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"French Line Infantry Standing at Attention" Topic

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760 hits since 25 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse25 Sep 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

"While the Guard and the cavalry received much of the attention, it was as always the ordinary infantry that was the backbone of Napoleon's armies, doing most of the fighting and dying. They were the essential element in all of his victories, making the French Army the most powerful in Europe in his hands. However years of attrition warfare trying to subdue Spain, and the disastrous 1812 campaign in Russia, meant that France had too few of her experienced infantry when the Allies resumed the struggle in 1813 and 1814, leading to Napoleon's downfall and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy.

As can be seen from our pictures, all the men in this set are wearing greatcoats apart from the senior officer at the end. Greatcoats were not officially issued until 1805, so before that date soldiers either provided their own or went without. Even after the official issue, designs varied, but those here are all double-breasted and look fine, though several have lost buttons. Shakos were issued from 1806, and most here wear one. In most cases these have a cover, which hides unit designation and precise shape, although a couple are uncovered and seem to show both badge and cords, the latter being forbidden in 1810 but still appearing after that date. Three do not wear shakos, but instead the forage cap known as the pokalem, a pie-shaped cap with flaps that could be lowered to protect the neck, as one of those here is showing. This type of cap was issued from 1812 onwards, so is the most precise dating element on these figures. Some of the figures wear gaiters, some trousers, and others are unclear, but like the rest of the uniform they are accurate….."




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