Uniforms and Equipment

Honour Guard.

Although it’s existance was only short lived we do have evidence as to what this uniform looked like.

The Honour Guard was uniformed and equipped as for Polish National Cavalry in Polish National Cavalry colours of blue ‘granat’ uniform with crimson facings. Regulations prescribed a short tailed, high waisted tunic known as a Kurtka [Polish name for jacket], stovepipe trousers [narrowing below the knee to fit tightly around the boot] fastened by laces on the outside of each leg and a Polish four cornered hat or ‘czapka’.

In the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw there exists a kurtka from this period belonging to Ludwig Małachowski of the Warsaw Guard of Honour 1806.

This tunic is the only know example of a kurtka prior to the formation of the regiment of Polish Light Horse in 1807. It displays several features familiar with the national cavalry regulations of 1791 and it can be seen how this tunic was to evolve into the later kurtka.

The tunic is made from blue cloth and measured 39cm in length at the front and 58cm at the rear.

The open collar, lapels, turnbacks and cuffs are of crimson cloth with the lapels being narrower than the later kurtkas. Each lapel fastened on 7 flat tin buttons however there are two buttons below the lapels which fasten from left to right showing a thin 3mm piping edge in crimson on the left side.[similar to that seen in infantry uniforms of the emerging Duchy of Warsaw.] this piping edge then runs into the turnbacks which although triangular from the front run around to the rear of the tunic and are not shaped. The crimson cuffs are different to later models in that the point on them is very shallow and scoops slightly to rise at the rear seam of the tunic. Above each cuff is a single button to fasten the seam opening.

The rear of the Tunic is illustrated by L.Rousselot and shows the crimson piped pockets placed diagonally at the rear of the jacket and fastened by three buttons.

Honour Guard Czapka

The first model of czapka for the 1st.Reg of Light Horse was that worn by the Polish Honour Guard on Napoleon’s entry into Warsaw in 1806.

Two exhibits exist from this period, one in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw and the other in the National museum in Poznan.

The first exhibit is that of an NCO from the Honour Guard and shows all the characteristics of the cavalryman’s czapka.It is solidly constructed with upper sides of crimson fluted cloth 17cm in height. At the front of the czapka is a brass sunray plate similar to the later model adopted by the regiment but with the centre in brass bearing only the ‘N’ cipher.

The edges of the sides and top are covered with 4mm wide silver russia braid which also crosses the top of the czapka.

At the left and right forward corners of the czapka are brass rings for securing the hat cords. On the forward upper left side of czapka is a cloth covered plume socket over which is attached a circular brass cockade which has a silvered cross engraved on it and the background painted with red paint.

The czapka has a black 8cm leather turban with a silver edged peak. silvered lion head plates are to be found at the sides. Above the turban is a 17mm silver braid ribbon edged with two thin red stripes [for NCO’s and white worsted braid for troopers] which is stitched around the czapka.

A further example belonging to a trooper exists in a German museum which bears similar features to the above examples although it’s authenticity cannot be verified. It has the same crimson fluted sides but differs in several features, namely the cockade is a leather painted tricolour above which is a crudely stitched rectangular plume socket. The turban is of black astrakhan with the lion head bosses missing. The edges where the sides and top meet are covered with 5mm white cording and there is a 17mm white braid band around the top edge of the czapka.This white braid is further repeated around the czapka above the turban.

The brass sunray plate differs in design from the above models in that it has a smooth outer edge with the centre bearing the ‘N’ cipher as for the Warsaw exhibit.

It is not clear when the Honour Guard changed its model of czapka for that which denotes the Polish Light Horse.

The only known example attributed to an officer of the Polish Honour Guard from 1806.and is housed in the National Museum in Poznan. This exhibit shows all the characteristics of the cavalryman’s czapka.It is solidly constructed with upper sides of crimson fluted cloth 17cm in height.

The style of the czapka conforms to the first exhibits but is slightly taller with the crimson fluted sides measuring 24cm.It has the same model metal cockade plate.

Unlike the above example the silver lion head bosses are not on a backing plate.

The most notable feature of this exhibit is the gilded front sunray plate on the czapka. it bears a highly detailed embossed uncrowned eagle facing to the right.

