Function: The Roar of the Greasepaint
It’s easy, given our modern understanding of camouflage, to mock the sort of grandiose headgear these gentlemen are wearing – especially given their role as sharpshooters – but, consider:
It’s 1812, and you’re standing alongside your sweating and anxious French brethren, on the dewy grass of a Russian morning, while staring down an enemy battle line.
The tiny emperor’s claims of easy victory have brought you hundreds of miles from your home, and you’re feeling pretty good about having encountered these fellows with their convenient “shoot here” plumes.
Mid-mock, your best friend, Jean Francoise, is suddenly cut down by one of the silly-hatted peacocks.
Who’s laughing then?
Listen, all I’m saying is that there may be something behind the idea of equipping NATO troops with heavily armoured clown outfits.