Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Gareth Glover’s analysis of the Guard’s final attack

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    Jonathan Gingerich

    For those who haven’t seen it yet, Gareth Glover gives a fascinating analysis of the Imperial Guard’s final (and rare;-) attack:
    I picked this up on TMP, where, stereotypically, the dialogue immediately turns to whether the 3d and 4th Grenadiers and Chaussuers were “Middle” guard or not. Get a grip people! First off, the whole concept of Middle Guard was introduced late as an accounting practice to determine pay and privileges. Second during their prior history, there were only 1 or 2 regiments each, and in particular the men of the 2d regiments were officially categorized as Middle Guard. So of course the newly created 3d and 4th regiments were going to be regarded as less than Old Guard regardless of what was written on paper.


    Thanks for posting the link to this – a really interesting read – nice to see such a clear and well reasoned theory, and even from my point of view as a Napoleonic novice, a well sourced and detailed bit of scholarship.

    I was particularly interested to read about the use of squares to advance, (that may have been mistaken for ‘en colonne ’ by the viewers to their front) and the changing of that formation into line causing the disruption prior to the battering by the Allied line…. also the use of l’ordre mixte   on the right that then proceeded as the initial attack in column….. all good stuff and food for thought…..


    Many thanks Jonathan, interesting and convincing.



    Jonathan Gingerich

    They came up with another link: https://www.waterlooassociation.org.uk/2018/05/31/attack-of-the-imperial-guard/ This one is a narrative, clearly based on Glover’s analysis and using his maps. Not clear who the author is, though.



    Completely agreed. One would think it is logical to look at the entry requirements for the different regiments over the course of the period and look at that as a point of consistency, if I recall correctly, the men who made up the 3rd and 4th regiments in 1815 were largely men who either had been in ‘Middle Guard’ regiments previously, or while being ‘new’ met the same/similar requirements to what the ‘Middle Guard’ regiments had previously required.

    The whole thing seems to be a story of ‘what is in a name?’ But people really do get stuck on it.

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