Osprey Men-at-Arms 141 : Napoleon's Line Infantry
Napoleon's line infantry was founded upon that of the Ancient Regime, comprising (in 1789) 79 French and 23 foreign regiments, each of two battalions (the 28th had four), with the artillery ranking as the 64th line, and 22 provincial regiments and 78 garrison battalions as the 97th. A total re-organisation began on 1 January 1791 with the abolition of the old regimental titles, and over the next two years an increasing number of conscript and volunteer battalions were formed, culminating with the levee en masse of 1793. Their quality varied from the proficiency of the early National Guard regiments to the untrained and ill-equipped rabble of the levee, whose main tactic was a headlong rush, even basic manoeuvres being quite beyond them. To combine the discipline and steadiness of the regular army with the revolutionary fervour of the new army, the Amalgame was decreed on 21 February 1793 and enacted on 8 January 1794; by this measure each regular battalion became the nucleus of a Demi-Brigade, a new term to replace 'regiment', which was eschewed for political reasons. Philip Haythornthwaite provides an in depth examination of Napoleon's Line Infantry; their organisation, equipment and uniform, in a book containing numerous illustrations and eight full page colour plates by Bryan Fosten.
- The Regiments of the Line
- The Plates