Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic How about Lasalle?

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    We all know about the man and his exploits- ribald and on the battlefield seeking a glorious death- but hey, in 1805 he was ‘just’ a Gen de brigade in charge of a pair of Dragoon regiments.

    He was with the ‘rear’ echelon of the Grande Armée, maintaining order and LOC I imagine, wasn’t at Austerlitz nor a part of Neys command actions in the Tyrol.

    So what uniform was he wearing? Did the beau sabreur don a Generals habit and breeches, with chapeau, a fanciful enhanced Dragoon uniform, or maintain (and his entourage) his cavalier legere style dress, despite not, leading such troops?

    He was given his head in 1806, yet seems a subdued hollow party in 1805. Who had he upset..?

    cheers d

    *I ask this as I’ve seen such anochronisms in gamers armies as a greatcoated Buonparte leading a Republican Army etc.

    Avatar photoHeroy

    “Who had he upset?” Everyone but Napoléon ? Starting with the Berthier family.

    Just a guess as to uniform in 1805 …. He started wearing the baggy red pants, plain black boots and curved sabre à la Mameluk after Egypt. Green vest with some gold tresses. Green habit-frac with red collar & cuffs and gold buttons. Blue & gold sash and chapeau of a général de brigade.

    On the day of Austerlitz, Lasalle’s 4e dragons (chef d’escadron Théodore Contant) were detached on guard in Vienna. Lasalle’s 14e dragons (colonel Guillaume Lafon de Blaniac) & 26e dragons (ex- 17e de cavalerie, colonel Pierre Delorme) were moving to join the army and had arrived at Raygern (now Rajhrad), ~20 km away to the south-west. The 14e & 26e dragons were part of the pursuit on the day after the battle.

    Avatar photoOotKust


    Avatar photoHeroy

    “his entourage”

    Aide de camp lieutenant du 10e hussards Hector Thérond (Calvisson, en Gard 1772 – Moulins 1812).

    He was supposed to have 2 aides de camp, but only selected one.




    He did not take his wife or a mistress on campaign.

    He likely could not afford real domestic servants …. just an old maréchal de logis, likely from the 10e hussards in 1805, as a palfrenier.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thanks again.

    Athough he was not at Austerlitz, I do have a version of Lasalle in my future. So useful to know with whom he associated.

    An old friend parted company with a few of his models years ago, old Hinchliffe painted himself in oils and rather than leave such figures in boxes, I felt I could now present them a battle future.

    Not the best pics but… https://flic.kr/p/2nSum5s

    IMG_6074_ c1980_ Lasalle_Special Command Figures 02-4_©dww 2022


    Not sure why his reigns weren’t attached, but I can manage those when the time comes…

    cheers d

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Following tangents, another missive crossed my view. Don’t understand why or how he got included, but he wasn’t there:

    Usually to be found in the thick of the action he was present at Vicence, Rivoli, …battle of the Pyramids, … Austerlitz,

    Nope, he wasn’t. Sure a day AFTER the battle he passed through, or over the battlefield… with his units- all dragoons.


    written by Terry J. Senior, whoever that is, deposited in 2002 under a series ‘The Top Twenty French Cavalry Commanders’.

    The more I read the same rhetoric and story about him, the less I believe.

    N. in probably more than one time, refused promotions because he cited ” subject… should remain in the same type of corps”.

    Interesting when you consider- Lasalle had been an exuberant (thats all I’ll concede) light cavalry officer; but in the 1805 campaigns he was sidelined to command a dragoon brigade.

    In contrast, GBD Milhaud https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89douard_Jean_Baptiste_Milhaud was a previous officer of both light cavalry and Dragoons and had been a GBD for 5 years. He in 1805, during the campaign under way was transferred to a new ad-hoc and semi-independant light cavalry brigade- composed of two veteran and experienced units, the 16e (transferred from Soults IV Corps Cavalry Division) and 22e Chasseurs.

    Ironically Seniors https://www.napoleon-series.org/research/commanders/c_milhaud.html has far more factual information about him, yet he ranks only ’20th’ in the list!

    Quite why the list exists when it isn’t even in the ‘Index’ of articles ~Battles and Campaigns~ is beyond me!

    Whilst loosely attached administratively to Murat it was very much as independant, and not subservient to, Kellermans Division. N. used to give Milhaud direct orders (via the EMG obviously).

    One could ask why Lasalle didn’t obtain the role? Was it because he would not cooperate with other Generals, or would not behave and subordinate his role as directed- we already know of the antipathy with Mal. Berthier Maj-General of the Grande Armée?

    Senior finished his article with the line:

    The loss of LaSalle was very much regretted by the Emperor… [ie 1809 ]

    Really, I wonder if he did. Perhaps publicly, because that would be the ‘right’ thing to do- however it is apparent that he actually had little respect for him otherwise. Certainly promotion and rewards didn’t come as fast as Lasalles expectations…

    The ‘tangent’ that brought me here again was a secondary interest- having just received the new Frontline (Pen & Sword) book by PLD ‘Hussars and Chasseurs 1805-1815’ I wanted to do some fact-checking cross referencing after reading about my own light units.

    So what we do find for the infamous ‘Brigade Infernale’ of Lasalle? Not a lot unfortunately, and perhaps therein lies a story. Not that Dawson pays any mind to either commanders or places much- strictly data tables on the regiments, and little outside that sphere.

    And on the 5eme and 7eme Hussards of 1806- zilch! Nothing since the earlier period (not strictly to 1805) and until late 1807 ‘if’ an inspection existed. Perhaps the total absence of regimental records in the interim from appointment of Lasalle at the end of Dec’05 till end of Dec’07 is a coincidence.

    However, there was over 6 months of peace in between the various campaigns, so this seems sinister. Is this another ‘unfortunate truth’?

    I haven’t yet read thru all other regiments in the book yet, but the few I have didn’t suffer the same, as Dawson cites “unkind history”…


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