Thursday, 27 January 2011

WW1 French cavalry

The retention of cuirasses as part of their field uniform by the French Army in 1914 reflected the historic prestige of this branch of the cavalry, dating back through the Franco-Prussian War to the campaigns of Napoleon. Before the war, it had been argued within the army that the cuirass should be limited to parade dress but upon mobilisation in 1914 the only concession made to active service was the addition of a cover of brown or blue cloth over the shining steel and brass to make the wearer less visible. Within a few weeks, most French regiments stopped wearing the cuirass, as it served no real purpose in this new war. It was not however formally withdrawn until October 1915.

im wondering if this is a french cavalryman, its an authentic photo from the great war downloaded from a french library site

The Russian and German cuirassiers ceased to exist when the Imperial armies in both countries were disbanded in 1917 and 1918. The French cuirassiers continued in existance after World War I, although without their traditional armour and reduced in numbers to only the six regiments that had been most decorated during the war. Five of these units achieved their distinctions serving as "cuirassiers à pied" or dismounted cavalry in the trenches. The surviving cuirassier regiments were amongst the first mounted cavalry in the French Army to be mechanised during the 1930s. Two cuirassier regiments still form part of the French Army

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