Napoleon’s last ‘Campaign of France’ in 1814 proved to be one of his most brilliant during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). He relied as never before on committing his elite Imperial Guard cavalry to battle. He raised three new regiments of crack Éclaireurs – ‘Scouts’ – which were attached to the Guard Mounted Grenadiers, Empress’s Dragoons and Polish Lancers respectively which would counterattack the Cossacks and gather vital information. Each regiment had its own style of uniform, but part of each was armed with lances. Although they were short-lived, these Scout units greatly distinguished themselves in the last battles of the collapsing Empire.
About Napoleons Scouts of the Imperial Guard
Driven out of Germany after his defeat at Leipzig in 1813, Napoleon seemed to face disaster. Some 345,000 Allied troops were converging on France from the east; and Napoleon had only about 80,000 men. Most of his veterans had been killed in Russia and Germany, and he was short of cavalry to counter the swarms of Cossacks. For his last and possibly most brilliant campaign, Napoleon raised three regiments of mounted Scouts for his Imperial Guard. Through the story of these units the reader can follow Napoleon’s dazzling manoeuvres in the campaign of 1814; and their widely varied uniforms are reconstructed in meticulously researched colour plates.