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GETTING STARTED - French Gatinois Check List
Michel Petard magazine article on 1780's French Equipment
How to Sing like a French Soldier
French Knapsack (Hair-on-Hide)
French Waistcoat (LaVeste)
French Style Cartridges
Affixing a Cast Brass Box Plate to a Cartridge Box
Affixing a Hammered Brass Box Plate to a Cartridge Box
French Bayonet Frog
|French Soldiers would be organized into groups called messes and would be issued a single Gamelle in which to cook and eat from. Each soldier would have a single spoon and the Gamelle, once ready, with the hot contents would go round and round the mess until the Gamelle was empty. You can imagine the French Soldier had to have a mouth of iron to take the hot food as it came around otherwise he missed his turn.|
Gamelle Reconstructed Inside View Gamelle Reconstructed on Havresac
Elements of the Military Art by Feu M. dHericourt, 1751
XIII. There are eight tools per Company; comprised of two shovels (pelles), two picks (pioches), two sickles (serpes) & two hatches (haches).
XIV. The pelle (shovel) the blade is 7 inches 4 lines long (71/2) by 6 inches 9 lines (63/4) at the top and 5 inches 6 lines at the edge (51/2), the sleeve (douille) is 3 inches 6 lines (31/2) long, and the handle from the sleeve to the end is 1 foot 11 inches.
XV. The pioche (pick) is 9 inches 6 lines long (91/2), and 2 inches 6 lines long (21/2) on the cutting end, and the handle is 2 feet 3 inches 4 lines. (2 31/2).
XVI. The serpe (sickle) is 8 inches 7 lines long (83/4) , 3 inches wide at the end, and 2 inches 2 lines (21/4) at the handle which is 4 inches 9 lines long (43/4)
XVII. The head of the hache (hatchet) is two inches in every direction. The distance from the head to the cutting edge is 7 inches 2 lines (71/4) and the cutting edge is 3 inches 10 lines wide (33/4); the handle not counting the head is 1 foot 10 inches.
XVIII. The thickness of these tools is proportionate to their length, and such that without being too heavy they should have the weight to deliver the force needed to do their tasks for which they were intended.
XIX. These tools are kept in scabbards of cow hide which is not blackened, each one closing with a buckle and attached to a strap one inch wide.
XX. On the march they are carried by the soldiers of the Company who take turns carrying them.
Sapper's Axe Hanger
CLICK HERE to read more about how they were made/used by Dragoons
during the Seven Years War (scroll to the middle of the page)
That's one mean dude
On the construction of the leather apron for the Sapper & Miner/Pioneer: The apron should be fairly loose. The apex in the front button should come to about mid sternum....not too high and not too low. It has a gentle flair from the top down to the waist. It is intended to protect the axeman from the branches and pitch/tar while performing his duty. On the apron itself, there is a waist tie that wraps around the man. It is fairly long and goes around the middle to tie in the back. (i.e. from each side a tie goes around the back and around to the front and around again to tie in the back.) When walking/marching the left leg side is tucked up under this tie in the front thus lifting this edge to make it easy to move one's legs.
Crossed axes patch - While this sapper is shown with a crossed axes patch in the facings color of our unit (violet) we have since learned that this patch should be done in black, and not the facings color of the unit.