French troops playing cards in a trench on the Western Front, 1916 (c)
Photograph, World War One, Western Front (1914-1918), 1916 (c).
Unlike the British and Germans, who wore khaki and field grey respectively, the French went to war in 1914 in red kepis (peaked pill box hats), blue frock-coats and red pantaloons. However, by late 1915 this had been replaced with a monochrome light blue uniform and steel 'Adrian' helmet (shown here). France was almost 'bled white' during the war, suffering nearly four million casualties (20 per cent of the male population). Nearly 1.3 million of these were killed or reported missing in action.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection