Could You Survive as a Soldier of Napoleon?
In this video we experience life as a Napoleonic soldier at the beginning of the 19th century. Napoleon’s Grande Armée was one of the greatest battlefield forces ever assembled, but what were the challenges of army life for ordinary line infantry troops? We take a closer look at the uniform and equipment of Napoleon’s troops, find out about military training during the period, and explore how these men coped with Napoleon’s military campaigns.
By joining up with historical reenactment group 21eme Regiment de Ligne, I also learn more about the more mundane aspects of a soldier’s daily life in the 19th century. As well as fighting in Napoleon’s greatest battles like Austerlitz, Borodino and Waterloo, regular fusiliers spent much of their time cleaning their weapons and uniform, marching huge distances, and attempting to stave off hunger and disease.
We also look closely at two of the greatest dangers for a soldier on a Napoleonic battlefield: cavalry and artillery. Napoleon was a trained artillery officer who knew that his cannons could swing a battle, while his horsemen were the envy of Europe.
We also bust some of the biggest myths about Napoleon and his army. Did Napoleon fire cannons at the Pyramids? Did Napoleon fire cannons at a frozen lake? Did Napoleon invade Russia?
With Ridley Scott’s Napoleon movie due to be released in 2023, we move the spotlight back to the ordinary soldiers of the Grande Armée, and ask whether YOU could survive in Napoleon’s army?
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02:36 Recruitment and conscription
07:37 Uniform in the French army
10:42 What soldiers carried
13:43 Infantry training
14:33 The Charleville musket
19:48 Firing in ranks
23:57 Life in the army
24:46 Slang phrases
26:57 Napoleonic artillery
33:45 Napoleonic cavalry
37:33 Invasion of Russia
40:14 Battle of Waterloo
43:33 Could you survive?
Credit to : Survive History