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The Alsatians or the Two Matildas

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The Alsatians or the Two Matildas
Les Alsaciens ou les deux Mathilde
Die Elsässer
Movie Poster
Country FRA.jpg France
GER.jpg Germany
Directed by Michel Favart
Release Date October 11, 1996
Language English
Studio France 3
La Sept-Arte
Pathé Télévision
Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR)
Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR)
Südwestfunk (SWF)
Televisione Svizzera Italiana (TSI)
Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
Distributor La Sept-Arte
Main Cast
Character Actor
Mathilde Kempf Cécile Bois / Aurore Clément
Baron Eugène Kempf Jean-Pierre Miquel
Charles de la Tour Jacques Coltelloni
Edwin Wismar-Marbach Sebastian Koch / Manfred Andrae
Louis de la Tour Julien Lambroschini / Michel Voïta
Friederike Wismar-Marbach Irina Wanka
Édouard Kempf-de la Tou Sébastien Tavel / Serge Dupire
Ernst von Wismar Richard Sammel

The Alsatians or the Two Matildas is a 1996 French miniseries consisting of four episodes and tells the story of Alsace between 1870 and 1953 through the history of fictional families. It is also the story of a region: Alsace, the "beautiful province" with a glorious past. This region was shaped by the history and rivalry of the two great powers, Germany and France, which for a long time considered each other as "hereditary enemies". Therefore, for centuries Alsace was the scene of conflicts, torn between two cultures and two nations. Within a century, Alsace had to change its nationality four times: French after the Thirty Years' War under Louis XIV, it remained German for almost fifty years from 1870. In 1918 it belonged to France again, from 1940 to Germany, and finally, in 1944 it became French again.

The following weapons were used in the miniseries The Alsatians or the Two Matildas:


MAS Mle. 1892

Mle 1892 Revolvers are carried by Charles de la Tour (Jacques Coltelloni) and Ruprecht (Jürgen Zwingel) during the first episode set during the Franco-Prussian War, which is an anachronism. A better choice would be Lefaucheux Revolver. Louis de la Tour (Michel Voïta), Ernst von Wismar (Richard Sammel), Max Seligman (Marc Berman), and a German sailor are seen with Mle. 1892 revolvers in the second episode which takes place from 1904 to 1919.

Revolver d'ordonnance modèle 1892 - 8x27mmSR
Charles brandishes his revolver while charging on horseback.
Ruprecht leads a squad of Prussian soldiers with his Mle. 1892 revolver in hand (Ep. 01).
Louis loads his revolver in preparation to travel to Strasbourg.
As they are surrounded by revolutionary German sailors, Ernst draws his revolver.
A German sailor points the captured revolver on Ernst.
The same sailor shows Ernst's revolver to Max Seligman (Ep. 02).

Walther PP

Hauptmann (Captain) Kiener (Peter Semler) (since he is in the Waffen SS, his rank should be a Hauptsturmführer) is briefly seen with a Walther PP pistol in Ep. 04.

War Time Walther PP - .32 ACP
Hauptmann Kiener moves the slide of his pistol.
He fires his PP to put the wounded deserter out of his misery.

Submachine Guns


Several German soldiers in Ep. 03 and 04 are armed with MP40s, which are also used by Louis-Charles Kempf-de la Tour (Stanislas Carré de Malberg), Peter Imhof (Jean-Michel Fête), and Antoine Roederer (Philippe Polet) in a flashback.

Maschinenpistole 40 - 9x19mm Parabellum
SS soldiers with their MP40s on the left.
Other SS soldiers arresting French people.
Louis-Charles points his MP40 at Antoine.
Later on, Antoine and Louis-Charles prepare to enter a hut.
Louis-Charles and Antoine hold their MP40s (Ep. 04).

Sten Mk. II

The British Sten Mk II is used by French Résistance fighters in Ep. 04.

Sten Mark II - 9x19mm
A Résistance fighter next to Albert Laugel (Maxime Leroux).


