AN ESSAY IN ATTITUDES
It would appear that this is a portrait of a Polish Lancer and Polish Hussar of Napoleon's Army at the height of Napoleon's power.Poland required numerous and good quality light cavalry to defend its long borders against the elusive and agile Cossacks and Turks. The Polish cavalry helped to solidify the eastern wall of Europe for nearly two centuries.According to American historian John Elting, the "Poles were acknowledged to be the finest lancers in Europe; Russia, Prussia, and Austria recruited their lancer regiments from among the Polish subjects their partitionings of the unhappy kingdom had given them. When France marched against all Europe, Polish volunteers swarmed into its ranks."The uniforms might look garish in today's world of cammie but back then it was a badge of honor.Sort of the great-great grandaddies of my old regiment..."Grey's Scouts".
The heraldry and the portrait of Marshal Blucher to the left would rather suggest that these dapper chaps are Prussian soldiers, no?
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