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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Gents,

While most students of WWI History are familiar with the Russian Expeditionary Force serving in France, few are aware of the Russian brigades that fought with the Allies on the Salonika Front in northern Greece. The French Army had sustained enormous casualties and were desperate for additional manpower. The Imperial Russian Army was perpetually short of munitions, particularly artillery shells. A deal was struck that would send Russian infantry to France to fight alongside the French, British and Belgians on the Western Front in exchange for increased supplies of munitions for the Russians fighting on the Eastern Front. By November of 1916, five brigades of Russian infantry comprising the Russian Expeditionary Force, had arrived in France. By the end of 1916, the force totaled 44,319 men.

However two Brigades, the 2nd and 4th, were sent to join the Allied army fighting against the Austro-Hungarians and Bulgarians on the Salonika Front in northern Greece. The soldiers of the Russian Expeditionary Force retained their original Russian uniforms, however for the simplification of supply they were issued French Mle 1907-15 Berthier rifles along with French accouterments.

The History of the REF is quite interesting and for those of you who are interested in learning more about this interesting sideshow of the Great War, I highly recommend the following book by Jamie H. Cockfield:

"With Snow on their Boots: The Tragic Odyssey of the Russian Expeditionary Force in France During World War I"


Of particular note in this display is the French manufactured Mle 1915 Adrian helmet. The REF units serving in France were issued Horizon Blue Mle 1915 Adrian helmets with a Romanov eagle badge on the obverse of the crown of the helmets. France also supplied the Russians with large numbers of khaki (French "mutarde") helmets for issue to their troops fighting on the Eastern Front. The badges of the REF helmets issued in France were painted the same color as the rest of the helmet. The badges of the khaki supplied helmets were also painted the same color as the helmet. However an unknown percentage of the helmets issued to the Russian Brigades on the Salonika Front were painted dark Horizon Blue with khaki colored badges. This particular example in the display was captured in battle on the Salonika Front by units of the Austro-Hungarian Army, the K.u.K. It's an extremely rare variation of the Mle 1915 Adrian helmet.

Action figure Outerwear Soldier Fictional character Costume
Outerwear Fashion Beige Jacket Costume
Outerwear Costume Coat Headgear Jacket
Outerwear Costume
Fashion accessory Satchel
Fashion accessory Satchel


Brown Fashion Outerwear Satchel Leather
Human Outerwear Footwear Costume Beige
Figurine Fashion Human Outerwear Beige
Outerwear Beige Leather Jacket Action figure
Outerwear
Outerwear Fictional character


I hope you enjoy this rather unusual display. I have several more displays to photograph in order to catch up to current with my photography.

More to follow...........

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Super Moderator Platinum Member Zombie Killer
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Nice, JP....I enjoyed your article in the new GUNS magazine, too....
 

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Yes John I am part of the Legion Russe of the GWA and am always trying to find stuff about all five brigades that was sent to France and through France on their way to the Salonika Front.

It is said that the Russian Civil War started when the 3rd Brigade was ordered to fire on the 1st when they refused to take orders and move back to the front from their camp at La Courtaine. A pretty neat display John I applaude you.

And also With Snow on Their Boots have been out of print for about 3 years now, so Ebay or 2nd hand sources are the only way to go in order to get a copy. I lucked out in that there still was a few left in 2010 when I got my copy to read but I highly recommend it if you have not read it. The only thing is that the whole La Courtaine incident was pretty much glossed over and no real details about it was in the book. Unlike the rest of it that was very detailed on when and where stuff happened.
 

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Oak Leaves with Clusters Member
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I just checked, new copies are available at Amazon and there are 17 used copies for sale. Unfortunately the price for new is very high but many of used ones are reasonable. That is where I got mine.
 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello Gents,

Thank you one and all for your ongoing support and for taking the time to comment. Thank you as well Ol Duke for your kind words regarding my latest article. It is the second half of a two part article on the development, use and markings of the Gew 88. I have another article that is scheduled to run in the August or September issue of GUNS Magazine that will coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the Great War.

The Solonika Front was originally established in an attempt to support the Serbian Army fighting in the Balkan's when Bulgaria entered the war. The ultra rare Mle 1915 Adrian helmet painted dark Horizon Blue was captured by Austro-Hungarian forces during an engagement at this all but forgotten episode of WWI.

Thanks again Gents! I'll be posting some additional threads in the next few weeks as I catch up on my photography. It's always a pleasure sharing my efforts with like minded collectors who appreciate the historical significance of saving these uniforms, equipment and weapons for future generations.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Super Moderator
Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes John I am part of the Legion Russe of the GWA and am always trying to find stuff about all five brigades that was sent to France and through France on their way to the Salonika Front.

It is said that the Russian Civil War started when the 3rd Brigade was ordered to fire on the 1st when they refused to take orders and move back to the front from their camp at La Courtaine. A pretty neat display John I applaude you.

