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"What uniform is this? French? Westphalian?" Topic

17 Posts

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974 hits since 30 Dec 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Bad General Inactive Member30 Dec 2018 12:48 p.m. PST

It's a white greatcoat with French looking kit:


Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

It could be the white linen duster worn in Spain to keep the uniform at least somewhat clean.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 3:12 p.m. PST

My thought too. But I think dark blue trousers with red stripes--coupled with a musket--eliminate the Westies.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 3:19 p.m. PST


…for those who can't be troubled to hit the link!

Empires at War Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 3:28 p.m. PST

Since i'm painting up loads of Calpe Prussians at the moment for 1813 i'll be getting that.

JCBJCB30 Dec 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

Young Guard?

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 4:34 p.m. PST

From the names (central Germany) and year (1813), I would surmise the picture is of a French infantryman. But I wouldn't bet any money on it since we all know that the cover art doesn't necessarily convey what's inside.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 6:15 p.m. PST

"Cover illustrators can't read. Blurb writers CAN read--but have not read the book."

--Old saying among those of us who seek our science fiction in books.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 6:33 p.m. PST


There are some prints out there that show Westphalian grenadiers wearing dark blue trousers with red stripes (Google "Westphalian Napoleonic Uniforms" and select "Images").

What about the unusual falling red plume?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 7:08 p.m. PST

I see it, Extrabio, but I don't believe it. I couldn't swear that no Westphalian grenadier ever wore through his trousers and scrounged up a pair like that. A lot of odd things happen when you get far enough from a depot. But a company? Or as an issue item? No. Artillery only, and lucky to get enough indigo for facings--or that "cornflower blue"--otherwise.

The falling plume is another thing that makes me think France. Something old in a depot, scrounged up when all those 4th battalions went to Spain, maybe?

HappyHussar30 Dec 2018 9:44 p.m. PST

Red pinstripe on trousers .. French? <shrug>

Glengarry531 Dec 2018 12:16 a.m. PST

Is he wearing an apron? Could he be a pioneer?

Garde de Paris Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2018 5:09 a.m. PST

Perhaps it is just an artist conception, not an accrual unit. Dark blue center to the grenadier epaulette would be most unusual. Appears to be a smock worn in warm weather, but odd to see chevrons, blue cuffs, etc.

Might anyone know how to reach the publishers, and ask them?


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2018 7:39 a.m. PST

I may have to eat crow over this one. I was figuring a duster of some sort--better decorated than most. It appears to divide just to the viewer's left of the musket, which spells duster to me. But if it is an apron--then, yes, probably a Westphalian pioneer. Either 1st Regiment in Spain or anyone in Russia when the dark blue facings had become universal, though I still don't believe those trousers were an issue item. Plume still looks odd, of course.

You realize, there's a decent chance this is copied from some sketchbook and the original artist wasn't that accurate?

Bad General Inactive Member31 Dec 2018 7:52 a.m. PST

I'm going to email the publisher -- stand by…

Oliver Schmidt31 Dec 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

For me, the white garment seems to be a kind of greatcoat, not an apron (which would be closed in the front). However, I never saw a greatcoat with coloured cuffs ?

Generally, I have the impression the artist just wasn't very well informed about Napoleonic uniforms. Still, he paints much better than I ever could.

Does anybody know of a nation which had blue anciennity chevrons ? And caporal lace in blue ?

Does anybody know contemporary evidence of shako covers being worn with a pompon or plume ? In my eyes, the hole in the shako cover which would be necessary to fix this pompon, would spoil the desired effect to protect the shako from rain and humidity.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

I've seen those blue chevrons on Westphalian uniforms, but (a) the ones I remember best were secondary sources, so may be someone's guess work, and (b) all the uniform stuff is out in the garage, and it's cold and raining, so I am NOT going to search for it. I'm about out of dry jackets.

But it makes sense--a good contrast color on a white uniform, and the more so once the line all went to dark blue facings.

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