Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic The correct translation of marins de la Garde impériale

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  • #135542
    Jonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    As many are aware, the marins de la Garde impériale is, literally, Sailors of the Imperial Guard, because a marin is a sailor (or seaman or mariner). But they were not sailors, they were naval troops – a combination of naval infantry, artillerists, and engineers. The US and Britain does not have a tradition of naval infantry. We have marines. So the marins de la Garde impériale was unit of marines. No need to translate, really. Marins de la Garde impériale is perfectly recognizable as the guard’s marines;-)

    #135551
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Was there any doubt?

    The word ‘marine’ came to the English speaking world from the Old French for sea – ‘marin’, and the French Navy is the Marine Nationale.

    As for tradition, the Royal Marines were formed in 1664

    The OED:

    marine
    n adjective
    1 relating to or produced by the sea.
    2 relating to shipping or naval matters.
    n noun a member of a body of troops trained to serve on land or sea, in particular (in the UK) a member of the Royal Marines or (in the US) a member of the Marine Corps.

    ORIGIN
    Middle English: from Old French marin, marine, from Latin marinus, from mare ‘sea’.

    ================================================================

    As it goes, since about 1950 ‘Marine’ has become a not uncommon female name in France – Marine Le Pen comes to mind.

     

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #135552
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Was there any doubt?

    I believe it is a point of pride/pedantry amongst a couple of people to ‘correct’ this to Sailors of the Guard at every opportunity… Has this topic come up again somewhere?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #135555
    General Slade
    Participant

    Back in the day I got taken to task for calling them marines on another miniatures website.  If memory serves it was a well-known linguist and close, personal friend of Colonel Elting who put me right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it).

    #135556
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Was there any doubt?

    I believe it is a point of pride/pedantry amongst a couple of people to ‘correct’ this to Sailors of the Guard at every opportunity… Has this topic come up again somewhere?

    Oh I see!

     

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #135562
    Patrice
    Participant

    I truly cannot say where to draw a line between “marines” and “sailors” in English in this case. They were called “marins” and to a French mind it brings the idea of sailors, but there is no French word for “marines”. The modern French Navy has fusiliers marins, who are sailors …and can probably also be called marines; and the Army has Troupes de marine (former Troupes coloniales) who are certainly not sailors.

    The Marins de la Garde impériale were both, and it seems that before them the Marins de la Garde consulaire were first recruited from sailors. Earlier, under Louis XIV the Compagnies Franches de la Marine had to be trained to take part in ship manoeuvring.

    To complicate matters, there is always this tendancy of all French governments through history to think that what happens on sea is not as important as what happens east of Paris, and since the 17th century to steal Navy units to send them to fight somewhere on the Rhine, where (and with replacements of casualties etc.) they soon forget what being a sailor is about.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #135585
    Sane Max
    Participant

    they soon forget what being a sailor is about.

    Lucky devils!

    #135592
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    they soon forget what being a sailor is about.

    Lucky devils!

     

    Rum, sodomy and the lash?

    "I'm not signing that"

    #135594
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Rum, sodomy and the lash?

    No thanks, I’m trying to cut down.

    All the best,

    John.

    #135631
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I think the distinction is that what in English-speaking countries we call “the Marines” or whatever derivative are in French usually distinguished from “Marins,” (sailors). The Marines would be “l’infanterie maritime” or “l’infanterie de marine,” literally “naval infantry.” I’m not sure how that scans against Napoleonic names though as there might not yet have been an equivalent term.

    #135635
    Alan Hamilton
    Participant
    #135636
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I think the distinction is that what in English-speaking countries we call “the Marines” or whatever derivative are in French usually distinguished from “Marins,” (sailors). The Marines would be “l’infanterie maritime” or “l’infanterie de marine,” literally “naval infantry.” I’m not sure how that scans against Napoleonic names though as there might not yet have been an equivalent term.

     

    Present day French marines of the Marine Nationale are Fusiliers Marins and Commandos Marine under the command of Force maritime des fusiliers marins et commandos.

    Confusingly the modern Armee de Terre also has Troupes de Marine.

    https://www.defense.gouv.fr/english/marine/forces/ships-protection-and-commandos

     

    During the 1er Empire period, French marines (‘proper marines’, not the hussar uniformed fops of the Garde), were designated  Corps Imperial d’artillerie de Marine and Troupes de Marine. The latter serving exclusively as land based infantry.

     

    I think

    I haven’t dropped any E’s above BTW.

    J’espere que c’est clair 🙂

     

     

    Yes, I know there are accents missing. I couldn’t be bothered with the French keyboard. Please don’t write in 😉

    "I'm not signing that"

    #135637
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yes so you have the distinction not only between periods but also between the specific name of the corps of the military of a given period versus the generic title of the type of troops, etc. And they say English is complicated!

    #135639
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    I think the Troupes de Marine were mostly intended for land operations and were so called because they came under naval command. The navy had most of the responsibility for French colonies and their protection up to the mid 18C so needed some units capable of land warfare. British Marines were intended from their inception to be able to fight at sea as well as on land, the French didn’t go quite that far as they felt the need of such troops far less often than the British.

     

     

    #135646
    Patrice
    Participant

    The distinction is not clear for the general French public either, especially for people who don’t know much military history etc. Many years ago for National Service (then compulsory) I served in the 1er RAMa (1er Régiment d’Artillerie de Marine) it was 30 kms of Paris (and looked like any other artillery regiment, with 155 AMF3)… But some guys were asking why there was not a ship around!? and once I was on guard at the gate post (and also answering telephone) a lady phoned she wished to talk to her son who had arrived recently, I asked: yes, in which battery? …she answered: “Il est dans la marine !” obviously she thought he was now wearing a Navy uniform with a red pompon…

    OTOH, the “fusiliers marins” who are officially sailors have sometimes served as an infantry brigade of two regiments ashore (battle of Dixmude 1914)…

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

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