N A P O L E O N I C
I N F A N T R Y

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
History, developments and changes in the French infantry.
Skirmishers.
Grenadiers.
Line Infantry [Infanterie de Ligne]

  • Line Regiments in 1803
  • Departments of France and the Number of Line Regiments
  • New Regiments of Line Infantry Created Under the Empire 1806-1814
  • Line Regiments in 1815
  • Battalion Formed in Column of Attack at Half Distance. Colonne d'attaque par division
    Light Infantry [Infanterie Légère]
  • Regiments
  • Quality of Light Infantry
  • Foreigners: Italians, Dutch, Swiss and Croats
  • Colonels of the More Known Regiments: 1st, 9th, 10th, 11th, 25th and 26th
    Infantry of the Imperial Guard [Infanterie de la Garde Impériale]
  • Old Guard
  • Middle Guard
  • Young Guard
    "Provisoire regiments", "demi-brigades de marche", "demi-brigades provisoire" and other troops.
    Pictures of Line and Light Infantry.
    Pictures of Infantry of the Imperial Guard.
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    "The physical ability and high intelligence of the common man enables the French skirmishers
    to profit from all advantages offered by the terrain and the general situation,
    while the phlegmatic Germans, Bohemians and Dutch form on open ground and do nothing
    but what their officer orders them to do."

    - Prussian general Schanhorst

    In 1809 two battalions of 84e Ligne won against 10.000 Austrians
    at Graz and received the nickname "One Against Ten."

    The 57th Ligne had a slogan on its colors:
    "The Terrible 57th which nothing can stop."

    Napoleon shouted to the infantrymen of 18e Ligne:
    "Brave 18th, I know you; no enemy can resist you!"

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    History, developments and changes in the French infantry.

    The infantry epitomized the army, it was capable of everything, ready for anything, and good at everything. It was the Queen of Battle.
    The French infantryman was easy everywhere, little or nothing worried him, neither the pyramids of Egypt nor the vast plains of Russia. No matter where he found himself, he considered himself to be a representative of the French way of life.
    In 1789 when the Revolution broke out, the infantry consisted of 79 French and 23 foreign infantry regiments, 12 chasseur battalions, 7 colonial regiments and 1 naval regiment.
    The French wore white uniforms and the Irish and Swiss wore red-wine coats.

    In 1791 the aristocratic appointments within regiment were abolished.

    During the Revolution Wars battalions of volunteers took place in the army. Their clothing was often wretched, and their discipline very elementary.

    An order of the First Consul was issued in 1803, it did away with the name of demi-brigades and established that of the regiments.
    It also fixed the numebr of regiments at 90 (line ingfantry) and 27 (light infantry), where each regiment was 3 or 4 battalions strong.

    From 1803 to 1807 the infantry was magnificent. It was the Camp of Boulogne that Napoleon's greatest military ideas were executed. Many of the victories from 1805 to 1809 were both easy and decisive. France had the best and most successful infantry which had ever existed in Europe up until that time.
    But vast majority of the veterans was swallowed up in 1812 in Russia.
    The reconstruction of the infantry after the Russian campaign was not a simple task. One cannot just strike the earth and expect legions, armed, clothed and trained. Napoleon used everything he had. He made one regiment out of a regiment Municipal Guard of Paris, from the National Guard he assembled in 1812 were formed in 1813 more than twenty new regiments. He used four artillery regiments of the Navy as infantry and called upon a huge number of foreigners to fight for the French cause. This new army was lacking in training and discipline as the men were recruits recently enlisted. In 1814 and 1815 the French infantry found itself in heavily reduced size.
    A handful of heroes faced all of Europe to whom they themselves had taught the art of fighting and conquering over the past decade. In 1814 and 1815 it was no more than a glorious memory. The infantry will never forget that under Napoleon's eagles, deserving men of courage and intelligence were raised to the highest levels of society. Simple soldiers became marshals, princes, dukes and kings. The French soldier had become an equal citizen by right and by glory.

