Infanterie de Ligne Italienne des Guerres Napoléoniennes, 1807–1814

Royaume d’Italie, 1re Régiment d’Infanterie soclé pour Volley & Bayonet

The figurines pictured here are from the 1r Régiment d’Infanterie, Royaume d’Italie ca. 1812. The fusiliers are Italeri figurines, painted straight from the box, without conversion. Le grenadier de ligne est un grenadier de la Garde impériale d’ESCI avec his trousers painted over, to resemble the long gaiters worn by the other figurines. Voltigeurs may be converted by mounting a line fusilier shakos on guard grenadier figurines.

Suitable Figures

  • Infanterie Française, 1/72 Italeri 6002
  • Infanterie Française, 1/72 ESCI P-227
  • Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde impériale, 1/72 ESCI P-214
  • Grenadiers à Pied de la Garde impériale, 1/72 Revell 02570


Infanterie de ligne italienne was originally organized on the 1805–1807 pattern française. Line bataillons had nine companies, seven of fusiliers, et one each of grenadiers et voltigeurs. Company strength was set at 123 hommes each, but this was rarely achieved on campaign. Infantry regiments consisted of two line bataillons plus one depot bataillon of four fusilier companies. En 1808, l’organisation de l’infanterie de ligne italienne changed to the 1807 pattern français. Company strength remained unchanged, but the line bataillons now had only four companies of fusiliers, et one each of grenadiers et voltigeurs. Jim Getz et Scott Bowden, authors of the popular Empire simulation game, rate l’infanterie de ligne italienne as veteran troops in the 1810–1812 period, avec line grenadiers et voltigeurs one level above the fusiliers.


En 1806, l’infanterie de ligne italienne adopted l’uniforme à la française avec pointed lapels, changing its uniform colour from green to white at the same time. Fusiliers continued to wear the bicorn until is was replaced by the shako française en 1807. Shako cords were white, but they were not worn in the field after 1810. Les cocardes were green-red-white, et pompons français were worn pour distinguer les compagnies de fusiliers. Equipment was of typical pattern français.

New flags similar to the 1804 pattern français were authorized to replace the old republican flags, but they don’t seem to have been issued until 1808. Accordingly, from 1805–1808, l’infanterie de ligne italienne may not have carried flags at all. The flags issued en 1808 had red et green corner triangles, et a white center. Deux types de drapeau existed, l’un en design italien, et l’autre à la française comme ceux like issued a l’infanterie de la Garde italienne stationed en France at the time.

Fusiliers italiens may be recruited by painting figurines d’Infanterie Française de chez Italeri (No. 6002) in the correct colours. The new habit-veste français de 1812 was not introduced in the armée italienne until 1813, et then only in small numbers. Les troupes italiennes marched into la Russie en 1812 still wearing the older uniform et the long gaiters. In the course de la Campagne de Russie, the gaiters were made more comfortable by cutting them down to below the knee. They were worn above ou below loose fitting trousers, then a popular fashion in most armies. It would be perfectly acceptable to employ les figurines d’Italeri comme fusiliers italiens in the period de 1807 au 1814. Les fusiliers italiens de 1806 may be created by mounting bicorne hats on these same figurines. Another alternative would be to convert figurines de la Garde impériale en capote de chez Revell to infanterie de ligne italienne.


Grenadiers were shock troops attached to the bataillon d’infanterie de ligne. La compagnie de grenadiers deployed on the right of the line, ou on the right flank of an attack column. Grenadiers of several bataillons in a brigade might be converged on occasion to form an elite bataillon for an assault ou strongpoint defence. If Italeri fusiliers are used to form a bataillon, the most compatible grenadier types will be the grenadiers de la Garde impériale de chez ESCI. These figurines are obviously created by the same sculptor, et they mix very well.

