Regimiento de Infanteria “Principe” No. 3

(Prince’s Infantry Regiment Nr. 3)

Contributed by Francisco Jose Diaz Diaz


This unit served in Guantanamo, Cuba during the Spanish American War.


This regiment had two battalions and one Staff detachment. Each battalion had 20 officers and 326 men during peacetime; In war, each battalion increased to 39 officers and 1001 men.

Size of Regiment: 83 officers, 2004 men.

Losses: Not known

Location of service: 1st battalion: Cuba. 2nd battalion: Spain.

Actions: Actions against American forces in Guantanamo.


Infantry Regiment "Principe" was created in 1537, originally known as "Tercio Ordinario de Milan". The unit was under the command of  Maestre de Campo (former title for a colonel) D. Rodrigo de Ripalda. This unit was garrisoned in various Italian cities.

Over time, the name of the unit changed. In 1560 the designation was changed to Tercio de Lombardía followed by Regimiento de Lombardía nº 1 (1704), Regimiento del Principe nr 3 (1776), Regimiento de Infantería nr 7 (1815) and Regimiento de Infantería del Principe nr 3 (1875).

Before the Cuban Insurrection, the regiment was based in Spain, serving in the "7ª Región Militar" (7th Military District). When the Cuban Insurrection began, the Spanish Minister of War, General Azcarraga, ordered that a number of Spanish regiments be sent to Cuba, with battalions coming from the various regiments. By the Royal Order of Campaign, in October 18, 1895, twenty infantry regiments were ordered to send one battalion to Cuba. The battalion sent by Prince's Infantry Regiment nr 3 was its first Battalion. The total number of men in the battalion was 1040, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel José Patiño Rodríguez.

When this Battalion arrived in Cuba, it was sent to Guantanamo and brigaded into the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 4th Corps under command of General Linares.

This battalion included:

Staff Detachment: 1 Lieutenant Colonel, 2 comandantes (major in US Army), 2 captains, 1 alferez (2nd lieutenant in US Army) for carrying the regimental flag, 2 medical doctors (officers), 1 chaplain (officer), 1 sergeant, 1 cornet corporal and 1 gunsmith.

6 companies, 1st and 2nd companies having 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 1 alferez (2nd lieutenant in US Army), 5 sergeants, 10 corporals, 4 cornets, 4 soldiers of 1st class (veterans) and 144 soldiers of 2nd class. 3rd to 6th companies having 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, 1 alferez (2nd lieutenant in US Army), 5 sergeants, 10 corporals, 4 cornets, 4 soldiers of 1st class (veterans) and 143 soldiers of 2nd class.

During the Spanish American War, this unit saw action against American forces in the actions around Guantanamo, presumably against the U.S. Marines.

After the war, in 1931, the unit was redesignated as Regimiento de Infantería nr 3, followed by Regimiento de Infantería Milan Nº 3 (1936) and Regimiento  de Infantería del Príncipe Nº 3 (1976). Today it is designated Regimiento de Infantería Aerotransportable Príncipe  Nº 3

The unit was involved in many other actions, including the following:

War against France (1537-1542): Campaing of Italy; Actions at Chiari, Chierasco, Albano and Carmañola

War in Germany (1546-1547) Conquest of Frankfurt and Battle of Mühlberg.

War against France (1557-1558) battles of San Quintín and Gravelinas

War in Italy (1617-1701) Action of Varcelli, Combat of Cerano, Battle of Cencio and conquest of Torino and Verona

Spanish Succession War (1704-1714) Battles of Brihuega y Villaviciosa.

Italian Wars (1718-1748) Conquest of Naples, Battles of Bitonto, Mirandola, Campo Santo and Piacenza

War against England during American Revolution (1777-1783): Conquest of Mobile and Pensacola under command of General Bernaldo Galvez.

War against France during French Revolution (1793-1795): Actions of Collioure and Port-Vendrés, Battle of Trouillas

Spanish Independence War against Napoleon (1808-1814) Battles of Tamames and Medina de Rioseco, Defences of Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo

1st Carlist War (1833-1841) Actions of Peñacerrada, Arlabán Escaro and Villarrobledo. Defence of Bilbao.

War against Morocco (1859-1860): Battles of Wad-Ras, Castillejos and Tetuan

3th Carlist War (1872-1876) Action of Galdácano

Cuban Independence War (1895-1898) Actions in Guantanamo

Spanish American War (1898) This regiment served in Guantanamo

African Campaing (1909-1918) Actions of Zoco-el-Had, Monte Arruit, Melilla and Beni-Sicar, defence of Alcazarkivir.

African Campaing: (1920-1924): Combats of Gurugú and Dar Drius

Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Defence of Oviedo; Battle of Jarama, Somosierra and Jarama fronts.


Grávalos, Luis, Die Spanische Armee, (Quirón Ediciones,1998) translation of the 1885 Leipzig edition.

Carrasco García, Antonio En guerra con los Estados Unidos. Cuba 1898 (In War against United States. Cuba 1898), (Madrid: Editorial Almena S.L, 1898).

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