Vintage French colonial stache, Hanoi


2 thoughts on “Vintage French colonial stache, Hanoi

  1. Dear Matt ! Greetings from Paris !
    Great choice my friend ! You see the man on the picture is a great french general, the Maréchal Lyautey. The written text on the upper left reads:

    “Le Maréchal Lyautey alors qu’il était jeune chef d’Etat Major au Tonkin. (1896)”, meaning:

    “Marshall Lyautey while he was young chief of staff in Tonkin. (1986).”

    The guy man conquered Indochina (Tonkin, Siam and Cambodge) in the 1996 compaign. After he was sent to conquer Morocco. He fell in love of Morocco then was called by Clémenceau in the chief of staff of the french army in WWI where he showed once again its great ability. Then he came back to Morrocco and dreamed to build a morocan democracy with strong links with France. His dreams were shattered in the Rift War of 1925-1929 during which the morrocans insurgents were crushed by the a franco-spanish expeditionary corps commanded by the infamous Philippe Pétain who will collaborate with nazi Germany, be judge and executed by rifle. Lyautey was resigned by force and sent back to France where he finished his life with honors but sadness knowing what was happening in his beloved Morocco.

    Lyautey was a great military, and great gay too. He was known for his impetuous picks ups to young officers.

    Clemenceau is known to have said about him:

    “Il a des couilles au cul mais ce ne sont pas toujours les siennes.”


    “he has balls at the ass but they are not always his own”.

    There is a play on words in the quote because the expression “avoir les couilles au cul” (to have balls at the ass) means being courageous but is also a clear reference to sex between men too. Lyautey was truly a courageous gay soldier.

    He wears on the photograph the most fashionable french stache of the time.

    All the best.


    • Thanks, Franck! That was all very interesting. I had no idea who it was but, wow, what a colourful figure! And great stache. Also, a little jealous that he got to screw his way through the officer corps of the French Foreign Legion.

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