And also With Snow on Their Boots have been out of print for about 3 years now, so Ebay or 2nd hand sources are the only way to go in order to get a copy. I lucked out in that there still was a few left in 2010 when I got my copy to read but I highly recommend it if you have not read it. The only thing is that the whole La Courtaine incident was pretty much glossed over and no real details about it was in the book. Unlike the rest of it that was very detailed on when and where stuff happened.

Hello Tiger,

Yes, I know that you and Patrick are both quite active in the Legion Russe in the GWA. It is interesting to note that following the mutiny that occurred in the Russian Expeditionary Force that coincided with the Bolshevik inspired Revolution, the majority of the Russian troops were relegated to labor battalions or were placed in internment camps. However, a group of Russian soldiers who remained loyal to the Czar remained under the command of Colonel Gotua, were allowed to form the Russian Legion, i.e. Legion Russe. The Legion fought valiantly alongside the French on the Western Front for the remainder of the war.

Of particular interest is the fact that the Legion Russe was attached to the 1st Moroccan Infantry Division for the duration of the war. The "1st Regiment "Tirailleurs Marocains" as portrayed in my other display that is currently posted......

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthr...ailleurs-Marocains-quot-NCO-c-1916-18-Display

......fought alongside the Legion Russe. The only change required to this display to portray the Legion Russe would be a change to the light Horizon Blue Mle 1915 Adrian helmet with the Romanov eagle badge.


Helmet Personal protective equipment Clothing Headgear Cap
Helmet Clothing Personal protective equipment Headgear Cap
Helmet Hard hat Clothing Personal protective equipment Headgear
Helmet Clothing Personal protective equipment Fashion accessory Headgear
Copper Helmet Glass Metal Sphere
Copper Peach Metal Heart Art



The earliest shipments of Mle 1915 Adrians that were supplied to Russian forces on the Eastern Front were also painted the lighter shade of HB, however the bulk of the helmets were painted Moutarde as per this example.

Helmet Personal protective equipment Clothing Headgear Fashion accessory
Helmet Personal protective equipment Headgear Fashion accessory Cap
Helmet Personal protective equipment Hard hat Clothing Fashion accessory
Helmet Hard hat Personal protective equipment Clothing Headgear
Caramel color Beige Hat
Copper Wood Cap Metal



These photos were taken for an excellent book written by Johan Somers that is currently the best available source in English on the Imperial Russian Army. I highly recommend this excellent work.

http://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Russ...8&qid=1398706316&sr=1-7&keywords=johan+somers

Thanks again one and all for taking the time to comment on my displays. Always a pleasure Gents!

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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Perfectionist as always! I especially admire your artwork in making the mannequin face realistic.
 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you Nick!

A compliment from an accomplished collector such as yourself is greatly appreciated. As for the proper artistic treatment of the mannequins, my original major in college was art. I started drawing and painting as a child. My major was art until I realized that if you painted something that actually looked like the subject matter, you might just squeak by with a C average! It was at that point that I changed my major to History with Minors in art and archeology.

Here is a photo of one of my oil paintings of the last naval engagement of the War of 1812 between the USS Constitution and the British warships HMS Cyane and the HMS Levant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constitution

I painted this 3'x5' canvas when I was a 17 year old junior in high school.

Vehicle Sailing ship Flagship Full-rigged ship Clipper


While I haven't applied brush and paint to a canvas in over 40 years, I admit that I actually enjoy painting the mannequins for my displays. If left unpainted, the typical mannequin simply doesn't cut it for a military display.

Can you spot the mannequin that was hidden behind a gas mask for the past 20 years??? ;>)

Mannequin Barechested Doll Chest Flesh


Look's like "don't ask, don't tell" to me???

Always a pleasure Nick!

Warmest regards,

John
 

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Oh, man! This looks like a Chinese emperor's tomb, except your warriors are plastic, not terracotta.

I really need to work on my mannequins' faces, they look like ***... er, people with alternate lifestyle. I will borrow some faces from your picture (cause I don't respect intellectual property!)
 

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Super Moderator
Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, man! This looks like a Chinese emperor's tomb, except your warriors are plastic, not terracotta.

Hi Nick,

Yes, here is my "other" collection that I have been working on since 1990. ;>) It's nice that most Chinese are substantially shorter than I am, which helps immensely when it comes to taking the occasional photo over the top of the crowd.

Stadium Sport venue


It's a truly amazing sight and there is still a tremendous amount of archeological work to be done. Aside from the Royal Tomb, there are potentially more "pits" of additional warriors.

Way too cool! I've been fortunate to have visited Xi'an seven times over the years.

Mannequin Barechested Doll Chest Flesh


Close, but no cigar!

Warmest regards,

John
 
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