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"French messengers or couriers in the Peninsular War?" Topic

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Skeptic10 Mar 2019 6:44 p.m. PST

How were French messengers or couriers organized and uniformed in the Peninsular War?

In terms of military couriers, would a mounted adjoint figure be a suitable representation, one of these, for example?


Nine pound round10 Mar 2019 6:52 p.m. PST

Possibly, but they were typically skilled staff officers- so my guess would be that the work of carrying messages more typically fell to ADCs, who might wear almost any uniform- regimental, or the gaudy one-offs marshals and senior generals often put their aides into. The adjoint's uniform does bear some resemblance to the standardized blue staff uniforms that came into use in later years- you might want to compare it to color plates of those, to see if it's close enough for your purposes.

HMS Exeter10 Mar 2019 7:44 p.m. PST

One thing to remember was that a French courier in Spain wasn't liable to get very far alone. Even with a healthy escort his life expectancy was an open question.

It all came down to how many guerrillas could be mustered quickly.

If the guerrilla could only muster 1:1, oh well. If they could muster 3+ to 1, "eh, Miguel, look, new boots."

Oppiedog11 Mar 2019 7:26 a.m. PST

Yeah … you're going to need a flock of Dragoons to go with whatever you decide.

Aethelflaeda was framed11 Mar 2019 8:02 a.m. PST

Sometime whole battalions of infantry were needed to escort the messengers.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2019 10:16 a.m. PST

The British had a disadvantage in Spain. They usually captured the French courier's carrying new instructions. The problem was: did they capture all or them or did some get through? If all were captured them all, then British might wrong-foot themselves. What a problem to have to deal with !!!

malcolmmccallum02 Apr 2019 3:54 p.m. PST

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.