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Napoleons`s Imperial Guard

Napoleons`s Imperial Guard

Gabriele Esposito
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
Gabriele's book sets out to provide the reader with an overview of the history, the organisation and the uniforms, and equipment created for Napoleons Elite Imperial Guard. Created in 1799 under the official name of the Consular Guard shortly afterwards Napoleon Bonaparte became the first Consul of France and it became the Imperial Guard.

Consisting of three Echelons The Old Guard, The Middle Guard. and the Young Guard. The Old Guard being formed from the Veteran Units that had existed before 1805 and whose soldiers had followed Napoleon since his first campaign in 1796 to1797. The Middle Guard was composed of men who had fought under Napoleon during his Empire Campaigns of 1805 to 1809. While the Young Guard was formed from the units that were organised post 1809 and younger recruits and conscripts and volunteers from the Free French Army.

Napoleon also included several units composed of foreign soldiers who had served him previously and because of their loyalty to the French Empire, at its formation in 1804 the Army consisted of around 8,000 soldiers. However by the start of the Russian Campaign in 1812, it had swollen to around 100,000 Soldiers, and was now an army encompassing units from all Branches of the French military.

The Author begins his book by detailing how the Army operated under the reign of Louis XIV, but financial constraints, and overspending combined with a decadent lifestyle by many officers of the regiment brought them into conflict with the general public. The Author then relates how Napoleon formed his new army and details all of the individual units and their specialist weapons and uniforms, illustrated with around 70 superb colour, full and half page plates , many being photographed from original artworks of the period.

The breadth of details is stunning, even down to the design of safety helmets for the French Sappers to protect them when digging; the book is broken down into 13 separate chapters

The Consular Guard
The Foot Grenadiers and Foot Chasseurs
The Infantry of the Middle Guard and Young Guard
The Mounted Grenadiers
The Mounted Chasseurs
The Empress Dragoons
The Polish Lancers
The Dutch Lancers
The Germans Lancers and the Lithuanian Scouts
The Guards of Honour and the Scouts
The Mamelukes and the Tatars
Sailors and the Gendarmerie
Artillery and the Train

This Book would would be of interest to any one who enjoys reading about this period of history, alongside modellers who seek the small details and colours that are often absent from so many pre made castings and mouldings

A very informative and well researched book with a wealth of detail

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