Napoleon's Infantry

...French Line, Light & Foreign Regiments 1799-1815

Title: Napoleon's Infantry
Author: Gabriele Esposito
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-39900-831-0

French Line, Light & Foreign Regiments 1799-1815. Another book on period military uniforms from Italian author, Gabriele Esposito. A 143-page hardcover book covering the infantry units, their organisation and uniforms from the Napoleonic era, a popular subject for modellers and wargamers for their colourful uniforms.
The book makes a nice start, taking us over the period following the French Revolution in 1789, and the development of the French Infantry during a time of great change in the military structures not only in France, but other European states as well. As well as the French Line infantry, who would stand in the line of battle, there was the growth in the number of Light units, more mobile. The first 3 of the total of 7 chapters cover the development of the French Infantry, including great detail on their uniforms, up to 1799. These are followed by coverage of the units and their uniforms between 1800 and 1815, both the Line and Light Infantry units. The final two chapters tackle Special Infantry Units, with specialist tasks, such as the Volontaires Bonaparte, Garde Municipale de Paris and Tirailleurs Corses among others. The final chapter covers other Foreign Infantry Units, which include Swiss Regiments, Neufchatel Battalion, Italian Legion and more.
The text is interesting to read, and is packed with detailed information and uniform descriptions. Perhaps one of the key elements of the book for many though will be the large number of contemporary colour illustrations of these very colourful uniforms that are one of the great attractions for those interested in the period. Whether it may be re-enactors, many modellers and wargamers will just love the colour references for painting French Napoleonic uniforms, most of which have not been published before. A super reference.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.

Robin