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French 4th Cuirassiers Trumpeter--single mounted figure

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First Legion, Ltd.

Item Number: FPW029

French 4th Cuirassiers Trumpeter

French 4th Cuirassiers

When asked to abolish the famous red trousers of the French army in 1913, just before the outbreak of the First World War, the French War Minister Eugene Etienne famously replied “Non, jamais! Le pantalon rouge c'est la France!”  Even though this statement was made more than 40 years after the war of 1870, the introduction of red trousers to the Cuirassiers regiments was probably the only major change that had been made to this most distinguished arm of the heavy French cavalry over much of the course of the 19th century.  As such, by the time of the outbreak of the war of 1870, the French cuirassiers entered the conflict hopelessly obsolete on the battlefield having changed little in uniform, weaponry, tactics, or doctrine since the days of the First Empire more than 60 years earlier.  This was to have tragic consequences, as the various Cuirassiers regiments executed numerous valiant charges during the conflict only to find themselves hopelessly outgunned and frequently decimated by the Prussian infantry and artillery which they faced.

Our rendition of the French Cuirassiers shows the brave men of the 4th Cuirassiers executing just such a charge, riding on to face the enemy despite the almost certain outcome. 


The Franco-Prussian War was fought between the French under Napoleon III and the Prussians of Otto von Bismarck from 1870-1871.  The war was provoked by Bismarck to further his agenda of creating a unified German State, rallying the southern German states to his cause who believed France to be the aggressor.  A quick series of victories by the Prussians and Germans in Eastern France lead to the capture of several key cities and Napoleon III himself, leading to the fall of the Second French Empire and the rapid creation of the Third French Republic.  The Republican forces were defeated as well culminating in the Siege of Paris.  The war ended with the Treaty of Frankfurt in May 1871 and the result of the conflict was a unified German Nation State opening the door for German expansionism and Imperialism.  France was ordered to pay significant reparations and to cede Alsace-Lorraine to Germany.  The combination of French bitterness and German nationalism resulting from the Franco-Prussian War planted the seeds of the larger First World War some 40 years later.

60mm Hand Painted figure for collectors from the Franco-Prussian War product range.

Released in OCTOBER 2022.