A further feature of note are the silver cords attached to this czapka. They are plated for part of their length where they hang in front of the czapka and then run as a single cord [doubled] for the remainder of their length terminating in two raquettes and tassels [one of the raquettes is missing it’s tassel].

An early engraving of the regiment by Martinet also shows the hat cords as for the Honour Guard czapka. There is also evidence from exhibits and documents that this method of wearing the cords was worn up till 1813.

troopers uniform.

By 1807 the Polish Light-Horse troopers of the Guard had been issued a uniform which differed not a great deal from that worn by the Honour Guard.

The Kurtka was dark blue with crimson collar, lapels, cuffs, turnbacks and crimson piping on the back seams of the tunic, sleeves, pockets and belt retention strap.

The tunic fastened on 26 large, 17mm tin buttons, 14 on the lapels, four at the waist, six on the pockets and two on the shoulders. A 15mm button secured the belt strap and four small ones of 13mm were found on the cuffs. What differences there were with this uniform was that the two buttons at the front of the tunic below the lapels disappeared and the pockets were aligned to fall parallel to the rear edge of the turnbacks. Epaulette loops were white and the lapels were edged with 1m 71 of silver 15mm braid.

The blue cloth was supplied by Messieurs Muraines and Lesege at 30F a metre, while the more expensive crimson cloth was priced at 35.20F a metre.In 1810 at the height of the empire the cost of manufacture of a kurtka by the regimental tailor was 65.70F and was to be issued with a lifespan of 18 months.

In the field and on the march the lapels of the Kurtka were folded across towards the epaulette with the blue lining edged in thin crimson piping showing.

Under the kurtka was worn a plain blue waistcoat fastened down the front on 12 small buttons. Troopers also wore a white cotton epaulette lined with crimson cloth on the left shoulder and an aiguilette worn on the right shoulder. In 1809 with the introduction of the lance the epaulette and aiguilette were changed to opposite shoulders to allow for comfort and practicality when using the lance.

 

When in the field dark blue marching overalls were worn by the men. They were rather more fuller than the trousers and were fitted with thin black leather on the inside leg and flap. They fastened at the sides on 36 tin buttons,18 on each leg with the button holes cut into a crimson leather band which ran the full outside length of each leg.

For off duty a forage cap known as the bonnet de police was worn. It had a crimson headband edged in white braid with a dark blue pointed peak with four white piping edges terminating in a white linen tassel.

In bad weather a white cloak with a crimson colar was worn. By 1809 sleeves had been added for ease in using the lance.

Stable dress consisted of the forage cap, blue single breasted short jacket fastened on 9 medium tin buttons at the front, two on each sleeve and one on each shoulder strap. There were also two pockets on the front of this tunic the one on the right being a full pocket and the one on the left a false pocket.

With the stable jacket were worn calico trousers that fastened on the outside of each leg by 16- 18 wood or bone buttons. Boots were worn under these trousers.

Troopers czapka

The czapka was almost identical to that worn by the Honour Guard. Originally it was 22cm in height but was gradually reduced during the empire to 20cm.The upper part was of crimson cloth with fluted sides.The edges of all the four sides were piped with worsted white ‘russia- braid’.The four corners on upper part were protected by small silvered ‘fleur’ bosses, the right hand one ending in a hook by which the chin strap could be secured when not being worn under the chin.

Below the fluted sides was a black leather turban 8cm in width at the sides of which were attached two silver lion heads on a back plate.The one on the left side had a ring in its mouth to which attached the chinstrap while the one on the right side had a hook to secure the chinstrap when worn under the chin.

Where the leather turban joined the upper crimson cloth section there was a 35mm white worsted braid band which replaced the narrower one of the Honour Guard. There was an embossed black leather visor at the front of the czapka which was edged in silvered metal.

On the front of the czapka was an embossed brass sun ray plate with a silver centre bearing a brass ‘N’ cypher and a brass crown above it.The cockade which differed from that of the Honour Guard was made of pleated cloth or leather in a tricolour pattern, over which was attached a maltese cross in silvered metal.

