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Osprey Warrior 22 : Imperial Guardsman 1799-1815

Napoleon's Imperial Guard was one of the most famous military formations in history, and quite distinct from the guard corps of other European sovereigns of the early 19th century. The Imperial Guard could perform ceremonial duties as well as any, but it was primarily as an élite combat formation of the army that it excelled. Although it would expand to represent a considerable portion of France's military establishment, it remained Napoleon's personal guard and was accorded care and attention which set its members above the rest of the army. However, the Guard's privileged status provided little shield against the rigours of campaign and the brutal nature of combat during the Napoleonic Wars. Philip Haythornthwaite examines the lives, organisation and privileges of the Guard formations, paying particular attention to how their experience differed from those of the regular French line units. Their different terms of service, including increased pay, special entry qualifications and distinctive uniforms and equipment are all recounted and the organisation of the force is studied at length. Not only does the study take into consideration the differences within units of the Guard, but it also looks at some of the more exotic or less well-known units within the organisation; notably the Mamelukes and Seamen of the Guard. A convincing analysis of what it meant to be a member of this famous formation is conveyed in the examination of the entire Guard organisation in this way, and by studying the everyday lives and duties of guardsmen. Illustrations by Richard Hook.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Regiments and Recruits
  • Everyday life
  • On Campaign
  • Imperial Escort Duty
  • Camp Followers
  • Arms and Equipment
  • Regiments of The Imperial Guard
  • References

 

Osprey Warrior


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