25. Cuirassier, France, 1812
The French heavy cavalry were the most feared and respected elite unit on the Napoleonic battlefield. In their shiny breastplates (the "cuirass" that gives them their name) and their horsehair plumed helmets, Cuirassiers cut a striking figure. Although poor protection against musket shot the cuirass gave protection from sword and lance and also an imposing appearance.
Picutred is a maréchal-des-logis chef of the 1ère cuirassiers regiment.