Hussards were the most flamboyant troop type du 18e et early 19e siècle. Their richly braided dolmans et fur-edged pelisses came in a variety of distinctive colours et facings. European armies modelled their hussar formations on the famous hussards hongrois serving the Habsburg Empire, light cavalry mounted on small et sturdy horses, capable of scouting behind enemy lines, raiding et cutting supply lines.
In the first half du 18e siècle, irregular hussar formations received little ou no pay for their services, they were encourage to loot et pillage, sharing the booty among officiers et soldats. Deserters et hommes in trouble avec the law were welcome to join the hussars, no questions asked. The regiment would protect these recruits from the authorities, expecting absolute loyalty in return. These mounted bandits brought a certain criminal expertise to the regiment which could be very useful at times.
Many of the early hussar formation were of little value in battle. Discipline was lax et officiers needed to formally consult avec their hommes before an attack could be launched. If the enemy resisted, these irregulars were likely to withdraw rather than risk pertes. L’impératrice Marie-Thérèse de Habsbourg had a number of excellent régiments de hussards hongrois in her army, they routinely out-scouted their counterparts prussiens et cut enemy supply lines on a number of occasions.
Frederick the Great realized that he needed to improve la cavalerie légère prussiene if they were to protect his army during the coming campaigns. He also wanted to use the hussars in battle, if necessary. Accordingly, numerous regular hussar units were raised, et they drew their replacements from dragoon et cuirassier regiments. Hussar officiers participated in regular exchange et training programs avec the dragoons, learning to employ their hommes in close order formations et charges avec the sabre in hand. Generals like Kleist et Zieten started their careers in the dragoons et cuirassiers before they joined hussar regiments et rose to fame. That promotion in the hussars was based on ability more often than on seniority and noble birth had a positive impact on unit quality. Capable commoners joined up et rose to leadership positions which would not normally have been available to them.
When Napoléon Bonaparte became Emperor of France on 18 Mai 1804 his army included 10 hussar regiments. Le 11e (Hollandais) Régiment joined en 1810 when les provinces hollandaises were annexed. That same year, several squadrons of the 9th regiment were used as cadres to form a new 12th regiment en Espagne. En 1813, following the disastrous Campagne de Russie, a 13th regiment was recruited in Rome et Firence, it was amalgamated avec the 14e (Croate) Régiment later that year.
The Italeri figurines are shown in typical hussar uniform, which remained virtually unchanged between 1790 et 1815. What dates these figurines is the conical shako which was worn from 1804 until 1813. In the period before 1804, mirliton hats were worn. In 1812 a cylindrical shako was introduced in the 6th et 8th hussar regiments, which became a standard item for all hussars units en 1813–1814.
17 cavaliers en 9 poses – 24 mm correspondent à 173 cm hauteur de corps
- Officier in Full Dress
- Trompette in Campaign Dress
- Hussard in full dress (6)
- Hussard wearing Dolman (5)
- Hussard wearing Pelisse (4)
18 chevaux en 5 poses – 22 mm correspondent à 15.2 mains
- Excellent detail. Fur edging, buttons, braid, tresses hongroises, belts, buckles, metal fittings, sabre hilts, stirrups, horse furniture et many other items are clearly visible.
- Riders fit onto their horses very well et they have their legs pressing intothe flanks of the mount.
- Beautiful horses, correctly proportioned, saddled et harnessed.
- Useful historic poses. The figurines may be deployed in attacking units, wearing parade ou campaign dress.
- L’officier et six hommes are in parade dress, wearing culotte hongroise. Le trompette et neuf hommes sont en tenue de campagne, wearing overalls, some without pelisse and others avec pelisse worn over the dolman. The variety of dress is acceptable, considering that dress codes were taken less seriously in the hussars. However, the expensive culotte hongroise were not worn in the field, except par officiers who could afford this luxury.
- Riders are shown wearing four different styles of shako plates. A nice touch, allowing the collectioniste to portray changes in uniform styles over time. Despite this variety in head-dress, the cylindrical shako has been omitted, an unfortunate oversight.
- All figurines are equipped avec the elaborately embroidered et very expensive full dress sabretasche which was replaced by a black leather version avec regimental number on campaign.
- Interesting historical topic. These multi-purpose figurines make hussars of many nations et early Chasseurs á Cheval français en uniforme à la hussarde. The horses avec sheepskin chabraques are suitable light cavalry mounts for hussars, chasseurs et lancers.
- Good casting quality, although there is some flash on shakos et sword arms.
- Four of the five horse poses are somewhat exaggerated, two of the animals seem to want to rear avec three legs still off the ground. Two other horses are ambling at full gallop, an impossible combination. The fifth pose is nearly correct, avec the animal at full gallop et about to place one front hoof on the ground, but avec front legs spread much too far apart. Displayed in formation, these horses do look very nice et the incorrect gaits are much less noticeable. Italeri is well advised to address these obvious motor coordination problems in future releases.
- Porte-aigle not included. One of the figurine poses is suitable for conversion, simply by removing the carbine from the right hand et replacing it avec a flagpole made from 0.6 mm pianowire. L’Aigle may be taken from l’Infanterie Française de chez Italeri. Squadron standards measure 9 × 9 mm square, ou 9 × 10 mm swallow-tailed. Regiments carried one eagle et several squadron colours.
- Standing et walking horses not included. Hussar vedettes, patrols et escorts usually executed their mounted duties at a walk ou halted et observing. Troopers often dismounted et led their horses across difficult terrain, they wrapped the hoofs avec rags to reduce noise et facilitate infiltration. Skirmishers fired from horseback, halting the horse to improve their aim. Alternatively, quelques hommes might dismount et steady their carbines by firing them across the ridge of the saddle.
