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"Who day? French style, white uniforms." Topic

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1,275 hits since 26 Jun 2017
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jun 2017 9:39 p.m. PST

So I have a bunch of figures. Napoleonic figures. In Shako, French style uniform, white jackets, white pants, various facings.

My uniform books show Saxons in bicornes.

Who are these guys?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2017 9:56 p.m. PST

Saxons in shakos, or possibly Italians.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jun 2017 10:14 p.m. PST

I figured Saxons. Well, that's what they are now!

Glengarry526 Jun 2017 10:56 p.m. PST

Honestly, it could be a lot of nationalities.

Marc at work26 Jun 2017 11:01 p.m. PST

Or even French

nickinsomerset26 Jun 2017 11:53 p.m. PST


Tally Ho!

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 1:07 a.m. PST

My vote is Italian.

bsrlee27 Jun 2017 1:14 a.m. PST

French 1807(?) uniform was white coat and pants, otherwise standard French accessories. The British blockade was making it hard to get indigo or other suitable dyes for the traditional uniform colours, so the French tied bleached white.

It was considered a failure as the dye from the facings ran and stained the white parts as well as it quickly became permanently grubby even in barracks.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 1:37 a.m. PST

But in 1807 the French(except for Legere) used Bicornes.

Valmy9227 Jun 2017 3:15 a.m. PST

1807 the shako was being introduced. I'd suspect if they were getting the new uniform coats they'd be getting the new headgear too.
What do the flags look like? That will be the key. If they look french (lozenge or tricolor) with green subbed for blue they're Italian, otherwise the details will help.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 4:34 a.m. PST

What are the facing colours?

Col Blancard27 Jun 2017 5:43 a.m. PST

see Jouineau's plates for the French white uniform:



John de Terre Neuve Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

I think they are unlikely to be French, I think I would go with Saxons with their coats look like the following.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

French, Saxons, Italians, Neapolitans, and Westphalians all wear a more or less FRench-style uniform in white with shako and various facings. Dutch are close. Lots of the smaller Rhinebund members were the same, but only one facing color per country. Berg in Lt Blue, for instance. Get me flags or photos and I can narrow it a little. Of course since you bought them painted--and from more than one source?--they may not all be the same country.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 8:10 a.m. PST

Aha! Found a stand with a flag. Westphalians! Well, at least some. So these will be my Dutch/German contingent. One of the joys of 6mm is "close enough" is your friend.

Thanks guys. I'm more of a Peninsular guy…

All the figures I have are for 1809 and later so no French in white.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member27 Jun 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

Actually, the white French uniforms were to be seen for several years after 1807. Due to the fact that they were entirely hand-made, uniforms were too costly to be discarded because regulations changed; so whatever was on hand was issued until used up. I can't cite a specific source from memory, but I'm sure that I saw a reference to some French units still wearing white uniforms in 1810.

Old Wolfman27 Jun 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

In combat,only a handful of French infantry units actually wore the white uniforms during the 1806-07 campaign,and stopped afterward due to the all-too visible bloodstains on the dead and wounded. Napoleon then brought back the old blue jackets.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

I thought that was a myth.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

Gunfreak, I don't think anyone can prove it was done for that reason, but the timing is suspicious. Napoleon's all hot and bothered to restore royalist white uniforms--then very suddenly, the whole project halts, they go back to issuing the (more expensive) blue, and white uniforms get palmed off on Germans and Italians who won't object if they know what's good for them.
But French troops in Spain are sometimes still in white coats--and sometimes in bicornes--until at least 1810, when Suchet(?) is bragging in letters home that he's finally got everyone in blue coats and shakos. Remember a good half of the Army of Spain consists of march battalions straight out of the depots in 1808, which must have been a marvelous opportunity for the quartermasters to get rid of everything the Colonel didn't care for.

Col Blancard28 Jun 2017 2:27 a.m. PST

Quoted from Jouineau's plate above:

Cet habit blanc sera officiellement supprime en 1807, mais subsistera cependant jusqu'en 1812 notamment au sein du 15e de ligne, oublie dans la campagne d'Espagne.

which translates into:

This white uniform will be officially withdrawn in 1807, however it will survive into 1812 as in the 15th Line, forgotten in the Peninsular War.

von Winterfeldt28 Jun 2017 3:29 a.m. PST

"Napoleon's all hot and bothered to restore royalist white uniforms"

this wasn't restricted to uniforms either, also the eagles should get new colours – in resemblance to the old Ancien Regime style – Boney a royalist in disguise

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