their bravery and honor their memory.

The evolution of Swiss neutrality

The events surrounding the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792, played a role in shaping Switzerland’s commitment to neutrality. The disbanding and tragic fate of the Swiss Guards highlighted the vulnerability of foreign military involvement and strengthened Switzerland’s resolve to maintain a stance of neutrality in future conflicts.

Shifting European alliances

The disbanding of the Swiss regiments and the treatment of the Swiss Guards further strained relations between revolutionary France and conservative European powers. European monarchies, already concerned about the spread of revolutionary ideals, saw the fate of the Swiss troops as an example of the dangers of radicalism and as justification for their opposition to the French Revolution.

Historical interpretations

The fate of the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792, has been the subject of various historical interpretations. Some see the disbanding of the Swiss regiments as a necessary step in the revolutionary process, while others criticize the violence inflicted on the Swiss Guards as an act of brutality and disregard for the principles of warfare.


The fate of Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792, symbolizes the challenges faced by foreign soldiers in the midst of the turbulent and transformative era of the French Revolution. Caught between loyalties and thrust into a revolutionary maelstrom, the Swiss troops experienced disbanding, exile, and tragedy. Their story serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities and sacrifices endured during this pivotal period in European history.


What happened to the Swiss troops in French service after August 10, 1792?

During the Revolution Of the nine hundred Swiss Guards defending the palace on 10 August 1792, about six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after they surrendered. One group of sixty Swiss were taken prisoner and taken to the Paris City Hall before being killed by the crowd there.

What happened on the 10th of August 1792?

The Insurrection of 10 August 1792 was a defining event of the French Revolution, when armed revolutionaries in Paris, increasingly in conflict with the French monarchy, stormed the Tuileries Palace. The conflict led France to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic.

Where were guards of the king killed on the 10th of August?

On 10 August, the National Guard of the Paris Commune and fédérés from Marseille and Brittany stormed the King’s residence in the Tuileries Palace in Paris, which was defended by the Swiss Guards.
Insurrection of 10 August 1792.

The Insurrection of 10 August 1792
200-400 killed 600 killed 200 captured

What caused the violence in Paris August 10 1792?

1. The August 10th 1792 attack on the Tuileries was an insurrectionary action by Republican soldiers and the people of Paris, who wanted to depose the king and abolish the monarchy.

How much do Swiss guards get paid?

A recruit can expect to earn just over SFr1,500 ($942) a month – a seemingly paltry sum. However, Segmüller said the salary has to be seen alongside the other benefits of the job. “The guards pay no taxes or health insurance,” he said.

What crime is Marie found guilty of?

The campaign against Marie Antoinette likewise grew stronger. In July 1793, she lost custody of her young son, who was forced to accuse her of sexual abuse and incest before a Revolutionary tribunal. In October, she was convicted of treason and sent to the guillotine.

Why was the king executed?

One day after being convicted of conspiracy with foreign powers and sentenced to death by the French National Convention, King Louis XVI is executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris.

What were the 3 main causes of the French Revolution?

Although scholarly debate continues about the exact causes of the Revolution, the following reasons are commonly adduced: (1) the bourgeoisie resented its exclusion from political power and positions of honour; (2) the peasants were acutely aware of their situation and were less and less willing to support the

What was a result of the convention called by the French National Assembly in August 1792?

The National Convention was elected to provide a new constitution for the country after the overthrow of the monarchy (August 10, 1792). The Convention numbered 749 deputies, including businessmen, tradesmen, and many professional men.

Why was the French monarchy abolished in 1792?

In 1789, food shortages and economic crises led to the outbreak of the French Revolution. King Louis and his queen, Mary-Antoinette, were imprisoned in August 1792, and in September the monarchy was abolished.

What is the pope’s salary?

The pope will not be affected by the cuts, because he does not receive a salary. “As an absolute monarch, he has everything at his disposal and nothing at his disposal,” Mr. Muolo said. “He doesn’t need an income, because he has everything that he needs.”

Do Swiss Guards marry?

Although they are eventually allowed to marry, this is usually only permitted to those over the age of 25 who have reached the rank of Corporal.

Are Swiss Guards elite?

They are members of the Swiss Guard – often referred to as the papal guards or Swiss mercenaries – an elite, company-sized military force that has defended a succession of popes for more than five centuries and not always without bloodshed.

Who were responsible for the fall of the French aristocracy?

There were rumors and fraud and many people claimed to be noble. King was too weak to take important steps and became the reason for his own downfall. The revolution came to its final point when Napoleon Bonaparte took control over France.

How many aristocrats died in the French Revolution?

Some 1,200 nobles were executed.

What two countries invaded France during the revolution?

They pitted France against Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia, and several other monarchies.

Who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution?

The September Massacres date
This paranoia manifested into violence, and between September 2 and 6, 1792 mass killings of prisoners (and other political opponents) spread through the city of Paris. These five days became known as the September Massacres, in which between 1100 and 1400 prisoners were murdered.

What caused the September massacres?

The massacres were an expression of the collective mentality in Paris in the days after the overthrow of the monarchy (August 10, 1792). The people believed that political prisoners were planning to rise up in their jails to join a counterrevolutionary plot.

What were the main causes of the French Revolution of 1789?

What are the main cause of French Revolution? Despotic rule of Louis XVI,division of French society,rising prices,inspiration of the philosophers,role of middle class.

What major event happened in 1793?

July 9 – The Constitution of Vermont is adopted. August 1 – The yellow fever epidemic of 1793 starts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. September 18 – United States Capitol cornerstone laying: President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

What were 4 major events during the French Revolution?

The Major Events in the French Revolution

  • Call of the Estate General (May 5, 1789) …
  • Tennis Court Oath (June 20, 1789) …
  • Storming of the Bastille (July 14, 1789) The Bastille is a French prison which is located in Paris, France. …
  • The Tennis Court Oath.
  • The Storming of the Bastille.

Why the period from 1793 to 1794 is called reign of Terror?

The period from 1793 to 1794 was referred to as the ‘Reign of Terror’ because of the following reasons: Maximilian Robespierre followed a policy of severe control and punishment. Any person who did not agree with his policies was guillotined.

Similar Posts: