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Historical Miniatures
Historical miniature modeling of any size, scale, or subject.
Prisoners Of War
long_tom
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Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 10:12 PM UTC
I thought of depicting Napoleonic prisoners of war. When a soldier is captured and detained, do they take everything other than the uniform? what about helmets or hats or swords?
PeeDee
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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:41 AM UTC
For the rank and file soldier or sailor the Napoleonic wars meant imprisonment with very little by way of possessions.

If I rember correctly, the famous high security prison on Dartmoor was built for this purpose.

For officers it was different, many would offer their sword as a gesture of submission, and being offered parole and if accepted, their sword would be returned, on the word of a gentleman.

Some officers were treated as guests and informed observers by their captors.

Others were swapped in prisoner exhanges in the early years, but I believe I read that Napoleon stopped this practise.

Paul.
long_tom
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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 06:15 AM UTC
Thanks. I thought I did read that the British army, after defeating the French forces in Egypt, ended up sending the soldiers back to France on ships, the idea being they had far too many people to have to feed and house, and no place to put them.

At the end of World War Two, I read that the occupying Allied forces had ceremonies where they formally discharged German soldiers from the military en masse. Did the same thing happen after Waterloo? I can imagine the allied forces being scared of Napoleon and what he had been able to do by then.
GazzaS
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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 07:44 AM UTC
Many French POWs in British 'care' were locked in terrible conditions in prison ships. Much scrimshaw and other bone art was created by these prisoners. I doubt they got anything in the way of prison uniform.

After the first fall of Napoleon, 70k French POWs were returned from Russian captivity. In the book I read, they were called 'scarecrows'.

I can't imagine they were allowed to keep much. Much of their gear would be useless to a prisoner anyway. They probably hung on to their forage caps and packs if allowed. If it couldn't keep them warm or help hold food, they may have seen brass decorated shakos as useless weight.

Cheers,

Gaz
long_tom
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Posted: Friday, April 22, 2016 - 10:35 PM UTC
The scenario I have in mind are freshly-disarmed hussars watching victorious Highlanders march past. Question is, were the allied armies still afraid of the French ones now that Napoleon was safely in their hands? France did have an army after Napoleon surrendered for the first time.
PeeDee
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Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 01:06 AM UTC
I am not sure where that scene could actually happen.

The Allies marched straight on to Paris and formed the Army of Occupation after Napoleon's second abdication.

The Royslist army was reformed pretty quickly when Louis returned.
I don't think there was any worry of the Army from Waterloo fighting on in any way after the battles' end.
Many threw away weapons and kit as they fled, they would know they would be pursued by Cavalry and would be cut down without mercy if they raised any weapon.
I don't know how elde to help you other than to suggest you google the phrase
'paintings, evening of waterloo'

I would say go fot it and make the model anyway, have fun.

Paul
long_tom
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Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 04:26 PM UTC
I remember reading in the book about Napoleonic infantry that many of the soldiers were conscripts being given nothing more than an overcoat and a pokalem cap and maybe some equipment.

Question is, why would any Frenchmen even want to fight under Napoleon again? I would have thought they lost too many people and resources already.