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"Imperial Guard Skirmishers" Topic

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Viper guy Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2021 1:13 p.m. PST

I am hoping for some guidance. Would French Imperial Guard Grenadiers and Chasseurs deploy their own skirmishers or would they rely on other parts of the Guard? To put it in wargame relevance, do I need to make separate skirmish bases with Grenadiers and chasseurs for skirmishers? Thanks in advance.

von Winterfeldt01 Dec 2021 1:37 p.m. PST

AS tirailleurs de combat, they would do deploy their own skirmishers

SHaT198401 Dec 2021 3:58 p.m. PST

As to the raw question- yes.
As to actual practice, very rarely, so very few bases.
As in, they most often advanced [if at all] much like roman legionnaires, as 'shock' troops, with the bayonet.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2021 6:17 p.m. PST

Faber du Faur has a painting depicting Guard skirmishers, including Old Guard infantry.

It is painting number 59 in With Napoleon in Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Major Faber du Faur edited and translated by Jonathan North.

At Hanau in November 1813 the Old Guard Chasseurs a Pied attacked in open order as skirmishers. See Napoleon et Les Allies sur le Rhin, page 384, by Lefebvre de Behain.

Franck02 Dec 2021 12:29 a.m. PST

'tirailleurs de combat' ?
what does it mean ?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2021 4:52 a.m. PST

Two main types of tirailleur employmenet are explained in detail
on pages 44-46 in Scott Bowden's translation of Bressonet's tactical study on the Jena campaign.

The two types are:

tirailleurs de marche et de combat and tirailleurs en grande bande.

Simply, the first option is using tirailleurs to support the parent unit, being either the battalion, the regiment, the brigade, or the division. It was up to the unit commander which companies would be used in the specified roles.

The second option is to deploy an entire battalion or larger as a maneuver unit in open order, a corps principal.

Tirailleurs de marche et de combat supported a maneuver unit; tirailleurs en grande bande was a maneuver unit of its own.

Franck02 Dec 2021 3:51 p.m. PST

Thanks, Brechtel.

I didn't know the phrase.
And I didn't know that book that seems very difficult to find in France now.

Michman02 Dec 2021 5:39 p.m. PST

"painting number 59 in With Napoleon in Russia" – is that this one ? ….

"Acht Stunden von Moskwa links der großen Straße den 23. September 1812"

From Faber du Faur's Notes (my translation)
"…. [Beset by Cossacks,] the Park [for artillery of the 25th Division] with crew and horses would have been hopelessly lost except for a second happy coincidence. At the moment when they hit the road [from Mojaisk to Moscow] they met a battalion of the Old Guard with artillery under the orders of a General who, informed of the danger, immediately had the battalion halt and make a front against the enemy. These withdrew, and the Park continued moving under the protection of the Guards Battalion and the [25th Division's] convalescents and so advanced towards a forest through which the road to Moscow led."
In German : link
In French : link

A battalion of blue clad old guards with plaques on their bearskins led by a General would most likely be the 1er ou 2e bataillon du 1er régiment de grenadiers à pied, under the orders of général de brigade baron Claude-Étienne Michel (Pointre près de Dijon 1772 – mort pour La France à Mont-Saint-Jean in 1815), colonel de grenadiers à pied de la garde.

But perhaps it was more the 25th Division's convalescents doing the skirmishing while the guards "made a front" ?

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