France's Reseda Uniform

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France's Reseda Uniform

Post  Sean on Sun 08 Aug 2010, 2:22 am

France had several goes at a less conspicuous uniform prior to the Great War, the 'Reseda' was the last, 1912/13.
http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res10.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res110.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res210.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res310.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res410.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res510.jpg

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/res610.jpg

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colour

Post  wfrad on Sun 08 Aug 2010, 7:07 am

Sean,
Ever thought of trying to colour some of these?

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  Sean on Sun 08 Aug 2010, 9:19 pm

Yes
http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/fri0910.gif

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/frdrag10.gif

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colour photo

Post  wfrad on Mon 09 Aug 2010, 7:49 am

Not quite what I had in mind, something that I'm unable to do!
Regards
WF
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://uploads.neatorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/somme.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.neatorama.com/tag/photography/&usg=__WkNgEgLosW6hb35gIoq3fioCiZQ=&h=430&w=580&sz=66&hl=en&start=31&tbnid=TAklhkOXEzg4IM:&tbnh=165&tbnw=223&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dexamples%2Bof%2Bblack%2Band%2Bwhite%2Bphotos%2Bmade%2Binto%2Bcolour%2Bpictures%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D868%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C781&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=972&vpy=273&dur=1380&hovh=193&hovw=261&tx=105&ty=118&ei=kiVfTJWKLMuNjAeigtHwAw&oei=hyVfTLHqNtOh4QbI6IDSBw&esq=2&page=2&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:31&biw=1276&bih=868

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  buistR on Mon 09 Aug 2010, 8:35 am


A contemporary autochrome colour photograph of examples of the resada uniform - at left a dragoon in the white facings of his branch and at right a caporal of line infantry. As Sean notes there were several attempts to modernise the French uniform between 1903 and 1913 but all foundered on a combination of public sentiment (which valued the colourful peacetime dress, especially the red trousers which were held to somehow symbolise France) and official parsimony.

One of Sean's pictures includes the Detaille option which managed to combine the worst of both worlds - retaining the conspicuous blue tunic, red fringed epaulettes and red trousers of the traditional uniform but replacing the kepi with a rather ugly helmet made of aluminum which would have been too light to give any protection. Even the puttees shown proved to be difficult to wear in the mud of Flanders.

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bit of fun

Post  wfrad on Mon 09 Aug 2010, 9:41 am

Not to be taken seriously, just to show why NOT to give up the day job!
WF

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  Animal on Thu 12 Aug 2010, 7:14 pm

buistR wrote:
A contemporary autochrome colour photograph of examples of the resada uniform - at left a dragoon in the white facings of his branch and at right a caporal of line infantry. As Sean notes there were several attempts to modernise the French uniform between 1903 and 1913 but all foundered on a combination of public sentiment (which valued the colourful peacetime dress, especially the red trousers which were held to somehow symbolise France) and official parsimony.

One of Sean's pictures includes the Detaille option which managed to combine the worst of both worlds - retaining the conspicuous blue tunic, red fringed epaulettes and red trousers of the traditional uniform but replacing the kepi with a rather ugly helmet made of aluminum which would have been too light to give any protection. Even the puttees shown proved to be difficult to wear in the mud of Flanders.

Of course the helmet looked like it was inspired by that worn by the Sapeurs Pompiers, the French firemen, which had in turn been inspired by the helmet worn by the engineers of Napoleon's Garde Imperiale, and which would influence the design of August-Louis Adrian's steel helmet in 1915.

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Nouveaux uniformes

Post  wfrad on Sat 14 Aug 2010, 8:40 am

After playing with the first picture I decided to try and do a more accurate attempt rather than the general excepted few of a French uniform.
The problem Iíve found is that there does not seem to be many examples of this uniform other than old b/w photographs and even less descriptions translated into English.
A number of pictures both colour and b/w seem to show both blue and brown putties, take your pick so to speak.
The cuff appears to have a line of braid around in some photographs, missing in others, again Iím sure that someone will know whatís correct.
Also the rank insignia looked a little light for corporal so he's now possibly being promoted.
Textur and colour were hit and miss also!
For better or worse, this is what I ended up with, a cross between fantasy and fact.
Regards
WF

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  buistR on Sun 15 Aug 2010, 1:58 pm


Hi WF - actually the first of your "fantasy" reconstructions was very close to reality of a sort - the "Detaille" uniform which the French Army tried in 1912 after the "Resada" one had been shelved for the reasons given above. Designed by the French military artists Edouard Detaille and Georges Scott, the Detaille uniform for the line infantry, as shown above, included a full dress dark blue tunic and a light blue one for field dress. Red trousers for both. At a parade in 1912 the unfortunate 28th Line Infantry was chosen to parade detachments in (i) Detaille full dress; (ii) Detaille field dress and (iii) for variety the grey-green resada tunics combined with red trousers. None found popular acceptance.

