The Éclaireurs of the Guard (French: Éclaireurs de la Garde) was a Corps of cavalry scouts of the French Imperial Guard, which included three cavalry regiments created by Napoleon when he reorganised the Imperial Guard following the disaster of the 1812 campaign in Russia. The Corps was created in Article I of the decree of 4 December 1813.
The 1st regiment was divided into the Old Guard and Young Guard squadrons, with the first two wearing a uniform of the hussars, also sometimes known as Hussards Éclaireurs, and the others wearing a coatee similar to the Chasseurs a Cheval.
All three regiments were organised into four squadrons with 250 sabres in two companies each. Due to insufficient recruits, an appeal was made for volunteers from the Cavalry of the Line, and 1,005 troopers eventually were added to the regimental rolls. Although half of the Éclaireurs were armed with 2.75m long lances issued in 1812 to the line regiments, and the rest with carbines, the regiments were rarely employed as lancers in battle, more usually acting as scouts for the Army as a whole. The lances had crimson over white pennons although none were initially intended for issue, and many troopers were lacking these also. The rest of the weapons equipping the Éclaireurs were the standard Chasseur a Cheval model Year XIII cavalry pistols and model Year IX light cavalry sabre. Due to general lack of equipment only the 3rd regiment was able to obtain shabraques, with only officers being so equipped in the 1st and 2nd regiments.
The regiments, owing to their scouting role, were not issued Eagles.
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... The third regiment was recruited from Polish cavalry line regiments serving with the French Army, and was attached to the 1st Lancers of the Guard, also a Polish regiment. ...
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