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Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. This differed greatly from the training given to the majority of European armies, which emphasised moving in rigid formations and firing massed volleys. Many of the early Napoleonic victories were due to the ability of the French armies to cover long distances with speed, and this ability was thanks to the training given to the infantry. From , each battalion comprised eight Fusilier companies.
Each company numbered around men. In , one of the Fusilier companies was dissolved and reformed as a Voltigeur company. In , Napoleon reorganised the Infantry battalion from nine to six companies. The new companies were to be larger, comprising men, and four of these were to be made up of Fusiliers, one of Grenadiers, and one of Voltigeurs.
The line Fusilier wore a bicorne hat, until this was superseded by the shako in The uniform of a Fusilier consisted of white trousers, white surcoat and a dark blue coat the habit long model until , thereafter the habit veste with white lapels, red collar and cuffs. Each Fusilier wore a coloured pom-pom on his hat. The colour of this pom-pom changed depending on the company the man belonged to, as military uniforms reached their excessive pinnacle at around this period in time. After the reorganisation, the First company was issued with a dark green pom-pom, the second with sky blue , the third with orange and the fourth with violet.
The difference lay in the training and the resulting high esprit de corps. After two campaigns, the tallest and bravest chasseurs were chosen to join the Carabinier company. As with the grenadiers, Carabiniers were required to wear moustaches. They were armed with the Charleville model , a bayonet and a short sabre. The Carabinier uniform consisted of a tall bearskin cap superseded in by a red trimmed shako with a red plume.
They wore the same uniform as the chasseurs, but with red epaulettes. Carabinier companies could be detached to form larger all Carabinier formations for assaults or other operations requiring assault troops. The colpack had a large yellow over red plume and green cords. After , a shako replaced the colpack, with a large yellow plume and yellow lining.
They made up the majority of the formation. They were armed with the Charleville model musket and a bayonet, and also with a short sabre for close combat. As was common in the Napoleonic army, this weapon was quickly blunted by being used to chop wood for fires. From , each battalion comprised eight chasseur companies. The new companies were to be larger, comprising men, and four of these were to be made up of chasseurs. The chasseurs had far more ornate uniforms than their contemporaries the fusiliers. Until , they were equipped with a cylindrical shako with a large dark green plume and decorated with white cords.
Their uniform was a darker blue than that of the line regiments, to aid with camouflage while skirmishing. Their coat was similar to that of the line troops, but their lapels and cuffs were also dark blue, and it featured dark green and red epaulettes. They also wore dark blue trousers and high imitation hussar boots. After , the cylindrical shako was replaced with the standard shako, but was still embellished by white cords.
As with the line fusiliers, chasseur companies were distinguished by coloured pom-poms, but the colours for the different companies changed from regiment to regiment. Cavalry regiments of —1, men were made up of three or four Escadrons of two companies each, plus supporting elements. In light cavalry and dragoon regiments, the first company of the every regiment's first escadron, was always designated as 'Elite', with presumably, the best men and horses. Consequently, the quality of French cavalry drastically declined.
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Napoleon rebuilt the branch, turning it into arguably the finest in the world. Until it was undefeated in any large engagements above the regimental level. There were two primary types of cavalry for different roles, heavy and light. The elite among all French heavy cavalry line formations, the two regiments of Mounted Carabiniers had a very similar appearance with the Mounted Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard; bearskins, long blue coats, etc. They were largely used in identical manner to the Cuirassiers, however, being initially unarmored, they were less suited for close-quarters, melee combat compared to their armored brethren.
It should be noted though that unarmored heavy cavalry was the norm in Europe during most of the Napoleonic War, with the French being the first to reintroduce the back-and-breastplate. In , appalled by their mauling at the hands of the Austrian Uhlans , Napoleon ordered that they be given armour. The Carabinier's refusal to copy the less elite Cuirassiers resulted in them being given special armor, with their helmets and cuirasses being sheathed in bronze for added visual effect.
But this did not prevent them from being defeated by the Russian cuirassiers at Borodino in , and panicking before the Hungarian hussars at Leipzig the following year. The heavy Grosse cavalry, equipped and armed almost like the knights of old with a heavy cuirass breastplate and helmets of brass and iron and armed with straight long sabers, pistols and later carbines.
