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The meaning of the Musketeers

Once armed with muskets were the Musketeers, a fighting force of the land forces. The eponymous weapon was from the 16th to the mid 19th century the main weapon of the infantry of the line.
The advantage of the musket, especially against archers and other troops had, besides the ease of use and ease of construction, also the low purchase price and the production. The long charging time, the unreliable matchlock, as well as the large scatter of the shots brought in contrast also many disadvantages.
The term musketeer remained until the First World War in Germany, even after replacing the musket by the needle-gun.
Today, the term "Musketeers" is famous especially by the literary work of Alexandre Dumas's "The Three Musketeers" and its numerous film adaptations.

Besides the Musketeers as fighting force in the land forces, talking about Musketeers of the Guard, from the association of the household troops of the French king. This corresponded with respect to their task and equipment of the Mounted Infantry. Each Musketeer was responsible for its complete equipment itself and had to pay for his own guns, muskets and epees. The Musketeers were responsible for the protection of the king outside the palace on foot and on horseback. 1663 belonged to each company 300 musketeers. 1664 Second Company was resolved, to subsequent set them up again like the first. Captain of both companies was the king.
The nickname "Grey Musketeers", was created in 1665 as the 1st Company of mold or mildew apple rode, the 2nd Company was called the black horse, the "Black Musketeers". At the outbreak of war alongside the Musketeers served in addition numerous aristocratic volunteers so that they grew to a medium-sized military formation.
Since the 17th century belonged to the dress uniform of the Musketeers of the Guard, a blue cassock, which was provided by the King. The blue cassock was richly embroidered, and had both front and rear, a white cross with red flames at the 1st Company and yellow flames at the 2nd Company, in the angles of the cross. From the first half of the 18th century, the tunic was replaced by the supra vest. The uniform, however, was a red tunic, at 1st Company with golden tress trimming, at the 2nd Company with silver tress trimming.
As a promotional headwear Musketeers of the Guard wore a black hat with white plumage and cockade. The time of the Restoration was followed by the uniform with the same color scheme as in Napoleon's cavalry, but the cuirass was replaced by the supra vest. The pants were white, embroidered skirt as saddlery rich and the shoulder strap as the coupling of tress in the respective company color. The first company wore on their heads a sort of cuirassier's helmet. It was made of white metal with golden ornaments, a white plume and black horse-hair tail. The helmet of the second company had at the helmet crest an additional narrow bead.

The Musketeers of the French kings gained by Alexandre Dumas' novels and their film adaptations of enormous popularity.