Top Ten Nations with the Best World War I Uniforms
Germany has always had some very stylish uniforms. The uniforms in 1914 included the unique "pickelhaube" (spiked hat) helmets which were made of leather and had a metal spike on top. Contrary to popular belief, these helmets offered absolutely no protection at all and the spike was only for style and intimidation purposes. They also wore grey tunics, grey trousers, flat caps similar to berets called feldmützes, and knee high boots. Officers had overcoats and high rim caps. In 1916 the German army recieved Stahlhelm helmets.
The French did have nice uniforms, but I think the German helmet was, is, and always will be the coolest and most sinister looking helmet ever! For that reason alone, my vote goes to the German uniform, and their uniforms only got better in the next war.
The Horizon Blue uniforms issued to all troops in 1915 were very stylish yet practical, unlike the dark blue coats, red caps, red trousers, and black boots. The uniform featured a tunic with a short stand up collar, breeches with yellow piping for infantry, puttees (wrap up leggings for men), a knee high overcoat that folded back at the bottom so it didn't restrict running, and the coolest helmet EVER made…the Adrian model 1915 helmet. This was the first practical steel helmet ever made. Officers got to wear the traditional kepi hat. I have a full reproduction French uniform myself, complete with both a replica helmet and an original one.
France had beautiful and colorful uniforms during the early war, then a blue/grey uniform that contrasts with the green/grey uniforms of the other countries. The Adrian helmet is also a masterpiece with a crest and insignas on the front.
The French Army really cared of the panach and the aesthetic of its uniforms.
You did a great job describing all the uniforms. I agree that France is best and Austria-Hungary is second best.
Definitely France. Their blue uniforms were made to blend in with the sky as they charged over their trench.
Also boasting the best flag in history (look at top ten flags), Austria Hungary had a very nice uniform tgat also served a purpose. The caps worn by infantry were copied by the German army in the Second World War and had an ear cover that flipped down to keep out the cold and a bulging front. The tunics worn by 1916 were a light brown, had four pleated pockets and a fasionable collar. They also had brown trousers and puttees. The Austro-Hungarian army recieved Berndorf helmets in 1917. These helmets were similar to the German ones, but were much more complicatex to manufacture. The Austro-Hungarian officers before 1916 wore impractical hats virtually unchanged for 80 years. The Austro-Hungarian empire broke up in 1918 after the war because of cultural differences.
The Austro-Hungarian army certainly had some great uniforms. Of course they were impractical at first, but they became very practical. I also agree that their flag is awesome... And by the way, the British had terrible uniforms and a tiny army. People give them too much credit for the war the French won!
They expressed the glory of their nation though their uniforms. Lots of red, yellow, and blue.
Best uniforms. Well explained.
The Belgian uniforms were very similar to the french in 1914 except they had red collars which added appeal. They wore the red and dark blue "pillbox caps" until their government issued Adrian helmets in 1915. They had an inexperienced army that struggled to fend off Germany.
The Italian army wore black uniforms with a campaign hat that had the rim folded up. They recieved Adrian helmets in 1915. The uniform consisted of a black tunic, black breeches, and black puttees. The officers wore hats similar to the Germans.
The Italian soldiers wore French helmet that were recoloured to green to fit in their battlefield. They also had heavy trench coat and capes.
Serbia… a country fighting Austria-Hungary for its very existence. Serbian troops outfitted themselves with relatively simple grey uniforms by 1916. Before then they made great targets thanks to flashy colours and unnecessary doodads. Like most, they wore a grey four pocket tunic, grey breeches, and puttees. They recieved Adrian helmets in 1915. Soon after they lost their capital and retreated to Albania. Of all places! The chose Albania!
Serbian M1908 uniform was very practical, nice looking uniform that remained in service until 1945.
The Russians had brown uniforms and got Adrian helmets in 1915. Before they got helmets, they wore simple brown crusher caps or "ushanka" caps, while the Cossacks had heavy overcoats and the traditional bearskin caps. The Russian uniform was not very well
Suited to the cold weather in winter and they lost 3/4 of their 12 million troops, partially to cold weather and starvation.
Although the Russians had a horrible time in ww1 and suffred greatly, There uniforms certainly did have a very romantic tone, you could see a Russian officer dancing slowly in his skinny bright red trousers, silver shoulder boards and khaki army shirt with a lover.
There were over 1000 diffeent uniforms in the infantry alone, personally I loved the white army and red armies uniforms the most, especially the ones worn by the 3rd shock army army (white army
Slouch hat, brown fatigues, pretty cool overcoats, webbing, rucksacks and gaiters. Plus the SMLE and accents. Them and the brits with their early war hats are my two favorites
Love the Slouch hat and gators. New Zealand's uniform is also nice.
Japan fought with the allies in the Great War. They had dark blue uniforms and wore kepi hats like the French. Yet these hats were slightly different. They had stripes. They also wore knee high boots over blue trousers.
Excuse me, I made a mistake when writing this description. The Japanese hats were more of a crusher hat mixed with a kepi. The also wore white leggings sometimes.
The Brits had sort of boring uniforms, although I do enjoy laughing at the helmets, which look like flying saucers. They wore a tan tunic that nearly reached tge knees, tan trousers, and tan puttees. Before recieving Brodie helmets in 1916, the British wore tan crusher
Caps, and the scottish wore black garrison caos with a plaid stripe and a red pom pom on top.
The British uniform of 1914 was the best in terms of camouflage available and the result of their extensive combat experience prior to the war. Their webbing set was the toughest and most modern load carrying kit avaialable while their helmets where excellent in terms of strengh and offered good cover for head and shoullders from overhead shrapnel to troops largly trench bound. Their uniforms where loose and allowed movement and where designed to fight in not for their style and as such where the most effective kit of any of the billigerants.
Although Denmark joined the allies around a month before the war ended (Ha. Ha. ), they still managed to have uniforms. They consisted of a light blue-grey uniform with a stiff cap similar to that of the Austrians and four pointed pockets with red piping. The collar had red insignia as well.
The USA had khaki uniforms and wore green campaign hats until they recieved helmets in 1917. Like the typical uniform of the time, they had a tunic, trousers, and puttees. They also got green garrison caps. Although the allies were already winning when the U.S. entered in 1917, their entrance "sealed tge deal. "
Bulgaria took after the Russians in terms of Uniforms and they wore greenish brown tunics and overcoats with red banded crusher caps. They also tended to urilize boots a lot like the Russians.
There is only one existing photo of Albanian soldiers in WWI. Judging from the shades (it is black and white, of course) they wore the red fez and a tan or grey uniform with a red collar.
The Dutch army eventually adopted a bluish uniform with their own helmet design (great job dutchies! ), which Romania eventually used.
Cool because of the culture... Not the practicality. Red vest. Blue pants. White shirt. Colourful wide belt. Fez type hats. Great target, huh?
Light blue uniforms with a crusher cap and they even managed to design their own helmets.
Sorry I didn't add some of the smaller countries. Rumanian uniforms were similar to the Austro-Hungarian ones in style and colour, except for the hat. The hat had a point on the front and on the back and had a leather bill and red piping.