French zouaves in colour

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French zouaves in colour

Post  buistR on Sat 03 Jul 2010, 6:03 pm

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Two early colour Autochrome photographs showing French infantry of the 3rd Regiment of Zouaves on manouvers near Lyons in 1913. After 1871 France's Zouaves were drawn mainly from the white settler populations of Algeria, Tunisia and (later) Morocco; who as French citizens had to do their compulsory military service. However one battalion in each of the four Zouave regiments then in existance was based in France itself - the idea being to establish a bond between the Metropolitan Army and the Army of Africa.

The uniforms shown are the distinctive "oriental dress" which had been worn by the Zouaves since their establishment in 1830. This of course provided a model for the numerous American Civil War regiments which took both the name and a modified version of the dress. Zouaves were very much in fashion during the middle and later years of the 19th century and their loose fitting uniforms (which were actually quite comfortable by the standards of the time) appeared in one form or another in a number of armies - especially colonial ones.

On the outbreak of war a year later the zouaves were marginally less conspicuous. It was summer (August 1914) so they wore their white hot weather trousers - of the same voluminous cut. In addition they wore medium blue-grey covers over their red fezs. However, like the rest of the French infantry they attacked in the style shown in the second photograph - in highly visible masses with officers in front waving swords, and with drums and bugles sounding. The results were sadly predictable.



Last edited by buistR on Sun 14 Nov 2010, 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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2e Régiment

Post  mconrad on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 4:54 am

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3e régiment

Post  mconrad on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 4:57 am

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4e régiment

Post  mconrad on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 5:01 am

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Other pieces

Post  mconrad on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 5:33 am

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Below and right: Dated 1920s.
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Below and right: Dated 1938.
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Below: Officer, 1930s.
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Zouaves a la mobilisation 1914 (Joineau)

Post  mconrad on Sun 04 Jul 2010, 6:24 am

As buistR said at the start of this thread, white pants and a blue-gray cover to the chechia.

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