Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831-1981 by Martin Windrow

By Martin Windrow

The 1st critical examine of the advance of the legionnaires' visual appeal from the Legion's formation to the current. This revised variation offers additional info and brings the tale modern. A concise illustrated checklist, dependent upon a long time of analysis into records, histories and pictures and upon interviews with legionnaires, equipped round greater than a hundred meticulously precise full-colour determine work, supported by means of many infrequent images. The textual content offers large descriptions of the uniforms, box gown and kit of the Legion in all classes.

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The false hand is shown, white-gloved, in the portrait. Benigni shows the 1837 Chasseur sword. 44 The 1 860 regulations at least killed off the black stock, officially recognising the sky-blue calico cravat at now last. It was knotted known generally in the collar of a tunic as the basqutne. This was dark blue, single-breasted, crotch-length; and had a yellow standing collar piped blue and bearing, where appropriate, red flank company emblems. In the Legion the rest of the piping was crimson; it followed the front and bottom edges, including two V-notches in the sides, and traced a Soubise pattern on the back, incorporating crimson company emblems.

The belt supports the 1869 cartridge pocket and the bayonet for the Gras rifle. Benigni shows a plain white 'de Negrier' pouch, but we substitute the fascinating 1878 helmet in drab cover, and the black, collarless, in detail in L d'O(l): of old crimson trouser cloth, slung on straps made from has a scalloped edge closed by small china buttons, and lavish embroidery in white thread. The central inscription identifies it as the property of 9856 Legionnaire Baumler, of 3rd Coy, 4th Bn: example sketched and described trouser braces, it 4B LE BAUMLER 3C 9856 Madagascar, 1895: Largely from Benigni, L d'O(l).

From its base at Puebla the Legion continued to pursue the thankless lot of a hated army of occupation, and even officers and men hardened by years of ungende Algerian campaigning were Army of Observation to the Rio Grande. Contact was made with Juarez, and Springfield rifles began to cross the border in impressive numbers, while Juarist officers dined at Fort Bliss. Napoleon regretfully insisted that French troops must be withdrawn in the near future. The savagery of the war between Mexican and Mexican reached a positively Mongol level; Maximilian's 'Black Decree' gave his more ruthless local lieutenants an excuse to murder out of hand, and head-hunting literally became a popular sport on both sides.

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