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"Saxon Cuirassiers 1806" Topic

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HistoryPhD Inactive Member20 Nov 2011 8:56 p.m. PST

They wore the cuirass in the field in 1806 or not? I've been through several references, online and books, and half say they wore them and half say they didn't. What's everyone's guess on this? I'm inclined to think that Saxon practice likely mirrored the Prussians and the cuirasses were left at the depot.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2011 10:19 p.m. PST

Ditto with your opinion. Artists tend to draw them all in their parade uniforms no matter what nation they are (I like them better in parade uniforms too) When it comes to campaigning and battle, it is another story entirely.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2011 11:26 p.m. PST

I always thought that they did not wear the cuirasse in the 1806 campaign.

Rhino Co Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 12:06 a.m. PST

My Old Glory 15mm have then so mine wear them…

SJDonovan Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 3:38 a.m. PST

Andre Jouineau's uniform plates in Hourtoulle's 'Jena-Auerstaedt – The Triumph of the Eagle' shows them without cuirasses.

HistoryPhD Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 7:59 a.m. PST

Although there was a great deal of enmity between Saxony and Prussia, the Saxons tended to follow Prussian military practice quite closely, and the Prussians definitely went without the cuirass.

XV Brigada Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 8:39 a.m. PST

This is from the contemporary series of plates on the Saxon army 1805/1806 by Carl Hess at the Napoleon Series


The Saxon heavy cavalry are also depicted without the cuirass.

HistoryPhD Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 9:42 a.m. PST

@XV Brigada: Yes, that's the problem. Some sources say "with" and some say "without". I'm betting it was without.

von Winterfeldt21 Nov 2011 3:22 p.m. PST

What sources say without ?
Ignore them.
There were two Saxon heavy cavalry regiments which did not wear the cuirass
Garde du Corps
Karabinier regiment
those regiment which were called cuirassiers did wear the cuirass.
so HistoryPhD – you lost your bet.
Also the Saxons would be quite offened to be accused to follow Prussia closely.
Jouineaus plates about Saxons in Hourtoulles Jena and Auerstedt are not one of his best work and full of errors.

HistoryPhD Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 3:39 p.m. PST

The Saxons certainly were allies of convenience only and there was a definite enmity between the two countries. Well, that now brings up the problem of my 6mm Saxon curassier figures (Adler 1806 Prussian curassier figures with a Saxon paint job) are quite clearly molded without cuirasses. Damn!!

Chest plates only or chest and back?

XV Brigada Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 8:17 p.m. PST

What can I say, Hess produced his plates at the time so he is a primary source.

HistoryPhD Inactive Member21 Nov 2011 8:40 p.m. PST

I see there was a thread on this subject about a year ago and no definite conclusion was arrived at then either. One of those issues that'll have to be shelved until science comes up with time travel!

VonBlucher21 Nov 2011 8:58 p.m. PST

Napoleon Et L'Allemagne by Tranie & Carmigniani also show Saxon Cuirassier in a blackened Cuirass on Page 77. Than on page 87 there is an engraving by Hess and Granicher Year 1800 without a Cuirass, although they weren't on a war footing in 1800, so you probably can dismiss this engraving.

I know this has been an on going discussion for many years.

von Winterfeldt22 Nov 2011 12:09 a.m. PST

Breast plates only

I don't understand the ongoing discussion, it shows only a lack of understanding and ignoring sources.

the plate in Napoleon et l'Allemagne shows – Garde du Corps – which had no cuirass (but they were no cuirassiers but heavy cavalry).

It would be the same rediculous discussion to say French cuirassiers did not wear a cuirass because carabiniers of 1806 and grenadiers à cheval did not wear any.

The issue doesn't have to be shelved at all, the sources are there – either one can accept them or ignore them.

To repeat again, those regiments which were called cuirassiers did wear the cuirass, the other two heavy cavalry regiments

Garde du Corps

did not wear any cuirass.

This is well reflected on all primary sources from 1791 to 1809.

The same for post 1810 – Garde du Coprs did not wear any cuirass but the Zastrow Kürassiere did very well wear one.
The tradition was kept.
It would be rediculous to argue that because Garde du Corps did not wear cuirass in 1810 – also Zastrow Kürassiere did not wear any.

In case one likes to see the non cuirass wearing heavy cavalry regiments in colour, follow the link of XV Brigada.

For more read :

Ortenburg & Kersten : Die Sächsische Armee von 1763 bis 1862, Beckum 1982

"Die beiden Kürassier Regimenter trugen schwarze Brustpanzer, …, page 16
The two cuirassier regiments (nota bene – 2 and not four) -did wear black front cuirasses.

From 1776 Saxony had only 4 heavy cavalry regiments

Carde du Coprs (no cuirass)
Karabinier Regiment (no cuirass)
Kürassier Regiment Kurfürst (cuirass, note Kürassier)WITH cuirass
Kürassier Regiment Prinz Eugen von Anhalt Dessau (1806 Kochtitky Kürassiere) WITH cuirass

In case one compares with an analytical mind primary sources you will find – surprise – surprise

immages of Saxon heavy cavalry without cuirass – these are
Garde du Coprs
and Saxon heavy cavalry with cuirass – the Saxon cuirassiere.

So HistoryPhD – just paint your "Prussian" cuirassiers as
Garde du Corps and
and call those units Saxon heavy cavalry.

XV Brigada Inactive Member22 Nov 2011 9:58 a.m. PST

I don't understand it either.

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