    After the 100-Days Campaign the French King Louis XVIIIth decided that no reminder of the Republic or the Empire would be allowed to survive in the army. In August 1815 was created one legion per department. These legions consisted of 3 battalions, including one of chasseurs. The organization of the army and the uniforms from the Empire were banned. The legions took alphabetical order of the department in which they were organized. The foreigners were grouped in a legion called de Hohenlohe, and there were also 6 Swiss regiments.
    Few years earlier the number of foreigners in Napoleonic armies was very significant. For example the Decree of 3 March 1812 organized the Grande Armee for the invasion of Russia, which initially included some 392 battalions of which 231 were French and 161 were foreign contingents.

    Every regiment consisted of 2-3 field battalions (sometimes 4 or even more) and just 1 depot battalion.
    The regimental eagle was with the 1st battalion, the 2nd battalion carried white fannion (distinguishing flag measured approx. 1 meter square), and the 3rd a red fannion.
    The fannion was a marker and guide with nothing to indicate which regiment they belonged to and therefore of no value as a trophy if captured by the enemy. Unfortunately nonregulation modifications appeared immediately - many fannions were very ornate, in various combinations of colors and (unfortunately) with the regimental number.
    Until 1808 each battalion consisted of 1 grenadier, 1 voltigeur and 7 fusilier companies.
    Then the organization was changed into 1 grenadier, 1 voltigeur and 4 fusilier companies.
    In light infantry : 1 carabinier, 1 voltigeur and 4 chasseur companies.

    French infantry was formed on 3 ranks deep. Although according the Regulations of 1791, Ecole de Peloton, on page 101, once company was reduced below 12 files it was to be formed on 2 ranks.
    In 1813 majority of the French army in Germany was formed on 2 ranks, regardless the strength of battalion. The 2-rank deep infantry (but not all) fought at Leipzig and Hanau and several battles in 1814.

    Skirmishers.

    Each company was commanded by captain and divided into 2 sections.
    But when skirmishing it was divided into 3 sections: left, right and center. The skirmishers of the left and right section had their bayonets removed when on the skirmish line. Only the center section had their bayonets fixed. According to MdE Davout's instructions, when a company was send forward to act as skirmishers it first marched 200 paces away from the battalion. [But the instruction for the 8th Light Infantry Regiment set the distance at 100 paces only]
    Here the center section halted and became the reserve while the left and right section of the company marched forward a further 100 paces.
    The skirmishers acted in twos and only fired one at a time so that one was always loaded. The intervals between twos were 15 paces. The skirmishers often used terrain, trees and buildings as a cover. When skirmishers were in open field and threatened by cavalry, the skirmish line formed a clump, or a circle, rallying on the center section in the rear.

    "Rigidly controlled and regimented, the Austrian skirmishers rarely were equal to the French."
    - Gunther Rothenberg, author of several Napoleonic books

    "If the campaigns are studied, the (French) Republic certainly owes most of her victories to her light infantry"
    - Prussian general Schanhorst

    "The physical ability and high intelligence of the common man enables the French skirmishers to profit from all advantages offered by the terrain and the general situation, while the phlegmatic Germans, Bohemians and Dutch form on open ground and do nothing but what their officer orders them to do."
    - Prussian general Schanhorst

    "At Waterloo while losing 30% in overall casualties, Halkett's brigade lost 45% of its officers, an indication that the French skirmisher fire was very successful."
    Additionally these skirmishers created a "hole" that "mysteriously appeared in the British right center". Soon this area was described by an English witness as "pervaded by an air of ruin and desolation." The actions of these skirmishers brought much greater results than actions of British "Rifles" and skirmishers also operating in this area.

    Grenadiers.

