When you are given the job of shooting people in the face with the highest quality weaponry, you would assume that your uniforms would be a symbol of intimidation along with practicality and stealth. But the following uniforms were anything but that, as they were so flashy and quixotic that they actually led to the soldiers being identified and killed.
1. The Stock
The worst one of the European 18th weird uniform crisis was the stock, which was a high collar made out of stiff leather, which dug into the chin and neck and reduced the agility and awareness of soldiers.
2. The Amazing Shrinking Prussian Coats
During the Seven Years War, the funds went close to zero for the Prussian army. This meant creating uniforms out of the bare minimum of clothes, which shrank when exposed to water and caused deaths of many soldiers due to the extreme winters.
3. Hessian Headgear
While the spectacular tall hats adorned with silver medals looked very classy in pictures, but the Hessian mercenaries of British in Revolutionary America were often seen caught on trees, while the shining silver badge provided perfect targets for American snipers.
4. White Bands
The British army white bands given in the 18th and 19th century were meant to identify friends at night, but during the First World War, they were usually caught exposed on the beaches, and almost sitting ducks for Turks.
Introduced in the seventeenth century as a sign of great boon, the red uniforms usually made the British soldiers an easy target in the fights against the French, native and colonials in North America, and made it impossible to sneak out or hide when ambushed.
6. Cardboard Shoes
Lack of funds meant that during the German invasion of Russia in 1941, some Italian soldiers were sent in cardboard shoes. As a result, they were exposed to frostbite and a lot of them lost fingers and toes during the largely unsuccessful invasion.
7. Confederate Shortages and States Rights
As the American Civil War went bad for the Confederacy, it struggled to provide adequate shoes and uniforms to its soldiers. 60% of them were wearing clothes captured off the Union men, meaning that the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, a high rate of friendly fire led to hundreds of men dying.
8. First World War Headwear
The shrapnel death was not anticipated by many in the First World War, which meant the soft, stylish hats wore by the British and French armies led to hundreds of deaths.
9. Le Pantalon Rouge
By 1914, almost all of the countries realised that making the uniform more obscure was a requirement, but the French resisted this till the very last. Even when Adolphe Méssimy, the Minister for War, tried to call out that the bright red trousers of the French army were leading to their deaths, the popular press accused him of undermining good taste and national pride. It was only after millions of more French deaths that they finally accepted the change.
10. Romanian Glitz
Again like the French, General Ion Emanoil Florescu, who was the head of the Romanian army in the First World War, wanted to focus on the looks. The elaborate uniforms laden with epaulettes and headdresses made them walking targets in the war.