Additions to the czapka were a white single looped cord terminating in two raquettes and tassels that was wound around the czapka and fastened at the base of a white plume which was 47cm in height and fitted in a socket either behind the cockade or in a socket fitted to the top left side of the czapka.

In bad weather the czapka was covered by a black oilskin cover for troopers and an ochre cover for officers.

Nco’s.

Galons du grade were chevrons worn on both forearms just above the cuff. A corporal [brigadier] had a single silver chevron 16mm above each cuff while a corporal –[fourier ]had the same, plus a silver chevron on his upper left arm.

Sergeants [Marechal -des -Logis] had two rank chevrons of 22 mm above each cuff while a sergeant – major [Marechal –des- Logis Chef] had three rank stripes above each cuff.

Added to these distinctions were silver braid on the collar of 15mm for sergeants, sergeant-majors, corporals and corporal-fouriers .Aiguilettes, epaulettes,czapka cords and sword knots were also distinctively marked for Nco’s. These were marked in silver and crimson silk in the following manner, brigadier as for troopers, corporal-fouriers and sergeants had czapka cord blocked 1/3 silver and 2/3 crimson silk with raquettes having a two outside cords crimson and an inner cord silver.tassels were silver/crimson mixed. The aiguilette was also blocked in the same ratio as the czapka cord. Epaulettes had a crimson strap with a band of silver galon [braid]around the outside edge. The outer crescent was crimson and the inner crescent was silver. The epaulette fringe consisted of a crimson fringe with an outer fringe of thin silver strands.

Sergeant majors had czapka cords blocked 2/3 silver and 1/3 crimson silk. This distinction meant the reversal of silver and crimson attachment colours. The epaulette crescents were silver and a thicker silver fringe was added to the front of the epaulette.

Under officers had the kurtka collar ornamented with a row of 20mm silver braid and one of 12mm. They also had crimson and silver tassels on their bonnet de police with silver braid and cording.

Belting and equipment.

The equipment comprised of a sabre belt, sword strap, shoulder belt and cartridge box, carbine strap and lock plate cover, gloves and spurs. After 1809 a leather strap to hold the lance was added and a pennon.

The white buff leather sword belt was stitched along the edges giving a raised effect and was standard for all guard units.Along the belt were stitched two brass ‘D’ rings that held vertical straps with buckle ends that connected to the sabre.from the time that a carbine was introduced a bayonet frog with a small brass buckle was stitched between the D’s to accommodate the carbine bayonet. The belt was closed by a brass, round edged rectangular buckle and fitting. The buckle had an attached brass crowned eagle in the centre.

The cartridge belt was constructed in two parts of buff leather and stitched along the edges as for the sabre belt with a buckle, slide, and four brass buttons which secured the cartridge box to the belt.

The cartridge box was of black leather with a flap. A brass rings at each side of the box attached to the belt which passed through the ring and fastened on two brass buttons that were used to close the belt on each side. On the flap of the cartridge box, in the centre was attached a brass crowned imperial eagle.

The sword strap was of white buff leather and terminated in a fringed tassel. It was wound around the hilt of the sabre and could be secured to the wrist by a white buff leather slide.

Two pairs of gloves were worn. For parades and service dress cuffed leather gloves were worn. The hand was in a light sandy buff colour and the cuff was whitened buff leather edged in a raised stitch in the guard pattern. In the field short wrist length gloves were worn.

Spurs were brass with iron rowels and were fixed to the heel by iron screws.

Lance pennants measured 73cm in length and 48.7cm wide, with a central seam 40.5cm.They had two points and were crimson on top and white below. Constructed from serge cloth for everyday use and taffeta for parades. In the field the pennon could be covered with a waxed linen case to protect it from the elements.

Armament.

In its early days the armament of each trooper in the regiment consisted of a sabre, a pistol and a carbine with a bayonet. When the regiment was formed in 1807 troopers were issued sabres and pistols of Prussian origin which were of poor quality. Because the pistols were too long and fitted poorly into the pistol holsters they had to be altered and this proved to be a costly exercise. Carbines were also from captured stores and were also of inferior quality. The stocks of these weapons had to be shortened to allow the attachment of the bayonet.

