French Military cloth?

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French Military cloth?

Post  Canon on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 9:03 am

Long time lurker, first time poster.
I have a question that I've not been able to get answered:
What is the green cloth under the soldier's arm?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/French_milouf_DF-ST-99-05514.JPEG
I've seen this in blue on what was identified as RPIMA soldiers, and in red as well as yellow, but I've yet to find a name for it.
Can anyone help?
Thanks in advance.

Canon

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Re: French Military cloth?

Post  Sean on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 6:25 pm

I believe it is a field recognition device to ensure there are no 'blue on blue' incidents. It could be unit or operation specific

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Re: French Military cloth?

Post  Canon on Tue 03 Jul 2012, 5:13 am

Sean wrote:I believe it is a field recognition device to ensure there are no 'blue on blue' incidents. It could be unit or operation specific
Thank you. Any idea where I might find a name for it?

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Re: French Military cloth?

Post  buistR on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 8:04 am

Hi Canon. These identification cloths appear to date from the Algerian War of 1954-62. An Osprey book dealing with this subject contains a colored plate showing a "parachute infantry" soldier wearing one of these items. The caption refers to "the colored scarf tied at the shoulder as a field identification; usually in red, blue, green, yellow or white. These were widely worn throughout the French forces at the shoulder or neck (or both in contrasting colors), the position and color changing according to operation orders". Another plate shows a female nurse wearing the same green field sign as the troops she is accompanying. The nature of this war - small unit clashes between similarly-clad opposing forces in an open rocky landscape would make easily recognizable means of identification particularly important.

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Re: French Military cloth?

Post  Canon on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 9:10 am

buistR wrote:Hi Canon. These identification cloths appear to date from the Algerian War of 1954-62. An Osprey book dealing with this subject contains a colored plate showing a "parachute infantry" soldier wearing one of these items. The caption refers to "the colored scarf tied at the shoulder as a field identification; usually in red, blue, green, yellow or white. These were widely worn throughout the French forces at the shoulder or neck (or both in contrasting colors), the position and color changing according to operation orders". Another plate shows a female nurse wearing the same green field sign as the troops she is accompanying. The nature of this war - small unit clashes between similarly-clad opposing forces in an open rocky landscape would make easily recognizable means of identification particularly important.
Ah, thank you, I'll have to check my library ... it would be ironic if I have the book.
Probably should check the unread stacks, since I'm almost certain I'd remember such a detail.
Thanks. Smile

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