    According to the Regulations of Internal Economy and Discipline of Infantry [Section IX, Article 1] issued in 1791:
    Grenadiers are supposed to set an example of good conduct and of subordination.
    They are always to be selected from the soldiers of the most distinguished and approved merit.
    Every year, on the 9th September, a list of privates to complete the grenadier company is to be formed. Each of the several captains in a battalion will select the 3 most eligible men from his fusilier company to become grenadiers. These selected men must have been serving for at least for 2 years and be at least 173.5 cm tall (French 5'4").
    These selected men were assemled, talked about, and examined by the captain, officers, NCOs and two senior troopers of the grenadier company.
    The captain of grenadier company listens to the reports and remarks made, note down such as appear to him founded and then decides whom of the selected men put on the list to propose to the commander of demi-brigade.
    The commander of the demi-brigade judging from the reports which have been given to him by the captain will accept only those of the earlier selected by the captain men who "deem worthy of a decided preference."

    When the infantry battalion went to a 6company organization the Imperial Decree of February 18th 1808 stated in Article 9th:
    "The Grenadier Company (...) shall be taken from the totality of the corps, from among the men most appropriate by their height (...) and shall be accepted only if they have 4 years of service and have participated in at least 2 of the following campaigns: Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena or Friedland."

    This is interesting that prior to going into battle, a battalion would have all companies equalized. If the grenadier or voltigeur company was short on men, then the fusiliers were accpted to help fill out their ranks.
    It was important to maintain the frontage of the troops not only by the above described process but also by taking the men of the third rank. Sometimes the 3rd rank would dissolve as the men were drwan to fill out the files in the 1st and 2nd rank.

    Line Infantry [Infanterie de Ligne].

    As early as in 1790 France had been reorganized into 83 Departments of similar size and each subdivided into 4-5 parts. These Departments were assigned to Demi-brigades. Each Department was headed by a Prefect and had to furnish 4-5 battalions of line infantry to the Revolutionary Armies. In 1792-1793, from conquered territories, were formed new 4 Departments (their main cities were: Avignon, Chambery, Nice and Bale)
    In 1798 were formed new Departments in Belgium. These 9 Belgian Departments had to furnish Belgian battalion into the French army. At least half of the Belgians spoke French (Wallons). Thus France had 96 Departments in 1798. The number of Departments and line regiments grew with every conquest, and more and more foreigners served in the French armies. Due to casualties (and desertions) after the Revolutionary Wars approximately 22 line regiments (demi-brigades) were disbanded and consolidated into a smaller number of full strength regiments.
    In 1803 the French army had 89 regiments of line infantry (numbered 1-112, several numbers were vacant) and 25 of light infantry.
    It gives a ratio of 3.6 line regiment to 1 light regiment.

    New regiments of line infantry created under the Empire 1806-1814:
    104th - vacant till December 1813, then formed from battalions of the 52nd, 67th and 101st Reg.
    107th- vacant till January 1814, then formed from battalions of the 6th, 10th, 20th and 102nd Reg.
    113th - formed in May 1806 from troops of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
    114th - formed in July 1807 from the 1st Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    115th - formed in July 1807 from the 3rd Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    116th - formed in July 1807 from the 5th Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    117th - formed in July 1807 from the 9th Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    118th - formed in July 1807 from the 11th Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    119th - formed in July 1807 from the 13th Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    120th - formed in July 1807 from the 17th Provisional Regiment of the Army of Spain
    121st - formed in January 1809 from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Reserve Legions
    122nd - formed in January 1809 from the 1st and 2nd Reserve Legions
    123rd-126tth - these four regiments were formed in September 1810 from the Dutch infantry
    127th-129th - these three regiments were formed in February 1811 from the Hannoverian Legion (Germans)
    130th - formed in March 1811 from 1st, 3rd, and 6th Auxilliary Btns. of the Army of Spain
    131st - formed in March 1811 from Walcheren Regiment
    132nd - formed in March 1811 from the foreign Regiment l'Ile-de-Re
    133rd - formed in March 1811 from the 2nd Meditarranean Regiment (Italians)
    134th - formed in January 1813 from the 1st Regiment of the Guard de Paris
    135th - formed in January 1813 from the Cohorts of the National Guard
    136th - formed in 1813 from the Cohorts of the National Guard
    137th - formed in 1813 from the ITalian Cohorts of the National Guard (Italians)
    138th-156th - these nineteen regiments were formed in 1813 from the Cohorts of the National Guard
    157th - formed in 1813 from the Italian Cohorts of the National Guard (Italians)

