Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic [1805] On the Sources for Austerlitz-

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    If I may be so bold- Mr Gingerich on your fine site of data and detail, shows in Kienmayers Avant-Garde the three Pioneer companies of Austrian supports, with:

    –  two mobile bridges

    Can you tell us Sir where this info came from, and if possible what ‘mobile’ may have looked like? I’ve not seen another reference to them in any list or text, let alone a description of where they may have been at the time of the battle.

    I can fully understand why such a body may have been attached, however the nature of the Goldbach seems deficient for such purposes, ie marshy edges etc.

    Thanks in advance,

    regards dave

    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich

    Both Bowden and Duffy mention 3 pioneer coys. The Militerra article mentions the bridge trains. I’m not sure it is still accessible on line. Possibly because of the embargo.

    All I know about the bridge trains is from that lovely discussion, elsewhere;-)


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Both Bowden and Duffy mention 3 pioneer coys. The Militerra article mentions the bridge trains. I’m not sure it is still accessible on line. Possibly because of the embargo. All I know about the bridge trains is from that lovely discussion, elsewhere;-) JG

    Ok thanks so much for response!

    Whilst unimportant in this battle, these obscure units arouse a degree of interest; and even if the rules are usually widely inaccurate I like to make a ‘depiction’ of them in games.

    thanks dave

    Avatar photoOotKust

    To follow on, just as I have always used limbers (artillery) and train (same caissons) from the WRG heydays… again my 25mm Minifigs©:-

    IMG_4561_Corps Artillerie Parc .

    And for artillery:-

    IMG_4545 12e Cie 5e Regt d’Art a Pied (1er Dv)

    by DaveW, on Flickr.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    In Search of The 10eme Legére
    What comes here is the harrowing tale of seeking and verifying the mysteries of uniformology, where apparently none exist…

    Well there’s always something, isn’t there?
    Back in 2019 I’d reformulated, or perhaps reinvigorated, my ‘twenty year plan’ (because thats the epic down time I’d taken out…) to finally complete my French 1805 Corps, plus ancilliaries and supports etc.

    Pragmatism or Dynastic Myopia?

    My 4eme Corps d’Armée 1st Division includes as ‘avant garde’ the regiment of the 10e Legere. Two battalions of regular light infantry. Trained, veteran and battle experience- last fought at Hohenlinden, 3 December 1800 under Moreau.

    A long time in the Corps from 1802 and in the Camp du Boulogne, I am yet to start painting my old Minifigs in the new style and organisation format, having completed most of the 1st and 3rd Divisions as they were organised during the Austrian Campaign and at the Battle of Austerlitz.

    Problem is, there are no definitive references that I have found for this regiment, for this period and my own sources such as Rousselot, Bucquoy, Toussaint, Detaille and many online, virtually always depict uniforms for 1808-10-12 than earlier; or are at least contradictory over details. La Sabretache notes their use of carabinier bearskins.

    Because I’m being pedantic about them in ‘accurate’ uniforms I have used in my ‘agile’ pragmatic approach to completing the army, discretionary calls in order-

    • exact details where known;
    • earlier Revolution/ Consular uniform extended to early empire;
    • adopt a later variation known for the unit with slide back effect;
    • adopt a known uniform for the next nearest known accurate regiment.

    I’d taken the plain 1801 shako with front plume for chasseurs. Where known I’ll throw in a sapeur; porte-aigles are always NCO’s etc.

    Given the ‘swap’ or transition rate (slow or fast) of uniform colour, details, embellishments and equipment, is there any more on this unit for me?

    Information came along and a decision to adopt shakos with side plumes made. I’d already ‘kitbashed’ all my other lights with side plumes/ falling horsehair on bicornes (eg Bn des Tirailleur du Pô) or 1801 shako’s- both battalions of 26e Legere and the Chasseur/ Tirailleur Corse.

    As Junots’ Corps de l’Elite at the ‘Camp of Arras’ from 1802 were issued nice clean new shakos and equipment, I’d wager the proximity was enough that their ‘look’ was adopted by someone as administratively astute as brother General Soult, also adjacent to St.Omer, especially as the groups ‘trained’ together over time, and units mixed in the defensive zone of ‘les Côtes’.

    The 1801 shakos with either small silver diamond plate at front; or button, cocarde and aurore lace strap front or side. Removing extant cords was a PIA so I recast some clean shakoes and replaced heads etc.
    Did same on a regiment of Chasseur a Cheval as well.

