Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Napoleonic French Imperial Guard



1:32 French Napoleonic Guard from ESCI.







 "La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!" (The Guard dies but does not surrender!)

The Imperial Guard (French: Garde Impériale) was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. It acted as his bodyguard and tactical reserve, and he was careful of its use in battle. The Guard was divided into the staff, infantry, cavalry, and artillery regiments, as well as battalions of sappers and marines. Another division existed in distinguishing the experienced veterans from less experienced members of the Guard the group's division into the Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard.

Napoleon took great care of his Guard, particularly the Old Guard. The Grenadiers of Old Guard were known to complain in the presence of the Emperor, giving them the nickname Les Grognards, the Grumblers. The Guard received better pay, rations, quarters, and equipment, and all guardsmen ranked one grade higher than all non-Imperial Guard soldiers. Other French soldiers even referred to Napoleon's Imperial Guard as "the Immortals."

The Guard played a major part in the climax of the Battle of Waterloo. It was thrown into the battle at the last minute to salvage a victory for Napoleon. Completely out-numbered, it faced terrible fire from the British lines, and began to retreat. For the first (and only) time in its history the Guard retreated without orders. At the sight of this, Napoleon's army lost all hope of victory. The Middle Guard broke completely but the Old Guard (and some of the Young Guard) battalions held their formation and secured the retreat of the remainder of the French Army before being almost annihilated by British and Prussian artillery fire and cavalry charges. -- from Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a website? How many in a box? How much is a box? Do you have any cavalry?

    Tom Smith

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