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"Illyrian Regimental Flag, 11th Div, 3rd Corps, Ney 1812" Topic

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28 Aug 2019 4:20 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Illyrian Regimental Flag,11th Div, 3rd Corps Ney 1812" to "Illyrian Regimental Flag, 11th Div, 3rd Corps, Ney 1812"

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Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2019 2:19 a.m. PST

So I am obviously struggling with aspects of my 1812 project, given the preceding requests. I couldn't find a specific flag for this regiment – should I be using Croat flags?

Any help would be appreciated, as would an indication as to what sources I should look at. Thnaks!


GurKhan28 Aug 2019 4:36 a.m. PST

Have you seen link ? It says that the regiment never had a flag – "il ne peut s'agir ici d'un drapeau, le Régiment n'en ayant jamais eu (selon Pierre Charrié)" – but illustrates fanions.

von Winterfeldt28 Aug 2019 5:27 a.m. PST

very nice link, thanks

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2019 7:57 a.m. PST

That is a nice article, seemingly well researched and footnoted.


Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2019 1:13 p.m. PST

GurKhan that is a superb piece on the Illyrian regiment. I am glad there appears to be a basis for the Yellow fanions as they are a perfect choice given the uniform in my opinion.

Many thanks for sharing this article.

Kind regards LPWC

Garde de Paris29 Aug 2019 3:15 a.m. PST

Great data for a relatively obscure unit. Did it survive the invasion of Russia?

The Illyrians appear to be in basic French Leger uniforms, with the one unique piece being the "wings" on the shoulders. The sources show conflict in some center company figures with scarlet – as have the carabiniers (grenadiers in the Leger)- and others dark blue.

Scarlet turnbacks were usually reserved for the French Guard.

Sadly, no illustration of a voltigeur. But I have not tried to read the French text.

Also, it seems that some of the artists are not sure what is on the shoulders! More Napoleonic personal choice data!


Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2019 7:01 a.m. PST

I had assumed the battalions were organised along french lines, and guessed voltigeurs with plumes and epaulettes, same for grenadiers.
GdeP do you have any other sources which might shed light on the elite companies' uniforms for 1812?

Garde de Paris29 Aug 2019 1:27 p.m. PST

Hello, "Let's Party…". I have no information on the unit. The French notes supplied above show…

"l'Empereur donna l'ordre de constituer deux Bataillons supplémentaires, l'un à Dole, l'autre à Besançon, forts chacun de six compagnies, désignés sous le nom de 1er et 2ème Bataillon illyrien." meaning 2 battalions of 6 companies. I've labored my way through this whole marvelous document, and find they went into Russia as 4 battalions, with 2 artillery pieces in a unit of about 60 men. Nothing to describe the carabinier or voltigeur uniform.

From the pictures above, I would take French pre-Bardin leger, with short tailed coats, and do the…

Scarlet plume
Scarlet cord with flounders
Shako with all black leather bands
red collar edged white or not
red shoulder "wings" as shown, edged white
red pointed cuffs, edged white
red edging on "v" notched black gaiters.
dark blue turnbacks, edged white.

Center companies, ?Chasseurs?
White cords and flounders
Shako with all black leather bands
Shako pompom, possibly in company colors for the French: green, lt blue, orange (aurora); and Violette (purple)
Scarlet Collar, edged white or not
Dark blue cuffs and turnbacks, and dark blue shoulder wing edged white
White "v" notched edging on leger leggings.

any way you want: all yellow tall plume might make sense
Shako with all black bands, yellow cords and flounders. (this all-yellow is much as the voltigeurs of the 33eme de ligne appeared in their white uniforms of about 1806-7)
Buff Yellow collar edged white or not.
Yellow pointed cuffs edged white.
Dark blue turnbacks
Yellow "v" notched edging to leggings.

If all the figures you are using for this unit have long plumes, consider doing them green tipped scarlet for the center companies, rather than cutting them off. Shame to waste a perfectly good plume!


Prince of Essling29 Aug 2019 2:03 p.m. PST

From Bernard Coppens 1789-1815 website link

Régiment d'Illyrie 1810-1813
Un décret du 16 novembre 1810, daté de Fontainebleau, prescrivit la levée, dans les provinces illyriennes, d'un régiment d'Illyrie ; un tiers des officiers étaient Français, le reste se composait de Belges et d'officiers sortant du service d'Autriche.
Ce régiment fut supprimé le 17 novembre 1813.

Uniforme : Le régiment d'Illyrie portait le même uniforme que l'infanterie légère, mais une épaulière rouge bordée d'un galon de fil blanc le distinguait des régiments français. (Marbot Noirmont, pl 124.)

