Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Uniforms Weren't So Uniform...18th century military dressed to impress

German Soldier, 1718 by Johann Christof Merk
Nowadays, everyday and combat duty military uniforms are based on comfort, utility, and the ability to blend into the landscape. Not so for our 18th century ancestors. In an era when most battles were fought hand-to-hand on open fields of combat, uniforms served to distinguish friend from foe. Generals sat on horseback, spying through their telescopes and depended upon easily recognizable uniforms to check on the progress of their troops. The uniforms were often constructed of heavy wool, hot and itchy in the heat of battle, miserable in the heat and humidity of summer but made for durability as well as identification. In a time when keeping up appearances extended to the battlefield, the richer looking the army, the more successful and intimidating they appeared.

Today I bring you a gallery of contrasting views: contemporary vs 18th century uniforms. 
German Soldier per Wikimedia Commons

Polish Soldiers 1697-1795 by Jan Matejko
Polish Soldiers per Wikimedia Commons

British Soldiers, mid 18th century by David Morier
British Soldier (
American Soldiers, 1781, per Wikimedia

American Soldiers per Wikimedia

French Soldiers, 17th to 19th Century by Charles Vernier

French Soldiers by Isafmdeia per Wikimedia

Have a good couple weeks, dear Reader. Thanks for stopping by...Y'all come back now!


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