By 1809 new weapons were issued. These were the light cavalry sabre model Year XI, with iron scabbards as for line cavalry, year IX or XIII pistols and Year IX carbines. The sabres with their iron scabbards caused particular complaint from the Poles, because of their weight and these in turn were replaced by the lighter Chasseur a Cheval of the Guard sabres which had a brass scabbard and were lighter.

In December 1809 the lance was taken into service by the Poles. It consisted of a blackened ash shaft with a steel point and butt. The point was fastened to the shaft by two iron splints held in place by iron screws. On one splint were fitted three rounded screws that were used to attach the pennon. Originally there was an iron ball set below the point to stop deep penetration by the lance but by 1812 it had been removed.

Troopers-different dress orders. ‘tenues’

Every regiment in the Army had it’s different dress orders to which the Imperial Guard, not least of all the Polish Guard Lancers subscribed..

Troopers were prescribed regulations for Full dress, [grande tenue] Full parade dress [grande tenue de parade] fatigue dress [tenue du corvee] drill dress [tenue d’exercise] service dress [tenue du service] stable dress [ tenue d’ecurie] and campaign dress [tenue de campagne]

Full Dress – grande Tenue.

Regulations specified full uniform with czapka, cords,plume and cuffed gloves.

Lance pennon of serge cloth

Full horse equipment.

prior to the lance being introduced the carbine was carried on the right hand side of the horse. After 1809 with the introduction of the lance the carbine was switched to the left side of the horse and secured in a vertical position in front of the rider.

Parade Dress – grande tenue de parade.

As for grande tenue but lance pennon in tafetta.

Cloaks could be worn in bad weather.

Service Dress – tenue du service.

As for full dress but with short wrist length gloves

Campaign Dress – tenue de campagne.

Czapka in oilcloth cover, no plume or cords.

Kurtka lapels crossed over to fasten on the left.

Short cuffed gloves.

Service trousers with leather re-enforcements fastened at the sides by tin buttons or fuller trousers with a double crimson stripe down the outside of each leg and the trouser bottoms covered in black leather as false boots [1814]

Pennon serge cloth, could be sheathed in waxed cover.

Saddlecloth corners turned up to protect ornaments.

Rolled greatcoat worn over right shoulder.

Water bottles could be carried.

On the recommendation of Major Dautancourt the poles when in Spain in 1808 wore stable dress with oilskin covered czapkas.

Drill Dress – tenue d’exercise.

Sleeveless waistcoat, campaign overalls, bag of bonnet de police tucked into turban with tassel showing.

This dress code was also adopted when engaged in mounted training.

Stable Dress – tenue d’ecurie.

For summer wear, short, blue single breasted stable jacket with calico trousers fastened at the sides by bone or wood buttons. Bonnet de police is worn with the bag hanging loose and tassel hanging down.

For Winter wear, stable jacket worn with campaign overalls. bag of bonnet de police tucked into turban with tassel showing.

Guard Dress. – tenue de garde.

Kurtka and parade trousers, czapka without cords or plume.

Short wrist length gloves worn.

Cloaks worn in bad weather.

Sunday Walking Out Dress. – tenue de sortie du dimanche

Full parade dress with white cotton gloves.

Weekday Walking Out Dress.- tenue de ville de semaine.

Full parade dress with lapels fastened across to left shoulder. Czapka without cords or plume.

Trumpeters

Trumpeters uniform ‘Grande Tenue’ 1807-1810.

According to the regimental orders of Dautancourt and the memoirs of Załuski , the czapka was crimson with mixed silver/white piping.all metal elements were as for troopers.Czapka cords were mixed silver/white.

The kurtka and trousers were of crimson cloth with collar, lapels, cuffs, turnbacks, piping and trouser stripes in white cloth. The collar, cuffs and lapels were edged in silver braid ‘galon’.A white epaulette was worn on the left shoulder and an aiguilette on the right shoulder. This was constructed of blocked cord silver/ white.

The trumpeters shabraque was crimson edged in white braid with embroideries as for troopers in white thread. All belting was as for troopers. Trumpets were silvered with silver/ white cords and tassels.

