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"Loyal Lusitanian Legion uniform" Topic

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562 hits since 3 Mar 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Guthroth03 Mar 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

I see conflicting information about these. Green or Grey ? Osprey has both so is there an online or other source for the information ?


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2017 8:40 a.m. PST

Green – like the British Rifles but also the livery colour of the Portuguese Royal House

attilathepun4703 Mar 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

From what I have read, there is a uniform on display in a Portuguese military museum, but it seems to be a reproduction (possibly conjectural), not an original. There do not seem to be any period illustrations of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion's uniform. Illustrations based on the museum display show a dark green uniform with white lacing, black belts, and a Portuguese "barretina" (shako resembling the later British "Belgic" style).

Guthroth03 Mar 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

So where does the Osprey image of a grey uniform for the second battalion come from ?

Mike Target03 Mar 2017 11:22 a.m. PST

The legion was initially made up of two divisions- the 1st had apparently three battalions of light infantry (plus guns and some dragoons) , all fully equipped and therefore probably dressed in green.

There wasn't enough for the 2nd division so it waited for supplies at their depot. When they finally went into action they got thrashed soundly. By the time the remnants of it were rounded up and reunited with the 1st div (which had suffered quite a bit of attrition in its campaigns but performed rather better) it looks like there was only enough troops left to form two battalions, and not enough green to go around, so one battalion was in grey. The British supplied a lot of plain grey uniforms for the various spanish and portuguese forces, and the LLL probably got leftovers…

Its possible this battalion was the remains of the 2nd div, and that it had always worn grey, but there isn't much literature on the subject that I've found so this is sort of a best guess…

Supply and pay were apparently an issue because the legion doesn't seem to have been considered part of either the Portuguese army or the British for a while and so it decayed for a while before being revamped in time for Albuera, after which they were reformed as Cacadores.

evilgong03 Mar 2017 2:47 p.m. PST

On google books


A Narrative of the Campaigns of the Loyal Lusitanian Legion Under Brigadier …
Escrito por William Mayne,John S. Lillie


Mike Target03 Mar 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

its also online via the portuguese national library too…

Guthroth04 Mar 2017 4:19 a.m. PST

Hmmm. Everyone seems to favour the Barretrina, so why does the Osprey show them in Stovepipes ?

Would that be more correct for 1810 perhaps ?

Mike Target04 Mar 2017 6:34 a.m. PST

I think the best that can be said on that is "probably"!

Martin Windrows book Military dress of the Peninsular war shows the 1st battn in green and white with barretina.

I gather its a bit of a best guess too, but it looks pretty with its dark green and white trousers and lace so that what I went with.

By 1st battn he's probably referring to the later (1810-1811) period when it was just two battns, and the 1st battn was the remnant of the original 3bttns of the 1st div. (1809-10) .

TeodoroReding Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 3:37 a.m. PST

I had some info somewhere once that they switched to stove pipes – like the rest of the Prtuguese army – when they were rebuilt as described above. so at Albuhera, and afterwards for a while as Cacadores, they would have been in green with stovepipes.

Guthroth07 Mar 2017 4:46 a.m. PST

Bit of a bu##er for painting then. I think I'll keep them all in stovepipes with the 1st battalion in green, and the 2nd in grey.

Thanks for all the comments.

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