19/09/2016 at 17:32 #48950Jonathan GingerichParticipant
On another forum John Longshore asks about the 3e régiment de chevau-légers lanciers de la Garde Impériale for which he is able to find references to only in 1814. In fact, the regiment only existed briefly in 1812. According to Jouineau in The French Imperial Guard vol. 3 The Cavalry part 2, the regiment was announced in July, mobilized in September, was ordered to Minsk on October 5th, and was largely captured by the Russians two weeks later. The remnants and the two squadrons remaining in Grodno formed with the 1er régiment until disbanded in March 1813.
Hope he finds what he’s looking for…19/09/2016 at 17:46 #48952BanditParticipant
I think the topic of the French Guard Lancers can easily become a confusing one.
I am aware of…
Polish Guard Lancers – 2 regiments
Dutch Guard Lancers – 1 regiment
Kleve-Berg Lanciers – 1 regiment
Lithuanian Tartar Lancers – 1 regiment
…and I feel like I am missing one.
I have seen incorrect numbering very commonly, I have seen the Young Guard squadrons of those regiments which still operated in 1813 numbered as yet additional regiments, and I have seen conflicting statements as to whether some – the Lithuanian Tartars for example – ever became operational in the field.
There seems to be a *lot* of confusion as to what Guard cavalry were ordered to be raised in each 1812 and 1813 and which actually were raised, and further more which actually participated in battles. I also ponder how much the Guard d’Eclaireurs confuse the situation yet more.
I *think* I have seen references in the many reorganizations of the Imperial Guard Cavalry which took place in 1813 references to the “3rd Polish Guard Lancers”, i.e. the second regiment of Polish Lancers attached to the Guard, numbered as the 3rd and sometimes numbered as the “2nd Polish” But right now I honestly can’t say anything substantive, and as far as I am aware, at least through the end of August 1813 no such unit took part in a major action.
Lots of misinformation out there to be sure.
But, I am empathetic to the man’s plight as I am presently working through Prussian Reserve Infantry battalions…
The Bandit19/09/2016 at 19:32 #48958Jonathan GingerichParticipant
Seems to be a problem with the French cavalry in general. IIRC Napoleon greatly expanded the Chausseurs just before the Russian campaign. They, and the newly converted Lancers, never got up to full strength, and after the retreat had to be amalgamated. In fact, the 4 regiments of the obscure Eclaireurs formed a good chunk of the light cavalry in the final year. With most of the dragoons spending time in Spain, you have the Cuirassiers and a motley assortment of other regiments…19/09/2016 at 19:47 #48960BanditParticipant
The last several months I’ve been chewing through a large number of accounts and orders of battle and uniform plates for 1813 (specifically, spring through end of August). The amount of “uhm, here are a bunch of units, see what you can do with them” is huge and I don’t think can be understated.
The chasseur à cheval regiments go into Russia understrength, as you say, and they come out even more reduced, and without horses. There are whole light cavalry divisions in 1813 that number less than 1,000 horsemen. And not just one like this. You’ll see a roster of say eight chasseur à cheval regiments and then look at the number of men present under arms to see it is perhaps 500 combined.
The cuirassiers are better but not by as much as one would hope to think. *Lots* of understrength and highly reduced cuirassier regiments. Constant renumbering of heavy cavalry divisions, the creation of a V Cavalry Corps. One can easily get the impression that there was just organizational flailing as though if new organizational structures were created there would magically be more men in the ranks to fill them.
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