As with the knights, they served as the shock troops of the cavalry. Because of the weight of their armour and weapons, both trooper and horse had to be big and strong, and could consequently put a lot of force behind their charge. Though the cuirass could not protect against flintlock musket fire, it could deflect shots from long range, offered some protection from pistol fire and could protect the wearer from ricochets.
More importantly, in an age which saw cavalry used in large numbers, the breastplates provided protection against the swords and lances of opposing cavalry. Napoleon usually combined together all of his cuirassiers and carabiniers into a cavalry reserve, to be used at the decisive moment of the battle. In this manner they proved to be an extremely potent force on the battlefield, leaving their opponents impressed if not awestruck.
The British, in particular, who mistakenly believed the cuirassiers were Napoleon's bodyguard, and would later come to adapt their distinctive helmets and breastplates for their own Household Cavalry. There were originally 25 cuirassier regiments, reduced to 12 by Napoleon initially who later added three more. At the beginning of his rule most of Cuirassier regiments were severely understrength, so Napoleon ordered the best men and horse to be allocated to the first 12 regiments, while the rest were changed into dragoons. He also reintroduced the practice of wearing body armor, which had practically disappeared in Europe during the 18th century.
The medium-weight mainstays of the French cavalry, although considered heavy cavalry, who were used for battle, skirmishing and scouting. They were highly versatile being armed not only with traditional sabres the finest with three edges made of Toledo steel , but also muskets with bayonets which were kept in a saddleboot when riding , enabling them to fight on foot as infantry as well as mounted.
Part of the price for this versatility was their horsemanship and swordsmanship were often not up to the same standards as that of the other cavalry troops, which made them the subjects of some mockery and derision. Finding enough of the right kinds of horses for these part-time cavalrymen also proved a challenge. Some infantry officers were even required to give up their mounts for the dragoons, creating resentment towards them from this branch as well. There were 25, later 30, dragoon regiments. In , only 15 could be raised and mounted in time for the Hundred Days.
These fast, light cavalrymen were the eyes, ears and egos of Napoleonic armies. This opinion was not entirely unjustified and their flamboyant uniforms reflected their panache. Tactically, they were used for reconnaissance , skirmishing and screening for the army to keep their commanders informed of enemy movements while denying the foe the same information and to pursue fleeing enemy troops.
Armed only with curved sabres and pistols, they had reputations for reckless bravery to the point of being almost suicidal. It was said by their most famous commander Antoine Lasalle that a Hussar who lived to be 30 was truly an old guard and very fortunate. Lasalle was killed at the battle of Wagram at age There were 10 regiments in , with an 11th added in and two more in These were light cavalry identical to Hussars in arms and role.
But, unlike the chasseurs of the Imperial guard discussed previously and their infantry counterparts discussed below, they were considered less prestigious or elite. Their uniforms were less colourful as well, consisting of infantry-style shakos in contrast to the fur busby worn by some French hussars , green coats, green breeches and short boots. They were, however, the most numerous of the light cavalry, with 31 regiments in , 6 of which comprised Flemish, Swiss, Italians and Germans.
Some of the most feared cavalry in Napoleon's armies were the Polish lancers of the Vistula Uhlans. They were armed with, as their name indicates, lances along with sabres and pistols. Initially French ministers of war insisted on arming all lancers identically, real battlefield experience however proved that the Polish way of arming only the first line with lance while the second rank carried carbine instead was much more practical and thus was adopted. Lancers were the best cavalry for charging against infantry in square, where their lances could outreach the infantry's bayonets , as happened to Colborne's British brigade at Albuera in and also in hunting down a routed enemy.
Their ability to scour and finish off the wounded without ever stepping off their saddle created perfect scenes of horror for the enemy. They could be deadly against other types of cavalry as well, most famously demonstrated by the fate of Sir William Ponsonby and his Scots Greys at Waterloo. Excluding those of the guard, there were 9 lancer regiments. After the wars, the British were impressed enough to create their own lancer regiments.source url
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French 4th Hussar at the Battle of Friedland. The Emperor was a former artillery officer, and reportedly said " God fights on the side with the best artillery. The French guns were often used in massed batteries or grandes batteries to soften up enemy formations before being subjected to the closer attention of the infantry or cavalry. Superb gun-crew training allowed Napoleon to move the weapons at great speed to either bolster a weakening defensive position, or else hammer a potential break in enemy lines. Besides superior training, Napoleon's artillery was also greatly aided by the numerous technical improvements to French cannons by Jean Baptiste de Gribeauval which made them lighter, faster and much easier to sight, as well as strengthened the carriages and introduced standard sized calibres.
