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"French cavalry flags during the FPW campaign" Topic

8 Posts

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NapStein24 Nov 2021 3:20 p.m. PST

Due to a discussion which I had with another expert of the FPW I started to research the question whether the French cavalry took their colors into action. The result is a new caption of the "protagonists" section on my site at link

If you scroll to the top you may choose a (google) translation of the text.

Finally I think the French left their flags in the depots at least before the clashes of august 1870.

Greetings from Berlin
Markus Stein

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Nov 2021 7:55 p.m. PST

I like the look of Flags, therefore my units get flags

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2021 8:43 p.m. PST

A good write-up. Thanks.

But whether they carried them or not, all my pre-1900 units get flags. Heck, even some of my post-1900 units have flags.


Old Contemptible24 Nov 2021 8:55 p.m. PST

My 1870 French cavalry carry flags. I like the look. It would look odd if they didn't have them.

NapStein25 Nov 2021 2:09 p.m. PST

I also like to see the units with their flags – and in case you want to show the different regiments it is also a help to recognize them.

It was just the question for me whether they took the flags into action – and obviously they didn't … and followed their ancestors in the (light) cavalry of Napoleon I.

Greetings from Berlin
Markus Stein

Old Contemptible25 Nov 2021 10:54 p.m. PST

I am not convinced they didn't carry their standards into battle. It seems so un-French like. In 1914 some infantry units carried their colors.

NapStein27 Nov 2021 5:59 a.m. PST

@Old contemptible: if you find proofs of cavalry standards taken by the French into battle I'd be glad to post this information in my article.

But not infantry flags like you stated – I only speak about cavalry standards.

I also asked Louis Delpérier, one of the most prolific experts about the French army of the 2nd half of the 19th century – and he also follows the hypothesis that the French cavalry didn't take the standards into combat or battles.

Greetings from Berlin
Markus Stein

NapStein29 Nov 2021 1:02 p.m. PST

Today I got the copy of Pierre Charrié's "Drapeaux et étendards du XIXe siècle" and there a letter is copied, sent by the ministère de la guerre on the 23rd of July 1870 – cf. the scan:


A further proof that the cavalry didn't carry their standards into battle.

Greetings from Berlin
Markus Stein

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