France began working on developing military self-loading rifles virtually as soon as the 1886 Lebel was adopted, and they would pursue a pretty elaborate series of trials right up to World War I. One series was developed by Etienne Meunier at the Artillery Technical Section using gas operated mechanisms, and designated the A series. […]
French soldiers in Chad in 1971
The man in the front has an FR-F1, a French-issue sniper’s rifle roughly based on the MAS-36. The man others appear to have MAS 49/56 semiauto rifles. And of course, it wouldn’t be a desert deployment in the 70s without short-shorts!
Vietnamese soldier in French service working on his MAT-49 SMG.
I was pointed to this interesting snippet of a document about one particular shipment of arms to the Algerian rebels fighting French colonial occupation in the 1950s – from Vietnam. Can’t say I would have thought about the Vietnamese trying export supply military aid […]
French and British troops on the Somme, 1918
Actions of the Somme Crossings. Men of the 20th British Division and the 22nd French Division in hastily dug rifle pits covering a road, Nesle sector, 25th March 1918.
the Frenchman in the foreground has a Modele 1892 Mosqueton, and the British man behind him […]
The Galand was an innovative revolver design created by Frenchman Charles Francois Galand and patented in 1868. It is most notable for using a long lever system to eject cartridges by throwing the cylinder and a separate cartridge retention plate forward. It was also one of the early adopters of centerfire ammunition (a .45 […]
The French FAMAS was one of the first bullpup rifles to be adopted and built in large numbers by a military power. It was adopted by France in 1978 at right about the same time as the Steyr AUG was being adopted by the Austrian military. Bullpup rifles offered a short overall length without sacrificing […]
French soldier standing over German dead. Souain, France, ca. 1915.(Bibliotheque Nationale de France Francois-Mitterrand)
A reader sent me a link to a pretty cool image gallery showing the basic clothing and equipment of five different major combatant powers from mid-WWI. I have re-uploaded the individual photos in case the original links go dead (click to enlarge each photo).
The kit of a French Private Soldier in the Battle […]
French bicycle soldier with an 1892 Berthier carbine
Not just any bicycle, but a folding Gladiator bicycle!
He can also use it as a rifle rest!
Or camouflage and cover…?
You can see the entire 13-photo set here. Thanks to Denny for pointing these pictures out!
French Poilu attacking uphill in the Argonne in 1915