- Officier’s mount not included. Sheepskin chabraques were used by the men, officiers received cloth chabraques in the colour of the dolman et laced in the button colour. Alternatively, pantherskin chabraques were used, avec the head of the stuffed animal placed directly behind the saddle. Revell’s Chasseurs á Cheval figurine set includes such a horse et it may be used for the hussars as well. Otherwise, it may be assumed that the officer has lost his horse in battle et temporarily acquired a new mount from a trooper in his unit.
- Seven of the nine troopers in campaign dress do not carry a carbine, even though this was a standard issue weapon.
- Elite Company hussars are not included. Régiments de hussards français consisted of four squadrons of two companies each. La 1re compagnie du 1r escadron était la compagnie d’élite, et ses troupiers étaient distingués by curved sabres et fur colpaks. In later years, elite shakos were introduced which had red trim et chevrons, red plumes et cords. One of the Italeri hussars is wearing a shako avec cords attached et he may be painted as an elite trooper even though his sabre is not curved correctly.
- Incorrect painting instruction on the box. The coloured edging on the chabraques should be red (light blue for the 5th regiment). Cloak rolls behind the saddle should be edged in button colour, white in this case. Regimental numbers were attached to the side of the cloak roll, using lace in the button colour. The officer’s collar is correct, sky blue avec white edging, but the troopers are shown avec incorrect red edging. The trumpeter should be in reversed colours, red dolman avec blue facings, usually mounted on a grey horse avec black sheepskin chabraque. Unfortunately, he actual model of the trumpeter is wearing the pelisse over the dolman so that the reversed colours will not be visible.
- Uniform confusion on the box. The troopers are shown in the 1808 chasseur á cheval uniform, without braiding on the chest et avec long turnbacks. Seul l’officier est correctement habillé en hussard. Might this be an indication that Italeri plans to release chasseurs á cheval of the line as well? They would be a welcome addition to the growing range of Napoleonic troop types, particularly because these troupiers de la cavalerie de ligne portaient un uniforme standard which would lend itself to many interesting conversion.
- Hussards Français, 1804–1813
|1re||bleu ciel||bleu ciel||rouge||bleu ciel||blanc||bleu ciel|
|2e||marron||marron||bleu ciel||marron||blanc||bleu ciel|
|5e||bleu ciel||bleu ciel||blanc||blanc||jaune||bleu ciel|
|9e||rouge||bleu clair||bleu clair||bleu clair||jaune||bleu clair|
|10e||bleu ciel||rouge||rouge||bleu ciel||blanc||bleu ciel|
|12e||rouge||bleu clair||bleu clair||bleu clair||blanc||bleu clair|
|13e||marron||bleu clair||bleu ciel||marron||blanc||bleu ciel|
|14e||bleu ciel||chamois||chamois||bleu ciel||blanc||gris fer|
|Buttons in the colour of the braiding, except for the 3rd regiment which had white buttons. Black fur edging on the pelisse (white for the 11th regiment). Red barrel sashes with knots in the braiding colour, except for the 3rd (red/white), 8th (red/green) and 11th regiment (red/white with a vertical blue stripe). Pompom on the shako in squadron colours: 1st squadron red, 2nd sky-blue, 3rd orange and 4th violet. Trumpeters wore the dolman in reversed colours (hidden underneath the pelisse in this model), and they rode grey horses with black sheepskin shabraques. The 5th (light blue) 6th, 8th and 13th regiment (red) had coloured shakos with black trim, later replaced by coloured cylindrical shakos without trim. Bags of the colpak were red (1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th regiment), sky-blue (2nd, 5th, 9th, 12th and 13th regiment) or white (3rd regiment).|
- Gardes d’honneur françaises, 1813–1814
- Hussards Westphaliens, 1807–1813
- 8e (Belges) Hussards, 1814–1815
Possibilités de Conversions
- Hussards Français, 1790–1804 (Mirliton hats from Revell’s Hussards Prussiens)
- Hussards de la République Suisse 1798–1800 (Mirlitons)
- 4e, 5e, 6e, 10e et 27e Chasseurs á Cheval français, 1805–1814. Ces unités portaient un uniforme à la hussarde sans pelisse, et without sabretasche after 1805. The uniform á la hussarde should have been replaced by the surtout, but some regiments held on to it for a long time, the 27e Chasseurs until 1814.
|No.||Dolman||Culotte||Collet||Distinctives||Bordure de Chabraque|
|Les trompettes portaient reversed colours, they rode grey horses avec black sheepskin chabraques. White edging on collars et cuffs, braiding et buttons for all regiments. Pompons en couleur d’escadron: 1re escadron rouge, 2e bleu clair, 3e orange et 4e violet.|
- Chasseurs à cheval nassoviens, 1804–1810 (casque Raupenhelm avec green plume)
- Hussards Badenois, 1806–1812 (Horses avec cloth chabraques from Revell’s Chasseurs)
- 6e (Hollandais) Hussards 1814–1815 (cloth chabraques comme ci-dessus)
- Hussards Bavarois 1815 (cloth chabraques comme ci-dessus)
Following the Carabiniers français, grenadiers hongrois, et Pavlovski Grenadiers russes, Italeri has added another interesting topic to its growing line of Napoleonic troops. Hussards français are among the most interesting et colourful troops of this era et they are an important part of any miniature collection. Italeri deserves much praise for their innovative product line. Joueurs de guerre et collectionistes will require many boxes of these lovely figurines, virtually ensuring market success for the manufacturer.
- Knötel-Sieg: Manuel d’Uniformologie, pp. 171-174
- Funcken, L. & F.: L’Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats du Premier Empire, pp. 64-69
- Haythornthwaite, Philip: Uniformes de 1812, tableau 8
- Allevi, Piersergio: Zinnsoldaten (Novara 2006), p. 21, 134, 153
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