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Help needed- French Napoleonic 3rd Hussars

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Cannonball, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Cannonball A Fixture

    Hi everyone. I’m after a bit of help with regards to the campaign uniform of the French 3rd Hussars during the Napoleonic period. I’ve just made a start on the Mitches 120mm Hussar by Moz Corry and was just checking the uniform colours, facing colours etc when I noticed a reference suggesting that the dolman/pelisse for this regiment had 5 rows of buttons and not the three depicted on the figure. Bukhari’s Napoleons Cavalry says only the 2nd, 4th,5th,9th and 10th had three rows. I’ve checked some other reference pictures on the net and all seem to be showing 5 rows for this regiment. Can anyone advise whether this was the case throughout the entire period or was there a period where they would have had just the three rows? Could always add the extra rows if necessary as I do fancy tackling the colour combo portrayed but interested to know.

    The figure is a cracker by the way with some great detailing.

    Neal.
  2. arj A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Neal,

    This scan is from Rousselot's "Napoleon's Army 1790 - 1815":-

    3rd Hussars.jpg

    Looking through the pages showing 5 or 3 rows of buttons, the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th have 5 rows.
    The 2nd, 5th 6th, 7th and 12th have 3 rows.
    Therefore, either Bukhari or Rousselot has got it wrong. Could even be that both have made mistakes.
    A third source would be most useful.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
  3. Cannonball A Fixture

    Hi Andrew, thanks for the prompt response. Just goes to show what a minefield these uniforms can be. Thanks for the reference pics.

    Neal.
  4. Nap Forum Moderator

    Country:
    England
    Hi Neal

    A minefield indeed these might help...will try and dig further tommorow !

    Nap

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
  5. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks Nap. The second picture is the one that comes with the figure in the box and seems to show or suggest three rows of buttons whereas the one above is clearly going to be 5. I’m sure you’ll come to the rescue.

    Neal.
  6. arj A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I finally found another French reference in this book:-

    Hussars MPR.jpg

    The following table has a note which has a reference to rows of buttons:-

    Hussars.jpg

    I put the note through Google for a translation:-

    NOTES: In order to make the above chart, we were inspired by contemporary drawings, paintings or uniforms made during the period 1806 to 1808 (except, of course, for the 11th regiment) . We also noted that the trousers' braiding forms a Hungarian knot on the 1st, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 11th hussars and simply a reversed spike on the 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th regiments. The dolmans and pelisses have five rows of buttons on the 1st; 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th hussars. The others, the 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 7th regiments, have only three rows. In the first hussars, the breeches became scarlet, with Hungarian knot of white thread, from 1808. Also, from 1808, the braids and rank insignia on pelisses and dolmans of the 8th hussars are mixtures of red and green; the woven cord of the shako turns red. The 11th regiment will have a "French" harness in the spring of 1812: in the meantime, it finishes using its old Dutch schabraques of dark blue cloth trimmed with yellow.

    The five row list tallies with Rousselot, as does the three rows list, apart from the 12th Regt., which appears to have been forgotten.

    Hope that helps,

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Nap likes this.
  7. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks again Andrew for the further info, really appreciated.

    Neal
  8. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    My sources confirm those quoted above. With reference to the Men At Arms volume, Bukhari concurs with Rousselot's version on page 6 of the book, it is Angus McBride's illustrations which are at variance with this. This is strange as normally his research is impeccable.

    Of course, as ever there is plenty of scope for non-regulation kit in the field. In Spain and after 1812. for example, the supply of uniforms was a real issue for the French and it is quite possible that the 3rd could have ended up with 3 button dolmans if the 5 button version was in short supply. A quick change of colour and off you go! Presumably the 3 button version was cheaper to produce too. They weren't slow in using clothing captured from the enemy either, so theoretically several variations might be possible.

    Notwithstanding, this looks like a nice figure and there is potential for painting it as a 3 button regiment if you don't want to take liberties with documented sources.
    Cannonball likes this.
  9. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    My sources for the 3rd Hussar regiment are absolutely unique: 5 buttons in a row on Pelisse and Dolman!

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]#

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]


    Cheers
    Cannonball likes this.
  10. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks for the reply Richard, really appreciate the effort.

    Neal
  11. Cannonball A Fixture

    Martin, thanks very much for the reply. Some great reference material there. Really appreciate your efforts.

    Neal.
  12. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    Martin,

    You should write a book!
  13. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Hi Richard!

    I did, resp. I'm doing! I've written four ones up to now and are writing my fifth one - but no one about the napoleonic times...

    1. A historic novel about the Baltic Fleet during the Russo-Japanese war (Title: "Nossi Bé", written 2012 - unpublished yet)
    2. The history of the Cossacks from the medieval ages to present days (was published 2014 online, but only with very little response) :cry:
    3. Russian Anniversaries - one historic event for each day in the year (2016 published in my forum)
    4. The Last 100 Days of the Third Reich, not enmding with Hitler's suicide but up to May 31, 1945 (the day, the Allied banned the Nazi party - 2018 published in my forum). Exactely the events and names of one day matching to current data)
    5. Now I work on a book about The Warsaw Uprising (1. August to 2. October 1944) - like the fourth one exactely the events and names of each day with many photos matching with our current data (published right now in my forum)

    Cheers
    Nap likes this.
  14. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    Martin,

    You're clearly a talented guy, much respect to you!

    R
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  15. Nap Forum Moderator

    Country:
    England
    Found this picture in FB group


    image.jpeg

    Great hussar reference anyway !


    Can't argue with that comment ...Martin you should do a Napoleonic uniform book ...perhaps Russian officers in the palaces


    Nap
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  16. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    Looks pretty conclusive. The green overalls are interesting.
  17. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I’m going to try and add the two extra sets of buttons to make it a 5 row dolman. As for the green overalls Richard, I think I read somewhere that all the regiments were supposed to take them up as of the 1812 regs but true to form the regiments were protective of their existing uniforms/distinctions and invariably ignored the requirement to change.


    Neal
    Nap likes this.
  18. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    Yes indeed, it fits with my previous point about regiments wearing a rag-tag of uniforms after 1812, depending on what was available rather then what the manual said. Equally, your point about old regimental distinctions being jealously preserved is a good one.

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