'Les Diables Bleus'


from a Special Magazine Edition

from a special edition of 'J'ai Vu' - August 21st, 1915 - dedicated solely to the 'Chasseurs Alpins'


When the history of the campaign in the Vosges comes to be written, a great many pages will have to be devoted to recounting the exploits of the chasseurs alpins. The "Blue Devils" as the Germans have dubbed them, are the Highlanders of the French army, being recruited from the French slopes of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Tough as rawhide, keen as razors, hard as nails, they are the ideal troops for mountain warfare. They wear a distinctive dark-blue uniform, and the beret or cap, of the French Alps, a flat-topped, jaunty head-dress which is brother to the tam-o' -shanter. The frontier of Alsace, from a point opposite Strasburg to a point opposite Mulhausen, follows the summit of the Vosges, and over this range, which in places is upward of four thousand feet in height, have poured the French armies of invasion. In the van of those armies have marched the chasseurs alpins, dragged their guns by hand up the almost sheer precipices, and dragging the gun-mules after them; advancing through forests so dense that they had to chop paths for the line regiments which followed them ; carrying by storm the apparently impregnable positions held by the Germans ; sleeping often without blankets and with the mercury hovering near zero on the heights which they had captured; taking their batteries into positions where it was believed no batteries could go ; raining shells from those batteries upon the wooded slopes ahead, and, under cover of that fire, advancing, always advancing.

from 'Vive la France' by E. Alexander Powell


Chasseurs Alpin in the field

Chasseurs Alpins in the field

a modern composite two-page spread

left : several commanding officers
right : a Chasseur Alpin band and regimental newspaper



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