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Napoleon's Guards of Honour: 1813-14

Overview

One of the least understood of Napoleon's corps were the four regiments of Gardes d'honneur, raised in 1813 during the frantic rebuilding of the French cavalry after the huge losses in Russia. Recruited from the leading social classes, uniformed and equipped at their own expense, and accompanied by servants to take care of such unpleasant chores as stable duty, these men were promised commissions as officers after a year's service in the ranks. Though spectacularly unready for combat upon their arrival with the ...

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Napoleon's Guards of Honour: 1813-14

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Overview

One of the least understood of Napoleon's corps were the four regiments of Gardes d'honneur, raised in 1813 during the frantic rebuilding of the French cavalry after the huge losses in Russia. Recruited from the leading social classes, uniformed and equipped at their own expense, and accompanied by servants to take care of such unpleasant chores as stable duty, these men were promised commissions as officers after a year's service in the ranks. Though spectacularly unready for combat upon their arrival with the army, the Guards of Honour would gain skill and confidence while serving alongside the √©lite cavalry of the Imperial Guard in the campaigns of Saxony and France, 1813-14, and distinguished themselves in battle at Hanau and Rheims. The story of their organisation, uniforms and service during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) is researched from rare archives and memoirs, and illustrated with portraits, surviving uniform items, and meticulous colour plates.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841764887
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Series: Men-at-Arms Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,029,421
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Pawly, born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1956 and still living and working in that city, is a respected member of several international societies for Napoleonic studies, and an expert on 19th century military portraiture. He is the author of the monumental The Red Lancers: Anatomy of a Napoleonic Regiment (Crowood Press, 1998), and of a study of Napoleonic veterans' tombs in Belgium. He has previously written Men-at-Arms 355: Wellington's Belgian Allies 1815 and Men-at-Arms 371: Wellington's Dutch Allies 1815 for Osprey.

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Table of Contents

Napoleon's Dilemma 3
The Decree 4
Regimental garrisons - recruitment areas - eligibility - response - leadership
Recruitment 7
France
Italy
Switzerland
The Low Countries
Germany
Uniforms 13
The failures of decreed specifications
Troopers
Headgear
Dolman
Pelisse
Waistcoat
Legwear & sash
Fatigue & field clothing
Equipment
Armament
Horse equipment
Trumpeters
Officers
Organising the Regiments 17
Shortage of instructors and junior leaders
The first squadrons join the field army in Germany
Conspiracy at Tours
The 1813 Campaign 22
To Saxony
Leipzig
Hanau
The Rhine
The Campaign of France, 1814 36
Rheims, the last victory
The eastern garrisons
The Belgian campaign
The Restoration
Conclusion - some misconceptions
Select Bibliography 44
The Plates 44
Index 48
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