Belgian Uniforms Of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Belgian Uniforms Of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special


I’m indy neidell and this is another exciting episode of the great war on the road. Now, we are in Belgium shooting several special episodes. We’re in Dixmude (Diksmuide) now, longtime viewers of our show or people that are particularly interested in the first world war will recognize Dixmude The Yser (Ijzer) river, the race to the sea and we’ll be talking about them in another special episode, but today what we’re gonna be talking about is Belgian army uniforms of the First World War and by we I actually mean he because as you can see I have a guest star today. Now, can you tell everybody out there who you are, where we are and what you do? Hello everybody. My name is Peter Verplancke. I’m a conservator and curator of This museum here. We are in Dixmude in the Ijzertoren. It’s a huge memorial it’s a monument built after the First World War but in the tower itself, it’s a museum about what happened here in World War one. Now, this is a private museum. It’s not a public museum. Yes indeed So what we’re gonna see these are things that were loaned mostly loan. Yes most of what we see of the from the uniforms are not From, of us, but are given to us to show to the people. Okay? now what we’re standing in front of now, these are the early ones of the war? As you can see it’s a it’s a mixture of different uniforms, there’s no Not one line and it’s different colors as well These are the uniforms that were used in the Battle of the Yser October 1914 the battle that happened here in Dixmude. Okay and one can you explain a bit about the variety and Well, it’s a it’s a like I said a mixture. You have a Civic Guard, you have grenadiers, but the carabiniers over there, but one uniform that I want to show you is the one here in the middle because We know that it was used during the battle October 1914 because the person who has worn it Was injured during the battle. He was a rifleman by foot, right and he was injured and then Transported to an infirmary and then even back to London where he recovered. Now, what about that kind of crazy hat with the feather in it? That’s pretty cool Civic guards. Aha. So it means civils that were called upon arms and they were helping defending But you have to know that when the army came here. Yeah. They were already three months in war. Right. And starting near the border with Germany. Right. They were all the time in retreat so they were August September October till they came here they were tired right they their uniform was a mixture what they took, they used what they found. So they weren’t really Ready for a major war before the war, or…? Well, they… we had a good army, a well-equipped army Well-equipped fortresses if the war would have been like twenty, thirty years before. Okay. And of course, the German army was like ten times the size too – It was bigger. Yeah, but you still, this five percent of the country, this area beyond the Yser and stuff You still… they never took all of Belgium. You held that for the entire war. Indeed. This, this monument is built here for the reason because it was never taken. Never taken. and now we’re going to go upstairs and we’re going to look at the evolution of the Belgian uniforms during the war Now because of the narrowness and the lighting we’re not going to be on camera there But you will see the uniforms and that’s probably what you care about anyway. Now over here, this is about Getting all the supplies. I mean I can see made in France, made in Argentina, made in the u.s., Made in England That’s pretty impressive, right? They needed the uniforms fast. Yeah. And of course as cheap as possible Right. So they have to look all over the world for for Uniforms and material so they were it was really the Belgian uniforms really a conglomeration of all over the world Yes, some of the pictures you would You look and you think oh, this is a French soldier -like that guy- but no it is not. Okay. All right. It’s a Belgian Wearing a mixture of French looking Finest looking clothing -and clothes, okay So these are the headgear the hats and helmets and things. We have an overview of the evolution starting at the beginning of the war You see there’s a color in it, and then the khaki is coming up. Sure The caps are replaced by a helmet. Yeah ok, the Adrian First is a French again. It’s based on the French model and then then cotton camouflage over but again that was Not good for the injuries and then replaced and here at last you see a police cap again and you see again, they put some color in it. All right Okay, and now how about here? So these are, well it says spring 1915 the new khaki uniform. Yeah You see the trenches. It’s a trench Like it was in spring 1915, right? And you see the Belgian soldier in his blue uniform? And he’s he has a visitor and he’s already in a khaki. He’s looking at the khaki uniform as why Where does it come from? Do we have something new? Where is this new uniform coming from, right? The first time they’re using khaki We saw that and we’ve seen that with other armies and our other uniform special episodes. Okay Are these guys who I think they are? Yes, indeed. These are the Belgian armored car- Yes, but as you can see, he’s still wearing the Yser cap -right- as well So they’re still here around in Non-occupied Belgium. But you can’t use the armored cars here. So, they are ready to go So they went to Russia and they served in Galicia. But because Belgium and Russia were not officially allies They had to be volunteers for the Russian army. That’s how they had to serve. And they went by boat Yeah, and the problem was when they came back Oh, yeah in 1918 because Russia left the war you can’t go north You can’t go west, can’t go south- So they went all around the world, through Japan Through the United States and then back to France. These are the Special Forces used Not in the beginning of the war, but from 1916 small groups tactical tactical forces, -okay- and their equipment Like they put some grenades on their rifles to shoot rifle grenades. These Special Forces were used here in the area between The Belgian army and the German army -oh, after the flooding- after the flooding in the flood for the for capturing prisoners or In the flooded area, they try to go to the farmhouses. The ones the Germans had from the Belgians. That’s- Then I can see that picture there. That’s it over there. What we have here is a We could talk about every single subject in detail. Sure. But here we We talk about the shoes and again in a very very very detail You have to know We, our Army had not enough shoes for everybody. So they had to look and ask for other countries like before the others Can you make shoes for us? And how much would it cost? Made in Belgium, made in England… So, they made a demand to France, to Great Britain to America, to the United States Will you make shoes and how much will it cost? Okay, this looks very interesting. What’s this? So this is a special kind of helmet called After an opthamologist an opthamologist, yes With the name Veeckers, right? Okay. He was here at the front seeing that there were a lot of injuries To the eyes? Yes, to the eyes, so he was looking for a solution right? So he made this special casque This special helmet so you can wear something before your eyes. Right. Oh, this is near the end Yeah, this is near the end. This is like a place where officers come together talk about the their life as an officer, the special things they have to do, the communication possibilities the The maps. The maps… preparing. Yeah, there’s the phone exchange, yes the phone exchange. That’s very cool. Again, every single detail is original. That’s great Okay, and so, can you tell us about this what are these things This is The Belgian uniform at the end of the war. Yeah, you already see it’s completely khaki uniform and You see the Mills equipment? Yeah. It was used. Oh, yeah it was used at liberation offensives. ok. so this is the Belgian uniform going from a mixture of everything Whatever you can get. Still in the blues. -Towards a uniform that’s recognizable You see everybody -and with the more modern weaponry- and with the more… which included a few experiments like the armour. The shoes. And the helmet. Well, that was fascinating. Ok well Well Peter Thank you very much for taking the time to show us this and you guys out there if you’d like to see our episode about French uniforms in the First World War you can click right here For that and do not forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and all your dreams will come true See you next time