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uniforms

Post  wfrad on Sun 15 Aug 2010, 5:55 pm

Thanks, I did a search and came up with very few details regarding the uniform, non in English and as everyone Knows since Godís an Englishman we have trouble understanding everyone else!
Anyway, b/w illustrations and photographs didnít show up any of the finer points so I just took a mix of the old and new, combined them with the couple of good photographs that do exist, one of which is the one you provided and non really showing the tunic and trouser to good effect.
Sometimes fact and fantasy get mixed up so often it's hard to determine which is which, so long as the illustrations haven't added to that confusion.
Thanks for the information and another nice illustration of uniforms.
Regards
WF

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More pictures

Post  Sean on Sat 28 Aug 2010, 7:22 am

http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/tenuer10.jpg


http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/tenue110.jpg


http://i32.servimg.com/u/f32/12/22/09/10/tenue_10.jpg

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  BlueTrain on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 10:54 pm

Somewhere on line is an English translation of a French work on Infantry Equipment (including clothing) as worn about 1906. I'm afraid I can't remember the author at the moment. However, it is an excellent source of information on European infantry soldiers and every little detail about all the stuff in the packs. The author (French army) was highly opinionated on the various items a soldier should have and he went into great detail about his reasons, probably most of which an average soldier would not agree with. It is well illustrated with photographs that are reproduced about as well as you might expect but none are in color. Of course in ten years, everything had changed.

He did not mention that I recall any of the experimental uniforms that had been tried out but one of the ironies of army uniforms, which is still true, is that any given uniform is expected to be inconspicious yet still identify him as a soldier in such and such an army. That was one of the reasons that many of the experimental uniforms were utilmately rejected but it does appear true that those red trousers were seen as something special. For that matter, the white canvas fatigue trousers were also widely worn for campaign use in North Africa so perhaps the value of camouflage is over rated.

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Uniforms

Post  wfrad on Tue 11 Jun 2013, 7:26 am

If the link for the book comes to you it would be much appreciated by all...

I recall reading somewhere, that one particular French regiment reintroduced the famous red trouser after the Great War whilst in Germany, just to aggravate the locals...
Maybe some truth in it!

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  BlueTrain on Tue 11 Jun 2013, 10:27 pm

The title of the book is "Comparitive Studies of the Field Equipment of the Foot Soldier of the French and Foreign Armies (1906). The author is Lavisse. It is translated into English and this particular edition was published by the Government Publishing Office. It's really fascinating, although the subject as described in the title is all it covers. But it does cover it thoroughly. Officer's equipment and uniforms are not covered nor are other arms like cavalry. I think you can find it be searching under that name.

While it is though enough, there are things that are not included, presumably because they were not field equipment. For instance, the white fatigue uniform as used by the French is not mentioned. Likewise, there is no mention of variations for specialist troops like rifles, alpine troops or light infantry. Also, the part about US Army equipment was excluded, presumably because the target audience knew all about it. The British bandolier equipment was also not included, the previous Slade-Wallace being described instead.

It is fascinating at this distance in time to see what they were issued and what was apparently considered essential equipment. Neck cloths and cravattes were apparently essential articles but not gloves. Two shirts and one pair of drawers was sufficient and generally it appears that soldiers were expected to march with nearly all of their issued clothing and equipment. The study also is limited to European postings and colonial variations are not included.

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Re: France's Reseda Uniform

Post  BlueTrain on Tue 11 Jun 2013, 10:39 pm

I also wanted to add here that there are numerous on-line reproductions of several British regulations from before 1900, although detail descriptions of uniforms and so on are a relatively late thing, I think. Somewhere I found copies of British Royal Marine regulations for dress and clothing issue, which over the period of a hundred years, got longer and longer and longer. That was also true of both US and Canadian army dress regulations, both of which go into infinite detail these days on matters of haircuts, body decorations, maternity clothing and such stuff. In 1930, a regimental standing orders would have everything covered in two or three pages. The Royal Marine regulations are the most varied (nearly all for the last 75 years are available) and therefore most valuable. Unfortunately, I'll have to look for that source, too.

As valuable and interesting as all those documents are, they really don't give an accurate picture of what soldiers usually looked like from day to day because as I said somewhere else around here, the most commonly worn uniforms tend to be the least described in regulations.

Another thing to keep in mind, at least for some armies and I suspect most, is that the official regulations were only one set of instructions that had to be complied with. There were also unit standing orders, regimental standing orders, local customs and actual availability of any given article of clothing and equipment. An individual soldier usually also had his own ideas about the way things ought to be and would do his best to satisify his own whims. And on top of it all, some things were purely optional for ordinary wear, like those bib scarves that the US army wore in the 1950s and 1960s.

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