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Red coat (military uniform)

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Red coat or redcoat is a historical item of military clothing used widely, though not exclusively worn, by most regiments of the British Army from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The scarlet tunic continues to be used into the 21st century, with several armed forces of the Commonwealth of Nations adopting them as their full dress and mess dress uniforms.
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Red coat or redcoat is a historical item of military clothing used widely, though not exclusively worn, by most regiments of the British Army from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The scarlet tunic continues to be used into the 21st century, with several armed forces of the Commonwealth of Nations adopting them as their full dress and mess dress uniforms.
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As part of a series of reforms following the Second Boer War , which had been fought in this inconspicuous clothing of Indian origin a darker khaki serge was adopted in for service dress in Britain itself.

From then on, the red coat continued as a dress item only, retained for reasons both of national sentiment and its value in recruiting.

The British military authorities were more practical in their considerations than their French counterparts, who incurred heavy casualties by retaining highly visible blue coats and red trousers for active service [46] until several months into World War I. The epithet "redcoats" is familiar throughout much of the former British Empire, even though this colour was by no means exclusive to the British Army.

The entire Danish Army wore red coats up to and particular units in the German , French , Austro-Hungarian , Russian , Bulgarian and Romanian armies retained red uniforms until or later. Amongst other diverse examples, Spanish hussars , Japanese Navy and United States Marine Corps bandsmen, and Serbian generals had red tunics as part of their gala or court dress during this period.

In United States Artillery company musicians were wearing red coats as a reversal of their branch facing colour. The significance of military red as a national symbol was endorsed by King William IV reigned — when light dragoons and lancers had scarlet jackets substituted for their previous dark blue, hussars adopted red pelisses and even the Royal Navy were obliged to adopt red facings instead of white.

Most of these changes were reversed under Queen Victoria — A red coat and black tricorne remains part of the ceremonial and out-of-hospital dress for in-pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Whether scarlet or red, the uniform coat has historically been made of wool with a lining of a loosely woven wool known as bay to give shape to the garment.

The modern scarlet wool is supplied by Abimelech Hainsworth and is much lighter than the traditional material, which was intended for hard wear on active service. This sometimes leads to the erroneous statement that the cloth weighed 24 oz per square yard. Broadcloth is so called not because it is finished wide, 54 inches not being particularly wide, but because it was woven nearly half as wide again and shrunk down to finish 54 inches. This shrinking, or milling, process made the cloth very dense, bringing all the threads very tightly together, and gave a felted blind finish to the cloth.

These factors meant that it was harder wearing, more weatherproof and could take a raw edge; the hems of the garment could be simply cut and left without hemming as the threads were so heavily shrunk together as to prevent fraying. Officers' coats were made from superfine broadcloth; manufactured from much finer imported Spanish wool, spun finer and with more warps and wefts per inch. The result was a slightly lighter cloth than that used for privates, still essentially a broadcloth and maintaining the characteristics of that cloth, but slightly lighter and with a much finer quality finish.

The dye used for privates' coats of the infantry, guard and line, was rose madder. A vegetable dye, it was recognised as economical, simple and reliable and remained the first choice for lower quality reds from the ancient world until chemical dyes became cheaper in the latter 19th century.

Infantry sergeants, some cavalry regiments and many volunteer corps which were often formed from prosperous middle-class citizens who paid for their own uniforms used various mock scarlets ; a brighter red but derived from cheaper materials than the cochineal used for officers coats.

Various dye sources were used for these middle quality reds, but lac , pigment extracted from the vegetable resin shellac, was the most common basis. The noncommissioned officer's red coat issued under the warrant of , was dyed with a mixture of madder-red and cochineal to produce a "lesser scarlet"; brighter than the red worn by other ranks but cheaper than the pure cochineal dyed garment purchased by officers as a personal order from military tailors.

This was a more expensive process but produced a distinctive colour that was the speciality of 18th-century English dyers. The Bolivian Colorados Regiment wear red tunics on ceremonial occasions - colorado means red in Spanish. The Brazilian Marine Corps also wear red coats as part of their ceremonial uniforms.

The combined Danish-Norwegian army wore red uniforms from the 17th century until Norway entered union with Sweden in Most Danish Army infantry, cavalry and artillery regiments continued to wear red coats until they were replaced by dark blue service tunics in The modern Danish Royal Life Guards still wears the historic red tunics on special ceremonial occasions.

The Irish Brigade of the French Army wore red coats supposedly to show their origins and continued loyalty to the cause of Jacobitism. Red coats were also worn by the Swiss Guard and other Swiss mercenary regiments in the French Army from the midth to early 19th centuries. The North African spahi regiments wore red jackets until disbanded in The name derived from the colour of their shirts or loose fitting blouses, as complete uniforms were beyond the financial resources of the Italian patriots.

All branches of the Paraguayan Army wore red jackets or blouses during the War of the Triple Alliance The Royal Polish Guards Polish: Gwardia Piesza Koronna , during the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth , wore a red cloth jacket with white lapels and a blue or turquoise vest. During the colder seasons, all soldiers were given red coats, similar to those of the contemporary British army, made of wool.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Ejército Libertador the Army of Liberation , inherited from the British Legion the red hussar cavalry uniforms used by the Company of Honor Guard of the Liberator Simon Bolivar.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Uniforms of the Royal Marines. Soldier of the 29th Regiment of Foot , Soldier of the 60th Royal American Regiment , Grenadier of the 40th Regiment of Foot , Officer of the 71st Regiment of Foot , Private of the Royal Marines , Soldier of the 1st Royal Regiment of Dragoons , Officer and soldiers of The King's Liverpool Regiment , Uniforms of the Canadian Militia , Soldier of the Black Watch , c.

Canadian Grenadier Guards recruitment poster, Parade of the Royal Fusiliers , c. Soldier of The Life Guards , Member of the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland , Drummers of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment , Soldier of the Irish Guards , Soldiers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment , Members of the Governor General's Foot Guards , Officer and soldier of the Swiss Guards in French service, Graduating class of Brazilian Marine Corps recruits, Member of the Red Guard of Senegal , From the Beginning to O'Kelly , Vol.

Hans Claude Hamilton London, , p. Atkinson, Charles Francis A Global Chronology of Conflict: British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures. Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. Standards, Guidons and Colours of the Commonwealth Forces. No part of the Cloathing or Ornaments of the Regiments to be altered, after the following Regulations are put into execution by His Majesty's permission.

The Green Mountain State, volume 2. The Century history company. British Infantry Uniforms from Marlborough to Wellington. Report of Sir A. Pre-War Style Revised with Economies".

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