Trumpeters uniform ‘Tenue du service’ 1807-1810.
In the field and for everyday wear the czapka was worn without a plume and cords and was encased in a black waxed cloth cover.The Kurtka was the same as for ‘Grande Tenue’ but with the lapels crossed over to cover the white facing cloth.

In the field the crimson trousers were replaced by the blue service trousers fastened at the sides by metal buttons and lined in black leather.

Trumpeters uniform ‘Grande Tenue’ 1810- 1814.

All Guard cavalry trumpeters facings were changed in 1810.A white czapka was issued, edged in crimson cord with all fittings as for troopers. Around the body of the czapka was sewn a 35mm galon braid in silver. All czapka cords and tassels were silver / crimson mixed.With the czapka was worn a crimson plume topped with a white tuft.

The crimson kurtka was replaced by a white kurtka with all facings in crimson and edged in silver braid.This was also added to run around the buttonholes on the lapels of the kurtka.

A silver crimson mixed epaulette was worn on the right shoulder and a silver/crimson blocked aiguilette was worn on the left.

Crimson trousers with two white stripes on the outside of each leg were worn and for parades belts were white [some sources state silver with 2 crimson stripes.

Shabraques were as used in the earlier period.

Trumpeters parade banner.

When the squadron was in ‘Grande tenue de parade’ a trumpet banner was attached to the trumpet. It measured 45cm x 45cm of crimson silk with the bottom corners cut in a curve. Bordered by an embroidered silver thread laurel garland and edged in silver and crimson twisted fringes with 4 crimson and silver tassels attached to the top two edges.

The face of the banner consisted of an imperial crowned eagle with outstretched wings similar in style to that adopted by the Empress Dragoons of the Guard. This was embroidered in gold thread and was backed by a silver thread embroidered sunburst.

The eagle was seated on a white scroll which bore the inscription CHEVAU=LEGERS POLONAIS. in crimson letters.

On the reverse was an embroidered gold crowned ‘N’ cipher within a silver wreath. Above the wreath was a white scroll with the inscription ‘GARDE IMPERIALE’ in crimson letters.

Trumpeters banner

Another trumpet banner was illustrated In “La Giberne” vol.12 1910- 11and also appears in L.Rousselot’s work ‘L’Armee Francais – Chevau-Legers-Polonais de la Garde Trompette 1807-1814 planche No 65.

This banner is probably an early example of a parade trumpet banner and was rectangular in shape measuring 30cm along its top edge. It was made from crimson silk and was bordered on both sides by two bands of gold braid and a thin gold fringe on the outer edge.

The face of the banner had a silver eagle sat on a thunderbolt above which was a gold crown.

On the reverse was a silver ‘N’ cypher above which was a gold embroidered crown. These embroideries were very similar in style to the embroideries on the troopers shabraques.

Regimental Kettle- drummer.

In 1810 was a year of relative peace in Europe and in honour of the Emperors marriage to Marie Louise of Austria numerous fetes and parades were held in Paris.

It was at this time that in line with the tradition of the musicians of the Guard cavalry a kettle- drummer or ‘timbalier’ was added to the Polish Guard Lancers. His name was Louis Robiquet a Frenchman born in Lille on the 25th of February 1787. He joined the regiment on 1st February 1808 as a trumpeter and was selected to be the kettle-drummer by Major Dautancourt on the 1st of July 1810 promoting him to the petit etat-major.

He measured 1m . 62 a preferred height for all trumpeters in the regiment.

He served in Spain in 1808 and Germany in 1809.He entered Russia in 1812 but was lost in the course of the retreat at Borissov.

It is not certain if he was replaced by another kettle-drummer following the retreat from Russia.

The regimental kettle- drummer was dressed in Polish national costume.On his head he wore a Polish hat ‘konfederatka’ which had a crimson cloth top edged and piped in gold thread and a body of black lambswool. To the konfederatka were attached gold cords. tassels and white and crimson feathers.The Polish traditional tunic from the late 15th century known as the –’zupan’ was crimson with the cuffs,front fastening and collar in gold thread. Over the zupan was worn a white coat known as a ‘kontusz’ also edged in gold braid. The kontusz was fastened with a long sash that was of crimson silk with gold thread embroidery.