French cannons had brass barrels and their carriages, wheels and limbers were painted olive-green. Superb organization, fully integrated the artillery into the infantry and cavalry units it supported, yet also allowed it to operate independently if the need arose. As the name indicates, these gunners marched alongside their guns, which were, of course, pulled by horses when limbered undeployed. Hence they travelled at the Infantry's pace or slower. The main operational and tactical units were the batteries or companies of men each which were formed into brigades and assigned to the divisions and corps.
Battery personnel included not only gun crews, NCOs and officers but drummers, trumpeters, metal workers, woodworkers, ouvriers, furriers and artificers. They would be responsible for fashioning spare parts, maintaining and repairing the guns, carriages, caissons and wagons, as well as tending the horses and storing munitions. The cavalry were supported by the fast moving, fast firing light guns of the horse artillery. This arm was a hybrid of cavalry and artillery with their crews riding either on the horses or on the carriages into battle. Because they operated much closer to the front lines, the officers and crews were better armed and trained for close quarters combat, mounted or dismounted much as were the dragoons.
Once in position they were trained to quickly dismount, unlimber deploy and sight their guns, then fire rapid barrages at the enemy. They could then quickly limber undeploy the guns, remount, and move on to a new position. To accomplish this, they had to be the best trained and most elite of all artillerymen. The horse batteries of the Imperial guard could go from riding at full gallop to firing their first shot in just under a minute. After witnessing such a performance, an astounded Duke of Wellington remarked, "They move their cannon as if it were a pistol! In addition to the batteries assigned to the cavalry units, Napoleon would also assign at least one battery to each infantry corps or, if available, to each division.
Their abilities came at a price, however, horse batteries were very expensive to raise and maintain. It was a boastful joke among their ranks that the Emperor knew every horse gunner by name. Besides better training, horses, weapons and equipment, they used far more ammunition. Horse batteries were given twice the ammo ration of the foot, those of the guard three times.
Of all the types of ammunition used in the Napoleonic Wars the cast iron, spherical, round shot was the staple of the gunner.
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Even at long range when the shot was travelling relatively slowly it could be deadly, though it might appear to be bouncing or rolling along the ground relatively gently. At short range carnage could result. Round shot were undeniably inaccurate. This was because, despite their name, round shot were never perfectly spherical, nor did they fit their gun barrels exactly. Air acted on the irregular surface of the projectile. These irregularities invariably threw them off target to some degree.
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It is often also a matter of confusion as to why a 12pdr shot was so much more effective than a 6pdr shot. This is because the impact of a shot was not only related to its weight but also to its velocity , which, with a heavier projectile, was much greater at the end of the trajectory. There were two forms of close-range weapon, which were extremely useful at up to m yards. Grape shot and canister , or case, were the anti-personnel weapons of choice of the gunner. Grape was a cluster of large metal spheres tied together around a central spindle and base and normally sewn into a bag, whereas canister was a metal case filled with smaller iron or lead spheres.
The whole purpose of these types of shot was to break up when fired from the gun forming a wide cone of flying metal that acted in the same way as a shotgun cartridge. For longer-range anti-personnel work the common shell was also used.
This was normally only fired from a mortar or howitzer and was a hollow sphere filled with gunpowder charge. The top of the shell had thinner walls than the bottom and had an orifice into which was forced a wooden fuse normally made of beechwood. The fuse was designed to be ignited by the discharge of the gun and had a central channel drilled through it filled with a burning compound.
Before firing, the fuse was cut to a certain length corresponding to the desired time of burning and hammered into the top of the shell by a mallet. When it arrived over the target the fuse, if correctly prepared, exploded the main charge, breaking open the metal outer casing and forcing flying fragments in all directions. Although favoured for siege work, the common shell was not always effective against infantry.
