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[2nd French Empire] Spahi campaign Uniform

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  • [2nd French Empire] Spahi campaign Uniform

    Hello folks,

    I am looking for information on this since forever I hope somebody can help me with this. I am looking for information on the Burnous of the Spahis.
    Were they part of the normal campaign uniform (tenue de campagne) of the Spahis during the Second French Empire or is it just a Parade dress Accessoire? My personal theory was that the Burnous was used pretty much like the manteau or earlier Greatcoat in the regular line units since it would probably be a great weatherproof cape for the soldiers, especially in the African heat but also would probably provide warmth in colder climates or the colder months when the Spahis were fighting in France in 1870/71. My problem is that there is absolutley nothing about this on the internet. I asked a Professor/Author on french uniforms about this and he said he once saw something about it in "Les Uniformes de l’Armée française illustrated regulation" but he does not have that book anymore so he cant check. I guess he meant this book here

    Does anybody have any information on this? This is driving me crazy since forever.

    best wishes

  • #2
    I asked renowned uniformologist André Jouineau who gave me an answer to this question:

    "le burnous se porte en tenue de campagne et en grande tenue avant 1914.
    Pendant la guerre 14-18 les tenues deviennent kaki et le burnous remplacé par une tenue en toile et en drap."
    Turns out they were part of the campaign uniform till 1914!
    So my question is answered, this thread can be closed!
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    • #3
      in fact, there are two burnous ... or if you prefer the burnou is composed of two parts:
      the first, white, is longer and wider than the second ... it serves as a lining for the second;
      the second, red, is worn above the first
      Both are worn in full dress, but it is common in campaign to wear only the red burnou (in the evening or when it is colder)


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