Sapper’s axe of the Sapeurs de la Garde Impériale

Manufactured in France c.1810′s for Napoléon’s imperial guard.
Sappers in the Napoleonic era were specialized infantrymen equipped with a heavy axe, thick leather gloves and apron, and an equally thick beard. This last privilege was granted to them due to the inherent risks linked to their job of clearing the enemy’s static defenses ahead of their main forces.


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