Compagnies franches de la marine
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The Compagnies franches de la marine (previously known as Troupes de la marine, and later being renamed and reorganized as the Troupes de Marine) were an ensemble of autonomous infantry units attached to the French Royal Navy (French: marine royale) bound to serve both on land and sea. These troupes constituted the principal military force of France capable of intervening in actions and holding garrisons in outre-mer (overseas) from 1690 to 1761. Independent companies of the navy and colonial regulars, were under the authority of the French Minister of Marine, who was also responsible for the French navy, overseas trade, and French colonies.
|Compagnies franches de la marine|
|Country||Kingdom of France|
|Role||Service in overseas colonies, particularly New France, Louisbourg, and other North American territories.|
|Garrison/HQ||Brest, Rochefort, Toulon, Port-Louis (Bretagne). Companies dispersed in the territories of the first French colonial Empire until 1761.|
|Motto(s)||Per mare et terras|
|March||Auprès de ma blonde|
In New France, these were the only regular soldiers stationed by the Crown from 1685 to 1755; that year several army battalions were dispatched to North America during the Seven Years' War between France and Great Britain, which was waged in Europe and North America.
The Naval Department of France began using the Compagnies to defend their control of the fur trade in North America with certain tribes and the safety of local civilians from raiding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, especially the powerful Mohawk and Seneca. In 1756, after the start of the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian War by American historians), the Compagnies were superseded in New France by the arrival of large units of the regular army commanded by Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. After the fall of Montreal to British forces in 1760, the victors ordered the disbanding of the Compagnies in Canada. After the war ended in 1763, France ceded all of its North American territories east of the Mississippi River to the British.
In 1992 the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve revived the Compagnies as a historical re-enactment unit. It has toured the country.