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Re: Old Guard on the March

#Roger Taking the middle road seems indeed to be the best approach. I finally found one eyewitness account (by ensign Macready of the 30th Foot) describing the attack of the Middle Guard "with their red epaulettes and cross belts put on over their blue great coats ...". Most authors agree that the 3./4. Grenadiers and Chasseurs being newly formed, didn't have regulation uniform. Not so sure about the Old Guard proper. The 1st and 2nd regiments were all veterans including the Elba troops who never discarded their guard uniforms.

Re: Old Guard on the March

Roger W
These are wonderfully painted and displayed. Credit to you Paul. Makes me want get my Imperial Guard boxes out and start painting!!

As for the French wearing greatcoats on the day, I have chosen to represent my battalions with a mix of some wearing and some not wearing them. Catering for both eventualities.

I too find it odd that anyone would want to wear a soaked and heavy thick coat on a hot day, but as said, it does seem as some troops did indeed wear them.
Could this be due to perhaps not having a full uniform underneath from being mobilised so quickly?
I suspect that a combination of practicality and desire for a uniform appearance for the whole of the Guard were the things that drove the wearing of the blue greatcoat by the Old and Middle Guard at Waterloo.

From the viewpoint of practicality: The 'best' way to dry a sodden greatcoat after the storms of the night of 17/18 June would probably wear it! Stacking wet greatcoats in a pile would result in a sodden, smelly mass of wool, and any old soldier of the Napoleonic Wars would have a pretty good sense for what worked and what did not 'on campaign'.

From the viewpoint of uniformity: The blue greatcoat was, probably, the one item that almost all of the Old and Middle Guard had issued to them. We know that the Middle Guard was poorly uniformed during the campaign, and it is reasonable to assume that some of the Guard, and quite a lot of the line, went to war in the Hundred Days without a uniform jacket (habit) but did have a greatcoat. The blue greatcoat with epaulettes would probably give a better and more uniform appearance than the rag-tag of old style uniforms, newer post-Bardin jackets, and plain shirts worn underneath.

Re: Old Guard on the March

Thank you chaps for the compliments. I painted these as a welcome change from the desert lads and anyway I like to do the odd Napoleonic set. As you can well imagine I didn't envisage the overcoat controversy. In my defence I was only looking towards putting the marching figures in some kind of setting, perhaps marching towards the sound of the guns. I may have got a little carried away when raiding the toy box for casualties.
On the whole I felt that that they were nice figures to paint with the exception of the officer who I felt wouldn't have looked out of place in a Monty Python sketch.

Re: Old Guard on the March

#Paul I certainly didn't intend to start a controversy here or critize your choice of uniforms. After all there's enough room for interpretation here and besides it's still a hobby and everybody is free to do what he likes. It was just a question intended to start an exchange of educated guesses among enthusiasts and it think that's what it should always be.

Re: Old Guard on the March

Let me assure you I wasnt in the least offended. I was just explaining that if you thought theres any plan behind the scenario there wasn't.
I am in admiration of those of you that have the knowledge to consider whether a coat was worn on the day. However I'm sure the lads would be pleased to have those coats in Russia.
This is a friendly website (in the main) and I'm more amused by the sometimes heated arguments than otherwise. I wouldn't have a problem with asking for advice on this site, whereas on others I would have a certain hesitancy. The thing is for those of us that are not from a wargaming background this is quite a solitary hobby and I am pleased to view and have viewed the contributions and subsequent comments.
So thank you.

Re: Old Guard on the March

Dont worry Paul, no controversy here. Just a general discussion about if the French really did wear soaking wet, heavy greatcoats at Waterloo, so in no way aimed at your excellent painted figures.
I too have some guard infantry in greatcoats, some line battalions too.
I like the look of greatcoated French mixed together with the regular uniformed troops, gives an impression of how quickly they were mobilised and obviously the change from it being an imperial army to royal, only to go back to imperial again.

Re: Old Guard on the March

Dear Paul,

Beautifully painting, basing and presentation of these fine figures.

I tried to post a comment this morning our time, but got a message that the forum was 'full'. Pleased that it is not now!

Regards, James