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Infantry from the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) by ManuLaCanette Infantry from the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) by ManuLaCanette
showcase of some work for a figurines game about the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. 

From left to right: - Prussian-Westphalia infantry (Dreyse rifle) - Bavarian infantry (Podewils rifle) - French line infantry (Chassepot rifle) - French Franc-tireur (partisan infantry armed with Chassepot and an American Colt Army) - French Garde Mobile (Chassepot rifle). 
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:iconkingwillhamii:
KingWillhamII Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2016
Nice work!
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:iconemillie-wolf:
Emillie-Wolf Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Très utile ! J'aime bien me documenter sur ce conflit, que beaucoup ont oublié.
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:icongozac1198:
Gozac1198 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2016   Traditional Artist
Magnifique travail sur les uniformes !
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:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016
For a Franc Tireur, his uniform surely looks like the uniform of true active-duty professional soldier.
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:iconmanulacanette:
ManuLaCanette Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Professional General Artist
The Franc-Tireurs units were very small and had to equip themselves. Yet they kept most of the time to a rather strict uniform rule. They usually took imperial uniforms that they simply tweaked to give a new original look. The one represented here is a "Franc-tireur de la Presse", small units of partisans formed in the region of Paris that took part in the defense of Châteaudun.

Here's some other pictures of these:

antan.n.a.f.unblog.fr/files/20…

antan.n.a.f.unblog.fr/files/20…

And yeah, franc-tireurs didn't mean "poorly equipped" or "no uniforms". The uniforms had a great variety from one unit to another, but were pretty much the same wihtin the same units. So did the weaponry: some units took over the Chassepot rifles, some other had been equipped with American weapons delivered by request of the new Republican government, including Spencer rifles, or repeating hand guns like Colts or Remingtons.

Garibaldians partisans, mostly operating in the Vosges, had chosen themselves red shirts, the Francs-tireurs de la Mort wore black outfit with a white skull emblem and came mostly from the South, although the black & skull thing was widely spread in the Francs-tireurs units. 

Basically, these units had the look of real soldiers, but lacked the professional commanding support of real officers. And the Germans also refused to consider them like soldiers and most of the Franc-Tireurs who were caught were summarily executed. If they fired from a village, the village were most of the time burnt down or its inhabitants decimated without any trial. 
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:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016
Man, their uniforms look like the Chasseurs à pied and Chasseurs alpins.
Now, that was better than the garance red our line infantry had.
This stuff should have been kept as a parade and ceremonial uniform, nothing more. :-(
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:iconmanulacanette:
ManuLaCanette Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Professional General Artist
I guess swag on the battlefield came with a price xD
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:iconcolonelbsacquet:
ColonelBSacquet Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016
:-D
Exactement.
Swag on the battlefield. :-)
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:iconhillfighter:
Hillfighter Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015
Those French sword bayonets looks somewhat cumbersome.
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:iconmanulacanette:
ManuLaCanette Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Professional General Artist
Well that's the yatagan-bayonet, it was designed for two purposes. First, while Germans infantrymen usually carried a small side sword in addition to the socket bayonet, the French only had the yatagan-bayonet, which could serve as a close combat hand weapon, or a very long thrusting weapon once locked as a bayonet upon the rifle. Which leads me to its other purpose: in this late 19th c. in Europe, one important debate within the different military doctrines was the main weapon (and therefore the bayonet) lenght. Every nation has spent a lot of time in bayonet drills to enhance their soldiers efficiency. But they realized that the sucess of those drills on the battlefield facing equally capable soldiers relied mainly on the reach advantage. 
That's what started some kind of a "bayonet reach" race in most powerful european countries. It must be also noted that the actual rifles lenght around that time was also exagerated (they could make shorter patterns with roughly the same accuracy, no problem) specifically for that purpose. With the adoption of the yatagan-sword-bayonet by the French, the British and the Germans modified only the lenght of their own more traditionnal socket bayonet (narrow pyramid shaped). But then they started to adopt similar new models of bayonets based on the French system and shape. It could be straight bayonet-sword, or curved yatagan models (themselves based on the famous turkish cutlass).
One other advantage of the yatagan-bayonet is that the yatagan is a both cutting and thrusting weapon by its design, and very efficient. Although I'm not aware of bayonet drills featuring slashing attacks (but I didn't look after any French bayonet drill yet!), these remain in my opinion a formidable option for the French soldier of that time: attacking an opponent with a cutting move is something they didn't expect from bayonet combat. Obviously it gives a strong advantage. 
Why didn't the French go for more melee engagements during the war you gonna tell me? Well that's unfortunate and is actually tied to the overconfidence of the French generals within the Chassepot rifle's very superior range (1km max range for 300-400m for the Dreyse needle rifle, Podewils was even worse). The Bavarian introduced a superior rifle at the eve of the war but only a couple small regiments were equiped with it so it has no effect on the action really. Unfortunately, this French doctrine relying mainly on long range firepower was very badly exploited and gave the French units a static behaviour that eventually lead to disasters like Sedan and battles during the retreat.
And this was a shame because the French generals actually gave up on the real advantage of the French army, which has always been the melee charge even before the Napoleonic era. The bayonet charge was a cultural thing and a military tradition within French doctrine. Here, the yatagan-bayonet, outreaching the Germans', allowing powerful moves, in addition to the French courage in melee would have turned many situations, I guarantee it. For example, there's record from a Bavarian regiment who was tasked to clean houses (in Châteaudun if I remember correctly), they relucted so much in melee combat that they went for a slow paced firing advance, sustaining many casulties, instead of pushing into one big rush, like the French usually did. If the French charged this infantry in other situations, it would break within a second bearly fighting. French had everything to win, bad logistics, and betting upon the wrong tactical advantage (range of a new ranged weapon instead of the gaining ground melee strike) did lead to defeat.  
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:iconjssabotta:
jssabotta Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017
One could add minor issues, like the sadly failed promise of the mitrailleuse. Your comments and knowledge of the subject are very impressive!

