Saturday, June 11, 2011

Elite Forces Headdress from the former USSR, France and Italy

The first photograph shows, from left to right, an officer's beret from the former Soviet Naval Infantry (also wore by Naval Spetsnaz), circa 1991, an officer's beret of the Soviet Airborne Forces (VDV, also wore by Spetsnaz), circa 1991, the next is a cloth jump helmet of the Soviet Airborne Forces, circa 1991, then an officer's winter service Ushanka of the Soviet Airborne Forces, circa 1991, and finally a replica of the WWII officer's beret of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade Group, who were attached to the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem (Click on any of the images to enlarge).

The next grouping of headdress are three kepi from the French Foreign Legion. From left to right, the first is an enlisted man's service dress kepi wore in French Indochina and Algeria, circa 1954, next is an enlisted man's review dress kepi (without the white 'kepi blanc' cover), circa 1950, the next kepi is full dress for a Captaine of the Legion, finally is a winter dress Senior Colonel and General Officer's Papahka, (Astrakhan of Persian lamb) of the former Soviet Army, circa 1991.

The French Foreign Legion is steeped in tradition. and a contigent is always on display on the 14th of July, Bastille Day in Paris. The following videos shows the bearded Pioneers (Sapeurs-Pionniers) of the Legion (1er Regiment Entrangere d'Infanterie) in the parade. They are marching to the measured cadence of 'Le Boudin' ('The Sausage'), the regimental march of the Legion.

The dress uniform headdress of the Italian Army has always been unique and very colorful. Here are three examples, all still currently wore. From left to right, first is an an enlisted man's Moretto w/Cappelo piumato of the 28th Bn of the Bersaglieri (Light Infantry), WWII Pattern, circa 1950, next is the full dress Lucerna of an enlisted man of the Corpo dei Carabinieri, current issue, finally there is a field service hat of an enlisted man of the 6th Alpini Regiment, circa 1960.

Each of these military units maintain a marching band consistent with the unique traditions and character of their respective organizations. The following series of videos will hopefully afford the viewer a sample of each. First the Fanfara of the Carabinieri (note that the lucerna plumes of the bands are white over red, rather than the normal red over blue), followed by the Fanfara (Tridentina) of the Alpini, and finally the Fanfara (Bedizzole) of the Bersaglieri.


The Pilot said...

Hello! Do you know where I could get a Moretto w/Cappelo piumato or rent one? Cheers!

Arnhemjim said...

Hello Pilot,
Not being certain of your geographic location, my best recommendation is to monitor e-Bay using the search terms Bersaglieri Moretto. That is where I found the one in my collection from a seller in Italy. Since buying it I have seen others offered for sale. To rent one, unfortunately I have no recommendations. Sorry I can't be of more immediate assistance.

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