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Foot Dragoon Biting A Cartridge, Dragons a Pied--single figure

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Item Number: NA492

Foot Dragoon Biting A Cartridge, Dragons a Pied, the ‘Foot Dragoons’.

Once a paper cartridge was taken out of the pouch, the soldier had to bite the top off before carefully pouring most of the gun powder down inside the barrel and then inserting the steel ball.  A small amount of powder was retained for the firing pan of the musket while the empty paper cartridge was pushed down the barrel with the ramrod in order to keep the ball in place before firing.  During the Napoleonic Wars, a properly trained group of regular infantry soldiers was able to load and fire four rounds a minute.  Some expert rifle regiments could even load and fire five aimed rounds in a minute.  Foot Dragoons would fall into the former group as regards ‘rate of fire’.

Dragons a Pied, the ‘Foot Dragoons’.

In early 1805, as Napoleon gathered his forces together at Boulogne for a projected invasion of Britain he decided to dismount several regiments of Dragoons in order to more easily transport them across the English channel. He supposed that these troops would fight on foot after their initial landing until such time as they could capture or requisition sufficient horses to be remounted.

After the French defeat at Trafalgar in October 1805 the invasion was cancelled however these ‘Foot Dragoons’ did not have their mounts returned. Instead they were dispatched to fight on foot in campaigns across Europe and into Austria and Russia.

They did however retain their tall brass helmets complete with black horsehair plumes and the traditional, green tunics of French Light Cavalry and Infantry as well as their long dragoon muskets.

To suit their new fighting role they wore long, black canvas leggings and the regular French Army infantry backpack.

Released in APRIL 2022.