    In the end of 1813 and the beginning of 1814 Napoleon had big number of line infantry - 157 line regiments.
    Due to high casualties and desertion in 1813-1814, the French army in 1815 had only 90 line regiments and 15 light regiments.
    It gives a ratio of line to light troops - 6 to 1 (in 1803 was 3.6 to 1). Thus the percentage of the better trained light infantry was much lower in 1815 as comparing to 1803. There were more infantry divisions without a single light inf. regiment than ever before.
    After Ligny, Waterloo, the Prussian pursuit of the defeated French army, and the second Fall of Paris in 1815 France had been reorganized into 86 Departments

    Battalion formed in column of attack at half distance.
    Colonne d'attaque par division
    6 companies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Fusilier Company, Voltigeur Company and Grenadier Company.
    Each company formed on 3 ranks and cadres.

    Chef de Batallion (on horse) or/and Adjutant-Major
    Capitaine
    Lieutenant - left and Sous Lieutenant -right
    Adjutant-Sous-Officier
    Sergeant-Major
    Sergeant
    Caporal
    0 - Fourrier
    - this symbol indicates 3 men with the regimental banner: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Porte Aigle. The 1st Porte Aigle was in the rank of Lieutenant or Sous-Lieutenant and he carried the banner/Eagle. The 2nd and 3rd Porte Aigle were in the rank of sergeant and were on both sides of the 1st Porte Aigle as his escort.


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    Light Infantry [Infanterie Légère]

    The light infantrymen were shorter than the line infantrymen. But they were better runners and marksmen, and were more frequently in combat than the line infantry. Their esprit de corps was higher and they wore more colorful uniforms than the line infantry. From the line infantry mainly the grenadiers were taken into the Old Guard. However from the light infantry the carabiniers and the chasseurs were easily accepted. The carabiniers went into the grenadier and chasseur regiments of the Old and Middle Guard, and the chasseurs went into the chasseur regiments of the Old and Middle Guard. Their battalions marched faster than the line infantry. If a line battalion marched at 70-80 paces/minute, the light battalion marched at 80-90 paces/minute. The light infantry maneouvered faster than the line infantry. In his "Basic Reason for the French Success" Prussian general Scharnhorst maintained that the individual French soldier, epitomized by the light infantryman, had decided most of the tactical engagements of the war. The light service had fostered the soldier's intelligence and independent judgement. No longer he was a mindless robot in a lock-step formation, moving and firing only upon order. Now he was free to think and respond as part of a small team. Scharnhorst wrote:
    "The physical ability and high inteligence of the common man enables the French light infantryman to profit from all advantages offered by the terrain and the general situation, while the phlegmatic Germans, Bohemians and Dutch form an open ground and do nothing but what their officers order them to do."
    Major K.F. von Knesebeck was convinced that they had confronted something new and unique in the history of warfare. What had captured his attention was the French use of light infantry.
    He saw the French in 6 engagements, deploy "their entire infantry" in open order as skirmishers "with decided superiority."
    Knesebeck believed that the Prussians and Austrians could learn a great deal from the French light infantryman.

    The strength of light infantry:
    In 1794 22 were Demi-Brigades Legeres
    In 1803-4 were 25 regiments of light infantry
    In 1808 were 33 regiments of light infantry
    In 1815 were only 15 regiments of light infantry
    The 20th and 30th Light Infantry Regiments were vacant.

