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Best French Regiments?

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  • Best French Regiments?

    I am asking the following question because I have absolutely no idea what the answer is. So the question is as follows: Other than Guards regiments were there any regular line Infantry and Cavalary regiments that enjoyed consistent reputations for excellence and bravey during the Napoleonic era?
    Those that forget history are condemed to repeat it.
    If you're going to be one you might as well be a BIG RED ONE

  • #2
    The best French Infantry regiments ( war record and battle honors ):

    The 57th Line regiment ( aka "Le Terible" ) was a legendary unit. Napoleon said: "The terrible 57th which nothing can stop." These words were proudly added to their flag.

    The best Cavalry regiments ( war record and battle honors ):

    I would like to include the 3rd and 5th Cuirassiers.
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)


    • #3
      Or any unit that Marbot served in or that had a good biographer


      • #4

        Somehow the regiments loved him much more than Napoleon loved his regimental soldiers.
        Much as I can admire Napoloen for certain aspects, his disregard for the lives and welfare of his soldiers and his consequently leaving his soldiers in distress: after the debacle in Egypt, Berezina comes even more easily to mind, I wonder what it is in him that kept his soldiers so devoted to him. Was it his charisma or his ability to win battles?
        One would say that a general like Kleber would be much more deserving.

        Distance over 200 years is too great to create a historical bound with a regiment but somehow, because of personal experiences and the stories told with all their brille & panache and the hospitality in the officers mess of the regiment during a week in Bihac in 1993 I always have a liking for the 95th!!
        3 bottles of champagne, 3 wenches and 20 miles on horseback; all in 3 hours!


        • #5
          It's always very difficult for me to designate a 'best' but in that era several stood above the rest to include those cited above...

          my personal favorites include 2nd Rgt of Line..the Polish lancers of his Guard..the 'Sacred Squadron of 1812'...Lasalle's 'Hell Brigade' (5th and 7th Hussars)



          • #6
            Tirailleurs du Pô and Tirailleurs Corses

            The Tirailleurs du Pô were formed in 1803 of northern Italians. According to John Elting "they rapidly became a crack battalion". In 1811 the Tirailleurs du Po were incorporated into French 11e Regiment d'Infanterie Légère. The battalion was commanded by chef (not colonel): in 1803 - by Prince Borghese, 1804 - Cattaneo, 1805 - Hulot, and in 1809 - by Mano. This unit was one of the best in Napoleon's infantry and despite its very short existence fought in several big battles: 1805 - Holabrunn and Austerlitz, 1807 - Heilsberg, 1809 - Herttingen, Reid, Ebersberg, Essling and Wagram.

            "Les Cousins de l'Empereur"
            One of the very best light outfits serving in Napoleon's army was the battalion called Tirailleurs Corses. It was raised in 1803 and Philippe d'Ornano, a Napoleon's cousin (he married Marie Waleska in 1822), was chef de bataillon and they were for this reason nicknamed "les cousins de l'Empereur". It was not an italian battalion like the "Tirailleurs du Po". All the soldiers of Tirailleurs Corses were volunteers and all Corsicans, except one officer (the quartermaster). Its depot company was located in Corsica. According to Docteur Dominique Buresi of Ajaccio who last year wrote a "Story of Corsican regiments of light infantry" (DCL publishing march 2003) several Corsican troops fought during the period of 1792-1815. Six bataillons of chasseurs numbered 3rd, 4th (ex royal chasseurs ) and 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th battalions were drafted in 1793 and they wore blue coats. Six batallions were drafted in 1803, five were send to Naples and the 6th was the Tirailleurs Corses. In 1806 at Eylau after the bloody battle it was down to 400 men (14 officers were killed ! Many Corsicans were enlisted in 1810 to the 1st Mediterranean Regiment. In 1814 the garrison of Elba Island consisted of one battalion of Corsicans. According to Docteur Dominique Buresi this troop fought at Waterloo as 1st battalion of 1er Regiment of Voltigeurs of Young Guard !
            Never Fear the Event

            Admiral Lord Nelson


            • #7
              Thanks everybody.
              Those that forget history are condemed to repeat it.
              If you're going to be one you might as well be a BIG RED ONE


              • #8
                One would have to consider the "Dutch" Regiments and Polish Cavalry. URRAH! The problem with most of the French Line Regiments was they were French! small attempt at humor...

                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


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