But the paintings are what struck me, particularly the ones of the cuirassiers - heavy cavalry. They had bronze helmets and breastplates and crests on the helmets. It was quite a show as they rode past. In fact, we know this from primary sources because the French army went to war in 1914 with units of cuirassiers and we have photographs of the spectacle:
|Image courtesy of Le Wik|
1914, a full century after Napoleon - but they look like nothing has changed. Machine guns, barbed wire, and trenches awaited but nothing quite captures just how clueless the General Staffs were of that fact.