Airfix 01736 Waterloo French Cavalry

Waterloo French Cavalry - Image 1
Scale: 1:72
Manufacturer: Airfix
Product code: afx01736
Availability: out of stock
Last available: 28.1.2009
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Basic information

Product codeafx01736
Weight:0.10 kg
Size23 mm
Number of elements32
Added to catalog on:30.10.2004

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on June 18, 1815 and was the last battle commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte with the French forces. It is assumed that on the French side, about 65,000 soldiers and 250 guns took part in the battle, while on the Anglo-Dutch and Prussian sides, a total of about 123,000 men, with about 160 guns (excluding Prussian artillery) fought. The French side was led, of course, by the emperor of the French, the allies - Arthur Wellesley, Fr. Wellington, and the Prussians - Gebhard von Blücher. British-Dutch troops, awaiting the arrival of the Prussians, but also based on the experiences of Fr. Wellington, learned from the fighting in Spain, adopted a defensive stance, and their position was supported by farm buildings. The battlefield with boggy ground, soaked with water after intense rainfall, also favored the defenders, as it made it difficult to develop a cavalry attack. The battle began around 11.30 with the French artillery cannonade, and later - with the attacks of the French infantry on the British-Dutch positions. Initially, the fight for the Hougomont farm was fought, but later also on the right flank and in the center of the Allied formation. The next phase of the battle was the British cavalry charges, which were intended to relieve the fighting infantry, which initially brought great success to the British, but were finally repulsed with considerable losses. Despite fierce fighting and attacks led by Marshal Ney, around 4.30 pm, the British positions seemed to be intact, and the Prussians, commanded by Gebhard von Blücher, were already approaching the battlefield. Finally, around 19.30, the 1st Prussian Corps entered the fight - it meant that the scales of victory were tilted towards the allies, despite the Old Guard's attack on British positions. The immediate aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo was Napoleon's abdication and the end of the Napoleonic era in the history of Europe.

During the revolutionary wars (1792-1799) and - especially - in the Napoleonic period (1799-1815), France probably had the most efficient war machine on the Old Continent, which almost led to its lasting hegemony over Europe. It will be a truism to say that the key element of this machine was the French army. Cavalry played a very important role in this army. In its ranks, as independent regiments, cuirassier units appeared only during the Consulate period (1799-1804), the first of which were formed from the so-called heavy cavalry in the years 1801-1802. In 1803, the number of cuirassier regiments was set at twelve. Until 1807, the cuirassier regiment consisted of about 780 men divided into four squadrons, two companies each. On the other hand, since 1807, the cuirassier regiment had 5 squadrons and 1040 full-time men. The basic French armament of cuirassiers was the AN IX broadsword (until 1805), and later it was replaced with the AN XI broadsword. The secondary weapons were AN IX cavalry pistols weighing 1.29 kilograms and caliber 17.11 mm. Later, the AN XI pistols also began to be used. They wore iron helmets on their heads, and the body was protected by a cuirass composed of a backplate and a breastplate. As a curiosity, it can be mentioned that in the years 1805-1815 as many as three types of cuirasses were used, which, however, differed slightly from each other. French cuirassiers were classic heavy cavalry, suitable primarily on the battlefield, but having little importance in recognizing or leading the so-called little war. The best commanders of this formation include, for example, General d'Hautpoul, who distinguished himself especially at Austerlitz (1805), and General Espagne, who did a great job in the Battle of Caldiero.

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Added to catalog on: 30.10.2004
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