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.
Read an extract of Napoleon’s Scouts of the Imperial Guard
Table of Contents
Napoleon's dilemma in 1813 - shortage of light cavalry, and frustration of reconnaissance by Russian Cossacks · His solution - the creation of three regiments of Mounted Scouts - organization and numbers, officers · Uniforms & equipment: 1er Regt d'Éclaireurs-Grenadiers - 2e Regt d'Éclaireurs-Dragons - 3e Regt d'Éclaireurs-Lanciers · The Scout regiments in the Campaign of France, 1814