Napoleon’s Dragoons of the Imperial Guard

Napoleon’s Dragoons of the Imperial Guard

Men-at-Arms 480
  • Author: Ronald Pawly
  • Illustrator: Patrice Courcelle
  • Short code: MAA 480
  • Publication Date: 20 Apr 2012
  • Number of Pages: 48
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About this Product

Dressed in distinctive green uniforms and classically inspired copper helmets, the Dragoons of the Imperial Guard were raised in 1806 by the same criteria as other Guard units - by selection of picked, literate veterans from Line regiments who had six to ten years of service, and citations for bravery in at least two campaigns. The following year they were named Dragons de l'Impératrice in a unique compliment to the Empress Josephine. As a ceremonial regiment it enjoyed many privileges, but it also saw combat on a number of occasions, including the battles of Essling and Wagram (1809), the Russian campaign (1812, when it suffered severe losses), at Bautzen, Wachau and Leipzig (1813), in the 1814 Campaign of France, and at Ligny and Waterloo (1815).

Biographical Note

Ronald Pawly was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1956 and still lives and works in that city. He is a respected member of several international societies for Napoleonic studies, and an expert on 19th-century military portraiture. He is the author of the monumental The Red Lancers: Anatomy of a Napoleonic Regiment (Crowood Press, 1998), and of a study of Napoleonic veterans' tombs in Belgium. This is the eighth volume on the cavalry of Napoleon's Imperial Guard written by Ronald Pawly for Osprey.


Raising the regiment: the Imperial Decree of 15 April 1806 - recruitment
Naming - the Empress Josephine
Uniforms and equipment
1807: the Eylau and Friedland campaign - enlargement of regiment
1808 and 1810: service in Spain
1809: Essling and Wagram campaign
1812: raising and absorption of Young Guard squadron - service in Russia
1813: German campaign; battles of Bautzen, Wachau and Leipzig - reinforcement by regiment of Eclaireurs
1814: Campaign of France - defence of Champagne - battles of Brienne, Champaubert, Montmirail, Château-Thierry, Vauchamps, Montereau, Rheims, Craonne, Arics, St Dizier
Paris - the First Abdication - disbandment and re-raising as Corps Royal de Dragons de France
1815: the Hundred Days - Ligny and Waterloo - final disbandment

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