Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Mamelukes at full strength

In 1802 Bonaparte decided to form a squadron of Mameluks organized like hussars. Napoleon decided that the valiant cavaliers with dark skins would help to reinforce his own prestige and incorporated them into his Imperial Guard. They fought at Leipzig.
The Mameluks ('Mamelucos' in spanish) were hated by the Spaniards. During the revolt in Madrid the "popular fury was loosed upon the Mameluks. These 'pagan sons of dogs' were assailed by women who jumped onto the cruppers of their horses ... Before a house in the Carrera de San Jeronimo two Mameluks fell to the pavement, shot from the window above. Furious their comrades entered the house, killed all the occupants - both men and women - and threw their heads into the street. ... Towards two in the afternoon the canaille was finally subdued; but then the reprisals began. Tied in pairs to the strirrups of the Mameluks and Guard Chasseurs, the condemned were dragged to the Pardo, the Retiro, and the Convent del Jesús were firing-parties awaited them." (Lachouque - "The Anatomy of Glory")

Enjoy the picture depicting the squadron of HäT mameluks, painted by my Argentinian friend Armand d'Arc

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