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Belgic Shako Featured Image01

The Belgic Shako

Part 2 of the History of the British Infantry Shako

By 1812, the stovepipe shako had become the ugly stepchild.  Britain’s contact with other European armies, both allies and enemies, highlighted the lacklustre visual appeal of the cap.  Other nations had caps festooned with cords and tassels and seemed to dramatize the height of the soldier to greater advantage.  In the final analysis, Britain adopted a cap closely patterned after the Portuguese “barretina” design.  Ironically, at the same time the English were adding cords to their headwear, the French were abolishing them. As usual, no improvement in protection to the head was made by the design change.

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