Light blue baggy Turkish trousers were worn. These had a strip of gold braid on each outside leg. The trousers tucked into tan brown boots.

To complement his outfit the kettle-drummer carried a Turkish Mameluk sabre in a black scabbard with gold fittings.

The Kettle-drummers horse and harness were just as elaborate. The saddlecloth or ‘Dywdyk’ was in crimson velvet and highly embroidered with classical vases and flowers in gold thread with a heavy gold fringe around its edge.it measured 1m.50 in length at its shortest side, 1m30 at its centre and 1m.60 at its rear points.

The saddle was of Turkish design covered in crimson velvet with silver embroidery.

The horse wore a 17th century Turkish headstall with gilded metal scales and a headband being turquoise with a jade centre and tassels at the sides and front with crimson fringes. The horses bit also gilded had ‘bossettes’ [outer discs] with a central motif of an uncrowned imperial eagle surrounded by stars.

On his head the horse wore white and crimson feathers surrounding a central white plume.

The horses breast-strap was also covered in gilded scales and large tassels in gold with crimson fringes.

At both sides of the saddle were attached Kettle-drums made by the firm ‘RIEDLOCKER’ in Paris. They were constructed from beaten brass sheet and were fitted with a metal band at the top for tightening the drum skins.

The first drum had a circumference of 50cm and a depth of 40cm, the second a circumference of 57cm and a depth of 37cm.On the inner base was a small hole to assist with the resonance of the drum.

On the outer base of each drum were engraved the makers details: ‘ FAIT PAR RIEDLOCKER RUE FOIN No4- PARIS’

There was also an inscription in Polish below the metal hoop which read ‘KOTY REGIMENTU SZWOLEZEROW GWARDII FRACUSKO – POLSHIEJ’ [Regimental kettle-drums of the Polish-French Guard Lancers’]

The kettle-drums were covered in crimson velvet cloth that was heavily embroidered, measuring 1m19 in length and 57cm wide. In the centre was a laurel leaf wreath within which was a gold eagle on a thunderbolt. Above the wreath was a white banner with the following inscription in black thread ‘CHEVAU.LEGERS POLONAIS’.

Surrounding the wreath was a field of 88 embroidered silver stars. The cover was edged in heavy gold thread embroidery comprising of swirls and leaves with a large embroidered gold crown in each corner set at 45 degrees. At the edge of the cover was a wide gold braid border terminating in gold tassels.

Horse equipment.

The horse equipment comprised of the saddle, bridle, saddle cloth and valise.

Both the wooden hussar – type saddle and French light cavalry saddle with leather pads and flaps was used by troopers. The saddles had the addition of white, Hungarian leather stirrup leathers, and black leather breast band with a radiant sun boss in white metal, half-martingale, crupper, dock, retaining straps, carbine boot, lance holder, surcingle and retaining strap. The hussar saddle had a girth of leather while the padded saddle had a grey string type of girth.

The troopers bridle was of black leather as was the snaffle, halter and strap The bridle had a metal curb chain attached to the headband with central boss, buckles and half-moon croissant in white metal.

Over the saddle was placed the saddle cloth. It was made of dark blue cloth, edged in crimson braid 54mm wide, which in turn was edged in white piping. In the rear tail points were attached crowned imperial eagles embroidered in white thread and on the front curve sections embroidered ‘N’ ciphers over which were crowns all in white thread.

At the rear of the saddle cloth and attached to the rear of the saddle by equipment straps was the cylindrical valise in crimson cloth 56cm in length with ends ornamented with white piping forming a circle110mm with a diameter of 27mm.at the circle ends was a circle of white braid. The circular ends of the valise were also piped in white piping.

the valise had a top flap which was fastened to the body by 3 black buckles and straps. The inside was lined in linen or calico.

Officers.

Unlike troopers officer’s provided their own uniforms of better cloth. These were prescribed by regulations and produced quite a heavy burden in expenditure at this period of ostentatious ness.

 

Officers had at least 10 different dress code regulations which varied in turn according to the officer’s rank as follows.

Full Dress – grande Tenue.