The final type of projectile for the field artillery used by the French was the incendiary or carcass a name for an incendiary projectile. Initially this device was composed of a metal frame, which was covered with a canvas cover and filled with a special recipe, typically saltpetre 50 parts, sulfur 25 parts, rosin 8 parts, antimony 5 parts, and pitch 5 parts. However, during the early 19th century, another form of carcass became common and this took the form of a common shell with two or three apertures in its exterior into which a similar composition was put.
Carcass rounds were normally only issued to howitzers or mortars, the suggestion being they were intended to attack towns. This does not preclude them from being used on the field but quite what their purpose would have been there is not clear. It is important to know that not all nations shared the same types of artillery projectiles. For example, the Congreve rocket , inspired from the Mysorean rocket artillery , or the Shrapnel shell , which combined the killing effect of grape shot with the ranges achieved by round shot, were used only by the British Army.
I am a fine war hen. I eat little and produce a lot. June 20 Roll Pichot, Imp. Paris, France Advertisement for an art exhibit to benefit blind soldiers May 27, A woman holding her small daughter up on a wall and another daughter by her side. In the background right, the remains of a damaged building, and in the background left, a barbed wire fence. Emile Beaume LaFontaine, Imp. Ecole des Beaux-Arts Rouen, France Rouen City Hall On the left, a British and an Italian soldier shake hands. On the right stand an American and a tearful Belgian. In the centre a French soldier holds up a girl wearing traditional Lorraine costume.
Dec A smiling young woman in traditional Lorraine costume holds a Tricolore and wears a Republican rosette on her bonnet. In the background right are the ruins of buildings and in the background left the sun rises over Metz Cathedral. The coat of arms of Lorraine and a thistle occupy the bottom right corner. A second girl leans upon his shoulder and womam stands in the background. Hurry, so that during , we can give to the poor little girls an Alsatian or Lorraine doll.
Two nurses in background. The Red Cross was one of three official charitable organizations of the war and the Red Cross was the only one allowed at the front. Subscribe to the loan. Paris, France Banques de Province Credit Bank of the West] dated: On his head is a laurel wreath and he holds seeds to plant in the field. Georges Scott Devambez, Imp. Framing this scene are coats of arms of French cities. Wielhorski Coats of arms border signed: Subscribe to [the] National Loan To hasten victory, and see us again soon!
Let's Subscribe to the Victory Loan. An oversized female figure wearing a wreath possibly of Maple leaves gestures towards the ship. Paris, France Lloyd's Bank x Let us all do our duty. Our sons to the armies. Our gold for the country. One of a soldier on a battlefield. The other of a couple taking their gold pieces to a bank. Bernard Naudin Devambez, Imp. For the greatest effort. Paris, France Emprunt National A winged figure of Marianne is above them pouring out coins and paper money from a cornucopia. Man is ploughing and the woman is holding a baby and a rifle. Paris, France Credit Commercial de France x Georges Redon Devambez, Imp.
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Hasten victory by subscribing to the National Defense Loan. In the center is a medallion of Victory on horseback. Subscribe for victory on its way and the final defeat. In background the French army marches led by winged Victory. London County and Westminster Bank. To subscribe to [the loan] means victory, which will hasten his homecoming. Algeria and French West Africa sent , men to fight for France.
Maurice Romberg Devambez, Imp. The relief shows the 'Genius of Liberty' urging the troops of into battle. Later, this same figure is referred to as 'La Marseillaise. Paris, France Liberation Loan x Ferdinand Foch overseeing his troops as they march across the battlefield. Foch was appointed commander in chief of the Allied armies in Heed Rouget De L'isle's call. Subscribe to the Liberation Loan. So come along children of the Country, go and finish freeing the peoples from the final furies of the foul force G.
French 'poilus' cheer as they march past in the background. Jacques Carlu Devambez, Imp. In background soldiers going into battle with Marianne urging them on. Paris, France Emprunt National Loan 79 x Civilians in line at a cashier's window in background. Peasants in background ploughing fields. You can subscribe at the Marseilles Company] dated: As the leaves drop they form wreaths, falling towards marching ranks of French 'poilus' in the background.
