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"Battle of Vimeiro - French Unit question" Topic

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657 hits since 15 Apr 2018
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ferg98116 Apr 2018 11:10 a.m. PST

Good evening

I was wondering – did any of the French units at Vimeiro wear white uniforms? I have been researching the battle and found a portrait allegedly of Vimeiro where a French unit are in white, but the units concerned are not identified. Obviously I appreciate that a painting could just be using artistic licence

Can anyone shine any light on this?



Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 11:23 a.m. PST

Well, while I couldn't say for sure, consulting these two documents:



the answer is that MAYBE the 32nd line infantry wore them.

khanscom16 Apr 2018 11:27 a.m. PST

R.K. Riehn in "The French Infantry and Artillery 1795- 1812" states that the only French regiments to have actually received the white uniform were the 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 32, 33, 46, and 53 regiments. By October 1807 the blue coat was reinstated.

I'm unfamiliar with the order of battle for Vimiero, but if any of the above regiments were present it's possible (given the service life of uniform coats) that they could have been wearing white.

ferg98116 Apr 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

Thanks guys

The 32nd line were there and thats two people that have said maybe they wore it. Assuming Khanmscom's answer only covers line infantry? As the 15th Light were also present but I don't ever recall light infantry in white uniforms?



Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

The first ink I gave you tells you which regiments were actually issued whites. Doesn't appear any lights were issued with it. So, I would say that the 32nd, being common to both lists (ie: the first link and the OOB for Vimeiro), gives you at least some licence!

ferg98116 Apr 2018 12:00 p.m. PST

Thanks Dave

Definitely only line. Might as well give them some white uniforms. It'll be a nice change from all the blue



Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

Is this the same as the French at Vimiero wearing specially-issued white linen frock coats?


Teodoro de Reding20 Apr 2018 7:07 p.m. PST

Whirlwind is right. This has nothing to do with the 1807 white uniforms. Whether all the French at Vimiero wore these white frockcoats I don't know, but can remember that the grenadier columns that tried to take the village wore them, with epaulettes on them – and shakoes not bearskins.
In summer I also seem to remember that the French were sometimes also reported as leaving their blue habit-vestes at depot and fighting in their white "stable jackets – again with elite distinctons added. A few thousand miles from my books so can't give sources – sorry.

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