Foreign Observers at French Exercises

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Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Dec 2010, 10:17 pm

Some interesting postcards of foreign officers observing the French Army

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1913 manoeuvres du sud-ouest

Post  mconrad on Sun 05 Dec 2010, 1:35 pm

Quel coincidence!

I just put this up on my web page at Attaches1913

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Some more

Post  Sean on Sat 18 Dec 2010, 4:07 am

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Well not quite France, but aninteresting mix

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Some more

Post  Sean on Sat 18 Dec 2010, 4:11 am

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Another non-France, soldier photo

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more, more, more

Post  Sean on Sat 18 Dec 2010, 4:14 am

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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  buistR on Sat 18 Dec 2010, 9:25 am

Thanks for posting all of these Sean and McConrad. The Victorian/Edwardian practice of inviting all resident military attaches (whether potential allies, enemies or neutrals) to your annual army manoeuvres was a civilised and rather quaint one. As far as I know it died out after WWI. The attaches in their splendidly varigated uniforms, under discreet supervision, would sit on their horses and observe masses of infantry, cavalry and artillery moving around. Then they would dine together before thanking their hosts and heading back to their respective embassies to compose detailed reports on the merits of the new Italian infantry boot or the Serbian field kitchen. Since these outdoor events usually occured in high summer it probably made a pleasant change from the tiresome office and social round.

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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  Animal on Sun 19 Dec 2010, 2:10 am

buistR wrote:Thanks for posting all of these Sean and McConrad. The Victorian/Edwardian practice of inviting all resident military attaches (whether potential allies, enemies or neutrals) to your annual army manoeuvres was a civilised and rather quaint one. As far as I know it died out after WWI. The attaches in their splendidly varigated uniforms, under discreet supervision, would sit on their horses and observe masses of infantry, cavalry and artillery moving around. Then they would dine together before thanking their hosts and heading back to their respective embassies to compose detailed reports on the merits of the new Italian infantry boot or the Serbian field kitchen. Since these outdoor events usually occured in high summer it probably made a pleasant change from the tiresome office and social round.

Actually I've seen photos of foreign observers at such manuevers held in the 1930's. In fact General Douglas MacArthur was at a few of them.

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foreign observers

Post  wfrad on Mon 20 Dec 2010, 8:55 am

Didnít NATO have foreign observers from the Warsaw Pact and vice versa?
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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  buistR on Mon 03 Jan 2011, 11:31 am

As an end-note to this interesting topic, the Anne S. K. Brown collection on the Internet includes several photographs of scenes of the "Delhi Camp of Exercise 1886". One shows a number of foreign officers - Russian, Italian, French, U.S., Prussian and Austro-Hungarian. All are in full uniform with white solar topees apparently lent by their British hosts. With the possible exception of the U.S. officer none look comfortably dressed for the occasion - the Austro-Hungarian officer is a hussar and is wearing his slung pelisse complete with fur lining. A number of British officers and Indian sepoys are included in the photo and a sowar on a camel adds a picturesque touch at the back. What on earth was such a mixed party doing in India? Had they travelled around the world as a sort of military tour group?

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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  mconrad on Wed 05 Jan 2011, 2:16 am

buistR wrote:As an end-note to this interesting topic, the Anne S. K. Brown collection on the Internet includes several photographs of scenes of the "Delhi Camp of Exercise 1886". One shows a number of foreign officers - Russian, Italian, French, U.S., Prussian and Austro-Hungarian. All are in full uniform with white solar topees apparently lent by their British hosts. With the possible exception of the U.S. officer none look comfortably dressed for the occasion - the Austro-Hungarian officer is a hussar and is wearing his slung pelisse complete with fur lining. A number of British officers and Indian sepoys are included in the photo and a sowar on a camel adds a picturesque touch at the back. What on earth was such a mixed party doing in India? Had they travelled around the world as a sort of military tour group?

Thanks for the pointer to these great photos. They're fantastic - all praise to the Anne S.K. Brown Collection for realizing the great value of large size scans.

I think the solar topees are not lent by the local British. The Americans are in US Army pattern summer helmets, the Russians are in the caps they would use in their own Central Asia possessions, and when I look carefully--I see the two Germans have spikes on their hats that are bigger than everyone else's. They look exactly like the spikes on their full-dress pickelhaubes back home.

Thanks again,
Mark
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Foreign Observers at Maneuvers - British In USA 1941

Post  mconrad on Mon 18 Apr 2011, 1:15 pm

With a small bit on the uniform (shorts). I'm not sure of the magazine this came from. It might have been an issue of Army or Military History from sometime in the 1990s.

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Foreign observers in Moscow, 1927

Post  mconrad on Thu 26 May 2011, 12:31 pm

Left to right might be two Japanese, perhaps an Afghanistan or Iran pair, Turkish, and the easily recognizable Polish officer. There may be Italians behind the caped gentleman. Is it a Finn last in line? (The saluting officer in back right is Soviet, as are the men on the balcony in back).

From the MEMORY OF THE NETHERLANDS site: http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/
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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  Animal on Thu 26 May 2011, 2:28 pm

mconrad wrote:Left to right might be two Japanese, perhaps an Afghanistan or Iran pair, Turkish, and the easily recognizable Polish officer. There may be Italians behind the caped gentleman. Is it a Finn last in line? (The saluting officer in back right is Soviet, as are the men on the balcony in back).

From the MEMORY OF THE NETHERLANDS site: http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/
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Third from left is Iranian, while I believe the 4th is an Afghan. To the right of the Italian I believe is an Estonian or Latvian, judging from the cap.

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And not a friend of Russia in the bunch.

Post  mconrad on Fri 27 May 2011, 9:18 am

Maybe the Russians are just bad neighbors, but from Imperial Japan to Fascist Italy to Iran, Poland, etc., I don't think there's a single friend of Russia in the bunch!


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Military attaches in Washington, D.C., 1929

Post  mconrad on Sun 17 Jul 2011, 2:11 am

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Military attaches in 1929 with the US secretary of war, James William Good.

"In 1928 Good worked to elect Herbert Hoover, a fellow Iowa Republican, as President of the United States. When Hoover took office in March 1929, he appointed Good to be the United States Secretary of War and Good was soon confirmed by the United States Senate. He served in that position for eight months, until his sudden death from peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix."

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Re: Foreign Observers at French Exercises

Post  BlueTrain on Fri 14 Jun 2013, 10:50 pm

The father of the best man in my wedding (in 1979) served as a military observer in the Chaco war for the US Army. He was a career army officer who served in WWI, WWII and Korea. The Chaco war was between Bolivia and Paraguay in the early 1930s. His name was Frederick Dent Sharp, Jr. His son, Frederick Dent Sharp III also served in the army in WWII and after the war was a foreign service officer who spent most of his career in South America, though I don't know if he accompanied his father in the 1930s, probably not. His house had many relics and souvenirs of his service in South America.

There were also foreign observers in America during the Civil War and some even managed to reach the Confederate side.

Military attaches are apparently fairly common. I chanced to meet the British military attache, if that's what he was called, at the Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, when I was there undergoing training in 1965. The husband of a first cousin of my wife, Ray Huot, served for a time as a military attache in Turkey. In fact, the Turkish ambassador attended both his promotion ceremony to three-star general and his retirement ceremony a few years later and I was fortunate enough to be at both events. He retired as the Inspector General of the Air Force.

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