Spanish Army of the Napoleonic Wars by Rene Chartrand, René Chartrand, Bill Younghusband

By Rene Chartrand, René Chartrand, Bill Younghusband

This quantity – protecting the ultimate years of the Peninsular battle and the lengthy trek over the Pyrenees into France – concludes the author’s extraordinary in-depth examine of the military that fought along Wellington’s redcoats through the Peninsular struggle. sooner than 1813 it used to be the Spanish armies that bore the brunt of the combating and this article – according to fundamental examine in Spanish and British documents so one can be new to such a lot readers – fills a wide and long-standing hole in our wisdom of these Napoleonic campaigns that have regularly involved English-speaking scholars of the interval.

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However. kept the old Spanish system mixed with French features: first sergeants had 11\10 woollen epaulettes, second sergeants UlIC, first corporals two laces of the button colour edging thc collar and cuffs, second corporals one lace; g:renadiers had three laces on each clifT and two laces on the collar and grenades on the turn hacks. The tiTlllJ01"eS which were the equivalent of French vOJligeurs had collars of a different and unspecified colow-, probably bull. The cockade was ordered by royal decree of 18 August 1809 to be scadet for all troops of Joseph's army_ Generals On 8 February 1809 the uniform of generals was orrterert (in summary of a long regulation) to be, for full dn:ss, a blue coat without lapels and with scarlel collar, cuffs and lurnbacks, scarlet waistcoat and breeches.

Of these, abo lit half were actually French or of other nationalities; most of the res! were Spaniarcts fOI-cihly impressed into the ranks. The quality and loyalty of such an army could nOl be high. Soldiers desened at [he lIrst opportunity, fully equipped, to a guerrilla band. Indeed, a commoll joke was that Joseph was the clothier of the guerrillas! Some of King Joseph's Spanish troops served faithfully, but French generals always doubted their reliahility. It is of interest to nGle that the Count de Teba, a Spanish officer of the Guard light anillelJ', remaineri loyal to Joseph and found refuge in France; and four decadcs latcr his daughter Eugenic became the Empress o[ France.

The L'rban Trooper of the Gendarmes Lanciers, formed in Spain at the end of 1810 by training two squadrons 01 French mounted gendarmes In Aragon to use lances and light cavalry tactics, In an effort to match the Spanish lancers. They were disbanded in 1814. Tne uniform was a blue coat, blue pointed lapels piped red, red collar, pointed cuffs and tumbacks; white aiguillette; pewter buttons; red hussar waistcoat with white cords; blue hussar breecnes with white cords; boots edged white; black shako with white metal plate and chlnscales and red plume; white belts; red-aver-white lance pennon; blue housings edged with white lace, and white grenade.

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