The Chevaux-Legers de Berg trying to break a Russian square without success (Battle of Reichenbach)


chevaux-legers de berg (1813)

A Régiment de Chevau-Légers du Grand-Duc de Berg (or Kleves-Berg) was raised by decree of 21 May 1807 from a cadre of German-speaking officers and NCOs drawn from various French cavalry regiments in France and Italy, and the first squadron received the title of Garde du Corps of Murat. In the spring of 1808, the Garde du Corps deployed to Spain, and when Murat became King of Naples on 1 August 1808, and relinquised his title of Grand Duc de Berg, Napoleon took the Garde du Corps de Berg into his Imperial Guard.
After several reshufling and changes of denomination (including the reception of lances in 1809), in 1812 there were two Regiments, known as Régiments de Chevau-Légers de Berg, the 1st in Spain and the 2nd with the Grande Armee in Russia.
In 1813, the survivors of the Russian campaign were augmented and combined with the returned squadrons from Spain to form the Brigade des Lanciers de Berg, brigaded with the Dutch lancers of the Imperial Guard commanded by Général Pierre-David (Edouard) Colbert de Chabanais.

The Chevau-Légers de Berg undergo several changes of dressing during the Napoleonic era. In 1813 they wore a Polish-type lancier uniform in dark green with pink  (the official colour was crimson but a more pale rose shading was used) facings in lapels, collar, cuffs and lining of trousers. The lance pennons were pink-over-white an the only difference between the two Regiments, was the upper part of the czapska: pink for the 1st and green for the 2nd regiment.

The more adequate figures are the ITALERI 6039 - 'Dutch-Polish Lancers', first released as ESCI 218 - 'Polish Lancers French Cavalry'. It's a very easy conversion, including the elimination of the aiguillettes and the building of a hungarian-type white sheep-skin shabraque trimmed in pink. For the colback- wearing elite company, I have used of the elites from the ITALERI 6080 'French Light Cavalry' set and one rider from the REVELL 02576 'French Mounted Guard Chasseurs'. The lances are made from wire with the lance pennants modelled with toilette tissue.


Brigade des Lanciers de Berg ITALERI 6039 - 'Dutch-Polish Lancers'

(plus ITALERI 6080 and REVELL 02576)
Napoleon's German Allies (1): Westfalia and Kleve-Berg (Men-At-Arms Series, 44)  Osprey-Publishing

Links of interest:
Knötel (Lienhart & Humbert Tafel)
Histoire et Figurines
Napoleon's German Allies (1): Westfalia and Kleve-Berg (Men-At-Arms Series, 44) , O. von Pivka and R. Scollins,  Osprey.-Publishing
Chevau-Légers Lanciers du Grand-Duc de Berg, 1809 - 1813 (Military Miniatures)