The Basics - Where to Start

The following is a general guidelines for new recruits in their pursuit of collecting the French infantryman's kit. Please note that our main impression is of a late-war (1917-1918) French infantryman; the list below reflects this. Mid-war (fall of 1915 to winter 1916) impressions are acceptable but not encouraged until first acquiring the late-war kit. The kit has been categorized into three groups in terms of their relevance for what we do at our events: basic, secondary and optional. Please note that some of these items can be lent out to new recruits on a per-event basis while they begin the process of collecting their kit.

  • Consult the list of Approved Vendors. Links to the vendors are listed here.
  • Consult the Bataillon Français Impression Guidelines.

    Note: The first three items every new recruit should attempt to acquire first are: helmet, boots and, M2 gas mask. Ideally, each recruit should start building his kit off of this foundation.


    Basic Kit **Click here to see full descriptions of all items.**

    Basic Uniform:
    1. la Capote (Greatcoat) - M. 1915.
    2. la Pantalon-Culottes (Culotte-Trousers) - M. 1915.
    3. les Bandes Molletières (Leggings) - M. 1910.
    4. les Chaussures (Ankle Boots) - M. 1916 or M. 1917.
    5. la Casque (Helmet) - Adrian M. 1915.
    6. le Bonnet de Police (Police Bonnet) - M. 1915 or M. 1918.
    7. la Chemise (Shirt) - M. 1878.
    8. le Caleçon (Underdrawers).
    9. la Cravate (Neck Tie).
    10. le Ceinture de Flanelle (Flannel Waist-Wrap).
    11. les Chausettes (Socks).
    12. les Bretelles (Suspenders).
    Basic Equipment:
    1. les Cartouchières (Cartridge Pouches): M. 1888/14, 1905/14 or 1905/16.
    2. le Ceinturon (Belt) - M. 1903/14.
    3. Full Field Dress
    4. le Porte-Baïonnette (Bayonet-Carrier) - M. 1886/14.
    5. les Bretelles de Suspension (Suspension Braces): M. 1892/14.
    6. le Bidon (Canteen) - M. 1877. (2-liter)
    7. la Musette (Haversack) - M. 1892. Two required.
    8. le Masque à Gaz (Gas Mask) - M2 or ARS-17, including carrying can.
    9. la Gamelle (Mess-kit) - M. 1852 - Tin.
    10. le Quart (Cup) - M. 1852 - Tin.
    11. la Cuillère (Spoon) - Tin.
    Secondary Uniform Items:
    1. le Bonnet de Police (Garrison Bonnet) - M. 1891/15 or M1918.
    2. la Vareuse (Jacket) - M. 1914/15, type 2.
    Secondary Equipment Items:
    1. la Toile de Tente (Tent Canvas) - M. 1897/14.
    2. Full Field Dress
    3. la Demi-Couverture (Half-Blanket).
    4. l'Havresac (Backpack) - M. 1893/14.
    5. l'Outil Portatif (Portable E-Tool). M. 1906 or M. 1909.
    6. les Ustensiles de Campement (Squad Camping Implements).
    Optional Uniform/Equipment Items:
    1. les Demi-Supports & les Piquets (Half-Supports & Stakes). M. 1908 "half-support" tent poles (2 per man) and "sardine" tent stakes (3 per man), plus cording.
    2. la Peau de Mouton (Sheepskin jerkin).
    3. le Tricot (Quilted Garment).
    4. le Couteau de Tranchée (Trench Knife) or la Casse-Tête ("Head-Breaker" or "Trench Club").
    Arms:
    1. le Fusil (Rifle): 'Lebel' M. 1886/93 (preferred). 'Berthier' M. 1907/15 (3-shot) or Berthier M. 1916 (5-shot) acceptable but not preferred.
    2. l'Épée-Baïonette (Blade-Bayonet): M. 1886 (with quillon, or "catcher") or M. 1886/15 (without quillon).

    Full Descriptions:

    Basic Uniform
    Basic Equipment
    Secondary Uniform/Equipment
    Optional Uniform/Equipment
    Arms

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