Tuesday 27 July 2010

Zouaves Pontificaux

Here is my Zouave pontifical uniform for you to enjoy.

The regiment of Zouaves Pontificaux was raised from 1860 amongst catholic foreign volunteers from Europe and America to strengthen the Pope’s army against attacks by the Piedmontese army as well as Garibaldi’s partisans, bent on unifying Italy and absorbing the papal states into it. They served until 1870, when the Franco-Prussian war caused France to withdraw the troops it had committed to prevent that (Napoleon III liked to show himself as the champion of the French catholics).The regiment was created by the French General de Lamoricière, who had also been instrumental in creating the French zouave regiments, and most of the early volunteers were French and Belgian ( the original name was bataillon des tirailleurs franco-belges), and the first uniform was also based on that of the French chasseurs à pied. Then Lamoricière designed this uniform, which, although based on the French zouave uniform, (originally) banned the chechia as there was some contradiction to have Christ’s soldiers dressed as muslims. So they wore a French-style kepi instead. The rest of the equipment is exactly the same as that of the chasseurs à pied, including the model 1853 T chasseur carabine and its yataghan, although the straps connecting the pack to the waist belt should actually not be there. The front of the kepi’s band is also missing a small brass horn.



  1. MARKSMEN and Now REPLICANTS make a series of 1/32 Zouaves that one figure close to this unifrom. He's marching at "right shoulder shift" I have 16 or more in gray plastic that I use for these troops.

    Mannie Gentile has a blog entry with a photo...


  2. Replies
    1. That's your knowledge of history? Good to know, I'll know not to buy from you then.

    2. And what support do you have for your comment about them being fanatics? Is everyone who volunteers to fight for a cause a fanatic? Were those who volunteered to fight for the Union fanatics?
      And while volunteer regiments could certainly lack discipline, relatively, what support do you have for your allegation of rape?

  3. Outstanding uniform! Could you tell me about the leather accouterments and packs. Did you make the uniform?