Posted 6 months ago
The last real photo postcards I’d like to share are non- Chasseurs Alpins that were in the same lot.
The first is an NCO wearing the French Horizon Blue uniform, which was adopted in 1914-15 after the French were rudely awakened to the fact that the traditional dark blue coat with bright red trousers and cap (worn since Napoleon) made their soldiers sitting ducks on the modern battlefield. Although still not as good as British khaki or German field grey, it did afford some concealment in some terrain. (Historically the Chasseurs never did wear the red trousers). He is also wearing the Croix De Guerre, awarded for distinguishing himself in Combat, resulting in mention in dispatches. The back translates as “Big kisses from your friend – Jean”
The second shows a member of the 3rd Zouaves. The Zouaves were French colonial light infantry from North Africa, originally recruited from Berber tribes, but eventually were composed of French colonists, who retained the distinctive outfits. Zouaves became so famous in the 19th century, that even American units raised in the Civil War copied their outfits and called themselves “Zouaves.” This particular Zouave wears the Fourragère, awarded to units that distinguish themselves in battle. The back of the card reads “Souvenir of the 3rd Zouaves.”