Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fanfare du 13eme Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins

I can't deny that I've been on a recent jones-kick for military music. There's just something about all that brass. Mmm. Well, this certainly meets the bar. The Chasseurs Alpins, translated as the Alpine Hunters, are actually the elite mountain infantry of the French Army. Man, that just sounds awesome (in that action, super-spy, army-hero kind of a way). While Wiki claims that they were formed in 1888 to keep those scoundrel Italians on their side of the line, the back of the LP states that the 13th battalion was "born" on the 23rd of January, 1854, in Besançon. They do mention a larger group forming in 1888 and still have space to brag that they've won 8 medals between the Great War and the 1939-45 conflict. One thing we can be certain of: the Chasseurs Alpins are widely recognized by their cute little berets. Ahhhh. I also found this sweet blurb about their training on wikipedia:

Training includes climbing, cross-country skiing, plus winter and summer mountain leadership and mountain guiding skills. Traditional training included mountain survival skills such as to build an igloo shelter and to sleep in temperatures around 0°C. Modern troops may be transported in all-terrain VMBs VACs(Bandvagn 206) or untracked VAB personnel carriers. Personal weaponry includes the FAMAS assault rifle, Minimi machine gun, FRF-2 sniper rifle, PGM Hecate II heavy sniper rifle, and LGI light mortar, while group weapons included the M2 machine gun, LLR 81 mm mortar, and vehicle-mounted 20 mm autocannon, plus AT4, ERYX and MILAN anti-tank missiles.

Talk about totally tubular in that death and destruction kind of way!
The LP looks like it's selling for around $30 on the internet; I actually picked mine up in an independent record store in Amsterdam. Sweet deal, huh? There's also this sweet site, which has tons of French Military Music.

Final Judgment: "You can't go wrong with big weapons, big brass and skis!"

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