    Regiments of light infantry created under the Empire :

    11th - till January 1811 this number was vacant, then formed from Italians and Swiss
    19th - till January 1814 this number was vacant
    20th - till January 1812 this number was vacant
    32nd - in March 1808 from the troops of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
    33rd - in September 1808 from Provisional troops of the Army of Spain
    dissolved in 1809, and formed in 1810 from the Dutch
    34th - in March 1811 from the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th Auxilliary Btns. of the Army of Spain
    35th - in March 1812 from the 1st Meditarranean Regiment
    36th - in March 1812 from the Regiment Belle-Isle
    37th - in February 1812 from detachments of departamental troops

    The best regiments of light infantry were:
    - 1st
    - 9th "l'Incomparable"
    - 10th
    - 11th (Italians and Swiss)
    - 26th

    Foreigners in light infantry :
    The 8th Light Infantry Regiment was formed of Croats (1811-13)
    The 11th light infanty regiment was formed at his start with the famous Tirailleurs du Po, the Bataillon Valaisan (Swiss) and the Tirailleurs Corses. In the following years, this unit
    was filled with men from Piedmont (North-western region of Italy). It was porbably the best
    "French" infantry unit after the Guard.
    The >31st and 32nd Light Infantry Regiment were formed of Italians
    The 33rd Light Infantry Regiment was formed of Dutch
    The 35th Light Infantry Regiment was formed of Italians, coast of Tuscany and Croats

    Colonels of the more known light infantry regiments:
    1st Regiment:
    1803- C.F. Bourgeois
    1812- L.M. Pillet
    1814- P. F. Beurnonville
    1815- A.M. Despans-Cubieres
    9th Regiment:
    1803- C.M. Meunier (Claude-Marie)
    1811- G. Dauture
    1814- C.M. Deslom
    1814- P. H. Baume
    10th Regiment:
    1803- P.C. Pouzet
    1807- P. Berthezene
    1811- J.E. Luneau
    1815- C.F. Creste
    11th Regiment:
    1802- J.L. Dubreton
    1811- P.F. Casabianca
    1813- C. Poinsot
    1814- J.A.T. Sebastiani
    25th Regiment:
    1804- J.P. Morel
    1807- J.F. Anselme
    1810- V.M. de Conchy
    1813- C.F. Creste
    26th Regiment:
    1802- F.P. Baciocchi
    1805- F.R. Pouget
    1809- Campi
    1810- C.L. Gueheneuc
    1813- F.I. Mosnier
    1813- Crepy
    1813- J.L. Dornier
    1814- M.A. Limonzin

    Link to other website with photo of reenactors: French light infantry in Russia, 1812
    Please visit this website for more interesting pictures.

    Infantry of the Imperial Guard [Infanterie de la Garde Impériale]

    During Napoleonic Wars the infantry of the Imperial Guard was divided into 3 categories: Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard. In the Old Guard served the best fighters and veterans of numerous campaigns, volunteers. They were the elite of the elite, the creme de la creme of Napoleon's infantry. In the Young Guard served hand picked young men, volunteers, enthusiastic and selected from the strongest and most inteligent recruits.

    Organization of battalion of the guard:
    1796 - battalion = 8 companies
    1806 - battalion = 4 companies x 123 men each
    1811 - battalion = 4 companies x 200 men each
    1811 - was added 1 company
    1813 - battalion of the Middle Guard had 6 companies

    Old Guard

    The men of the Old Guard were hand-picked men, wore the most ellegant uniforms and were armed with the best weapons. All regiments were ordered to halt and present arms when they were passing. According to an eyewitness: "Depravity, recklessness and bloodthirstiness
    were burned into their faces

    1st Regiment of the Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard
    [1er Regiment Grenadiers a Pied de la Garde Imperiale]
    Nickname : Grumblers
    Status : It was the senior regiment in Napoleon's Guard infantry.
    Requirements
    -1799 - no less than 25 years old, 3 campaigns, able to read and write, good conduct, strong
    -1802 - as above
    -1806 - 10 years' service, citation for bravery, good conduct, not older than 35
    -1815 - 12 years' service, good conduct, able to write and read
    Legionaires were exempted from the height requirements and the length of service
    Height requirements:
    -1799 - between 179 cm and 184 cm
    -1802 - at least 184 cm tall
    -1815 - above 165 cm

    According to French secondary sources, the wooden pole of the standard of Ier Btn/1er Regiment was smashed by a Russian shell at the Battle of Eylau (1807) and the Eagle and drapeau fell on the ground. But it was not captured by the enemy.

