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Author Topic: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?  (Read 548 times)

Offline Gribb

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 196
Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« on: June 30, 2022, 10:17:33 PM »
I paint my miniatures based on the Battles of the Frontiers basically. The model 1913 simplified frock seems to have been common at the outbreak of war in August 1914.
I came across this photo showing the m/1913 frock belonging to a sergeant along with matching trousers dated 1912.

Now, did some junior officers of the line infantry wear privately purchased trousers in a matching iron-blue colour during the opening battles? Besides those wearing greatcoats with unbuttoned folds to conseal the red trousers which was an early measure to reduce visibility among officers and the men alike.

With officers dressing uniforms at their own expense and having the option of having their uniforms custom made by civilian tailors it doesn't seem unlikely. Or would it be more suited after Marne in late September when the French army started issuing drab overalls.

Just considering to maybe paint a few that way along with the usual madder :D
Thank You.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2022, 05:58:39 AM by Gribb »

Offline monk2002uk

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 631
Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022, 04:40:08 AM »
Chasseurs à pied had the darker blue rather than madder red in 1914, as did marsouins in the Metropolitan France colonial battalions.

Robert

Offline Gribb

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Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022, 09:15:11 AM »
Chasseurs à pied had the darker blue rather than madder red in 1914, as did marsouins in the Metropolitan France colonial battalions.

Robert

Thanks.
Aware of the Chasseurs à pied and going to do a few sections of them.
But did any of the officers belonging to the regular line infantry switch out their red trousers for drab blue (or others) upon mobilization? It seems that measures for the uniform were taken by soldiers even if not by official instructions. Such as Cuirassiers either discarding their cuirasses or reducing the shine. While puttees were officially adopted in October I have seen photos of not just officers but privates of the regular line infantry wear them in August 1914 as they were privately purchased.

Offline fred

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3518
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2022, 06:27:05 PM »
It was a big army - so I’m sure some officers would have worn different trousers.

But I suspect the desire to show elan, and lead from the front would have led to most sticking with red trousers, rather than worrying too much about visibility.

Offline George1863

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 41
Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2022, 06:40:42 PM »
I don't know about officers specifically, but by mid October, 1914, French infantry were being issued with 'horizon blue' trousers as an emergency measure to reduce visibility. These were either re-issues of the M1867 kit in dark blue cloth, or 'iron grey' trousers requisitioned from police and fire departments. I suspect that officers would mostly have adopted the same, with a few devotees of 'elan' who continued in madder red. 

Offline Gribb

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  • Posts: 196
Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 11:54:37 AM »
Good points. Think I'll stick with the usual garance.
Was a bit inspired by this postcard as well depicting an officer in 1913-14 model uniform whereas the privates are still in their old uniforms.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 11:56:15 AM by Gribb »

Offline monk2002uk

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 631
Re: Only garance trousers for French officers in August 1914?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2022, 07:49:44 PM »
Very interesting postcard, thank you. One of the infantry is wearing the dark blue trousers that  were issued later in 1914. The officer tunic fits with the 1913 horizon blue version but the similar colour trousers also suggests later in 1914. Provided the whole scene is historically accurate, which is a whole other topic...

Robert

 

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