Russian infantry uniform 1907
The canteen was integral to the silhouette of the French soldier in the Great War. Fixed to his right, it was within reach either to pour a serving into the cup or to refill it. It is recognizable by the two openings at the top: one for filling, and a narrow one for pouring. Since the French Second Empire, the canteen had had a covering to keep the liquid cool and avoid metallic clanging during movement.
In 1914, two models of different sizes were issued to the French army: a one-litre model for troops in mainland France, and a two-litre one for those stationed in hotter countries (colonial infantry and African army). Starting in 1915, the two-litre model was gradually issued to the whole army, given difficulties in supplying soldiers with water. The fear of thirst haunted soldiers on the battlefield.
French canteen, 1877 model, 1915-1919, metal, wool, wood, cork, leather, 26 x 8 x 20.5 cm. Inventory no.: 2006.1.6017.