    1st Regiment of the Foot Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard
    [1er Regiment Chasseurs a Pied de la Garde Imperiale]
    Status : It was the second in seniority regiment in Napoleon's Guard infantry.
    Requirements :
    -1802 - no less than 25 years old, 3 campaigns, able to read and write, good conduct
    -1806 - 10 years' service, citation for bravery, good conduct, not older than 35
    -1815 - 12 years' service, good conduct, able to read and write
    Legionaires were exempted from the height requirements and the length of service
    Height requirements:
    -1802 - 178 cm tall
    -1802-1803 - 181 cm tall
    -1815 - above 160 cm.

    Middle Guard

    2nd, 3rd and 4th Regiment of Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard.
    The 2nd Regiment was formed in 1806. Then they were disbanded and formed again in 1811
    Status : In 1806-1813 were counted as the Middle Guard, in 1813-1815 as the Old Guard
    Requirements for the 2nd Regiment were good conduct, able to write and read and:
    -1806 - 6 years' service
    -1811 - 5 years' service
    -1813 - 8 years' service
    -1815 - 8 years' service
    Legionaires were exempted from the height requirements and the length of service

    The 3rd and 4th Regiment of Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard were formed in 1815.
    Their ranks were filled up with the short voltigeurs and tirauliers of the Young Guard,
    fusiliers of the Middle Guard and men from the line and light infantry regiments with
    Status : In 1815 they were called by everyone the Middle Guard, although officially they were Old Guard
    Requirements for the 3rd and 4th Regiment:
    - 4 years' service, good conduct, able to read and write

    2nd, 3rd and 4th Regiment of Foot Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard.
    The 2nd Regiment was formed in 1806. Then they were disbanded. They were formed again in 1811
    Status : In 1806-1813 were counted as the Middle Guard, in 1813-1815 as the Old Guard
    Requirements for the 2nd Regiment were good conduct, able to write and read, and:
    -1806 - 6 years' service
    -1811 - 5 years' service
    -1813 - 8 years' service
    -1815 - 8 years' service
    Legionaires were exempted from the height requirements and the length of service

    The 3rd and 4th Regiment of the Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard were formed in 1815.
    Their ranks were filled up with the voltigeurs and tirauliers of the Young Guard,
    fusiliers of the Middle Guard and men from the light infantry regiments.
    Status : In 1815 they were called by everyone the Middle Guard, although officially they were Old Guard
    Requirements for the 3rd and 4th Regiment:
    - 4 years' service, good conduct, able to read and write

    Regiment of Fusilier-Grenadiers and Regiment of Fusiliers-Chasseurs
    They were formed in 1806 from selected conscripts from the infantry and from departamental reserve companies.
    Their officers were from the Old Guard.
    Status : They were counted as the Young Guard until 1811 when they officially became the Middle Guard
    In 1814 they were ranked as the Old Guard although
    Napoleon refused to give them the tall bearskins as the rest of his Old Guard
    In 1815 they became the 3rd Grenadier a Pied and 3rd Chasseur a Pied de la Garde Regiment.
    Officially they were the Old Guard although everyone called them the Middle Guard
    Height requirement :
    -1806 - 168 cm tall. Soon it was heightened to 173 cm.
    -1815 - minimum height was lowered to 162 cm

    Young Guard

    1st-18th Regiment of Tirauliers of the Guard and 1st-18th Regiment of Voltigeurs of the Guard
    They were formed in 1808 from the strongest and most inteligent recruits.
    The taller went into the Tirauliers-Grenadiers (later renamed to Tirauliers)
    and the shorter recruits went to the Tirauliers-Chasseurs (later renamed to Voltigeurs)
    In 1811 were 6 regiments of tirauliers and 6 regiments of voltigeurs
    In 1814 were 18 regiments of tirauliers and 18 regiments of voltigeurs
    Their officers were from the Old Guard and their NCOs from the Middle Guard
    Height requirements;
    -in 1809 - 163 cm tall
    -in 1814 - 157 cm tall

    There were also Regiment of Flanquers-Grenadiers and Regiment of Flanques-Chasseurs.
    Both troops enjoyed the status of the Young Guard.