And, of course, your excellent artwork!
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:iconorphydian:
Orphydian Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Im still very confused about the color/colors the prussians use in that war
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:iconmanulacanette:
ManuLaCanette Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Professional General Artist
Basicallly this shows the "winter" (or simplu bad weather) dress of the Prussian infantry, involving the long grey-black woolen coat, that they were bearing folded over the left shoulder in the "summer" outfit. Otherwise they'd just wear the standard short dark-blue Waffenrock (vest), that you can see on my other artwork. The color of the linings over the sleeves' lapels, and the shoulder lapels as well, are Corps and Regiments specifics. Here the 17th Westphalian infantry regiment has white linings over the sleeves and light blue shoulder lapels with white linings. Regiment's number is in red.
About the leather gear, the colors varied along sometimes. Most Prussian infantry carried a white leather harness and belt, while the front pouches were black leather. Only exception was the Foot Guards, who had white pouches. 
You can also be confused sometimes with other German States' infantry: for example, Baden infantry wore pretty much exactly the same uniform Prussians did, except for the helmet metal plate that has Baden heraldry instead of Prussia's, and both harness and pouches were black also. 
Bavarians had their very own uniforms. 
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:iconorphydian:
Orphydian Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
In many old illustrations of the franco-prussian war the prussians are displayed with a greenish uniforms. In fact Ive saw in a doc the french were calling them the green ones
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:iconmanulacanette:
ManuLaCanette Featured By Owner Edited Oct 23, 2015  Professional General Artist
Nah, Jägers light infantry wore a dark green Waffenrock, so did the mounted artillerists, but that's it, the Feldgrau ("field grey") uniform was only introduced around 1898. 
Here's some pictures:

www.maquetland.com/v2/images_a…

antan.n.a.f.unblog.fr/files/20…

Light bavarian troops (jägers and light cavalry) also had dark-green jackets.

Otherwise, all Prussian infantry and foot artillery was given traditionnal dark-blue jackets ("prussian blue"). Heavy cavalry, like cuirassiers regiments was in white-cream. Those color codes for Prussian army are all from the very first age of Prussian Kingdom and remained so until the adoption of Feldgrau uniforms. 
The expression"green ones" might refer to the Jägers. I don't know in which occasion you read it, but let me know if you find back the reference, I'd be interested. Was it in a video documentary?
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:iconorphydian:
Orphydian Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you!
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