Les grenadiers de ligne italiens adopted the new uniforme blanc à la française avec red epaulettes, et le bonnet à poil en 1806. If Italeri fusiliers et ESCI grenadiers are mixed, one obvious inconsistency will be that the latter already wear the short gaiters underneath loose trousers. This mixture of styles would be acceptable dans la Campagne de Russie de 1812. If used avant 1812, the easiest conversion would be to paint long gaiters over the grenadiers’ trousers. The result looks very convincing, as can be seen in the picture above.


Voltigeurs were trained light infantry attached to the line bataillon comme tirailleurs. Voltigeurs italiens portaient the same uniforme français de 1806 as the grenadiers italiens, but avec green epaulettes, et a fusilier shako instead du bonnet à poil. The conversion is very easy: Select the required grenadier pose, cut the grenadier’s head off above the collar, insert 0,3 mm piano wire into the figurine’s neck, et mount a similarly cut fusilier shako on the figurine. The seam between the head et the figurine may be disguised avec PVA glue. The voltigeurs are probably the first figurines to adopt the more comfortable short gaiters. For a more uniform look, paint long gaiters over the trousers as before.

Couleurs Distinctives des Régiments d’Infanterie Italiens, 1806–1815

Régiment Collet Revers Parements Patte de Parement Retroussis Boutons
1st vert; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc vert; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc laiton
2nd blanc; passepoil rouge rouge; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil rouge rouge; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil rouge laiton
3rd rouge; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc laiton
4th rouge; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert blanc; passepoil vert vert; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert étain
5th rouge; passepoil blanc vert; passepoil blanc vert; passepoil blanc rouge; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert étain
6th blanc; passepoil vert vert; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert vert; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert laiton
7th vert; passepoil blanc blanc; passepoil vert rouge; passepoil blanc n.a. blanc; passepoil vert étain
Les Fusiliers portaient le shako avec brass plate, white cords (until 1810), cocarde verte-rouge-blanche, et pompon de compagnie à la française (1re vert, 2e bleu ciel, 3e orange, 4e violet).
Les Grenadiers portaient le bonnet à poil avec brass plaque, red plume, et white cords (until 1810). Line infantry uniform avec red epaulettes, et white sabre straps.
Les Voltigeur portaient le shako avec brass plaque, green plume tipped yellow, et green cords. Line infantry uniform avec green epaulettes avec yellow crescent, et green sabre straps.
Les Tambours had uniforms avec swallow’s nests in the facing colour, edged avec green-white-red lace which was also worn on cuffs et collars.
Les Officiers portaient the same uniform as the hommes in their company, avec silver epaulettes.

Déploiement Historique

  • 1806 - Prusse (1r Infanterie de Ligne, Pietro Teulie’s Division)
  • 1807 - Prusse (1re et 4e Infantreie de Ligne)
  • 1808 - Espagne (4e - 8e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1809 - Espagne (4e - 8e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1809 – Autriche (1re - 4e, et 7e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1810 - Espagne (4e - 8e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1811 - Espagne (4e - 8e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1812 - Espagne (4e - 8e Infanterie de Ligne)
  • 1812 - Russie (2e et 3e Infanterie de Ligne, 4 Bataillons each, IV Corps)
  • 1813 – Allemagne (1re, et 4e - 7e Infanterie de Ligne, IVth Corps)
  • 1813 – défense d’Italie contre l’Autriche
  • 1814 – défense d’Italie contre l’Autriche, until Napoleon’s abdication
  • 2 Mai 1815 – Bataille de Tolentino

L’armée du Royaume d’Italie served in most of the campagnes importantes des Guerres Napoléoniennes, even if it was a relatively small contingent. Many more Italiens served in the 30 régiments d’infanterie et 16 de cavalerie français which were assigned recruiting districts en Italie. Joueurs de Guerre et collectionistes will find l’armée italienne very attractive, because it includes a nice variety of Napoleonic troops types, et it is not too large to complete in a lifetime. Most historic campaigns require fewer than five line infantry regiments, of which le 4e Régiment d’Infanterie is the most actively involved unit.

Questions Fréquents

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Figurines des Guerres Napoléoniennes