The Albanian Regiment (French: Régiment albanais) was a military unit of the First French Empire formed in 1807 in Corfu. It was commanded by Colonel Jean-Louis Toussaint Minot [fr] and served mainly as defence unit in the French-ruledIonian Islands. It was disbanded in 1814. It’s worth noting that the term “Albanian” was used somewhat indiscriminately by the French at the time and is not an accurate reflection of the ethnic make-up of the unit which also included Greeks, Dalmatians and Italians.
In 1804, after Ali Pasha of Ioanninaconquered their homeland, some 3,000 Souliotes settled in the Ionian Islands—from north to south the islands of Corfu, Paxoi, Lefkada (Santa Maura), Ithaca, Cephalonia, Zakynthos (Zante) and Kythira (Cerigo)—then comprising the Russian-dominated Septinsular Republic. In view of the rapprochement between the Ottoman Empire and Napoleon‘s French Empire, the Russians began to recruit the Souliotes, both for local defence, as well as for a potential offensive against Ali Pasha. Soon the Souliotes, along with Himariotes, Acarnanians, and Moreotes, were recruited into the Greek Legion, which was placed under the command of the Greek-born Russian Major-General Emmanouil Papadopoulos. In autumn 1805 the Greek Legion participated in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Naples, and in 1806 it fought against the French at the Bay of Kotor. However, in the Treaty of Tilsit, Russia returned the Septinsular Republic to France and the legion was disbanded on 30 August 1807.