FRIDAY FOTO (July 27, 2012)

July 27, 2012 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

Fix Bayonets

Photo courtesy Ministere de la Defense

We can’t let the month of July go by without a photo from the French military parade on July 14 – Bastille Day – in Paris.

Almost every July 14 since 1880, the French military establishment dons its dress uniforms – resplendent in both color and tradition – and marches down the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

This year, the French Defense Ministry put a whole bunch of good photos on Facebook. Unfortunately the pictures are without captions, so if you know your French history you might be able to dope out which unit is which.

This photos shows infantrymen of the 1st Regiment of Spahis (North African cavalry) fixing bayonets to their FAMAS assault rifles. Spahis – the name means army or horsemen – were light cavalry regiments of the French army recruited from the local population in France’s former North African colonies: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Their Maghreb heritage is displayed in the white cloaks and red sashes they still wear on ceremonial occasions

Today there is only one regiment of Spahis in the French Army – the First Regiment of Moroccan Spahis (1er Régiment de Spahis Marocains) founded in 1914. Instead of horses, the Spahis ride in armored personnel carriers as part of the 6th French Light Armored Brigade. Here’s what they look like drawn up on parade.

French Defense Ministry photo

To see more photos, click here.

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Entry filed under: FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Traditions, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , .

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