Osprey Men-at-Arms 64 : Napoleon's Cuirassiers and Carabiniers
Napoleon's cuirassiers and carabiniers had something of a common history and this was reflected in their dress. It was only after the Austrian campaign of 1809 that any great fundamental change was wrought and, paradoxically, this in many ways accentuated their resemblance. Owing to the heavy casualties suffered by the carabiniers in the 1809 campaign, the Emperor determined to protect these élite cavalrymen better and, in an edict dated 24 December 1809, he decreed that they should be armoured to the same advantage as the cuirassiers while still maintaining their separate identity. This last was provided by changing the basic colour of their uniforms from dark blue to white which contrasted brilliantly with the copper-plated armour with which they were issued. In this way the two corps drew together in being the only troops of the Grande Armeé who were armoured, while at the same time they diverged in breaking away from their traditionally similar dress. Emir Bukhari examines the uniforms and equipment of Napoleon's cuirassiers and carabiniers, in a text complemented throughout by numerous illustrations and diagrams including eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride, showing in great detail the splendid uniforms of these troops.
- Dress and Equipment
- War Service of Individual Regiments
- The Carabinier Regiments
- The Plates