Carabinier, Left and Cuirassier, Right formed the majority of Napoleon’s heavy cavalry throughout the many battles leading up to and including Waterloo. The Curassiers, 14 regiments strong, named for the front and back armor they wore, known as the Cuirass, were the shock troops of the cavalry. Large armored men on large horses, they were designed to smash through the enemy lines. They were less designed for picket duty, or the exploitation of broken infantry, since the heavy mounts became winded, or ‘blown’ easily after a charge. These latter duties were best left to the light cavalry and Dragoons.
The Carabiniers consisted of two regiments which were held in the strategic reserve. These very elite troopers were originally designated by Louis XIV as the picked men of the cavalry in much the same way Grenadiers were the picked men of the infantry. The Carabiniers were a seasoned, elite and favored cavalry. These men were usually sent in to the battle at a strategically important moment. They received their armor of polished brass late in the battles of the French Empire, after 1812. Both divisions have the armor, the high crested helmet adorned to make them look even more imposing.
These kits are wonderfully sculpted once again by Imrie-Risley Miniatures. The history and coloring are directly from one of my favorite books(of which I have many),
“Les Uniformes de l’Armee Fancais 1660’a 1845”, by Charles Vernier and Colonel Paul Willing.