    Not perfect but no longer looks as ‘samey’. I went on that detour a long while ago, hence my slackness at getting a ‘straight’ unit painted!

    Hence, my 10e Legere will look more ‘traditional’ in uniform style to what gamers expected to see. Waiting definition, knowing that according to Rousselot there were many legere regiments that still used brass button/ metalware, I hadn’t formed an opinion.

    A bit like the cuffs and flaps- some legere adopted pointed plain blue piped white; others maintained standard line designs until mid-Empire took over. I wasn’t at all convinced by yellow cuffs/ flaps for voltigeurs (different subject I know).
    to be continued…

    Avatar photoLevi the Ox

    No sources to add, but interesting to read your train of thought and it makes sense to me.

    I went through a somewhat less in-depth version of such with my 7eme Ligne for the Peninsula.  They were all but destroyed in the Saint Dominique expedition, the survivors amalgamated with those of the 31eme Ligne to spend the subsequent years rebuilding in depot.  Ironically, this left them one of the full regiments at hand for the early campaigns in Spain.

    I could find very little documentation on them in any detail, so reasoned that, having been almost newly formed in depot over the past 2-3 years, they would likely be closer to regs than those units that had been on campaign.  Easy access to supply of course, but also because being reconstituted almost from whole cloth meant they would have had fewer holdovers from previous uniform schemes.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    I went through a somewhat less in-depth version of such with my 7eme Ligne for the Peninsula. They were all but destroyed in the Saint Dominique expedition, the survivors amalgamated with those of the 31eme Ligne to spend the subsequent years rebuilding in depot. Ironically, this left them one of the full regiments at hand for the early campaigns in Spain.

    Thanks Levi for responding.
    Yes I agree the lack of documentation is a galling and deflating experience sometimes when one seeks some, or any, information on units you think would be possible.

    I agree also with your premise, less baggage from preceding organisation. I checked the ‘Etat Militaire’ for 1805 and see the 1er Bon / 31eme de Ligne was transferred to the 7eme de ligne. The other battalion went to the 105eme.

    For the 7eme it gives a weak establishment, many junior officers vacancies. There are it says 3 battalions cantoned at Blaye in the 11e Military Division. (Is that Burgundy or am I confused?). Of note there are many officers who hold seniority back to 1792 and those early Revolutionary years.

    Interesting subject.
    –regards dave


    Avatar photoOotKust

    In Search of The 10eme Legére- Part Deux

    Continuing the discourse… these notes may be somewhat dated, taken from my own records and diary of scratchings, but I’m making an effort to clean up what I can to make them coherent.

    There has been some great info on the ‘Boulogne Camps’ and effort put into training soldiers to become sea-worthy; sailing. rowing etc. and handling various naval cannon and marine/ ship security etc,; all of which gives credibility to the overall ‘veteran status’ of the Grande Armes various units.

    But the details are still missing on uniforms. Of note now it has been found that Knotel (DJ- The Younger) known as bullet-proof artistry, acknowledged to have made some errors when his/their sources were re-examined, gives red cuffs pointed to the 10eme, whereas the Martinet prints shows standard blue.

    Also two artists conflict over the same 1810-12 period of pointed or standard Swedish cuffs.

    I’m going with pointed blue cuff piped white as the most common early habit; distinctives all the same as 1807+ but without the fancy brass scale epaulettes.

    My ‘incarnations’ over time varied. I’ve reassessed earlier ‘assignment’ of troops and agree with the view that side-plumed shakos are the predominant legere headdress of this  post Consular epoch.

    In fact, what I thought I had done in ‘assignment’- grouping the unit with figures up to 5 years ago (!), wasn’t that clever. They are all drooping horsehair and upright left-side plumes. I’d left options open by storing both shako ‘elites’ and bearksin/ colpack versions, but I’m refining those down to just bearskins for carabiniers.

    Campaign variations in the units will include stripped bearskins and grey/blue overalls for some carabiniers but voltigeurs* in side plumed (green tipped yellow) shako only.

    Following those figures being sorted, I decided upon specific ‘command’ and tete du colonne figures, but again the terrible business of specific distinctive/ colour attribution imperils!

    *The 10e Legere being a part of the St.Omer/ Boulogne camp since 1803 (Soult 4e Corps d’Armee). Did they exist at all? We know the 15e Legere had them, as Davout swept up that regiment and called them out in reports.

