Neapolitan Sapper of the line infantry, 50th Regiment "Real Calabria". 1812-1815
In 1808, Gioacchino Murat replaced Giuseppe Bonaparte as ruler of Naples. Shortly thereafter, the infantry regiments of the Kingdom increased from 2 to 12. Each regiment had a distinctive colour as follows: 1st rgt. "King": sky blue. 2nd rgt. "Queen": red. 3rd rgt. “Principe Reale”: black. 4th rgt. "Real. Sannita": amaranth. 5th rgt. "Real Calabria": green. 6th rgt. "Real Napoli": orange. 7th rgt. "Real Africano” (known from. 1813 "Principe Luciano"): yellow. 8th rgt.: pink. 9th rgt.: blue. 10th rgt.: sky blue. 11th rgt.: red. 12th rgt.: green. In order to distinguish the 10th, 11th and 12th regiments from the 1st, 2nd and 5th, the 10th 11th and 12th regiments wore three, pointed, white, insignia badges on the collar of their uniforms. The Sappers of the Napoleonic period had several characteristics and features, which distinguished them from the rest of the troops such as their thick, long beards, their long work smocks (aprons) and their extra equipment axe and dagger. The Neapolitan Sapper wore a very distinct and colourful uniform with white braided edging. These Sappers were also involved in a variety of campaigns in which they distinguished themselves, especially in the Russian and German campaigns of 1812. One of the battles in which they displayed great valour occurred on 8 August 1815, at Gaeta, when the 10th and 11th Regiments under the command of General Begam, fought against the Austrians and English soldiers.
Sculptor: Maurizio Bruno.
Research & Text: Marco Giuliani.
Thanks to Marcello Marrone for the documentation.