Military Uniforms 1686-1918 by Rene. North

By Rene. North

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T he French Im perial Italy was one of his particGari- baldi 's march on Rome provided a ready incentive . Au s- tria saw it in a diff erent light, as well she migh t, with many G uard w as more resplendent than ever, as if the neph ew of Na poleon I was be n t on out- of her p ossessions threaten ed ; nor were the French Catholics impressed, since they feared the downfall of the Pap acy. Things came to a head in 1858 when the Em- doing his uncl e. T here were lancers in dazz ling whi te blend ing with ligh t blue and scarle t; g uides and chasseurs in green and gold; dragoo ns and cuira ssiers in shining peror just missed be ing assas sinated by an Italian patriot , Orsini , whereupon he de- brass and steel.

T he latter was marked by mu ch desperate fighting, the Austrians losing some 22,000 men and the Franco-Sardinians, 17,000. It was witnessed by a citizen of Geneva, Henri Dunant, who was so appalled by the sufferings of the wounded , that, on his return , he collected a few friends and with their assistance founded that institution which has since developed into the International Red Cross. However, the war was drawing to its close . Prussia, ever watchful, was threatening intervention, and an armistice was signed by Napoleon III and Francis [oseph of Austria at Villefranche on July 11 of the same year.

T he Frenc h Army had plenty of experience of warfare and could face th e coming even ts with confidence. In composition and d ress it remained practially un changed as, in that fatefu l Aug us t of 1870 , it went out to meet the German divisions that had crossed the frontier in Lorraine and Alsace. The infantry of the line was wea ring the field service order which it retained un til 1914: the red kep i. blue greatCOat turned back at th e sides and the traditi onal red trou sers. 91 particularly well, to say nothing of those picturesque Arab horsemen , the Spa his.

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