Bicycles Helping the War Effort (Victorian, c1900s)

The French army’s embracing of new technologies saw a number of units equipped with experimental weaponry and equipment during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Pierre Michaux’s development of the pedal powered velocipede in 1868 led to a craze that swept France and the military found the idea of the vélocipède à pédales as a low cost, low maintenance replacement for the horse quite attractive (velocipedes not needing feeding for a start!). The 2eme Regiment de Lanciers provided a squadron for evaluation trials and this unit was still equipped with velocipedes when war broke out with Prussia in July 1870.

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