So, there it is, a directive to work on the matter at hand. I think it was copying the contemporary British use of light blue trousers that clinched the matter and made them look too much like the enemy.
Where did the fad for light blue trousers come from anyway? I think one or 2 Minor German principalities wore them late in the Napoleonic Wars but by the 1830's & 40's they are being worn by Danes, Saxons, various Italian states, the US, British artillery and light cavalry and others. Usually combined with dark blue coats apart from the Danes before they switched, and the Saxons whose use of Medium/Dark Green and light blue is really eye catching. I think some US units still wear them in ceremonial dress don't they?
Anyway, I thought I would have a quick look at correlation of foot artillery to infantry coat colours in various states of the 1840's
|Nation||Foot Coat||Artillery Coat|
|France, Prussian, Hesse, Hanover, Spain, |
USA, Mexico, Argentina, Sardinia, Norway, Sweden
|Dark Blue||Dark Blue|
|Russia, Saxony, Nassau||Green||Green|
|Denmark (pre 1848 changes)||Red||Red|
|Bavaria||Medium Blue||Dark Blue|
It seems that having the same coat colour for infantry and foot artillery was by and far the most common practice.. The shortage of red coated artillery then, is due to the scarcity of red as a standard infantry coat colour. The Austrian use of brown is an interesting and unique variation which recalls the AWI Rhode Island artillery. I think it is too distinct to steal, however.
The two goals are to
a) have an artillery uniform that is easily identifiable as belong to the Red army rather than the Blue army,
b) to choose an easily believable uniform.
Given the political history of Faraway at this point in time (late 1841), it is unlikely that they would be copying any Danish traditions but since they are not a British colony, slavish copying of British practice is not necessarily to be expected either. At this time, I see two easy and plausible chouces that might fulfil the goals.
1. Keep the existing Dark Blue coats but replace the pale blue trousers which are also worn by the enemy, with Red ones. On campaign, coatees and shakos would be replaced by shell jackets and white cap covers with havelocks. The result would not look British or match any historical armies though it might suggest French or Spanish influence.
2. Issue the same sort of red shell jackets and dark blue pants as are worn by most Faraway infantry units.
Perhaps a poll might help the Directors to make a recommendation to the Queen,
Mock-ups of the proposed new Red Army artillery uniforms.