100 Replies to “Belgian Uniforms Of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special”

  1. 2:59 I don't think I have ever seen an image with dogs transporting things like machine guns. This was truly a crazy time.

  2. The massive switch to what previously were solely Indian Army style khaki uniforms, first by the British Army and then others later quickly began to exhaust the local stocks of the synthetic dyes needed to produce the cloth. Fortunately ample amounts of quality product were still available from "Switzerland" (really Germany) while chemists in Britain and elsewhere eventually developed ways to locally mass produce all the different dyes needed for the war.

  3. I prefer the Austrian uniforms since they are too elegant. If Austria (instead of Prussia) had unified Germany into a "Großdeutschland" with Vienna as the new capital, then I don't think there would've been a World War, but there still would've been a Franco-German War as Bismarck wrote in his memoirs "any unification of Germany wouldn't have happened without a war with France" – France, from Louis XIV to Napoleon had a history of invading and pillaging German territories and playing "divide and rule" amongst the German states.

  4. Amazing! Didn't know anything about Belgium in WW1… Now i know something! And can't wait for this week's episode cause the Salonica front will make a big breakthrough!!!

  5. Army museum in Brussels has a also a nice display of WWI material. A lot of uniforms from all countries. In October, there will be also a new expo dedicated to WWI.

  6. "You see a French uniform and in reality, it is a Belgian uniform. "
    My American side (although I'm not from US) says: What is the difference?

  7. It's interesting how the Belgian uniforms from early in the war appear to be almost a hybrid between French and German uniforms. The tunics are clearly inspired by French tunics, but some of the headgear looks very reminiscent of German headgear. You can really see the influences of Belgium's two larger neighbors on their military equipment.

