In the event, in a series of massed charges against Prussian infantry and artillery at Froeschwiller and Rezonville, the French cuirassiers suffered very heavy losses for little return. The French term means “one with a cuirass ” cuirasse , the breastplate armour which they wore. Cuirassiers played a prominent role in the armies of Austria, and of Frederick the Great of Prussia. The head was protected by a close helm , burgonet or lobster-tailed pot helmet, usually worn with a gorget for the neck. They wore three-quarter armour that covered the entire upper body as well as the front half of the legs down to the knee. Long tassets , instead of a combination of short tassets with cuisses , protected the front of the thighs and knees, Riding boots were substituted for lower leg armour greaves and sabatons.
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By the mid 17th century, the fully armoured cuirassier was becoming increasingly anachronistic.
One cuirassier regiment still forms part of the French Army. The first cuirassiers were similar in appearance to the fully armoured Late Medieval man-at-arms. Inthe German Army still retained cuirassiers ten regiments including the Gardes du Corps and the Guards Cuirassiers ; as chirassier the French twelve regiments and the Russian four regiments, all of the Imperial Guard armies.
French 6th Cuirassier Regiment in The armour of a cuirassier was very expensive; in England, ina cuirassier’s equipment cost four pounds and 10 shillings, whilst a harquebusier ‘s a lighter type of cavalry was a mere one pound cuirassjer six shillings.
Commons category link is on Wikidata. The Russian and German cuirassiers ceased to exist when the Imperial duirassier in both countries were disbanded; respectively in due to the revolution cuiraseier in due to the Treaty of Versailles. The last occasions when cuirassiers played a major tactical role as shock cavalry wearing traditional armour, were during the Franco-Prussian War of The French term means “one with a cuirass ” cuirassethe breastplate armour which they wore.
It also had cujrassier psychological effect for the wearer effectively making the cuirassier more willing to plunge into the thick of fighting and the enemy adding intimidationwhile it also added weight to a charge, especially in cavalry versus cavalry actions. Despite being highly advanced from the plate armour of old, the Napoleonic era cuirass was still quite cumbersome and hot to wear in warm weather; however, cuirasssier added protection that it gave to the wearer and the imposing appearance of an armoured cavalryman were factors favouring retention.
The Austrian cuirassiers were abolished in The arms and shoulders were fully armoured with pauldronsrerebraceselbow couters and vambraces. The Sikh Army By the time of the French Revolutionary Warsfew heavy cuirassoer regiments, excepting those of Austria, wore the cuirass on campaign.
6th Cuirassier Regiment (France) – Wikipedia
The change from cavalry being reliant on firearms, to shock-capable close combat cavalry reliant mainly on the sword was often attributed to Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the s and s. The twelve Austrian cuirassier regiments in existence between and when the number was reduced unusually wore only a front plate. Cuirassiers were generally the senior branch of the mounted portion of an army, retaining their status as heavy cavalry—”big men on big horses”.
The head was protected by a close helmburgonet or lobster-tailed pot helmet, usually worn with a gorget for the neck. The torso was protected by a breast and back plate, sometimes reinforced by a ‘placate’. The Army of Francis Joseph. During the latter half of the 16th century, the heavy “knightly” lance gradually fell out of use perhaps because of the widespread adoption of the infantry pike.
The utility of this armour was sometimes disputed.
8 Best Napoleonic, French, cuirassier images | Napoleonic wars, Soldiers, Military art
Cuirassiers played a prominent role in the armies of Austria, and of Frederick the Great of Prussia. The three Household Cavalry regiments of the British Army 1st and 2nd Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards adopted cuirasses shortly after the Napoleonic Wars as a part of their full dress uniforms, but never had occasion to wear the armour in battle.
The retention of cuirasses as part of their field uniform by the French Army in reflected the historic prestige of this branch of the cavalry, dating back through the Franco-Prussian War to the campaigns of Napoleon. Before the war, it had been argued within the army that the cuirass should be limited to parade dress but upon mobilisation in the only concession made to active service was the addition of a cover of brown or blue cloth  over the shining steel and brass of the metal equipment to make the wearer less visible.
Horse armour was not used.
Dress and Appointments In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The French cuirassiers continued in existence after World War I, although without their traditional armour and reduced in numbers to only the six regiments that had been most decorated during the war.
The cuirassier lost his limb armour and entered the 18th century with just the breast and backplate. French Cent-garde breastplate 19th centurystill used in combat.