    Some assistance came my way with suggestions that:

    Petits Soldats de Strasbourg has later uniforms for 10e Legere which you could draw on for tete de colonne”

    This was one of the ‘later’ sources I was referencing earlier. I tend to have a lower value for authenticity* of such plates because they may have been and were reproduced (original lithos) and recoloured simply for sale to anyone without caring about the accuracy (or originals). Martinet plates being another great hoax source of mass produced and erroneously coloured lithographs.

    **I learned this lesson the hard way, at not too much cost, when I bought some loose plates purported to be ‘originals’ in Paris but my publisher friends extinguished enthusiasm quickly by pointing out (and taking me to la sabretache library to view THE ORIGINALS) they were 19thC/ repros- good but not “originals”.

    I decided to stick closer with 1807 standard uniform designs and colours I’d say on 1805 attributes uniforms. I reviewed Bucquoy again and even his lack of specifics points to black hole about the regiment.

    Reviewing the regiments progress at the end of 2020 I had noted for myself — All 1801 shako regimental dress. Chasseurs (nearly all) primed in blue w green epaulettes-distinctives; falling horsehair plumes on left.

    Elites to be sorted and detailed; as at Oct20 there is no documented proof of any bearskin/ ourson (neither text, regulation nor illustrations) being worn in any period least of all by 1805, so these are rejected.
    The only records of regiment are from 1807-08 period forward when two new forms of uniform existed between 1807 and 1810. The early period is missing.

    In reviewing my own archives I found the Benjamin Zix- from life illustration shows a carabinier in walking out dress in shako with right hand side mounted red plume, at cafe with others! Dec20-*Dr P Martin Strasbourg (own collection!).

    Agonising over the details of the regiments uniform once again, I side-stepped the issue and decided Gen. Morand and his aides would be an easier target in the interim. So they are well progressed to completion- both mounted and on-foot versions just for a ‘difference’, since we know they did go on foot at the battle in ‘conference’ with his peers and colleagues.

    So in 2021 I completed modifications on the elites and tackled the command, both in figurines and colours of musicians; neither the blues of later musicians but a harking back to the to the period of ‘reversed’ colours, even if the colour didn’t actually exist! Red facings with yellow border lace is a pretty common adoptive in the post-Consular period among many regiments (eg artillery corps).

    10eme Legere

    The ‘rest’ were still in wardrobe or make-up awaiting building!

    Actually the relief of finding the Zix illustration (made in 1803 from real life) was enormous- it permitted me to extend a detail of uniqueness to my new unit, the right hand side plume on a shako ‘a la hussard’ with a red flamme!

    My reasoning for creating modified elite company personnel begins with this ‘real life’ watercolour by contemporary illustrator Benjamin Zix; an illustrated engraving dated 1803 of a “Fracas’ at an inn” between various French regiments and some attractive locals.

    Notably identified is the 10e Legere Carabinier and a musicien of an unrecognised unit. However I’m happy to apply an ‘by association’ rule and say he could also be from the 10th Legere.

    –Plate #9 reprint from Dr P Martin Strasbourg publication (taken from own collection!): Soldaten Im Bunten Rock -The French Army 1789-1807 W.Keller

    A close up of this real life reference!

    The uniform details are interesting and not without speculation on their accuracy, despite being very close to ‘regulation’.

    While the basic uniform is as expected, the variations we see depicted are from top to bottom:

    1- 1801 shako with plume on right hand side; also a red flamme ‘wing’ edged black, wrapped around the shako body (which therefore covers any plate that may have been worn); and a single cord in white adorns the right hand side, ganse and silver button, while it wraps around the shako with just a knotted front section. Again notably the racquetes and flounders are suspended only by a single cord.

    2- A white tab and apparently a minute button on front collar.

    3- A red or scarlet veste, not blue or white. These are rarely noted but not unknown.

    4- Pointed cuff piped but shown with apparent piping also on the sleeve opening seam (which I’d assume is in error).

    In Order-
    Epaulettes, belt, blue piped white overall habit (long tails) and breeches, black gaiters piped (colour indistinct but we could assume red) and an older style briquet being carried for persuasion.

    Distinctive features and relatively easy modifications including some additional painting to make an even more distinctive unit.

    Was the regiment wearing this a year or two later? Who’s to say? We can see that they did get new uniforms issued by or during 1807 as multiple documents have shown the ‘new’ uniforms with ‘modernised’ features- 1806 shako; doubled cords, revised plumage, colours and placements etc. for soldiers and a stated tete-du-colonne.

