French Resistance

Recommended French Resistance Equipment List

There will be an authenticity committee inspection for each participant. Anyone who does not pass the inspection may be considered to be ineligible to participate in battles, camp activities, farm building activities and skits..

Physical appearance

No facial hair is preferred. However, mustaches are acceptable as they were in fashion. Beards are not permitted as they were very atypical; society did not approve of beards due to the transmission of tuberculosis.

Indivisual's Clothing and Gear

NOTE: Do not wear any polyester, denim, or synthetic fabrics! Just because the Resistance did not have uniforms does not mean that researching what you should wear is optional. A good impression is a lasting one; a bad impression is infinite.

French Women

There are a number of generalizations that we see in 1940's French women's fashion. Of course, fashion varied as much then as now, and a Breton woman living on a farm would presumably dress much differently than a Parisienne. These guidelines are simply to set you on the right course towards having an authentic impression; as always, it's best to supplement these guidelines with your own research of period documents and photos. 

Make do and mend - repaired and even stained garments would fit in well. If you're taking part in the battles/scenarios make sure you wear something you don't mind getting torn or dirty.

Dresses and Skirts

Polka dots, checkered square as well as flowers with big, small and tangled designs were common patterns for dresses. Length is just below or right at the knee.

• Wartime dresses and skirts have less fabric due to rationing, so no poofy skirts as they are postwar. A classic A-line skirt is the best way to go
• Cotton is material of choice since it's cooler, but wool and rayon and were also common
• No polyester or polyester blends. Stay away from elastic as most won't have the proper look
• Leather or cloth-covered belts were common on period dresses and pants, but not essential
• Closures (zippers, snaps or hooks and eyes) for dresses and skirts should always be metal and on the left side of the garment. Short neck zippers are correct. Most full back zippers are post war

Blouses

Collared blouses were typical and often buttoned all the way up and paired with a three-quarter length or long-sleeved knit sweater. Shoulders were usually made to look more prominent with shoulder pads. No modern style blouses.

Pants

Pants are acceptable for female Maquisards, although not preferable, since they were less common. High, flat-wasted, full-legged pants with side closures (zippers, snaps or hooks and eyes) are a good option especially if you're fielding

Hats

Maquis camp: a 100% wool Basque beret is the common hat of choice usually in black, brown or dark blue.

Makeup

No makeup or nail polish.

Hair

Braids, snoods and buns are all easy options. No straight hair or ponytails.

Jewelry

Little jewelry (e.g. wedding band, watch) or no jewelry. Period correct jewelry only. Wedding bands should be thin.

shoesshoesFootwear

100% Cotton or 100% wool socks and flat leather shoes (or shoes with a minimal heel) or leather boots to allow ease of movement. Avoid stockings as they will get torn. No modern-looking soles. Maquisards should wear either 100% cotton or 100% wool ankle socks or be bare-legged.

##Very imporant ladies##

If you're taking part in the battles/scenarios as an armed combatant, then you are seen as a Maquis member and not part of the farm village. In keeping with this, it's very important that your color choices be limited to those that will blend in with the surroundings, i.e. browns, grays, blacks, and not loud, showy colors. As Maquis you would be hiding in the woods and doing your best to not attract attention.

Military and Men

Headgear

A French beret is good but a Basque beret is preferred (slightly smaller than the French version, originated out of the Basque region of Spain) in black or navy; no insignia. Civilian only. "Newsboy Cap" of period material (tweed, cotton, or wool); not an "Irish" version of the style. A period correct fedora. French "Adrian" helmet from either WWI or WWII (the former is blue, the latter green). No German, British, or American headgear.

Shirt

Cotton or linen button-up shirt (not a t-shirt) with or without a collar. No button-down collars. Period correct civilian sweaters and vests are fine too

Jacket

Brown leather, civilian jackets. Natural, dark color period correct French moleskin work jackets

Pants

Wool, corduroy (wide-ribbed is best), or moleskin civilian pants. Cuffed pants are highly recommended

Belts or Suspenders

Black or brown civilian, period correct belts (one solid piece of leather) and suspenders (no elastic). German belts and buckles "de-Nazified" or worn upside down with French colors

Footgear

1930s or '40s civilian shoes or boots. British ammunition boots. WWII era German boots. East-German winter boots are an affordable alternative; however, your pants should cover the wool uppers. French WWI or early WWII army boots. Modern black U.S. army captoe, Vietnam-era boots are not acceptable.

Equipment Bags

Any period correct military or civilian equipment bag is good. For example, British, French, and German military bags or French alpine pack.
## Note: Captured (aka German) equipment should be kept to a minimum of one or two pieces per person.
## Note: Wool pants and leather jackets or a British rain cape will keep you warm in case of rain.

Weapons

Homemade Guns are NOT Acceptable. Guns Assembled from Kits are Acceptable.

Handguns

French St. Etienne 8mm Model 1892 (Lebel); St Etienne (MAS) 7.65mm Model 1935A/1935S Pistol. British .455 or .38 Webley; .38 Enfield. German P38; P08 (Luger); PPKs; P35 Browning Hi-Power. American 1911 or 1911-A1 Government Model .45.

Rifles

French Model 1886 Lebel; 1936 MAS and Berthier carbines (Be warned: it will be difficult to find blanks for these guns). British Enfield No. 1 Mk III; No. 4 Mk I. German Mauser KAR 98; Gewehr M98. The M1 Garand is NOT acceptable for June 6th 1944.

Explosives

Reproduction, non-functioning British Mills are best; German "potato masher" or American "pineapple" grenades are acceptable.

Machine Guns

British Sten Mk IIs and Bren guns are preferable. Acceptable "captured" weapons include German MGs and MPs. The Thompson submachine gun is NOT acceptable.

Camp Gear

Personal Items

Enamelware, period correct cups and plates. French, British, or German canteens. Period-correct compasses, watches, eyeglasses. Straight or safety razor. Period-correct toothbrush, Vichy coins.

Misc. Military Gear

Bren gun pouches. British web gear. Period-correct British, French, or German ammo pouches. WWII British, German, or French bayonets. Civilian knives. British Fairbairn-Sykes (FS) commando knife. British map case. British or German medical kit.

Camp Gear

Wool blankets, civilian or military. French or British mess kits.

Tents

Tents must be appropriate to the WWII era, be they military or French civilian. Brush shelters recommended. British wartime tents. Tents made out of parachutes are authentic but hard to find. Canvas canopies approved individually. Military pup tents should be avoided, but can be accepted and should be covered with brown canvas. In general, contact the French Resistance organizer before bringing a tent in order to assure that there is space for it.

Transportation

A 1935 Citroen is preferable but we'll settle for 1930s and 1940s civilian and military bicycles.

Back to Top