EGYPT Charge of the Chasseurs d Afrique antique print 1854
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Home > Prints and Maps by Country > Africa > Egypt

EGYPT: Charge of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, antique print, 1854

Price: £11.99

CAPTION BELOW PICTURE: 'Charge of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, October 25'

Chasseurs d'Afrique
The Chasseurs d'Afrique (literally Huntsmen of Africa although "African Light Horse" would be an alternative translation) were a light cavalry corps in the French Armée d'Afrique (Army of Africa). First raised in the 1830s from regular French cavalry posted to Algeria, they numbered 5 regiments by World War II. For most of their history they were recruited from either French volunteers or French settlers in North African doing their military service. As such they were the mounted equivalent of the French Zouave infantry. The other major cavalry element in the Armee d' Afrique were the Spahis - recruited from the indigenous peoples of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco with mostly French officers.
The Chasseurs d'Afrique were until 1914 clothed in light blue tunics tucked into a red sash and red breeches. Their normal headdress was the same light blue shako as the equivalent light cavalry regiments (hussars and chasseurs à cheval) of the metropolitan army but worn with a white or light khaki cover. Per some sources, the casquette d'Afrique was worn with full-dress uniform. Red fezs were worn off duty or when in barracks. The light blue tunics had yellow facings and reportedly earned them the nickname of "Blue Butchers" amongst some of their opponents.
In addition to numerous campaigns in North Africa, these colorful regiments also served in the Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, Indochina, France's invasion of Mexico and both World Wars. The Chass. d'Af. distinguished themselves by securing the flank of Lord Cardigan during the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade. On this and other occasions they used their characteristic African tactic of advancing rapidly in open order, in contrast to the rigid lines of the Light Brigade.
In 1933 the regiments de chasseurs d'Afrique (RCA) began the process of conversion to mechanised units. The first vehicles adopted were White TBC armoured cars, followed by White-Laffly 50 AMs. Both models were obsolete for European warfare but suitable for colonial campaigning. Other vehicles were provided for individual squadrons and in 1939 Hotchkiss H35 and H39 light tanks were received by the 1er RCA.
The M4 Sherman Ile de France of 12e RCA, landing in Normandy.

On the outbreak of World War II (September 1939) the five regiments of chasseurs d'Afrique were deployed as follows:
1er RCA in Morocco; 2e, 3e and 5e RCA in Algeria; 4e RCA in Tunisia.
Only the 1er and 4e RCA were full mechanised at this date, the other three regiments comprising a mix of mounted and mechanised squadrons. In the course of WWII the process of mechanisation was completed.
Algerian independence brought an end to the corps through a series of disbandments and transfers between 1962 and 1964, after over a century of service. However one regiment was re-raised in 1998 to preserve the traditions of this famous cavalry. The modern Chasseurs d'Afrique is one of the mechanised units of the French Army.
The name was also applied to the first all African-American regiment formed by the United States Army in New Orleans in 1862.

(Source Wikipedia)

Notes on the historical context / background to the print can be viewed at: Chasseurs d'Afrique

DATE PRINTED: 1854    

IMAGE SIZE: Approx 14.5 x 23.0cm, 5.75 x 9 inches (Medium)

TYPE: Antique wood engraved print

CONDITION: Good; suitable for framing. However, please note: The image shown may have been scanned from a different example of this print than that which is offered for sale: The print you will receive is in Good condition but there may be minor variations in the condition compared to that shown in the image. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase. Virtually all antiquarian maps and prints are subject to some normal aging due to use and time which is not obtrusive unless otherwise stated. We offer a no questions asked return policy.

AUTHENTICITY: This is an authentic historic print, published at the date stated above. It is not a modern copy.

VERSO: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior to your purchase) or around the margin of the picture.


PROVENANCE: Illustrated London News

EGYPT: Charge of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, antique print, 1854
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