Napoleon's Red Lancers
Artwork by Patrice
of Napoleon Bonaparte's most elite units were the courageous and
dashing men of the scarlet-clad Dutch Red Lancers. Even among
the great units of the era, their loyalty and professionalism
stood them apart.
hussars and part of the bodyguard of the Dutch royal family, the
Red Lancers gained their fearsome new weapons after 1810 when
Holland was absorbed by France.
was originally a bit of a problem, usually caused by high spirits
more than anything else, but the arrival of the strict Baron Eduoard
Colbert as regimental colonel began an association with Napoleon
and the Imperial Guard that made the Lancers a legend.
covered themselves with glory during the ill-fated 1812 invasion
of Russia, suffering huge losses, but iron discipline and unit
pride ensured the survival of the regiment.
in 1813 and 1814 they distinguished themselves with bravery and
loyalty and again showed the feared Russian cossacks they could
not be taken lightly.
Waterloo, it was the Red Lancers that escorted Napoleon away from
the scene of his army's destruction.
Napoleon's Red Lancers, Ronald Pawly, has given us a superb
look at one of the great military regiments of the Napoleonic
is regarded as the leading authority on the regiment and he has
packed in a wealth of detail on its leaders, particularly Eduoard
Colbert, its origins, training, weaponry and campaigns.
are some wonderful black-and-white portraits of the Red Lancers'
officers and Patrice Courcelle's colour artwork is rich with uniform
Red Lancers will fit very nicely on any Napoleonic buffs home
PO Box 140,