During the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), the Cossacks were Russia's unique and plentiful supply of irregular cavalry. They were employed as skirmishers, raiders and scouts, and their tactics of harassment and harrying caused great problems for Napoleon's Grand Armée as it retreated through Russia in 1812. This title shows how, although labelled as rapacious, lascivious, mercenary and ill-disciplined on the field by their detractors, they laid claim to being the finest light cavalry in Europe. This book also details the various tribes that made up the Cossack nation, the social structure of Cossack life, and how they were organised and employed in war.
Read an extract of The Cossacks 1799–1815
Table of Contents
Introduction · Chronology · Enlistment · Training · Appearance and equipment · Everyday life · Experience of battle · Colour plate commentary · Museums · Collecting · Re-enactment · Index