Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Austrian Chevaulegeres vs dragoons?

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  • #147218

    So except for the jacket colour and regimental size, I can’t find much difference between these. One online source I found says Chevaulegeres traded the pallasches for sabres in 1802. But I see the Perry set doesn’t include Sabres only pallasches.  Was this simply a compromise because of the box, or are there different sources that contradict the pallasch-sabre trade in?

    #147237
    Tim
    Participant

    Haythornwaite’s Napoleonic Sourcebook doesn’t mention weapon differences, just the jackets. It does say that they were slow rolling kit out in 1802, so maybe the Perry kit supposes that the change hadn’t yet happened?

    #147252
    Roger Calderbank
    Participant

    I too had seen the mention of the 1802 change. On the other hand, I have not seen any image of a post-1802 Austrian chevau-leger with a sword curved to a similar degree to the Hussar sabre. All the images I have seen have them with a straight sword. Of course, many of those images are modern ones, so may simply be perpetuating a mistake. However, if a curved sabre had been common, I would have expected at least some images to show it. The Perry figures are just following what seems to be the common chevau-leger image

    Whilst the Osprey books are not always reliable, I see that the one on Austrian cavalry says, when referring to cuirassiers, dragoons and chevau-leger, ‘An improved sabre was introduced in 1802, largely like the previous Pallasch, with iron scabbards for all ranks’. Since ‘sabre’ is often used for any cavalry sword, I wonder if someone has seen the reference to a sabre change, and assumed that was a change to a curved sword, rather than a redesign of a straight sword.

    The only difference between Austrian dragoons and chevau-leger that seems consistently referred to is the slight difference in horse harness that gave a ‘cross’ across the face for chevau-leger horses. I have also seen it suggested that chevau-leger had shorter boots, but since the boots are always covered by overalls, I can’t think of a way of proving that, one way or the other.

    RogerC

    #147260
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Yes, in the case of Chevauxleger Regiments 1, 2 & 4 (who continued to wear white coats while 3, 5 & 6 wore green) the only difference was the light cavalry-style harness with an ‘X’ over the horse’s face.

    Perhaps there was a difference in horse size and weight, but I don’t remember ever reading that anywhere.  In terms of role the Dragoons were usually (but not always) kept in reserve alongside or instead of Cuirassiers, so as they weren’t running around conducting recce tasks for the army corps, one might argue that their horse might have better-retained good condition, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #147265
    Roger Calderbank
    Participant

    Jemima, I think it is 1, 2 4 and (later) 7th chevau-leger in green coats, and 3 5 and 6th in white. At least, that’s what your website says, so must be right! (It also matches other sources).

    As to roles, they seem to vary. Chevau-leger are almost always in light brigades/divisions but you can find dragoons in light brigades/divisions and in reserve divisions, depending on campaign and the whims of the commanders. The Austrians weren’t good at consistency.

    RogerC

    #147306
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Bugger, yes that’s the right way round… 🙂

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

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