    Certainly I was surprised to read in the post battle ‘Situation’of Dec 4 1805 that the regiments costume was in general “bon etat”.

    I should say, as I’ve been scouring my own hidden and buried treasure resources now that ‘events’ have plateaued, I’m using Michel Petards excellent if dated article “L’Homme de 1804- Le Chasseur d’Infanterie Legere” as the basis for my 10e Legere with variations I’ve been able to discern.

    Published in 1979 in ‘Uniformes’ No.31 and the bound Album #6; pp20-26 covers contemporary illustrations and regulations. Where derivations are noted by him, I’m using the same synthesis for my own unit and what information has appeared since. They include plates from Hoffman, Zimmermann, Otto and Berka. His own artwork of course is superb.

    Which of course for this unit in particular, is mostly for the mid-Empire and nothing for the first two years apart from my Zix plate. Full size copies are on the Flickr site.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    In Search of The 10eme Legére- Part Trois

    Continuing the discourse… these notes may be somewhat dated, taken from my own records and diary of scratchings, but I’m making an effort to clean up what I can to make them coherent.

    As noted, the marvellous work of historian/ artist Michel Petard appearing in ‘Uniformes’ military history magazine from the heydays of my original work concentrating on 1er Empire France.

    Which of course for this unit in particular, is. mostly for the mid-Empire and nothing for the first two years apart from my Zix plate. Full size copies are on the Flickr site.

    1- The lead page:-

    IMG_5371_Petard_U_L’Homme de 1804- Le Chasseur d’Infanterie Legere-01

    2- Full Dress and Campaign variant:-
    IMG_5372_Petard_U_L’Homme de 1804- Le Chasseur d’Infanterie Legere-02

    3- Later Style uniforms updated for 1807 (after Otto M.):


    by DaveW, on Flickr

    Trust this goes some way to defining where I’m heading; although the chasseurs of my ‘regiment’ of the 10e Legere is still equipped with green falling, horsehair left side plumes (!) in the main.

    Where does he get the bugle shako “plate” from? The nice thing about the early French light infantry are their brass shako plates.

    I was worried for a moment even though I’d thoroughly read the article several times! Petard states p21-

    ‘Le shako de l’infanterie legere nous est prcissment dcrit du 4 Brumaire An X’ and the citation given: “Hauteur de 6 pouces, 7 lignes, largeur du haut 8 pouces; la forme couverte; plaque de cuivre fait en cor de chasse, de deux pouces 3 lignes dans son diamtre et de 3 pouces dans le haut du cor; visiere.”

    Complete description of components, without chin scales of course.

    In a separate request for info from an 1809 man, I received a response about officers transferred from La Garde (as they were promoted to the ‘line’ as part of N.s master plan).
    I wanted to use some chasseur figures I painted moons ago and include them, in their Garde uniform, intact.

    “10eme Legere …. any junior officers … that were promoted ‘out’ from the Garde Chasseurs prior to 1805?”

    Jean-Baptiste Piedfer

    Description : oval face with a high forehead, small nose, average mouth, round chin, dark brown hair and blue eyes
    Drawing :

    Let us hope that the Colonel Pouzet did not object to one of his officers keeping the mustache required of a sous-officier de chasseurs à pied.

    1 May 1772 — born at Évreux in Normandy, son of Pierre Piedfer and Marie née Desprét
    7 Feb 1794 — entered service, likely in the “1er bataillon du 54e régiment d’infanterie (ci-devant Roussillon)”, then with the Armée du Nord at Cambrai
    22 Aug 1794 — passed to the “1er bataillon de la 107e demi-brigade de bataille” formed by amalgamation of the 1er/54e d’infanterie and the “3e & 4e bataillons des volontaires de l’Yonne”, then in Bonnaud’s division on campaign in Belgium
    1795 — with the Armée du Nord
    13 Feb 1796 — to the Armée de l’Ouest, in the Vendée
    11 Aug 1796 — entered as a grenadier in the “gardes du Corps législatif”, at Paris
    28 Nov 1799 — passed to the new “garde des consuls”
    1800 — with the Armée de Réserve
    28 Dec 1800 — promoted to caporal
    29 Dec 1800 — promoted to caporal-fourrier
    5 Mar 1802 — promoted “sergent-major de la 6e compagnie du 1er bataillon de chasseurs à pied de la garde des consuls”
    1805 — at the “camp de Boulogne”
    23 Sep 1805 — promoted “sous-lieutenant au 10e régiment d’infanterie légère”, then with 2 battalions on campaign in Saint-Hilaire’s 1st division of Soult’s VI corps and the 3rd depot battalion in the process of relocating from Évreux to Strasbourg
    23 Nov 1806 — promoted to lieutenant
    1 Oct 1807 — made a member of the Legion of Honor
    ~1810 — promoted to capitaine
    1812 — posted to the 4th battalion of the regiment, part of Partouneaux’s 12th division of Victor’s IX corps
    27 Nov 1812 — wounded at the battle of Borisov
    28 Jan 1813 — DoW age 40

