The Grunt - a common soldier. All wars have been fought with grunts. Even after any successful bombing, you need eyes on the ground to confirm that the target was indeed destroyed.
Here's one of the earliest photographs ever taken during a military conflict - it shows British soldiers in camp. It is estimated to be taken between 1800-1815 during the Napoleonic era. The collars are stiff, uncomfortable stocks to help hold the head erect. The red tunics and white crossbelts (no color pictures then) offer little in the way of camouflage, but since the smooth-bore muskets were only effective at a range of 50 yards, such considerations were insignificant. Check out my post HERE for color pictures of 1/6 Napoleonic soldiers, including a detailed review of the King's Hussars HERE.
The American Civil War (1861 - 1865) - A Federal corporal poses for the camera in full gear. The Federal armies were much better equipped than their rebel counterparts, in part owing to the greater industrialization of the northern economy, but also because of the effects of the blockade imposed by the federal government on the rebel states.
A Federal cavalryman poses with his seven-shot repeating Spencer carbine. By the end of the war, the Federal army deployed several units armed with repeating breech-loaders, and while these did not in themselves prove battle-winners, they did give the Federal forces yet another important advantage over their opponents.
For pictures of 1/6 Union and Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War, go HERE.
The Spanish-American War 1898 – Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Roosevelt stands with members of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, the famous "Rough Riders". The regiment was formed of volunteers from the south-western United States, and Roosevelt's prominent role in its actions during the Cuban campaign helped him secure nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party in the 1900 presidential election.
The First World War, 1914–1918. Picture below shows well-equipped men of the 4th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment, on their way to the front of the Somme offensive. The soldier in the foreground has a pair of wirecutters for breaking through barbed wire obstacles.
Many battalions, nicknamed Pal's battalions, were drawn from single localities, which was to have tragic effects when the casualty notices began to arrive.
French soldiers proudly display British military decorations they have received. The French army had by now abandoned the dark blue and red uniform of the opening year of the war. Instead, a pale blue known as horizon bleu offered better camouflage on the battlefield, although it was still not as good as the British khaki or the German Feldgrau. The French also adopted the Adrian helmet, a far more elegant design than the British "tin hat".
British troops march through liberated Lille, France, in October 1918. By war's end, the British army was probably the most effective of the Allied forces.