Richard Delingpole

Poilu 1917

The French infantryman of the First World War entered the war in the famous red trousers, dark blue coat and kepi that had pretty much served him since the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1915 the French government changed the uniform to "Horizon Blue" - a mix of red, white and blue dyes which gave the Poilu a unique appearance on the battlefield. He also sports the first steel helmet of the war, the stylish "Adrian" helmet.

This particular soldier is a "mitrailleur" - a machinegunner. He carries an ammunition crate and his sidearm is a Berthier carbine. His other equipment is standard infantry issue.

Richard Delingpole