    Thus my ‘ancien’ figure can now proudly appear and lead his company upon the enemy in the newly created 10eme Legere!
    I think the late promotion to the regiment is excuse enough to appear in the Garde Chasseurs, a chapeau, uniform.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Reading through parts of ‘Alombert P. C., Colin J. : « La campagne de 1805 en Allemagne’ I found this small, but interesting commentary on the preservation of their horses, from none other than the First Aide-majors generaux of Berthiers Etat-Major-Generale- GDV Andréossy (Antoine François).

    A job you would think was below that of the first officer of an army headquarters, but no…


    General Andrèossy au . Petiet*. Nordlingen, 15 Vendemiaire year xiv (7 October 1805). I have the honour to inform you that detachments of the 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 16th and 26th regiments of dragoons*, leading injured [-wounded?] horses, have been ordered to go to the castle of the Princess of Wallenstein, three quarters of a mile from Nordlingen tomorrow.

    These detachments consist of 4 officers, 18 non-commissioned officers, 191 dragoons, and 233 horses. I ask you to give orders to provide for their welfare until they receive a new destination. Andrèossy.

    1- *Petiet- not sure which one this is.
    Given this number of animals became the equivalent of a regimental strength two months later, their preservation must have been seen as important.

    2-The regiments cited, bar the 26eme, were all from Soults Corps ‘under command’ 3rd Dragoon Division, who saw active service and far reaching marches far to the East of Ulm in the October campaign portion.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Led to another web site on history, some interesting articles badly mangled by translators from the Czech original. This one on this battle, is a ‘rebuttal/ commentary’ on the original 100th Annivesary (1905)  by a Czech ‘patriot’ lets call him.

    The Conspiracy of Austerlitz

    Seems our modern correspondent took offence at the great many inaccuracies or ‘reconstructions’ of the truth in the original article. Whilst citing much express history, opinions abound.

    One that captured my eyes were the opinion that Weyrothers planing [for the battle] were “objectively and subjectively healthy and sensible!”. Yeah right!

    Langeron and the other Russian commanders objected politely, but he was both the Tsars ‘advisor’ and pet- so he had to be tolerated. [Conveniently ignoring the fact that he had also been the architect of Austrias’ major defeat almost exactly 5 years earlier, Hohenlinden!] .

    Another comment noted on behalf of the Austrians, as much for the rebuttal no doubt of Russian documented criticisms of them, was “and the highest generals of the Russians, whose characteristic properties were indolence , ill-will and lack of mental abilities!” .

    Fine talk, lousy application. Most but certainly not all the Russian subordinate generals performed much better than this and British/ English lore would tell us.

    The standouts who do meet these criteria would be Büxhowden, a de-facto Army commander, one of his subordinates Przhibyshevsky and not too many others (regimental level officers not included).

    Many of the allied ‘Generals’ and indeed Kutuzov himself- a defrocked commander- both Austrian and Russian, including three emigré French Generals, applied themsleves diligently and with heroic activity many times.

    The Allied plan, and limited ability to apply it were the cause of their defeat- laid as this article decides, victory into the hands of Napoleon, with some decidedly sticky moments over 6 hours, to establish both the fact and the legend of invincibility.

    I’d add more but frankly translating maltranslations is hard work!
    Enjoy, davew

    Avatar photoOotKust

    A post-mortem one could say. As I missed any reference to this in 2021 before. Is it really a ‘grave’ if they were merely ‘disposed of’..?

    I’m a little put off by the wording “mass grave” given the entire issue of a single handful, compared with the mass destruction of humanity since then and ongoing indefinitely :-

    Austerlitz Grave

    and the tartar on their teeth revealed traces of nitrogen and sulphur, elements of gunpowder, probably left by the men opening gunpowder bags with their teeth—a common practice in the Napoleonic era. DNA analysis showed that the men came from different parts of Europe.

    Interesting, they remained hidden so long!
    regards dave

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