Napoleonic Horse Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard Saber. Klingenthal factory signature. Tempered carbon steel, wood scabbard with steel fittings.
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The Napoleonic saber with its eye-catching flaming bomb emblazoned upon the hilt identifies itself as a sword of the "Grenadier a Cheval de la Garde" - The Horse Grenadiers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. An elite among elites, these blades would be wielded by the hand-picked mounted Grenadiers - the senior cavalry of the Imperial Guard. At their height the regiment weighed in at 1100 men commanded by some of the most famous cavalrymen of the day.
The Horse Grenadiers only saw action a handful of times in Napoleon’s campaigns and were usually held in reserve, ready to be sent rushing into the fray to tip the balance of a fight in Napoleon’s favor at a decisive moment if he needed it. These seasoned men and their expertly-crafted swords met the enemy at decisive battles such as Marengo, Austerlitz, Eylau, Hanau and Waterloo. Though used infrequently, Napoleon was often wise to preserve their strength, for they made impressive gains against the foe when unleashed.
This was proven at the 1805 battle of Austerlitz during the War of the Third Coalition. Napoleon, in a gamble, managed to shatter the center of the Austrian / Russian army with overwhelming pressure and was at work isolating and dismantling the now-split coalition army. This plan was under threat of falling apart when Napoleon's forces were flanked in a heady assault by the considerable Russian Imperial Guard, who had been held in reserve. They smashed a French line battalion, killing over 400 and capturing the regimental eagle. A relieving French Light regiment was also broken.
Napoleon, keen to bring the rampaging Russians to heel, sent in the Horse Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard, supported by the horsemen of the Chasseurs à Cheval and Napoleon’s Mamelukes. This counter-charging tide of green-uniformed Chasseurs, Imperial Guard Grenadier steel and sash-and-saber Mamelukes traded blows with the Russian Imperial Guard Cavalry, who were forced to yield before the French. These elite Russians were soundly defeated in the melee - many were killed and over 200 men, including their commander were taken prisoner. Only 2 Frenchmen were killed and 22 wounded in the hoof-pounding counter-charge. Though the Horse Grenadiers had last been used in combat five years prior, it was clear that this relative inactivity did little to blunt their blades.
This Napoleonic saber of the Horse Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard has an unsharpened blade of tempered high carbon steel. The spine of the blade bears the signature of the Klingenthal factory - the favored swordmaker of Napoleonic France. The hilt is of cast brass and the grip is covered in tight black leather overlaid with spiralled brass wire. The hard-core scabbard is of wood cased within an outer sleeve of brass with two integrated steel hanging rings and a steel chape.
Steel: Tempered EN9 High Carbon Steel.
Overall Length: 44 1/2".
Blade: 37 3/4".
P.O.B.: 6 1/4".
Grip Length: 5 1/4".
Weight: 3 lb 3 oz.
Napoleonic French swords and sabers.