Subscribe to the Liberation Loan and victory is ours. June black and white Marianne sitting amongst rubble in front of the gates of Verdun. Beside her lies a large sword and an array of medals. The whole world has confidence in the credit-worthiness of France. The franc is rising. Nobody has confidence in that of Germany. The mark is going down. On the opposite slope two German soldiers are forced back by an oversize 'one mark' coin rolling down the hill. Subscribe to the Banque d'Alsace et Lorraine. The French enter Strasbourg.
The Strasbourg Cathedral is to the left in the background. Strasbourg was the capital of Alsace-Lorraine. In the background is a desolate battlefield with graves and burning buildings. A smaller image depicts a pile of French banknotes. The other extends to take the 50 Franc and Franc notes being passed in exchange through the opening of the bank counter by an unseen bank teller. Available at Banque Adam. Clouds and sky in pattern of the American flag. Subscribe to the Liberation Loan - it's your Duty, it's in your Interest. You can subscribe at the Franco- Japanese Bank] dated: Broquet Paris, France Emprunt Francais We've done our duty.
Do yours by subscribing to the loan. A Belgian flag flies next to him, on a flagpole placed in the ground. Four more Belgian soldier are visible in the foreground. Don't forget to subscribe Emprunt de Defense Nationale x Algeria and French West Africa added about half a million men to the French fighting forces. Paris, France Ligue Navale Pencil note in margin says: Issued only in France to the Army, very, very rare. Paris, France Advertisement for conference and mass meeting In the background is an outline of Victory.
At the foot of the text a second smaller festoon with '' at its center. Advance, savings army, it's for your country. The 2nd National Defense Loan. This was the most remembered French poster produced during the war. Paris, France 2me Emprunt de la Defense Nationale x The 3rd National Defense Loan.
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Georges [Bertin] Scott Devambez, Imp. Paris, France 3eme Emprunt National It was common for people of the working classes to keep their gold coins hidden in woolen stockings.
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Ridgeway Knight autograph by artist Lapina, Imp. Paris, France 3eme Emprunt 60 x Paris, France 4e Emprunt National So that France will be victorious as in Valmy! For the liberation of the territory! Everyone subscribe to the 4th National Loan. In foreground a French general has his arm around a half-clothed Marianne. The French were victorious at Battle of Valmy in where they beat the Austrians. Subscribe to the 4th national defense loan. Paris, France 4eme Emprunt National x The 4th National Defense Loan realized 22 million francs.
Paris, France Banque de Paris x Subscribe for the victory and for the triumph of liberty. Behind them are faint outlines of American soldiers. In the far background Victory is holding a crown of laurel and a sword. Subscribe to the 4th National Loan. Paris, France 4e Emprunt Paris, France 4e Emprunt 24 x Subscribe to the 4th National Defense Loan. Paris, France 4eme Emprunt Large figure of Marianne looming in the background. In the distant horizon is an enlarged Strasbourg Cathedral with a French flag hanging from it.
A German observation balloon is tethered along side of it. Paris, France IVe Emprunt 79 x Paris, France 4e Emprunt de la Defense National Not an exact match. Jean Droit Devambez, Imp. Exposition Franco-Marocaine importation-exportation Casablanca. Chachoin, Paris, France Advertisement for an art exposition x Bernard Naudin 71 x Fund for War Devastated Villages A refugee mother sits holding her baby amid the rubble of her war-devastated home.
Herbert Clarke Printer, Paris, France x Too large for folder — folded in half Louis Tinayre x Paris, France French Red Cross x Docks at Bordeaux Where Y. Jewish Welfare Board 47 x Paris, France L'Oeuvre de propaganda de la ligue x Paris, France 60 x Les amis des artistes dated: Oeuvres de Guerre x Paris, France Oeuvres de Guerre 80 x Stop - Look - Listen! Exposition de l'oeuvre de guerre de Henry de Groux. Souvenez-vous des crimes allemands! Paris, France Principaux Artistes de Paris x La guerre et les humoristes.
Paris, France Union de France pour la Belgique x Berger-Levrault Nancy, France Warning against venereal disease 82 x Capon Paris, France Propaganda against tuberculosis x Paris, France Le Ministre de l'Interieur x Paris, France Oeuvres de Guerre x Paris, France City of Paris x
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