1st Regiment of Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard - 1er régiment de grenadiers à pied de la Garde impériale

1 st regiment pomegranate walk from the Guard


Drawing by Hippolyte Bellangé , a soldier and an officer of the one he régiment de grenadiers à pied de la Garde impériale the Old Guard representing
active 1799 to 1815
State Flag of France.svg France
Armed forces Flag of France.svg Great Army
Armed forces Flag of France.svg Imperial Guard Infantry
Branch of service Infantry
Type Regiment
Insinuation Imperial Guard

Higonet (1804)
Dorsenne (1805–1807)
Michel (1807–1813)
Small (1813–1815)

The one he régiment de grenadiers à pied de la Garde impériale (oF |. 1 Regiment Grenadiers walk of the Imperial Guard) was an elite regiment of the Grande Armée in the Napoleonic Wars . It belonged to the Garde impériale and was one of only four regiments that had been given the title Old Guard . (The others were the 1 er chasseurs à pied , the Chasseurs à cheval and the Grenadiers à cheval .) It was the oldest infantry regiment of the Grande Armée.

Lineup and significant changes

Général Claude-Étienne Michel , who commanded the regiment from 1807 to 1813. He fell in the Battle of Waterloo during the storm of the Guards on Mont-Saint-Jean.
  • 1799 : Aufstellung als Grenadiers on foot of the Guard of the consuls
  • 1804 : Umbenennung in Regiment of grenadiers on foot of the Consular Guard
  • 1805 : Umbenennung in Regiment of grenadiers on foot of the Imperial Guard
  • 1806 : Umbenennung 1 er on foot grenadiers of the Garde Imperiale
  • 1814 : Dissolution and reorganization as Corps royal des grenadiers de France [1]
  • 1815 : During the reign of the Hundred Days, the name was changed to 1 er régiment de grenadiers à pied de la Garde impériale


The regiment was next to the "1 er chasseurs" the most respected of the Napoleonic times. The men in this unit had long years of service behind them, took part in many campaigns, and were more or less immune to the horrors of war. The majority of soldiers already served in the First Coalition War .

From the Battle of Austerlitz to the Battle of Waterloo, the regiment's veterans never backed away from the enemy. The withdrawal at Waterloo was only due to an order from Napoléon . In this battle 40% of the grenadiers were awarded the Legion of Honor. Almost all of them had served 14 or more years of service, and soldiers with the triple angle on the upper arm, awarded for more than seven years of service, were not uncommon.

Battle of Waterloo

The grenadiers of the Old Guard in action, recognizable by the characteristic fur hat of the elite regiments of the Guard (drawing by Bellangé, before 1900)

At Rossome, the regiment formed two squares of infantry , it was - as even the English admitted - the elite corps of the guard. The regiment took up positions on the left and right of the street in front of the Maison Decoster. The two battalions formed the head of the army.

All around them the ground was covered with corpses and British cavalrymen made advances to dissolve the ranks. There were also French casualties who tried to take shelter within the squares but were struck down by their own fire. The stability of the squares could only be guaranteed at this price.

"We shot everything that came in our way, friends or enemies, for fear of letting the wrong go through, that was bad for the good",

wrote later General Petit, Commander of the Regiment.

The squares were outflanked to the right and left, but repelled any direct attack. The emperor, who had found refuge in one of these squares, then ordered the retreat.

The grenadiers began to withdraw, covering the retreat of the entire army. Every 200 meters a stop was made and a new square was formed to fend off the advancing enemy, who felt less and less inclination to attack this living rampart. But it no longer mattered, the battle was lost. The fight was almost over and no one could be the last to die. The Emperor went to the 1st Battalion of the one herégiment de chasseurs, which had just repulsed a Prussian attack and so tried to ease the pressure of the advancing Allies. Later the grenadiers withdrew in columns without being attacked. Defeated, the Guard still impressed the enemy, but the Imperial Military episode was over.

Battles and campaigns with the participation of the regiment

  • 1800: Campaign in Italy (1799-1800)
Battle of Marengo
  • 1805: Campaign in Austria
Battle of Ulm
Battle of Austerlitz
  • 1806: Campaign in Prussia
Battle of Jena and Auerstedt
  • 1807: Campaign in Poland
Battle of Prussian Eylau
Battle of Friedland
  • 1809: Campaign in Germany and Austria
Battle of Aspern
Battle of Wagram
Battle of Eggmühl
Battle of Krasnoi
Battle of Smolensk
Battle of Borodino
  • 1813: Campaign in Germany
Battle of Großgörschen
Battle of Reichenbach
Battle of Dresden
Battle of the Nations near Leipzig
Battle of Hanau
  • 1814: Campaign in France
Battle of Montmirail
Battle of Vauchamps
Battle of Laon
Battle of Soissons
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
Battle of Paris
  • 1815: Campaign in Belgium
Battle of Ligny
Battle of Waterloo

Inscriptions on the flag from model 1812

These are the battles in which the regiment gloriously took part, or the enemy capitals into which it marched.

Battle of Essling (painting by Fernand Cormon). In the center is a wounded regiment officer. On the left a column appears with the tambours at the head, on the right a row of grenadiers who intervene in the battle in front of them.
  • Marengo (1800)
  • Ulm (1805)
  • Austerlitz (1805)
  • Iéna (1806)
  • Eylau (1807)
  • Friedland (1807)
  • Eckmuhl (1809)
  • Essling (1809)
  • Wagram (1809)
  • Smolensk (1812)
  • La Moskowa (1812)
  • Vienna (1809)
  • Berlin (1806)
  • Madrid (1808)
  • Moscow (1812)
Commons : Flags of the 1st Regiment of Grenadiers à pied - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Royal Grenadier Corps of France


  • Stories and Battles of Napoleon. 1. Band: The Old Guard .
  • Denys Prache: The soldiers of Napoleon. Hatier, 1983, ISBN 2-218-06647-5 .