Chasseurs à Cheval (NTW unit)
|Chasseurs à Cheval|
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Fast moving and good in melee, these light cavalrymen can pursue fleeing enemies and keep them from regrouping.
These light cavalrymen do not hold with armour, even the sensible steel skull caps many other units favour beneath their officially-sanctioned hats and caps. Chasseurs à Cheval carry swords, carbines and pistols, but they are not expected to charge home, merely harass and pursue enemies. This makes them effective against skirmishers and artillery. Their horses have good endurance, are fast and properly looked after: a cavalryman without his horse is useless. They are vulnerable when matched against heavier cavalry and well-trained infantry in square.
Historically, the Chasseurs à Cheval were given the impressive nickname of ‘Invincibles’ by Napoleon. The men of this regiment were veterans from the Guides à Cheval, a regiment created to guard Napoleon’s headquarters when he was on campaign in Italy. The Chasseurs went on to act as a personal escort to Napoleon, following him everywhere. So deep was Napoleon’s respect for this unit and its men that he regularly chose to appear in public sporting their green undress uniform. This affectation also suited his sense of theatre and emphasised his common touch with the ordinary soldiers.