Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


Egyptian Cuirassier Cavalry 

C.A. Norman wrote, that "unfortunately, Vanson gives no indication of the dress of the Egyptian cavalry", during the Crimean war [1]. However, Vanson did illustrate the Khedive Body Guard during 1854, in Constantinople. The Vanson figure appears to show a 'rope' pattern of decorative tape running along the collar, which may indicate the 'guard' status of this particular unit. As an alternative, the Cuirassiers could have had blue collars, edged red, and jackets identical to those worn by the rest of the Egyptian army in this period.

Right - An 1850s Egyptian cuirassier (Vinkhuijzen Collection). This figur wears a red, blue, red cummerbund, and red pointed cuffs, with gold chevrons (possibly an NCO). Underneath the cuirass officers and soldiers wore a light canvas protective French cavalry "gilet" (to pad wearing the heavy metal cuirass from damaging their uniforms) which button up one side (under the arm), with red cloth roles around the head, and arm holes.

Right - The Khedive Body Guard Cuirassier helmet, was fitted with a detachable chain mail neck curtain. This was a separate item that hooks/un-hooks from brass-wire attachment hooks inside the rear peak. The cuirass, used between 1840, and 1856 replaced the earlier mail shirts worn by the Egypt heavy armoured cavalry 'the Zirkhli (Cuirassier)'. The maker of this in France, was DELA CHAISSEE.

According to 'Khedive Ismail's Army', by John P. Dunn (2013) - “One squadron maintained a different organisation. These were Zirkhagi, the ‘iron men’ or cuirassiers. This was once two regiments strong, and contributors to Ibrahim’s victory at Nezib (1839). They were now part of the Khedival Guard, and a three squadron Cuirassier regiment. In addition to their armour they were armed with sabres and pistols.


[1] C.A. Norman. Turkish Uniforms of the Crimean Era (Soldiers of the Queen: Issue 85).

Egyptian Lancer Cavalry 

There were two different uniforms for the Egyptian Regiments of Lancers. Period accounts indicate white uniforms (possibly summer dress), with blue and white lance pennants, Right - An extract from William Beamont. "A Diary of a Journey to the East, in the Autumn of 1854, 2 Vols, 1856).

In winter, green uniforms with yellow collars, and cuffs were worn. The illustrations (Vinkhuijzen Collection) also show red and white lance pennants,

Above/Right (Botton) - This extract from the volume - M. Edouard Charton, Le Magasin Pittoresque (Paris, 1840) lists some 15 regular army cavalry regiments, it is likely that each regiment was distinguished by its own lance pennant colours. However, the actual lancer regiments may have been only two [1]:

  • Regiment with  red and white lance pennants,
  • Regiment with blue and white lance pennants, 


[1] According to 'Khedive Ismail's Army', by John P. Dunn (2013), additionally, there were "two small regiments existed in 1863; Ismail planned to increase them to eight, but never fielded more than four. These were divided between lancer (armed with bamboo lances, pistol and sabres) and dragoon units, armed with carbines.

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