  8. Indy and Co you guys should make a world war 1 game with an Allied Campaign and a Central Powers campaign and Indy as the narrator.

  9. Hi Indy and crew! You are doing an awesome job and I'd miss the old intro so much. Question for the out of the trenches: according to your knowledge, do you think that the eastern front specifically for an average German soldiers is "better" than in the western front? And does the mortality rates for the Germans again reflected this? Another question is will you be doing a special episode about french indochina? Hello from Portland, Oregon.

  10. 8:10 hey I had a pair of boots like them years ago. They were sold as mountaineer boots and were quite heavy. Too bad they were absolute rubbish as shoes. I was always mending them in some way.

    6:04 is it my imagination or is the khaki uniformed soldier missing a hand?

  11. Hey there Indy and Team! This might be a question for Out of the Trenches. How was the Belgian Army paid in the war? I assume that the Belgian Treasury was captured in 1914 and the King could not raise taxes from the occupied lands, so from which fund was the Army paid?

  12. I have a Belgian infantry cap. It belonged to a soldier a part of the 14e regiment d'ligne who died at the battle of Boortmeerbeek.

  13. Wow since 2014 I’ve watched every video that this channel has posted on a mixture of accounts that I have subbed them on… and still these guys keep putting out great videos!

  14. Indy me and my class are heading to austria and switzerland over the spring brake any tips of dos and don'ts in these countries or some history on some of their cities? thanks from New York.

  15. 2:59 One of the many interesting things I learned from this series is the extensive use dog carts and this may be the most poignant. I don't think I've seen an armed dog cart before and they look very tired.

  16. West-flemish ppl apparently speak just as bad English as they do proper Flemish, feeling quite ashamed right now for fellow countryman 😀

  17. I was just watching one of your old videos and it said that you were stopping the channel in a few months what will you do after that

  18. The Veeckers helmet almost looks like it could have been the inspiration for the bucket head/rebellion helmets for Star Wars

  19. Hi, i know its a stupid question but hey. Will be channel deleted after 11 November or what will happen ? Btw nice content, i love history and this learn me a lot.

  20. I have serious problems with my spine and I can tell that the museum curator Victor has spine problems. So please, don't make fun of the way he is standing with arms looking long.

  21. Will you burn your clothes when you’re done? You’ve worn the same thing for four years I can’t believe anyone can stand the smell

  22. I just got done reading " A World Undone" by G.J. Meyer.  The war is over.   I feel very melancholy.  It will be even sadder when this great series is finished.

  23. Awesome video! Nice to see the Belgians getting some attention. @The Great War, will you ever do a special about WWI in film? It would be interesting to do a historiography of how the Great War was portrayed in movies in different countries through the years. In particular, you've got to mention the Young Indiana Jones series. Why? Because when I heard you were doing this series and heard the host's name was Indy, it was just too perfect!

  24. I know you've talked about occupied France but because Much more of Belgium was occupied, I wonder how many escaped occupied Belgium to join the services, how they did it and so on especially after the early German reprisals for civilian snipers.

  25. I'm Flemish too, and this guy is not the best speaker nor is his accent very appealing. Please don't think we all speak like this.

  26. Just for fun I think you should do a WHO DID WHAT IN WWI, about Indiana Jones. He served in the Belgian Army during the war.

  27. I was wondering about how belgium got food during the war… there was a blockade on so if food cam through holland.. wouldnt it be siezed by the germans ?

  28. In 1915 Belgian troops often wore rather motley uniforms. They were cut off from their depots in territory under German occupation, and as their 1914 uniforms wore out they often replaced them with corduroy in various colours, sometimes with wine-red trousers. Eventually French and British aid allowed them to be outfitted in khaki, with Adrian helmets.

  29. I could never understand why so many countries could put so much workmanship into the hats but couldn't be bothered to provide gloves/warmer head gear for there soldiers. I live in a place were it's -40 Celsius in winter and couldn't imagine fighting without proper clothing. No wonder people froze to death.

  30. What do you hear when you drop a bomb from a biplane into a puddle created from an artillery shell?

    Verplancke 0:48

  31. This was such a great series. Absolutely one of the best things on YouTube.

    Edit: I love those pics of alpha Belgian soldiers flexing their uniforms and big booshy mustaches.

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