Colonel (Colonel)- as for squadron commander but crimson cartridge belt and silver box. Trousers were crimson with two bands embroidered in silver oak leaves down their length. Plume of egret feathers with base tuft in crimson cockerel feathers.

Squadron commander (Chef d’escadron)– blue kurtka with crimson facings and silver snake chain embroidery. Crimson trousers with two silver bands down the outside of each leg. silver/crimson waist sash, cuffed gloves, silver cartridge belt and box.

The czapka was distinguished from junior officers by a 54mm crimson braid band worn above the leather turban embroidered in silver oak and laurel leaves.(Junior officers had a silver band.)

horse equipment varied from junior officers in that it had a 22mm inner silver braid band [gold for majors.]

Parade Dress – grande tenue de parade.

Junior officers (Sous-lieutenant, Lieutenant,Capitaine)–officers blue kurtka, czapka with cords and white plume

crimson trousers ‘a la husard ‘or crimson trousers edged at the sides by a double band of silver braid..silver/crimson waist sash, cuffed gloves, silver cartridge belt and box, snake clasp hussar sabre belt.

horse equipment,

Saddle cloth (shabraque)

The saddle cloth was blue with a leopard skin seat. It was embroidered at the rear pointed corners by silver crowned imperial eagles and at the front edge by silver crowned ‘N’ ciphers. A crimson cloth cylindrical valise was attached behind the saddle. This had a single band of silver braid around the circular end of the valise.

Squadron commander (Chef d’escadron)

White kurtka with crimson facings, crimson trousers, crimson/silver waist sash,

cuffed gloves,silver cartridge belt and box, silver snake clasp hussar sabre belt.

horse equipment,

crimson shabraque with two silver braid bands edging the shabraque. Silver crowned eagles in the corners with silver crown and ‘N’ cipher at the front. Leopard skin seat. A blue shabraque was also used for ordinary parades with similar silver embroideries.crimson leather halter,

Small Dress – petite tenue.

Small Dress – petite tenue as worn by Chef d’escadron – Tomasz Łubieński

Blue ‘surtout ‘with plain crimson collar and cuffs. Lapels blue piped crimson as for turnbacks and pocket flaps. Crimson patches at base of turnbacks with embroidered silver eagles. Aiguilette and epaulette worn. White waistcoat and trousers with black hessian boots with silver tassels. Silver sabre belt, black chapeau.

Small Dress – petite tenue as worn by Ignacy Stokowski

Surtout as above but with crimson collar, cuffs embroidered with a silver snake chain design.

Silver aiguilette and epaulette worn. Crimson hussar waistcoat worn fastened on three rows of silver buttons with silver cording sand embroidery. Crimson hussar trousers with silver pointed chevrons to denote rank.Black hessian boots with silver tassels.Black chapeau with cockade, strap, tassels and white plume. Short leather gloves and silver snake-clasp belt with silver fittings.

Small Dress – petite tenue as worn by Jozef Załuski

Surtout as for Ignacy Stokowski but worn with white waistcoat, plain crimson trousers, black hessian boots with tassels, silver snake-clasp sabre belt with silver fittings.

Guard Dress. – petite tenue

Junior officers (Sous-lieutenant, Lieutenant,Capitaine)– officers kurtka with blue lapels, blue trousers with crimson side stripes,czapka and cartridge box belt in oilskin cover, red maroc leather snake clasp sword belt. Short leather gloves.

Campaign Dress – tenue de campagne.

Junior officers(Sous-lieutenant, Lieutenant,Capitaine) – campaign dress kurtka with blue lapels edged crimson or parade dress kurtka with lapels fastened over to protect the facings. The collar, cuffs and turnbacks of the campaign kurtka could be plain crimson. czapka in ochre coloured oilskin cover, sometimes with a plume in an oilskin sheath, cartridge belt in waxed ochre cover, or crimson leather maroc cover fastened by silver buttons, blue service trousers with crimson side stripes, or baggy blue trousers ‘a la Lasalle’ with black leather bottoms up to the knee and a crimson side stripes piped white. Silver snake clasp ‘a la husard’ sabre belt. Short field service leather gloves.

