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Author Topic: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?  (Read 2461 times)

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Offline Bravescot

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Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:40:56 am »
It's been something that has been bothering me for a while and I've never really been able to find a proper answer to the question. Why is it that in 1806 (and other years) there were French regiments using white uniforms?

53e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1806
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110e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1806
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88e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1813
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33e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1807
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31e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1812
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I got to say though. I can of prefer the white uniforms.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:48:19 am by Bravescot »

Offline Intel Guardian

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 09:46:56 am »
They had a lack of blue dye due to the British blockades, and I believe that it was also to save money (some how).
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:49:48 am by Intel Guardian »

Offline Bluehawk

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 10:34:31 am »
Napoleon also liked the idea of returning to the gray-white uniforms of Royal France, which the majority wore except for some blue-coated Guards and red-coated foreign regiments. They proved to be less durable though, because they soiled so easily. They would end up costing more in the long run by being replaced more frequently, if the army were to make a complete conversion. They were also unpopular with the men, since even the oldest grognards in the army were veterans of the Republic and not the Kingdom.

http://www.warfare.altervista.org/19C/FrenchWhiteUniforms1806-7.htm

Offline Intel Guardian

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 08:48:24 pm »
Napoleon also liked the idea of returning to the gray-white uniforms of Royal France, which the majority wore except for some blue-coated Guards and red-coated foreign regiments. They proved to be less durable though, because they soiled so easily. They would end up costing more in the long run by being replaced more frequently, if the army were to make a complete conversion. They were also unpopular with the men, since even the oldest grognards in the army were veterans of the Republic and not the Kingdom.

http://www.warfare.altervista.org/19C/FrenchWhiteUniforms1806-7.htm

Didn't he change them back to blue mainly because he despised Royal France? I remember seeing it somewhere. I'll try to find it.

Edit: http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/napoleonic_uniforms.html

"In 1806 as a result of the British naval blockade there was a shortage of indigo used for dyeing cloth and so Napoleon ordered the introduction of a white uniform for his line infantry. According to Decree of April 25th 1806 the following regiments of line infantry were assigned white coats: 3rd, 4th, 8th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, 32nd, 33rd, 34th and 36th Line. (Journal Militaire Vol I 1806, pp 176-178)
The next decree mentioned all line regiments.

Napoleon expressed his disapproval and only 18 of the 112 regiments were issued with these. This is said that it happened after he saw bloodstained white uniforms at Eylau. But to me this reason sounds a little bit strange. The battle at Eylau was fought on a snowy, winter day and soldier wore the warm long greatcoat. If he was wounded the greatcoat, and not the white jacket, was "marked". Secondly, white uniforms didn't bother the Austrians, they wore them all the time. It didn't bother the Saxon soldiers neither. I guess the white color reminded Napoleon the old regime of previous century and therefore he disapproved it."
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 08:50:37 pm by Intel Guardian »

Offline Jackson

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 11:56:52 pm »
If he so disliked the white coats of the monarchy why would he order them in the first place?

It's been something that has been bothering me for a while and I've never really been able to find a proper answer to the question. Why is it that in 1806 (and other years) there were French regiments using white uniforms?

88e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1813
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31e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne - 1812
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Those are just the waistcoats (which were sleeved for enlisted men), which were worn on their own as fatigue jackets or when performing manual labour.
-Freelance character designer for Holdfast: Nations At War.

Offline Intel Guardian

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 07:06:44 pm »
If he so disliked the white coats of the monarchy why would he order them in the first place?

People have the ability to change their minds, and Napoleon wasn't the most stable of individuals.

Offline Jackson

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 07:47:38 pm »
Napoleon was legendary in his level-headedness.
-Freelance character designer for Holdfast: Nations At War.

Offline Blaze

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 09:15:52 pm »
Napoleon was legendary in his level-headedness.
Now this I agree with.

Offline Cara

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 10:11:45 pm »
Everything was well-answered. One reason to add, highlighted by Maréchal Berthier among others : there was a lot of significant incidents of friendly fires between french regiments due to some men used to face white-uniform armies since 1792.

Offline McLovin

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 09:48:25 pm »
Napoleon once said about these white uniforms: "It would be no small economy to dress the troops in white, though it may be said, truly enough, that they have succeeded pretty well in blue. I don't think, however, that their strength lies in the colours of their coats, as that of Samson did with the length of his hair."

Offline LePoof

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 04:08:32 pm »
Who wears white after Labor Day, tisk tisk tisk fashion no no Nappy...


Offline Irregular Alcoholic

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Re: Why did some French regiments go back to using white?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 02:26:35 am »
how long white uniform be white if it not a winter uniform?and not a sailor uniform?
how many hours?