From its origins as the Consular Guard of the French Republic, and as Napoleon’s personal bodyguard, the Imperial Guard developed into a force of all arms numbering almost 100,000 men. Used by Napoleon as his principal tactical reserve, the Guard was engaged only sparingly, being deployed at the crucial moment of battle to turn the tide of victory in favor of the Emperor of the French.
Naturally, the Imperial Guard has been the subject of numerous books over many decades, yet there has never been a publication that has investigated the uniforms and equipment of the infantry of the Imperial Guard in such detail and with such precision. The author has collected copies of almost all the surviving documents relating to the Guard, which includes a vast amount of material regarding the issuing of dress items, in some instances down to company level.
This information is supported by an unrivaled collection of illustrations, many of which have never been published before, as well as images of original items of equipment held in museums and private collections across the globe. In addition, the renowned military artist, Keith Rocco, has produced a series of unique paintings commissioned exclusively for this book.
This glorious book is, and will remain, unsurpassed as the standard work on the clothing and equipment of the Imperial Guard, and will not only be invaluable to historians, but also reenactors, wargamers and modelers. It is one of the most important publications ever produced on this most famous of military formations.