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French heavy cavalry so called due to the armoured breast and back plates (the cuirass) worn. The cuirass was also worn by German heavy cavalry as late as the Great War, but it is best known for its usage by the Life Guards and Blues and Royals in full ceremonial dress - ironically probably the last units to adopt their use.



The current inheritors of the tradition are Le 1er-11e Regiment de Cuirassiers, part of the French 3rd Mechanised Brigade.

There are 1350 (!) troops in the regiment, which is stationed 15km east of Marseille.

It is equipped with the AMX 30.

They have a song:

Au milieu de la bataille,

Sur les étriers de leurs grands chevaux,

Grisés par le sang, la mitraille,

Les cuirassiers chargent au galop.

C’est la charge, c’est la foudre,

C’est l’assaut dans le sang et dans la poudre,

L’ennemi s’enfuit, l’épée dans les reins,

Laissant tous ses morts sur le terrain.

Les cuirassiers sur les étriers

De leurs grands chevaux,

Pour mieux boire à la victoire

Remettent vivement leurs sabres au fourreau

Chant des Cuirassiers(Mp3)