Sunday 2 November 2014

New: 28mm Napoleonic Mamelukes from Gringo's

The Emperor Napoleon brought the Mamelukes back from Egypt following the campaign of the Orient (1798-1801) and made them a part of his Imperial Guard. Mamelukes fought alongside the Guard Chasseurs à Cheval, riding the same horses and receiving shabraques of a comparable design.

They never numbered more than 250 and by 1805 it was estimated that their complement was about half that number. With their ranks depleted the Mamelukes drew replacements from Frenchmen who were eager to serve in this exotically dressed unit.

 At the Battle of Austerlitz, it was the Mamelukes counter-attack that defeated the Russian cavalry.

 A Mameluke by the name of Roustam Raza served as the Emperor’s personal servant and bodyguard until 1814, having been presented to Napoleon in 1798 by the Sheikh of Cairo. Raza was assisted by the Frenchman Louis Etienne Saint Denis whom Napoleon made a Mameluke. The Emperor dressed Saint-Denis as such and called him Ali. While Roustam Raza refused to go Elba Saint-Denis followed the Emperor into exile on the island where he served as Napoleons second valet and librarian.

These exotic cavalrymen became so symbolic of Napoleon and the Empire that following Boneparte’s final fall many Mamelukes were murdered by French Royalists seeking revenge on those who had supported the Corsican usurper during his reign.

Miniature Figures painted by Andy Taylor.