Basic Uniform

  1. la Capote (Greatcoat) - M. 1915. Horizon-Blue; wool. This is the double-breasted [croisée] version which began distribution in late-1916. Please note that while this is the preferred version, the model 1914 single-breasted [Poiret] version is also acceptable.
  2. la Pantalon-Culottes (Culotte-Trousers) - M. 1915. Horizon-Blue; wool. With yellow piping along outer seams.
  3. les Bandes Molletières (Leggings) - M. 1910. Horizon-Blue, wool. 2.60 meters (8' 5") long x 12 cm (5") wide.
  4. les Chaussures (Ankle Boots) - M. 1916 or M. 1917. Leather, preferably natural ("fawn") colored. The boots were issued with no coloring, the black polish being added by the soldier upon receipt. While the practice of blackening the boots became more lax later in the war, with the boots fading back to the natural russet color over time and exposure, blackening did not stop altogether. Soldiers were still expected to blacken their boots for more formal occasions, such as parades and inspections. The bottoms were heavily hobnailed with a round head nail used on the soles and a squared version used on the heels. An extra pair was often carried on the pack.
  5. la Casque (Helmet) - Adrian M. 1915. Painted blue-grey with matte finish. "Flaming Bomb" infantry badge on front.
  6. le Bonnet de Police (Police Bonnet) - M. 1891/1915, M. 1915 or M. 1918. Often referred to as a calot ("cap"). Horizon-Blue, wool. Often worn under helmet in cold weather.
  7. la Chemise (Shirt) - M. 1878. flannel cotton with collar, either pin-striped (red, black or blue), blue checkered or plain white; closed with three bone buttons; shirt-tails on both front and rear. Each man was issued two. A lighter weight cretonne cotton shirt (plain or with blue stripes) was also issued in warmer weather.
  8. le Caleçon (Underdrawers) - Cotton, either pin-striped or plain white. Each man is only issued one pair, though private purschases could be made. The prevailing notion was that the shirt, with its long tails, acted as the primary undergarment and was to be washed more frequently. In cold weather, flannel cotton underdrawers were issued.
  9. la Cravate (Neck Tie) - cotton; marine blue; 150 cm x 21 cm. It is folded in thirds lengthwise and tied with a flat knot.
  10. le Ceinture de Flanelle (Flannel Belt) - flannel cotton; 1 m. x 38 cm, adjusted with three buttons in bone at one end of wrap. The model first distributed in 1914, unlike the pre-war version, had interior buttons to attach cloth suspenders which were issued with the belt. However, these were usually discarded by the soldiers. In September 1914, this is often replace this model with another waist-wrap (resembling civilian models ) in either flannel or wool, natural or grayish in color, referred to as the "Algerian model." It was a simple band of cloth in gray 3 meters long which was wrapped around the waist and tucked in to fit. In August 1915 a new model of wrap was officially adopted which was 4 meters long and wrapped similarly to the Algerian style. But by November of 1915, shortages in this model lead to several different models in various shades and sizes being distributed simultaneously. In August 1918, the regulation length will be reduced to 3 meters.
  11. les Chausettes (Socks) - > jean-wool in summer, wool in winter; normally white but there was no regulation color. Each man received two pairs. Many peasant soldiers opted to wear "Russian socks" (i.e. cloth foot-wraps). These were about 15 cm in width and 1 meter in length.
  12. les Bretelles (Suspenders) - Cotton thread; white with a border on each edge of a "sharp color" (e.g. pink). These were comprised of two separate braces reinforced at each end by a piece of leather where a button-hole was located. The length was adjusted by way of a metal crimp. Soldiers often replaced these with the more advantageous single-piece civilian models also of cotton.

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