The Defining Features: standardization of uniforms and equipment, 'Horizon-Blue' single-breasted greatcoat, ephemeral distribution of HB beret, canvas cover for the Adrian helmet, and Adrian shoulder guards, the introduction of the 'police' bonnet and the M2 gas mask, and the first widespread use of assault rolls.

1916 uniform The year of attrition and unprecedented battle. Some of the largest battles in the history of mankind were waged in this year. They surpassed a level of brutality not seen before on Earth, made all the worse by their utter lack of decisiveness. The names Verdun and the Somme would be forever emblazoned on the minds of a generation and remain just as profound today. The true nightmare of trench warfare would make itself known in '16. To cope with the calamity of Verdun, French strategy shifted dramatically from the unrealistic notion of "breakthrough" to the stark realty of 'tenir' ("holding on"). Just to survive the German assaults seemed worthy enough at this point. In the second half of the year -- once the Germans lost momentum -- a staggering but still standing French army again took to the offensive. Both at Verdun and in the Somme the French made moderate advances though at a heavy price in lives.

The uniform of '16 sees the permanent establishment of "horizon-blue" along with a greater uniformity in regulation items. The in-the-field improvisation system of '15 is replaced by that of the factory-produced assembly line. Some of these items reflect the development of coordinated small-group tactics at the Front.

Photos and specs coming soon!