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This photo was sent from St. Avold on 22 June 1916, though I suspect it may have been taken much earlier from the quality of the uniforms and those snazzy corduroy trousers! What ARE thse two ? freshly recruited members of Infantry Regiment 173 wearing?

They do not appear to be One Year Volunteers with some form of mutant Imperial colors

In fact, they are wearing straps that have no piping at all-- which I'd associate with overcoat straps!

So are these little black-white-red strips nothing more than passing out of basic training gewgaws?

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Rick,

By early 1915 the corps and other pipings had been dropped. This was one of the first steps in the simplifications of the manufacturing process for uniforms. Other changes that saved on increasingly hard to get textiles were soon to follow. By 1916, the initial shortages had passed, only to return later in the war as the naval blockade did its work.

My impression is that these are some sort of patriotic, basic training graduation handouts. Nothing official and not like any of the semi-official strips that were worn on the straps of certain divisions.

Chip

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Rick,

I don't, but a friend of mine has one in his shoulder strap collection. I will contact him and see if he can scan it for you.

I do have some examples from the 12.Division, which had its various units wear colored strips across the bottom of their shoulder straps. The color varied according to the unit. I have three different straps from the division with the strips.

Chip

Edited by Chip
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