    Young Guard on June 16th 1815:
    1st Tirallieurs Regiment [26 officers, 1.083 other ranks]
    2nd - [24 officers, 750 other ranks] in Vandee
    3rd - [28 officers, 960 other ranks]
    4th - [24 officers, 389 other ranks] in Paris
    5th - [23 officers, 153 other ranks] in Paris
    6th - [16 officers, 249 other ranks] in Rouen
    7th - [17 officers, 89 other ranks] in Paris
    8th - [8 ? officers, 77 other ranks] in Lyon
    1st Voltigeurs Regiment [31 officers, 1.188 other ranks]
    2nd - [29 officers, 910 other ranks] in Vandee
    3rd - [32 officers, 935 other ranks]
    4th - [32 officers, 700 other ranks] in Rueil ?
    5th - [30 officers, 175 other ranks] in Paris
    6th - [20 officers, 110 other ranks] in Amiens
    7th - [18 officers, 187 other ranks] in Amiens
    8th - [14 officers, 171 other ranks] in Amiens

    "Provisoire regiments", "demi-brigades de marche", "demi-brigades provisoire", penal regiments and other troops.

    The provisional battalions and regiments were formed and used by Napoleon throughout the entire period of Napoleonic wars. They were quite numerous, especially in Spain, and their organization varied.
    According to Decree of 1st April 1812 some 4 "provisoire regiments" (temporary regiments) were organized at 2 battalions each . The 4th Provisional Regiment was raised from three companies each of the 3rd battalions of the 27th, 39th, 59th, 65th, 69th and 76th line infantry regiments.
    The decree of 9 April 1812, ordered 17 "demi-brigades provisoire" (Temporary Half-Brigades) to be raised from the 3rd and 4th battalions of the line regiments serving in Spain. These troops were to assist the National Guard cohortes in the defense of France and to occupy Germany and Spain,
    By an order of 9 April 1812 four "demi-brigades de marche" were created, each was 3 battalions strong. These troops were raised from the 32 depot companies from 32 different light and line regiments. They were organized as the 1st reserve division commanded by GdD Heudelet and on 15 May 1812, with a strength of 16,284 men, they were assembled in Magdeburg.
    In 1812 the Xl Corps was composed of some 10 Provisional Regiments (1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th) and 5 so-called Penal Regiments: Belle-isle, Walcheren, Rhe, 1st and 2nd of the Mediterranae.

    Pictures of Line and Light Infantry.

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    Foot Carabinier and Foot Chasseur

    Officer of the chasseur company in full dress
    Officer of the chasseur company in full dress.
    Museum l'Armee, Paris


    The Campaign of France, 1814.
    Light infantry delivering a volley.
    By Zbynio Olszewski.


    Reenactment of a battle of 1815 Campaign.
    Courtesy of Annemieke van der Plas and Koen de Smedt


    The Battle of Smolensk. Russia, 1812.
    Line infantry during assault on suburbs and city wall defended by Russians.


    Bloody bayonet melee at Borodino: French vs Russians

    Pictures of Infantry of the Imperial Guard.

    Napoleon and his Old Guard - review in Paris
    Review of the Imperial Guard in Paris, 1804
    Painted by H. Vernet


    Officer and private
    of the Old Guard in Poland.
    "Unhappy were the parents
    whose sons' lot was
    to meet them in battle"

    The few survivors of the Old Guard during retreat from Russia, 1812
    By Wojciech Kossak.

    . . . . . .
    Foot Grenadier and Foot Chasseur
    of the Old Guard.


    Bearskins of Consular and Imperial Guard (grenadiers)


    1814 - Farewell:
    Napoleon and the 1st Regiment of Grenadiers of the Old Guard

    LINKS:

    Polish Army During Napoleonic Wars

    Russian Cavalry: Weapons, History, Organization, Uniforms.

    Russian Army 1807 (be patient, heavy graphics)

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