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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a variety of light infantry in the French colonial armies. It was recruited from the inhabitants of North Africa and from French volunteers who lived there. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was made a compulsory military service.

The first two battalions of Zouaves were created in Algeria in 1830 to conduct a colonial war in North Africa. Three regiments were formed in the middle of the 19th century, four in 1914, and six in 1939. The Zouaves participated in various wars that France fought in the 19th and 20th century, including the Crimean War of 1853–56, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, and World Wars I and II. The troops had a special uniform that included a jacket, a waistcoat, wide trousers with a wide belt, and a fez or turban. The hired rifle (infantry) units in the army of the Turkish sultan were also known as Zouaves. There was one such brigade of Zouaves in the beginning of the 20th century.

Detachments of Zouaves of death, consisting of brave suicide fighters, were among the insurgent forces in the Polish Uprising of 1863–64.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
July ended with a return to the front line in the Zouave valley.
The parade included marching bands and an escort for Rex provided by the colorful Albany Zouave Cadets.
Milliet, a Zouave officer temporarily stationed in Arles and a sometime student who took drawing lessons flora Vincent, was something of a ladies" man--Vincent remarks that he had "all the Arlesiennes he want[ed]" (686).
On the same day, Messimy sent a telegram to Lyautey regarding which troops to dispatch immediately to France: They included all the Zouave, colonial infantry, Algerian Tirailleurs, and Tunisian Tirailleur battalions as well as his artillery batteries.
Bazille joined a French Zouave regiment early in the war and took command of an assault on a German position after his officer was wounded.
"[R]uled over by an iron code, requiring at every step self-negation, fortitude, submission, courage, [and] patience" (232), Bertie emerges from the ashes of his former self to win renown as a legendary warrior among the men with whom he serves for his ability to "fight like a Zouave, ride like an Arab, and bear shot-wounds or desert-thirst as though he were bronze" (234).
Coulombe does the reader a service and honours the Zouaves by not minimizing the extent of the violence, as in the example of one Zouave who "killed sixteen Garibaldians with the butt end of his rifle before succumbing to mortal wounds and falling upon the bodies of his enemies."
At 18 Guy Chabot volunteered for the 3d Zouave Battalion and was sent to Constantine.
Art historians consider this period in van Gogh's career to be the most prolific: the outpouring of work in his mature style is astonishing, and many paintings from this short span of time have become icons of western art: View of Arles with Irises in the Foreground; The Zouave; Portrait of Joseph Roulin; Oleanders; The Night Cafe; Van Gogh's Bedroom; L'Arlesienne: Madame Ginoux; Vincent's Chair; and three versions of The Sower, all done in 1888, as well as many of his most haunting self-portraits, including two titled Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, both done in 1889.
I dress in sympathetic Zouave trousers for my Zenobia, Palmyra's exiled queen.