So, here they are. The final regiment in the Nappy Cavalry Project of 2015, the French 10th Cuirassiers! They are of the usual very high Zvezda standard and I haven’t experienced too much of the paint flaking that afflicted a previous set.
I’ve enjoyed painting them and, as always, have experimented a little with my painting approach. I’ve used gunmetal for the cuirass base and then highlighted with plenty of silver. The difference to if I’d just gone straight for silver is probably very negligible! Also, I added a little bit of light pink to the nose of the dun-coloured horse of the trumpeter which I think works well. It is a sort of homage in that it mimics the muzzle colour on the dun horse we used to have (called Vogue) before he passed away and we acquired our current one (called Woody).
Ah, the Trumpeter’s horse. I’ve accidentally mounted the trumpeter on a normal trooper’s horse. The flagbearer now has this mount with its black sheepskin. I could just swap them back but both horse and rider seem to have bonded in more ways than one and can’t bear to be parted!
This is the final regiment in the project? Not quite! I was fibbing a little, of course. I’m going to turn my attention next to painting 6 Chasseurs a Cheval of the Imperial Guard (5 mounted and 1 standing) from Italeri’s French Imperial General Staff set. They will act as personal escort to none other than Napoleon himself, whom I shall also be painting. The intention is for old Boney and his escort to review a gathering together of all the regiments in a final end-of-year review / parade. Now for the photos and biographical information on the regiment:
Biography: 1oth Cuirassiers [France]
A regiment of Croats was formed for the French Army in 1643 by Count Jean de Balthazar and took the name “Royal Cravates”. In 1791 this Regiment became the 10th Cavalry Regiment.
In 1792, the regiment was assigned the Army of the Centre and was active from the very inception of the Revolutionary Wars, taking part in the battles of Fleurus, Gosseilies, Valmy and Fleurus. Towards the end of the Revolutionary Wars, the 10th saw fighting at Kreutznach (1795), and Giessen, September 1796, and again in June 1799 at Offenburg. The year 1800 saw 300 men from the regiment take part in the victory at Hohenlinden fought in the snows of a Bavarian winter.
After the conversion to cuirassiers in 1803, the regiment was assigned to the Grand Army under Murat’s reserve cavalry corps. The newly armoured regiment was present at many of Napoleon’s greatest battles: Austerlitz (1805), Jena (1806), Eylau (1807), and Wagram (1809). The 10th Cuirassiers won a battle honour for La Moskowa during the disastrous Russian 1812 campaign.
Fighting in the ‘Battle of the Nations’ at Leipzig in 1813 they embarked on the long campaign leading to Napoleon’s abdication in 1814. During the battle of Vauchamps, cavalry played a significant part with the cuirassiers successfully charging allied squares. Reduced to 1 squadron, they were present in the final battle for Paris itself.
Joining Napoleon for the Belgian campaign of 1815, the 10th were a part of Milhaud’s 4th Reserve Cavalry Corps, (14th division, 1st Brigade) alongside the 5th Cuirassiers. At Ligny, they charged and routed the Prussian cavalry and unhorsing Blucher himself, though they failed to recognise and capture him.
They arrived at Waterloo in 3 squadrons totalling 359 men under Colonel Lahuberdiere. Positioned on the right flank, their division was better equipped and motivated than most. After the Union Brigade charged around 2.30pm, the 10th Cuirassiers, alongside lancers, counter-attacked and badly mauled the British heavy cavalry. Later, the regiment was embroiled in the costly and unsuccessful general cavalry assault upon the Allied squares. After Napoleon’s fall, the regiment was to be formally disbanded later that year.
Notable Battles: Valmy 1792, Fleurus 1794, Austerlitz 1805, Eckmuhl 1809, La Moskova 1812.