First Brigade of the Spahis in the Vosges, France, during the winter 1944-1945
by Eugène Leliepvre
watercolor, signed with name and crossed sabres, Musée des Spahis, Senlis, France
The 7th regiment of the Algerian Spahis and the 5th regiment of the Moroccan Spahis took part in the final attack against the Nazi-army by the allied troops during the harsh winter of 44-45. Even in the time of motorization these cavalry horses were still valuable. They were part of the French army from North Africa. Contrary to their native training, here they are active in the European winter weather. The endurance of the Barb horses (a variety of the Arabian breed) and their riders was proven in this cold weather and muddy terrain. The leading horse still shows its proudness in the difficult situation. In the Barb and Arabian breed there are many greys, which is also visible in this group. The Spahi horses traditionally wear eye-flaps, which are only common in harness horses. Eugène Leliepvre was a painter of historical uniforms but also excelled in this historical scene of a recent time.