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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:55 PM   #11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartieboy View Post
Beards have had a long and rich history in the military,
we often see pictures of rough sappers with big beards and big axes, or French Poilus with lavish moustaches and long goatees.

But at times beards were also forbidden for soldiers, for example, only after Boulangers reforms beards became legal in the army of the third republic.

What is the history of beards in the armies of other nations?

What are the hazards of having a beard and what are the benefits?
I suppose it is a danger for soldiers to get stuck in mechanics or get lice but in colder climates a soldier would be happy with a big beard.

Click the image to open in full size.
The beards, though could cause problems during the field activities, it is more of a religious issue for soldiers.
The sikhs in Indian army (and in newyork police dept)are allowed to have beards as it is their religious custom . But I believe there turbans and beards provide a natural defence as they could act as shock absorbers during some accidents
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 03:48 AM   #12

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Originally Posted by Efendi View Post
Beard means high hierarchy in Turkish army in the past. Commanders could wear It. It would be inapropriate for lower rank military people wear beard.

Moustacle was very common in the past to an extent that It was regardes as symbol of being male.

The photo in my avatar belong to Ahmet Cevdet Pasha. You see him with beard as an symbol of high rank.
Not only in the turkish army. Beards were fashionable troughout all of Europe, in fact the majority of high ranking military official had a beard or at least mustaches in the 19th and the begging of 20th century regardless of which country.

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Originally Posted by manas teja
But I believe there turbans and beards provide a natural defence as they could act as shock absorbers during some accidents
How can a beard be a natural defense? As for the turbans, helmet must be better in shock absorbation.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 04:26 AM   #13

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Originally Posted by sturm View Post

How can a beard be a natural defense? As for the turbans, helmet must be better in shock absorbation.
I meant a head without a helmet but with a turban and beard.
I think it helps
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:37 AM   #14

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While I have no sources at hand, it is my understanding that the reason for the historical ban on beards in western armies was because there was a very real danger of igniting the whiskers with earlier infantry muskets.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 08:39 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
While I have no sources at hand, it is my understanding that the reason for the historical ban on beards in western armies was because there was a very real danger of igniting the whiskers with earlier infantry muskets.
Not only that, in World war 1 they were problematic for a soldier trying to put his gas mask on.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 02:42 PM   #16

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I think David Cameron needs to grow a beard if he wants support of the British public.
Maybe if Merkel grew a beard things in the Euro zone would be better :P
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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:16 AM   #17

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Got bored so took pot luck with some old posts and came up with this.

Dont know about beards but in 1860 Qeens regulations for the British army made moustaches for officers compulsory (repealed 1914).

See now you know the reason for the fall of the British empire, the safety raxor.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Being "hairy" became kind of the trade-mark of the quintessential French WWI infantryman.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 05:14 PM   #19
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I remember seeing pictures of US special forces in Afghanistan many years ago in plain clothes sporting beards. The thought was that it helped them blend into their surroundings.

Searching g around on the Internet for the pictures, I found this article indicating the practice was recently banned. Army Times article
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Old November 8th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #20
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The Iranian army are clean shaven, while the Pasdaran or revolutionary guards encourage beards. In Turkey ordinary soldiers do not have beards nor mustache. In the Iraqi army, and the Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, beards are for the higher ranking officers, but it comes mostly down to age.
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