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Horace Vernet's painting "Battle of Hanau", held at the National Gallery in London. This scene depicts the Austro-Bavarian cavalry charge on the French Grand Battery and the countercharge of Nansouty's French Guard cavalry.

Right next to General Nansouty (with his back to the viewer with the powdered wig) at the Battle of Hanau there is a cavalryman with a red hat that starts round and ends square on the top. What is this hat called and the function of this individual?

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    They're Polish lancers. For future reference, I typed 'napoleonic wars uniform hats' into google and the preview pane of the images (not the images page itself) showed this hat. – Daniel Aug 8 at 9:59
  • @Daniel thanks for the tip. This will save me and the people researching a lot of time! – Tom Aug 8 at 10:07
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It is the headgear of the 1st Polish Guard Light Cavalry (Lancers)

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High (22 cm) czapkas had their forehead metals made of brass (officer's of silver) with a rising sun and the letter "N". For the parade czapka was crowned with 47 cm long plume of heron's or ostrich white feathers,[32] and a cockade with a blue center, broad crimson middle band and a narrow white outer edging, with the blue practically hidden under the silver Maltese cross.

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The French Order of Battle at Hanau shows Nansouty commanding the Imperial Guard Cavalry:

Imperial Guard cavalry (4,000 men), under the command of General Etienne de Nansouty:

  • 1st division under Philippe Antoine d'Ornano:

    • Brigade Pierre David de Colbert-Chabanais
      • Berg lancers (6 sq.)
      • 2e régiment de chevau-légers lanciers de la Garde Impériale (10 sq.)
    • Brigade Pinteville:
      • Dragoons of the Young Guard (2 sq.)
  • 2nd division under Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes:

    • Brigade Bertrand Pierre Castex:
      • 1er régiment de chevau-légers lanciers polonais de la Garde impériale, Young Guard (4 sq.)
      • Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, Young Guard (4 sq.)
      • Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, Young Guard (2 sq.)
  • 3rd division under Frédéric Henri Walther:

    • Brigade Jean-Dieudonné Lion:
      • 1er régiment de chevau-légers lanciers polonais de la Garde impériale, Old Guard (3 sq.)
      • 4th Gardes d'Honneur (4 sq.)
      • Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, Old Guard (6 sq.)
    • Brigade Louis-Michel Letort de Lorville:
      • 1st Gardes d'Honneur (4 sq.)
      • Dragoons of the Old Guard (4 sq.)
      • 2nd Gardes d'Honneur (4 sq.)
    • Brigade Louis-Marie Lévesque de Laferrière:
      • Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, Old Guard (4 sq.)
      • 3rd Gardes d'Honneur (4 sq.)
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    You sure know your Napoleonic wars! I know i have seen the headwear in London but English cavalry helping France did not seem right to me. – Tom Aug 7 at 21:17

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