Napoleon's Imperial Guard was one of the most famous military formations in history. The Imperial Guard could perform ceremonial duties as well as any, but it was primarily as an elite combat formation of the army that it excelled. Although it would expand to represent a considerable portion of France's military establishment, it remained Napoleon's personal guard during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) and was accorded care and attention which set its members above the rest of the army. In this book, Philip Haythornthwaite examines their lives, organisation and privileges, paying particular attention to how their experience differed from those of the regular French line units.
Philip Haythornthwaite is an author and historical consultant specialising in the military history, uniforms and equipment of the 18th and 19th centuries. His main area of research covers the Napoleonic Wars. He has written some forty books, including more than 20 Osprey titles, and innumerable articles and papers on military history, but still finds time to indulge in his other great passion: cricket.