19 Comments

    • I agree. I don’t ever recall seeing a WWI era Austrian soldier wearing a peaked style cap, only their kepis, the Bergmutze type, and perhaps some form of “side” cap (“service” cap and “bonnet de police” in U.S. and French parlance respectively).

    • Didn’t the Polish peaked cap have four corners like czapka? I highly doubt they’re Polish, in ANYBODY’s army in WWI

      • In WWI there were Polish units in the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and French armies. Those fighting for the Austrians wore a regular peaked cap, as Pilsudski himself wore.

  1. Heh Turk, that would be my grandfather on the Austrian side of the lines.. I’m not an expert but those hats definitely do not look correct. There were a variety used by the Austrians, but the ones I know of had belt-like pieces of cloth joined by two buttons (vertical) at the center-front of the hat. This would usually be above the brim but I know one example where a narrow version of what I just described joined below the brim.

  2. What I see is a typical day in the life of a soldier in winter, in the trenches .. and this on a GOOD day!!! Great coat, worthless headgear! The word is MISERABLE!

    • My 1st thought was the worthless headgear and lack of anything on the hands. I have to believe that frost bite/freezing on face, ears and fingers would have been very high.

      I too would think that coat would be fine as it both stops the wind and has a great inside insulator. Plus it looks like they have a wool coat on under the leather outside coat.

      I’ve stood outside in sub -25F for hours with my the trunk of my body attired like them and didn’t get cold at all. But I also had good head and hand gear. Without the head/hand gear it would have been a few minutes.

  3. THose are Bulgarian soldiers, not Austrohungarian Kaiserliche und Königliche troops. Gets confusing, what with the Steyr-Mannlicher rifles and so on.

  4. Caption Time

    Guy on the ground: “Hey Rudolf, that cabbage from last night was a lot better going down than coming out!”

  5. Those are indeed Bulgarian soldiers. The straight-pull Mannlicher M 95 rifles and carbines were regulation issue in the Royal Bulgarian Army and remained so well after 1945, albeit with 2nd rate troops. As for the photo itself, I recall having seen a very similar one, perhaps in the excellent book by Alexandr Vchkov on Bulgarian uniforms and kit, published in Sofia in 2010.

  6. These are Bulgarian soldiers form 3th brigade of 6th Bdin inf. division, on position near to peak Pelister, Baba mountain, west of Bitola (Macedonia), Macedonian front, World War I, 1917.

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