Senegalese Tirailleurs question

  • I just bought several boxes of the WA French that I intend to paint as Senegalese Tirailleurs for Bolt Action. Does anyone know if they actually wore the red fez in battle in the 1940 campaign in France? My guess is that these were stowed away during combat, and used for parade and/light duty only. I have seen one photo of 8 prisoners where 5 have Adrian helmets and 3 are wearing the fez. 

  • @Don Williams Yeah its like any other not helmet hat, inreality a german officer or british tank commander was issued a helmet but for table top people prefer the more astetically cool over the realistic which is totally fine.

  • Looking through various photos on google, it seems to match my experience with more contemporary soldiers... in the field and in combat individualism creeps in as Uniform regulations relax, so folks tend to wear what they are comfortable with... as much as their Senior NCOs and Officers allow. As the player you are the most influential NCO/Officer. 

    Edit: I was an Infantry NCO back in the 20th Century and that experience tends to influence my wargaming.

  • @Don Williams

    Depends, if there was a shortage on helmets possibly either just because, battle moral (identifying your comrades) or  to keep friendly fire down. Do what you want.

  • My understanding was that the fezzes had khaki covers for wear in the field, so they'd stand out less. Of course, though, standing out might well be something you want on the tabletop, so you do you.

  • Senegalese tirailleur prisoners ... wearing both caps and helmets

  • There are 8 Senegalese Tirailleur prisoners in this photo. Five are wearing helmets, and three have the fezzes -- all of which appear to be dark colored (red) rather than light colored khaki.

  • That one in the front looks a bit like a beret worn in an unusual, individualistic manner rather than one of the actual fez style hats the other two have... and those two do not look identical to each other either. Lots of room for individuality expressed through uniform appearance once captured it would seem.

  • Reference the photo:  I'm not convinced the middle Soldier is wearing a fez, nor am I convinced he's Senegalese.


  • That soldier in the middle could be North African or mixed race mulatto, but also keep in mind that the French referred to all Sub- Saharan Afican troops from their colonies as 'Senegalese.'

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