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My first thoughts were great figures,shame about the greatcoats,an assumption on my part that it is winter wear,another assumption on my part is that gas would have been used in the warmer months,in support of attacks,then i thought were they worn to protect the skin from certain types of gas ?, i dont know, these could be the best ww1 brits ever or the worst ?, there are great ww1 buffs out there, so please put me straight on the above.greatcoats and my lack of knowledge aside wonderful poses,and i will buy them.
This is a famous photo and the caption says April 1918
Notice that most figures have their respirators and they are suffering from the temporary blinding effect of Mustard gas. Mustard gas caused blisters on damp skin so coats could be protective. The normal protection was/is an oilskin or rubberised fabric and soldiers involved in decontamination wore these.
Of note is that almost no two are dressed the same and the hems on the overcoats have been heightened (taken up) in some cases.
Not sure about the greatcoats as a choice for the figures just from an aesthetic point of view. But I do like them.
The greatcoat was not normal battle-wear in the British Army as it was in the French and Belgian armies. The men in the photograph are clearly a long way behind the line, and might have been sitting or lying around for some time awaiting treatment, so that could account for the greatcoat.
Now the problems begin to mount up.
Some of the men are wearing bandoliers, which were a cavalry issue. Inexplicably, they are wearing them with the pouches across their backs, something I have never seen and would appear to make access to the ammunition very difficult indeed. They could perhaps still be passed off as dismounted cavalry, except that cavalry retained the Large Box Respirator, which was not carried on the chest but in a bag slung over the shoulder.
The British Hales Grenade was a stick grenade of sorts, but the handle was a cane, and it was much longer and more slender than the stick grenade shown here, and ceased to be produced by the end of 1915.
Nor am I certain that the greatcoat would be worn during a trench raid, which the gent with the knobkerrie seems to be engaged in.
I could be wrong, but my first impression is that these figures are highly improbable in a number of respects.
In between other stuff,i have searched all day to find british infantry that look like these, without any success, I wonder if Strelets could throw some light on where the sculptor took his insperation from ?
I didn't notice the bandolier when I first saw the figures and it is a mystery. It doesn't look like a cloth bandolier and the pouches are the wrong shape for any of the earlier bandolier equipments some of which did have pouches on the back of the bandolier.
I would say it was a german potato masher, troops were supposed to have operating knowledge of a number of enemy weapons for some obvious reasons..
Grenades were one of them, so it may not be unusual to see an allied soldier throwing one of these once an enemy trench has been captured... just not generally in the attack....
The bandoliers do look wrong though... the officer, at least that what he looks like to me seems to have a trench club....
I don't really want to debate yea or nay to greatcoats.
Did they wear them in April 1918? -yes.
Did they wear them charging across no mans land in 1918? - I don't know but unlikely.
They wore greatcoats but often soldiers preferred the leather jerkin and/or woollens* in the assault in rainy and/or cold weather. The greatcoat did trail in the mud and get weighty so the hem was taken up and the groundsheet was also used (like a cape) in wet weather but these would be for a more static role not for a sprint. The uniformity is not in keeping with the late war and I would have liked to have seen a mix of uniforms and poses. The bomber would have been better depicted with a Mills bomb as far more typical though an inert potato masher could be and was used as a cudgel. The cotton bandolier was plain though these look like cavalry/artillery types.
* 3 layers rule with the sleeveless jerkin as an addition