A tirailleur algérien of the French l'Armée d'Afrique c. 1890s. There were four regiments of Algerian tirailleurs (not to be confused with the tirailleurs tunisiens) raised in French Algeria and commanded by French Officers. NCOs and other ranks were of both Algerian and French European origin.
The tirailleur uniform was based on traditional Ottoman/North African military dress.
The prominent display of the soldier's bayonet is typical of French military photographs of the era. The French placed a high degree of importance on the use of the bayonet in battle and it is so ubiquitous in period French military photographs that one might assume the French considered the rifles that the bayonets attached as the secondary weapon.
Carte de Visite
C. de Castro - Photographer
Sousse-Tunisie, Tunisia, North Africa