Single breasted surtout with crimson collar and cuffs,fastened down the front by nine silver buttons and piped crimson. Czapka in ochre oilskin cover as well as cartridge belt. Blue service trousers with silver hussar type belt and cuffed leather gloves.

A period illustration copied by Benigni shows a junior officer at the battle of the Moskowa wearing a fur ‘colbac’ with silver cords and a plume over a silver pompon. This is believed to have been an exception and not the norm.

Horse equipment – as for full dress with valise The corners of the saddle cloth would have been hooked up to cover the ornaments when in the field.

Senior officers (Chef d’escadron,Major, Colonel)– They would have worn the campaign dress Kurtka when in the field with blue service trousers and czapka and shoulder belt covered in an oilskin cover.Rank would have been displayed by the fringing on their epaulette[s] which would have been in heavy silver bullion and with the double silver braid band on their saddle cloth.

Service Dress – grande tenue du service.

Junior officer (Sous-lieutenant, Lieutenant,Capitaine) – officers kurtka, czapka with cords and white plume.

Blue trousers with crimson side stripes. white sabre belt, cuffed gloves, silver cartridge belt and box.

horse equipment – blue shabraque, cylindrical crimson valise.

Town dress – tenue de ville d’ ‘ete.

Junior officer (Sous-lieutenant, Lieutenant,Capitaine) – Single breasted blue surtout ‘ a la chasseur’ with epaulette and aiguilette fastened through the fifth and sixth buttons,first four buttons left open to reveal the shirt and black stock. Blue service trousers, bicorne hat bearing French cockade secured by silver strap with silver tassels. Bicorne worn ‘fore and aft’. Black snake clasp hussar belt edged silver with silver fittings. Short leather gloves.

Senior officers (Chef d’escadron,Major, Colonel)– blue surtout fastened by nine silver buttons with collar and cuffs embroidered in silver snake chain design. Silver aiguilette and epaulette, crimson trousers with silver side stripes. Bicorne as for junior officer but with white plume. sabre belt as for junior officer. Short leather gloves worn.

Visiting dress – tenue de societe.

For all officer grades, blue surtout worn with crimson collar , lapels, cuffs all with silver snake chain embroidery [1807-1808]or surtout differing in that the lapels were blue piped crimson [turnbacks and pockets for surtouts are piped crimson].Silver aiguilette and epaulette worn. White waistcoat with two pockets and fastened on silver buttons worn. White knee length trousers and white stockings with black buckled shoes. Bicornes worn ‘fore and aft’.

Ball dress – tenue de bal

Officer’s ball dress consisted of a white surtout ‘a la chasseur’ with crimson collar, lapels and cuffs. These were embroidered with the silver snake-chain pattern, some even had the extra addition of spear points in silver on the collar and from the button holes with the points going inwards towards the centre of the high cut lapels.Turnbacks were piped in crimson as were the pockets. The surtout was worn with the silver aiguilette and epaulette. Below the surtout was a white waistcoat ‘a la husaur’ with 5 rows of silver domed buttons and piping. Trousers were knee length white breeches and were worn with white silk stockings and black shoes with silver buckles. With this uniform was worn a black chapeau with French cockade and silver strap and white wrist length gloves. A dress sword was also worn.

Barrack dress – tenue de quartier.

Single breasted surtout fastened down the front by nine silver buttons and piped on the front fastening, turnbacks and pockets. Collar and cuffs were crimson. An aiguilette and epaulette were worn in silver. White cotton waistcoat with two pockets shows under the surtout.

Blue service trousers with crimson side stripes.

Crimson ‘Konfederatka’ with astrakhan fur turban.

Short leather gloves.

A short blue riding coat ‘redingote’ was worn with a plain crimson collar and was double breasted fastened on 14 silver buttons[ seven down each side] Officers would wear their redingote over their surtout on a weekday morning up till 10 o’clock in the morning, worn with or without aiguilette and epaulette.

Drill Dress – tenue d’exercise.

As for tenue de quartier.

After service dress – tenue en dehors du service.

Blue redingote worn with white trousers and hessian boots with tassels.

Chapeau worn as for tenue de ville.

2 Responses to Uniforms and Equipment

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