Mameluks of the Napoleonic Wars

Mameluks of the Napoleonic Wars, 1799–1815

Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt with his army of the orient in 1798, to cut Great Britain off from its colonies in India. On 12 July 1798 the Battle of the Pyramids ensued, in the course of which the French army was attacked for hours by masses of Mamluk (Mameluke) horsemen. The French infantry squares narrowly held their ground and defeated the Mamluk army by superior firepower. Napoleon was so impressed by the courage and fighting spirit of the Mamluk, that he decided to raise Mameluke squadrons for his own army. On 14 September 1799, General Kleber established a squadron of Mamelukes and Syrian janissaries from Turkish troops captured at the siege of Acre. General Menou augmented the existing squadron with newly recruited Mameluke horsemen on 7 July 1800, to form three squadrons of 100 men each of the Mamelouks de la République.

In December 1803 one squadron of Mamelukes was attached to the Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde. Squadron strength was established at 160 all ranks, 13 officers and 147 men. In addition to Mamelukes and foreigners, Frenchmen were allowed to join the Mameluke squadrons of the Guard, especially after 1812, when the French army had to be rebuilt following the disastrous Russian campaign. The Mameluke squadron fought at Austerlitz in 1805, where it helped defeat the Russian Chevalier Guard cavalry.

Miniatures

  • Mameluke Kettle Drummer, 1:30 del Prado 002
  • Mameluke, 1:32 Andrea Miniatures S7-F21
  • French Imperial Guard Mameluke 180, 1:32 Prince August 5 80-10
  • Officer of Mamelukes of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton FNC049
  • Standard bearer of Mamelukes of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton FNC062
  • Toug bearer of Mamelukes of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton FNC050
  • Trumpeter of Mamelukes of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton FNC057
  • Mameluke of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton FNC048
  • Mamelouk Band of the Guard, 28 mm Mirliton BAND001
  • Mameluke Officer, 25 mm Essex Miniatures FN112
  • Mameluke Eagle Bearer, 25 mm Essex Miniatures FN113
  • Mameluke Trumpeter, 25 mm Essex Miniatures FN114
  • Mameluke Trooper, 25 mm Essex Miniatures FN111
  • Mamelukes 1805–1815, 1:72 HaT Industrie 8001
  • Mamelukes, 1:72 Italeri 6082
  • Mamelukes, 1:72 Hinton Hunt BB24
  • Mamelukes, 18 mm AB Figures AB-T03
  • Mameluke casualties, 18 mm AB Figures AB-T03A
  • Mamelukes, 15 mm Minifigs 4NFC
  • Mamelukes, 10 mm Old Glory NAP-128
  • Mamelukes of the Guard, 1:300 Heroics & Ros MFN24A

Possible Conversion

  • Lithuanian Tatars (lancers) of the French Guard. For the 1812 campaign in Russia, each of the participating French guard cavalry units received a squadron of Tatars, quite possibly in response to the numerous Cossack lancer units serving in the Russian army.

Bibliography

Frequently Asked Questions

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French Napoleonic Miniatures