Garde de Paris29 Aug 2019 2:25 p.m. PST

Prince's note says "the regiment of Illyria wears the same uniform as the French leger, but an epauliere (what I have been calling wings) in red edged white distinguishes it from the French. Suggests that the center companies had this red shoulder cover. Still a mystery about the carabiniers and voltigeurs,


Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2019 3:53 p.m. PST

Thanks Garde de Paris – I had read the french article but was still unsure about the elites. Your suggestion sounds pretty good.

It seems the notion of a green uniform for the Illyrian Regiment might be a myth. I think the Histofig page for this regiment (which I found on Rafael Pardo's site) suggests green for 1813, and identifies the source as 'Ms Freyberg':


Unless I have missed it that source does not seem to have been covered in the article GurKhan provided, nor is it suggested that the regiment was at any stage clad in green.

Is there any substance to a green uniform for this unit, or is that a myth? If so, where did the myth come from?


Prince of Essling30 Aug 2019 1:53 a.m. PST


On the green uniform I suspect people may have got the Illyrian regiment mixed up with the 3 Provisional Croat regiments who wore green.

Guy Dempsey "Napoleon's Mercenary & Foreign troops" says uniformed like French light infantry – i.e. blue.

Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 3:12 a.m. PST

That is an excellent resource which I am embarrassed to say I have but momentarily forgot about!
So the situation seems to be blue likely and green a myth. Progress!

Garde de Paris30 Aug 2019 3:43 a.m. PST

The article that GurKhan gave us notes the base in Torino, Italy. Were these actually to be part of the Kingdom of Italy, under Eugene de Beauharnais, Josephine's son?

This article speaks of seeking officers who speak German, so the troops must have included man German-speakers.


Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

Garde de Paris

Reflecting on your uniform suggestion (which I will use) I will have to remove epaulettes it would seem for all companies I think in order to get the distinctive wings.

Like the 'keep plume' approach though!

von Winterfeldt30 Aug 2019 10:58 p.m. PST

see also what Guy Dempsey jr. writes about the uniforms at page 251 of his epic work, those "swallow nests" could either be red – as shown by Pouvesle or according to other sources just plain blue – both variations with white piping

Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2019 2:12 a.m. PST

Thank you vW – rereading the GurKhan sourced article those alternatives are shown, which would support the Dempsey view of the likelihood of both alternatives. Presumably only one alternative was paramount. If I had a choice (which seems to be thrust upon us) I think I would go for red.

Garde de Paris31 Aug 2019 7:11 a.m. PST

Hello, "Let's Party…" You add still another wrinkle with the HL14 plate above! We do not see red shoulder straps, plus the red wings, in any other illustration.

I wonder if each battalion had variations.

I love the Napoleonic confusion. Fun to research.


Prince of Essling01 Sep 2019 12:29 p.m. PST

@GdP – Dempsey says "swallow wings" – semi-circular patch of cloth worn rounded side up at the top of each sleeve.
Some sources (such as Lienhart & Humbert) say this swallow wing was red; others Fieffe and Chartrand) say blue. All agree, however, that there was a line of white trim along the straight edge of the patch.

One contemporary noted that the regiment had particularly strong contingent of fifers that accompanied it into battle along with its drummers (page 171 K von Suckow "Fragments de ma vie: d'Iena a Moscou" published Paris 1901).

Prince of Essling01 Sep 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

Just to add to the confusion:

Vincent Bourgeot & Alain Pigeard "Encyclopedie des Uniformes Napoleoniens 1800-1815 Tome 2" has:

"Le regiment d'illyrie, cree en 1810 et supprime en 1813, porte selon Fieffel'uniforme de l'infanterie legere, avec une epaulier de drap eclarte, donne par l'Empereur, pour le distinguer; bouton de metal blanc avec inscription: Regiment d'Illyrie. (Sabretache 1895/150 notes). D'apres le manuscript de Freyberg, l'uniforme est un habit veste a basque courtes boutonnant droit sur le poitrine, entierment brun; collet jaune; pattes d'epaule, parements en pointe, retroussis de basques bruns passepoiles de jaune. Culotte brune. Demi-bottes de cuir. L'homme est represente avec un shako et couvre-shako noir.

von Winterfeldt01 Sep 2019 1:32 p.m. PST

No confusion here

This is not a soldier of the Régiment d'Illyrie as Winkler's original title "Illyrian in the French Army " indicates, but a private from the 2e Régiment Provisoire Croate.

Napolepn's Last Grande Armée, page 178

Prince of Essling02 Sep 2019 12:01 a.m. PST

@vW – well said.

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