Napoleon's Imperial Guard
Imperial Guard was the elite fighting force of Napoleon
Bonaparte's armies made up of brave, experienced troops.
of the Guard
join the Guard you needed to have been a soldier for 10
years, served in at least two campaigns and be of good character.
also needed to be over 5.5 (5.11) French feet to be a grenadier,
or 5.3 feet (5.8 ft) if being a chasseur was your preference.
The black-horsed Guard cavalrymen had to be taller than
was formed from the Consular Guard in 1804 with one regiment
of grenadiers (two battalions of eight companies each) and
a similar formation of Chasseurs a Pied. Two companies (16
guns) of artillery and two of train troops were also incorporated
into the Guard.
bond with the emperor was strengthened by his personal approval
of the design of each detail that went into their uniforms.
He also saw to it that the Guard was better paid, equipped
and looked after than any other force within his armies.
the period 1806 to 1808 the Guard formed two regiments each
of grenadiers and chasseurs, with the service requirements
for the second regiments being lowered to eight years.
artillery also received a boost in 1806 with a regiment
(six companies) of horse artillery as well as a battalion
of train troops and was greatly expanded in 1808.
horse artillery was reduced to 32 guns, but three companies
of foot artillery and three companies of conscript cannon
were formed. The conscript formations later became the Young
is much confusion over what constituted the Old, Middle
and Young Guard units - basically it depended upon time
was made up of officers of the Grenadiers, Chasseurs, Fusiliers
and Seamen as well as colonels, majors and capitains of
the Voltiogeurs, Flanqueurs, Tirailleurs and National Guards.
All troops within the 1st Grenadiers, 1st Chasseurs, Veterans
and Seaman, as well as sergeants of the 2nd Grenadiers,
Chassuers and Fusiliers.
troops of the 3rd Grenadiers, the corporals and troops of
the 2nd Grenadiers, Chasseurs and Fusiliers.
Tirailleurs, Flanquers and National Guards.