Napoleon’s Dragoons of the Imperial Guard


Written by Ronald Pawly

Illustrated by Patrice Courcelle

This book is number 480 in Osprey Publishing’s “Men-at-Arms” series.

This 48 page book contains the history of Napoleon’s legendary Dragoons from its creation, to its establishment, its organization and its long service to the Emperor.

The author begins by giving us the background of the unit in 1806. Here we learn that this unit began life as a ceremonial regiment and that later it was turned into elite reinforcements for the Cavalry of the Guard. The author follows Napoleon’s Dragoons through the various Campaigns in Europe and Russia to the final battlefield of Waterloo in 1815.

The rich historical details presented in this book have been drawn from information that was contained in the original manuscript correspondence of Napoleon. Additional historical information was gathered from his Senior Officers, and the Regimental records.

One of the main features of this book is that it showcases their uniforms and equipment. It does this through detailed illustrations and beautiful color plates that cover all ranks and orders of dress A number of these uniform plates are based on period portrait photographs of offices and men of the unit. It is an excellent source of reference material for Napoleon’s Dragoons of the Imperial Guard who were also known as the Empress’s Dragoons. The Contents of this 49 page book are:

  • The Empress Dragoons
    • 1806: creation and establishment
  • 1807: Definitive Organization
    • Eylau and Friedland
    • Reinforcing the Cavalry of the Guard
    • Celebrating victory, preparing for war
  • 1808: Spain
    • Initial advances and setbacks
    • Napoleon takes command
    • Somosierra
    • Crossing the Sierra de Guardarrama
    • Benavente
  • 1809: The Austrian Campaign
    • Recall from Spain
    • Wagram
  • 1810-1811: Administrative Evidence
    • Strengths in Spain
    • Regimental States
    • Transfers
    • Stripping the Line once again
  • 1812: A Capital Too Far
    • Assembly
    • The Christmas battle
    • The retreat
  • 1813: Men of bronze, and Marie-Louises
    • Rebuilding the Guard Cavalry
  • 1814: The Campaign of France
    • The Guard committed to battle
    • The First Abdication
  • 1815: The Hundred Days
  • Plate Commentaries
    • Uniforms and equipment
  • Index

As with other books in this Napoleonic series from Osprey, you receive a well written book with interesting photos and very informative color plates. The casual reader, the Napoleonic Uniformolgist, Military Miniaturist and wargamer will all receive much useful information that they can use with their projects. It is easy to recommend that Napoleon’s Dragoons is another book that would make a fine addition to an individual’s Napoleonic book library.

This book is available from Osprey Publications.

This book is available in three formats and they are;

Paperback Book


ePub eBook


PDF eBook