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Review for Napoleon's Imperial Guard

Author/Director : Gabriele Esposito

Format : Book

This is a fairly slim volume to cover such a large topic but what it does it does very well. From the book as a whole two things come out very clearly. The first is how personal to Napoleon the Imperial Guard was and secondly how complete an army, albeit a small army, the total guard was. At its core was the infantry added to which were the cavalry, heavy and light including lancers, foot and horse artillery, engineers, sailors and Gendarmerie. The development of this special body of troops is traced from the pre-revolutionary Royal guard through the Consular guard to its final Imperial title. This includes the ebb and flow of its composition always with Napoleon’s personal stamp upon it . The creation and nature of the Old, Middle and Young Guards is clearly spelt out. The use of foreign troops within the Guard e.g. Poles and Mamelukes, continues to draw out the personal connection of Napoleon with his soldiers. The strong focus of the book is on the uniforms which are described in detail and supported by superb illustrations of many of them.
We recommend this book as an eye opening introduction to this special element of the Napoleon myth.

Published by : Pen & Sword Military, 2021
ISBN : 978 1 52678 671 5

Review last updated : 2021-07-30 12:48:12

See also : other "Napoleonic Wars" reviews