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"Polish Lancer horse colours" Topic

14 Posts

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Timmo uk14 Nov 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

I'm painting Polish Lancers for Lepic's Guard brigade. Somewhere I have read a reference to the squadrons having different horse colours. I now can't find that reference.

Has anybody read similar or got any information on this subject? Thanks in advance.

Prince of Essling14 Nov 2018 1:01 p.m. PST

See Napoleonistyka link

In 1810 the horses of Guard Lighthorse-Lancers were Polish horses between 14 1/4 and 14 1/2 hands tall in "uniform groups of chestnuts, bay, black and dark grey."
In 1813 they rode also on horses contributed by the German princes, and on 600 horses purchased in Hannover (northern Germany).
Color of horses :
I Squadron – on chestnuts
II Squadron – on bays
III Squadron – on blacks
IV Squadron – on grays
During war however they accepted whatever good horses they got, regardless of their color, with the bays and chestnuts being probably the most numerous. The the most important thing however was that the lighter horse of greater speed and endurance was prefered.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2018 1:13 p.m. PST

This is from The Anatomy of Glory by Lachouque and Brown.

Bay, chestnut, black and dark gray. That was for four squadrons. I do not know if the list is in squadron number sequence or not.


Timmo uk14 Nov 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

Fantastic thank you.

4th Cuirassier14 Nov 2018 4:03 p.m. PST

What's a dark grey horse, then?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 1:33 a.m. PST

I guess the difference between these two. Not just colour of coat but mane and tail etc



4th Cuirassier15 Nov 2018 5:48 a.m. PST

Isn't the first one technically a blue roan? I thought greys were mid- to light-grey at birth, gradually turning white.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 5:53 a.m. PST

The usual practice in the Grande Armee was to mount the four squadrons of a cavalry regiment on horses of the same color per squadron. As already stated, that was usually chestnut for the 1st Squadron, bay for the 2d, black for the 3d and gray for the 4th. That was definitely the regulation for the Polish Lancer Regiment of the Imperial Guard

The Empress' Dragoons were mounted solely on bays or chestnuts as were the Guard Chasseurs a Cheval.

The Grenadiers and Horse Artillery of the Guard, and the Elite Gendarmes were black horse regiments, as were the Carabiniers in the Line. Trumpeters rode whites or grays.

When incurring losses on campaign any suitable horses were procured as remounts regardless of color.

Another reference that is useful is Napoleon's Elite Cavalry by Edward Ryan.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 5:55 a.m. PST

I would call the first one a dappled gray. A roan horse has white hairs mixed in with the colored hairs, generally rather uniformly.

Now after looking closer, I have to admit that horse does look like a mixture of a roan and a dappled horse.

However, he would probably pass for a dark gray.


Timmo uk15 Nov 2018 8:13 a.m. PST

Brechtel, thank you. The information on the Guard Horse artillery is very useful. So that is black horses for both gunners riding and and also the horse teams pulling the guns?

When I first read the information about the greys I assumed it meant what we might call a white horse, like the second one shown in Deadhead's post but now reading the description of a dark grey that's more like an iron or slate grey colour, perhaps some with dappling?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 11:20 a.m. PST

Off hand, I have no idea. However, I would think that the gun team horses would also be black because that was the regiment's horse color. At any rate, it's a good guess.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 11:23 a.m. PST

As to the size and age of the horses of the Polish Guard Lancers, they were between 14 1/4 and 14 3/4 hands high and would be five or six years old when purchased.

Again, the source is Napoleon's Elite Cavalry by Edward Ryan.

377CSG Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2018 4:07 a.m. PST

Napoleonistyka site is blocked on my computer – it reads:

Access to this page has been ordered Blocked by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) – Oh well?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2018 8:08 a.m. PST

Works for me.

What have you done to upset the folks in Cheltenham then?

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