Napoleonic French New Player Questions

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  • #181266
    Haskeer
    Participant

    Hi all.

    Ok, so here’s the situation – I’m building a French Army, to fight my friends Peninsular British. I’ve chosen to set my force in 1814, so they won’t look out of place in a Waterloo setting.
    Im having a bit of a meltdown at the masses of info on French uniforms, some, imo, quite contradictory.
    I have a couple of basic questions regarding headgear –

     

    Am I correct in thinking that grenadier companies, by 1814, were wearing shakos?

    Is the same true fr Young Guard battalions?

    Who, if anyone, were wearing bearskins in 1814?

     

    Any info, or other advice will be gratefully received,

    John

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    #181341
    Nat
    Participant

    Might I suggest ospreys men at arms book 141…napoleons line infantry …

     

    basically it it boils down to regimental preference … there is no one size fits all answer you need to look at the regiments in question.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Nat.
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    #181385
    Haskeer
    Participant

    Thanks, I was worried someone would say that!

    John

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    #181400
    Nat
    Participant

    Now to be fair they wheren’t supposed to have kept the bearskins….just like the Voltiguers shouldnt have kept their swords or the 2nd, 3rd etc battalions their egales….

    oops….

     

    :p

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    #181416
    Haskeer
    Participant

    Ha ha! I bought Napoleons Army by Lucien Rousselot. I’d heard it was the bible of French uniform – I’m still none the wiser!

    What did Al Murray once say – What would we be without rules? French.

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    #181417
    invisible officer
    Participant

    They had rules. But often ignored them. By intent, more often from Need.

    Lucien Rousselot is a must and if you take the time to read it in deep it will help a lot. How it should have been. 😉

    At Waterloo a lot of very old stuff was still / again  worn. The battlefield finds show old styles of Buttons. In line and even guard units there was a crazy mix of dress worn in same company.

    In Vicomte Henri de Beaufort collection is a nice ink sketch of the square of 4th  Guard  Grenadiers. Blue and White trousers, some bearskins, bicorne, bonnet de Police and even  line Grenadier Tschakos. Now imagin a line unit……..

    In 1814 the victors took a lot of new  French stuff home, esp. the Prussians. If you read contemporary sources you will be surprised how different the troops looked from the uniform plates in the books.

     

    Most Prussians in 1815 wore the 1814 stuff or even older. Including much French.  And British foot did not throw the good French packs into the channel on homecoming for cahange to trotters pain. A lot of these French  worn at Waterloo.

     

     

     

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    #181444
    Haskeer
    Participant

    Thanks IO, and again Nat.

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