Chasseurs d'Afrique

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Chasseurs d'Afrique

Post  Mike Blake on Sat 05 Apr 2008, 4:04 am

A Tradition magazine article (the French mag not the old English one) says that they had sun helmets, first as trials and then in 1890 when the M1878 was issued. Carnet de Sabretache's Special on the Chasseurs d'Af doesn't seem to mention them at all? Sicard & Vauvillier has them on p27 as M1886 and again on p60 much later in the '30s and the Wolsley style. Anyone ever seen a photo of them in a helmet before then?

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Colonial helmets worn by Chasseurs d' Afrique

Post  buistR on Wed 21 May 2008, 9:35 pm

Hello Mike. I have seen a significant number of illustrations of Chasseurs d' Afrique during the 19th century in authoritative sources such as the two French publications "Uniformes" and "Militaria". None show them in headdresses other than the classic shako or fez until the trial summer field dress of 1914 that you mention; as shown on page 27 of the excellent Histoire & Collections book "Les Chasseurs d' Afrique". That's not to say that helmets weren't worn unofficially on occasion - Algerian tirailleur and Foreign Legion infantry units of the French Armee d' Afrique serving in Indochina wore the colonial M1878 sun helmets from about 1884 on and it would be suprising if the cavalry back in North Africa didn't know about them. A small detachment of Chasseurs d' Afrique served in China during the Boxer Rising of 1900 and would presumably have been supplied from Colonial Army stores in Tonkin.

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Re: Chasseurs d'Afrique

Post  Mike Blake on Wed 21 May 2008, 11:39 pm

BuistR
It is the detachment in China I am particularly interested in. I have references to the issue and trial of helmets, but no photos around that time frame, ie 1900-01. The photos of them in China show the traditional tacconet [sp?] or fez. I'm working on a book on the armies in the Boxer Uprising and hoped to find they wore the helmet in China like the Zouaves... Thanks anyway.
Mike

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chasseurs d'Afrique

Post  djcpeyrot77 on Fri 08 May 2009, 3:50 am

Hi,

I'm new on this forum and the uniforms and military history are my favourite hobbies specially the french colonial period from 1850 to 1900.

It's real that most pictures taken during the Boxers rebellion don't show Chasseurs d'Afrique with sun helmet. There is a simple explanation.

Only the troops coming from Indochina had sun helmet [u]at the beginning of the campaign, so metropolitan troops and those coming from Algeria hadn't. In may 1901, the french commander in chef ask for helmets for all his troops ( many sunstrokes) but due to the shortage, most of the men didnt' received them before may 1901 and for the Chasseurs not until june 1901. There had a white cover. During this time, strawhats were given. Sorry I have never seen them with this headdress.

Before this campaign, Chasseurs d'Afrique had already worn sun helmet and there are picture of this troop during the Langson " débacle" in Tonkin and during the Madagascar campaign

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Re: Chasseurs d'Afrique

Post  buistR on Fri 08 May 2009, 7:42 am

Hello djcpeyrot77 and welcome to the Forum! Having a French member with an interest in colonial subjects should add informed authority to some of our discussions on topics such as Chasseurs d'Afrique, Algerian colonial policemen, zouaves, spahis etc.

Its good to see that membership numbers are steadily growing.

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