Victorian Warfare Supplemental: Scots Guards Lead the Royal Review

Victorian Warfare 1

I came across this video showing 5 companies of the Household Division reviewing for Queen Elizabeth’s annual birthday parade. Starting at around 1:12:00, the march around the parade ground is the most perfect visual illustration of Napoleonic battlefield maneuvering I could hope for. This is a column one company in frontage with each company formed in two ranks. At 1:20:30 you can see them deploy from column into line, and at 1:25:00, the Household Cavalry (cuirassiers) begin their march-past in full kit. I would point out that British heavy cavalry did not actually wear a cuirass during the Napoleonic period, though those of other nations generally did.

What you see in the video was the standard battalion column setup for the British army in the Napoleonic wars, though occasionally they would form four ranks deep if extra staying power was required (against a cavalry charge, for instance). A period battalion would also have an additional 5 companies for a total of 10, including one of grenadiers and one of light infantry. As stated in the previous post, they would deploy into line just out of range of enemy musketry.

These are not reenactors but actual fighting troops. The Scots Guards (who contributed the lead company) shipped out for Afghanistan just a few weeks after this was taken.

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