Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Les Chasseurs Alpins

The Chasseurs Alpins or 'Alpine Hunters' are a special mountain infantry battalion of the French army, well known for their large, floppy berets (with txortena - unusual for military berets) called Tarte.
It was in 1888 that the French Government created 12 specialised mountain battalions, feeling threatened after Italy created 6 Alpini regiments of mountain troops, positioned close to the French border. The Chasseurs didn't stay in the French Alps for long, as they were soon sent to Africa; fighting in Madagascar, Morocco and Algeria.
There is an incredible amount of information on the internet to be found, about the Chasseurs Alpins, like here, or here, or here.
I am more interested in the historic pictures of the Chasseur with his tarte...
For those interested in owning their own Chasseur-beret, they come up occasionally on Ebay and the Musée du Béret web shop sells identical replicas.

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