Allied against the Boxers

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Allied against the Boxers

Post  Sean on Tue 25 May 2010, 2:16 pm

http://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/12/22/09/10/005_0010.jpg
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Interesting to note the cooler weather clothing of contingent members.
And two Chinese helpers squatting in front.

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Another International Group

Post  mconrad on Tue 07 Sep 2010, 10:07 am

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Above: I think four and five from the left, front row, have traded headgear, as have back row Nos. 1 and 2.

A great photo, but I think they wanted about a hundred dollars for it.

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A Japanese view

Post  mconrad on Tue 07 Sep 2010, 10:19 am

This Japanese print is supposed to be of troops involved in the Boxer Rebellion. It is almost all naval and not army. The Japanese navy in front looks okay, but some of the other figures seem to have questionable details.

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Germans

Post  mconrad on Tue 07 Sep 2010, 10:24 am

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Re: Allied against the Boxers

Post  buistR on Tue 07 Sep 2010, 8:25 pm

That's a splendid multi-national photo Mconrad. Thanks for posting it. Interesting to note that (i) all but one of the Japanese soldiers present are cavalrymen (with braided dolmans); (ii) some of the French Infanterie de Marine (soon to be renamed Colonial Infantry) are wearing the berets of the Chasseurs Alpins - the mountain troops who originated what is now the most universal of military headdresses; (iii) that as you note there has been a fair amount of hat swapping; (iv) that the Indian cavalry (16th Rgt of Bengal Lancers - I think) have brought their dark blue dress kurtas and scarlet cummerbunds along with them; that one German Marine seesoldat is wearing his blue and white home service tunic while the others have khaki or grey litewkas; (v) that two of the Russian Siberian Riflemen and one French Marine are flourishing cavalry sabres which are unlikely to have been issue equipment for them (borrowed from the Japanese?).

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Re: Allied against the Boxers

Post  Sean on Fri 10 Sep 2010, 8:41 am

Interesting. I would have said the Russians were carrying their own shashkas, very different from the "now that's a sword" being carried by the Frenchman. Also the Indian cavalry are wearing their service dress, not being dressed in khaki for some time to come. Paricularly like the Indian infantryman, back row left. A fly-front jacket with facing colour cuffs and collar.
Of course, I could be totally wrong.

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Re: Allied against the Boxers

Post  wfrad on Fri 10 Sep 2010, 9:41 am

Hi Sean.
A number of Indian regiments wore khaki well before 1900 but as you say it wasn't universal, some regiments putting off change until forced into it by events further afield in Europe.
The 18th Bengal Lancers wore khaki drill field service order in China not sure about the others.
Maybe it was a case of putting on your best for the picture.
Regards
WF

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Re: Allied against the Boxers

Post  buistR on Fri 10 Sep 2010, 11:15 pm

Re Indian Cavalry - according to Boris Mollo's "Indian Army" the Regimental Orders of the 8th Cavalry as late as 1910 laid down that the coloured kurta (long coat) be worn for drill as well as parade in cold weather. The khaki kurta on the other hand was for drill and parade in hot weather. In other words the heavier serge blue, green or scarlet garments and the lighter khaki drill could be swapped around according to the season and not simply reflect the formality of the occasion. However khaki drill was the field dress regardless of temperature (plus jerseys or greatcoats of course). To confuse matters some Indian infantry regiments and four cavalry regiments had "drab" uniforms with coloured facings for all orders, including mess and cold weather full dress. There are photos of Indian infantry in France in 1914 still wearing this peactime combination. Until WWI the Indian Army left decisions regarding uniform and even equipment almost entirely to the individual regiment - especially where the "sillidar" cavalry were concerned. As a result there was almost infinite variation in detail between units. Getting back to the Bengal Lancers in China c1901 - they certainly did wear khaki drill for field dress but the coloured lungis (turbans), cumerbunds and kurtas shown could well be cold weather garrison dress rather than specifically parade uniform as I initially suggested.

Re the Russian sabres - my understanding (and I could be very wrong) is that Siberian Cossacks and not regular dragoons of the line made up most of the Russian cavalry involved in the Boxer business. Cossack "shashka" sabres were unique in that they did not have hilts to protect the hand if a opponent's sword slid down your blade - tough fellows those cossacks. The Russian soldiers in the photo look like infantry or artillery but of course they could have obtained the hilted sabres shown from any number of sources.

Sorry to ramble but the photo is full of interesting little anomalies, most of which are unsolveable at this distance in time. Only the Japanese seem to have stuck strictly to regulation dress (and to have avoided swapping caps).

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Re: Allied against the Boxers

Post  ChrisF202 on Sat 11 Sep 2010, 1:00 am

I agree, I believe those Russians are artillery troops whom I believe were issued sabers as well as carbines for personal protection.

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