Dragoons together with the Cuirassiers formed the so called "German" element of Austria's Cavalry force. The Austrian Dragoon had a long tradition and generally good reputation for their fighting abilities. The Chevaux-Légers were a relatively new branch founded in 1758 but were soon successful as a combat arm. The Chevaux-Légers combined the best virtues of the quick and ferocious Hussars with the good and steady combat appearance of the "German Cavalry" and soon became one of the best branches of Austrian Cavalry. The Chevaux-Légers were subject of many changes and reorganisation. In 1798 the Chevaux-Légers and Dragoons were amalgamated into the "Light Dragoons". The Light Dragoon were ordered to wear green uniforms, white breeches, a helmet with black and yellow crest, and white leather belts. In 1801 the "Light Dragoons" were split again into Dragoons and Chevaux-Légers. Principally the Chevaux-Légers should keep the green uniform and the Dragoons change to white. But reality was different as the 3rd, 5th and 6th Chevaux-Légers Regiments wore white uniforms for most of the period.
At the beginning of the Wars of the French Revolution the Austrian Cavalry was superior to the French Cavalry. But this changed fast, as Napoleon reorganised the French Cavalry as a powerful instrument of war with new inspiring leaders. The Austrian Cavalry could not cope with this and relied to much on their "principals of war" of the 18th century. This affected also the Chevaux-Légers, but mostly to a lesser degree. Even in the catastrophic 1805 campaign the highlights of the Austrian Cavalry were set by two Chevaux-Léger regiments. The Chevaux-Léger Regiment Nr. 4 La Tour (later St. Vincent) routed the 15th Dragoons capturing one of the eagles, during the disastrous Ulm campaign. And at Austerlitz the Regiment Nr. 3 O'Reilly defeated five French Dragoon Regiments, before being stopped by the veteran 21st Dragoon, during the retreat from Austerlitz. This attack was covering the retreat of the allied left wing and was "buying time" for several thousand Austrian and Russian soldiers, who could retreat in safety.
These figures have the helmet with the higher comb which was common at least from 1805 on. For conversion purpose spare heads with the Chevaux-Légers casquet which was used until 1798, and the tricorn which was used by the remaining "German". Cavalry regiments – so the Dragoons and Cuirassiers until 1798. So the tricorn can be used to convert the Austrian Cuirassiers, # 8015. In return the heads of the Cuirassiers (helmets with lower comb) can be used to convert the Chevaux-Légers for the 1798 – 1704 period. This set offers the option to be painted as early regiments (Chevaux-Légers or Dragoons with apparent boots) or with trousers for units fighting in the later campaigns of 1809 onwards.
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