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1807 French Uniforms

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:52 pm
by curassier
Eager to get some French to go with my Russians.
I think that part of the interest is that this is a transitional period in terms of uniforms. Can the experts here advise me:

(1) Would I be right to have some units in white uniforms?

(2) Would some units be wearing the shako rather than the bicorne by this time?

All advice gratefully received and thanks again to those who answered my questions on the Russian thread blow.


Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:20 pm
by Gunfreak
Yes, some Regiments would have all white uniforms, like the 17th line(an excuse to do Davouts 3rd corps)

There is some contradictary info on the shako thing, I've seen the said soldiers in white uniforms both in shako and in bicorne, but I think bicorne is more likely, BUT if you want to do french in shako, then those in white uniforms would probebly be the ones that have them, since they got new uniforms and might have gotten a shako to go with them.

Besides that light infantry used shakoes from 1805 and outwards

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:08 pm
by Rob Herrick
The best answer I can give is all of the above.

QM's would tend to distribute the oldest stocks first. Also, I believe uniforms were issued on a pro-rated basis, with some things like headgear and coats being expected to last longer than shirts, breeches, etc. Naturally, things would tend to break or be lost, and thus had to be replaced. You would also get drafts of recruits called up and fed into units as replacements and reinforcements. You would also have men called up from secondary theaters (like the Army of Italy) who had campaigned less and therefore were at their depots more. Finally, uniforms - especially on campaign - were rather flexible in the French army, and a colonel could get away with a lot. Not even Napoleon could get line grenadiers to give up their bearskins, or colonels to give up their Eagles, for example.

So, it's a pretty safe bet that you would have a combination of men with equipment issued in 1805, 1806, and 1807, depending on how well they maintained things, how often they lost things, wounds and injuries, and combat. I believe it's Suchet writing in November 1809 that they'd finally gotten rid of the bicornes and white uniforms.

I personally put my 1809 troops in a mix of bicornes and shakos, and will put a splash of the white uniform in regiments we know were issued them. I think to looks nice on the table and has a very French feel to it.

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:36 am
by curassier
Really helpful - thanks.
Just received the Hourtoulle book recommended in the Russia post below on Friedland and this confirms all of your points. It has nice uniform plates for all sides, including some of the smaller players. Shame there isn't a "modern" style range of early Prussians. The Foundry ones look pretty terrible. Thanks again.

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:20 am
by Anonymous
curassier wrote: ..........Shame there isn't a "modern" style range of early Prussians. The Foundry ones look pretty terrible. Thanks again.
Hi Jon,

how about Elite Miniatures? They have a quite large range of the early Prussians, see the following link ... 201807.htm

Hope that helps



Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:29 pm
by curassier
Thanks for that suggestion Marechal Ney. I will take another look at Elite, though i have always seen them as an old-style range very much in the Peter Gilder mode (no bad thing if you like that style).

I was bemoaning the lack of a more modern or recent range in the Perry/Hicks/ Victrix sort of style. The very poor Foundry offerings have just muddied the water - I really don't know why they bothered. But the more I look at it this is really a fascinating sub-period in the overall Napoleonic era.

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:20 pm
by Ronan the Librarian
I'd be interested to know if this applied during the Napoleonic period as well, but during the Ancien Regime the French army received new/replacement equipment and clothing on a quota basis - for example, new regimental coats were issued to only one man in three in any given year (ie it took three years for every man to receive a new coat). So quite possibly even the units that were issued white coats were not entirely equipped with them by the summer of 1807.

Shakos and coats would come from different suppliers/warehouses, so there would not be any automatic correlation between their issue, unless the regiment itself arranged it.

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:41 pm
by CoffinDodger

I am in the middle of building a white-coated division complete with bicornes:


See what you think.


Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:49 pm
by curassier
Beautiful unit and unusual too.
Front Rank ? I'm going to take a look at the Victrix plastics.
Maybe start with the Old Guard Chasseurs - will I be able to add in the odd Perry figure or are they different in size/build?