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"Napoleonic 1815 French Marching" Topic

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724 hits since 23 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2018 12:39 p.m. PST

"After the virtual destruction of the massive army sent into Russia in 1812, France struggled to build a new army to meet the challenges of the following years. Large numbers were recruited, but the army included far too many young and inexperienced troops who had little training and were often poorly equipped. There were still successes, but the odds had shifted against Napoleon and at the enormous Battle of Leipzig Napoleon's hopes of restoring French control of much of Europe were effectively ended. Invasion and occupation followed, then a final throw of the dice at Waterloo, which also ended in complete defeat.

The six poses in this set are divided between the fusiliers (those in the top row) and the elites (grenadiers and voltigeurs in the second row). All wear the new ‘habit-veste' that was introduced from 1812, with the closed lapels and short tails. The elites have fringed epaulettes at the shoulders, while the fusiliers have ordinary straps. All have breeches and gaiters reaching to below the knee, which is appropriate for the time, but shows that none are wearing the common campaign trousers. The shakos of the elites sport tall plumes and cords, something meant to be for full-dress only but known to have been worn in the field by some. The fusiliers have the ordinary pompons above the cockade and badge, which in all cases is indistinct…."



Full review here…


Napoleonic French in Greatcoats

"Although the greatcoat might seem like an obvious item to issue to soldiers, at the turn of the 19th century French soldiers were only given one if they were on sentry duty or otherwise exposed to a particularly cold environment. This did not preclude the individual providing his own, and the regiment could also produce them if it had the necessary funds. Many such garments were really more of a manteau, little more than a large shaped blanket which usually had no sleeves but was good for wrapping round the body (obviously not ideal in the middle of a fight of course). Increasingly these are described as ‘with sleeves', and the Guard had what we would recognise as greatcoats, including sleeves, from early on, but it was only from 1806 that such an item became widespread issue to non-Guard infantry. By the difficult days of 1813 and 1814 it was often the only element of uniform some newly-raised recruits received. If by today's standards it may not have been the best defence against the cold and rain, for the infantry of Napoleon it was better than nothing and most welcome as the temperature dropped.

The early greatcoats or manteaux varied greatly in all respects, but as they became regular issue their design was standardised to a degree. The figures in this set all have a double-breasted version which falls to about the knee and so is typical and a good choice. Later models were sometimes smaller and only single-breasted, especially in the last desperate months of the empire. The coats of course obscure most of the uniform, but enough is visible to identify these men better. All wear campaign trousers, as was common, and all wear a shako, an item first issued very early in the century to light infantry and generally to line infantry from 1806. Here each has a tall plume at the front-centre which suggests an elite unit (either grenadiers or voltigeurs from 1804), but this could be cut down if required. All the shakos also have full cords, an item of dress uniform but sometimes seen in the field, and all have a badge at the front, although this is too indistinct to make out even the basic shape, much less any detailed specifics…."


Full review here



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