12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun

Double Barreled Shotguns are used by Franzl (Frédéric Pierrot, François Dyrek), Edwin Wismar-Marbach (Manfred Andrae), Paul Imhof (Jean-Philippe Meyer).

Charles Parker 1878 Side by Side Shotgun - 12 gauge
Younger Franzl carries his Double Barreled Shotgun (Ep. 01).
The members of the hunting party carry their shotguns.
Edwin prepares his shotgun.
Older Franzl and the Stadthalter aiming their shotguns.
Franzl checks his shotgun.
A shotgun carried by Paul Imhof (Ep. 02).
Peter Imhof leads a group of French soldiers with his shotgun (Ep. 03).


Gras Mle. 1874

French troops in 1870 are seen with Gras Model 1874 rifles standing in for period-correct Chassepot 1866 rifles. Yerri Laugel (Lucas Belvaux) is also seen with one of them.

Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 - 11x59mm Gras
French soldiers at a military hospital with Gras rifles.
A closer view of the receiver of one carried Gras.
The right side of the same rifle.
The muzzle is seen on the right.
A French soldier holds his Gras before firing.

Dreyse Rifle Mockup

Rifle mockups that resemble Dreyse Model 1841‎ rifles are wielded by Prussian soldiers. Compared to the real Dreyses, they have longer muzzles and no rear safeties.

Dreyse Infanteriegewehr Modell 1841 - 15.4mm; for comparison
Prussian soldiers advancing in a street of Alsheim.
A view of the left side of one rifle seen on the right.
The incorrect rear part is visible to the left. Also, note the bayonet which appears to be the French Gras bayonet; however, in some scenes, the rifles are equipped with spike bayonets.
The obliquely mounted bolt is seen on the left.
German soldiers patrolling through the city with their rifles in 1894. At this date, the Dreyse rifle has already been discarded and replaced by the Gewehr 88 or at least with the Gewehr 1871. Nevertheless, this screencap offers more details about the rifle.

Mauser Puška vz. 98/22

Instead of correct Mauser Gewehr 1898 rifles, German soldiers and sailors in the second episode are armed with Vz. 98/22 Czech Mauser‎s.

Puška CZ Brno 98/22 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A photograph of Paul Imhof holding a Mauser rifle.
Sailors aim their Mausers at Louis and Ernst. The bayonets appear to be the vz. 23 bayonet.
The sailors arrest Edwin, Ernst, and Louis and take them to their political commissar.
A view of the stock and straight bolt handle of one held rifle in the background.

Berthier Mle. 1892 Carabine

Various French soldiers and some Gendarmerie officers wield Berthier Mle 1892 Artillery Carbines.

Mousqueton d’Artillerie Modèle 1892 - 8x50mmR Lebel
Two soldiers with their slung Berthier carbines.
A French soldier at a border crossing with his Berthier carbine. The hole for the en bloc clip to eject is visible.
A view of the muzzle (Ep. 02).
Two police officers guarding the school entrance with their slung carbines (Ep. 03).

Berthier Mle. 1916 Carabine

Some Berthier Model 1916 Carabines are also seen carried by French soldiers.

Mousqueton Berthier Modèle 1892 Modifié 1916 - 8x50mmR Lebel
An Mle. 1916 Carabine seen on the right.

M1 Carbine

Free French and US Army troops carry M1 Carbines in the fourth episode. All the M1 Carbines are equipped with late WWII bayonet lugs, which is anachronistic for 1944.

M1 Carbine (Post-War) - .30 Carbine
Two Free French soldiers on the right stand with their slung M1 Carbines.
A GI carries his M1 Carbine.
More US soldiers hold their carbines at the ready while advancing to the Alsheim city hall like the Prussians did in 1870.

M1 Garand

US soldiers also wield M1 Garands.

M1 Garand - .30-06
An American carries an M1 Garand.
Another soldier holds his Garand. The sleeve insignia indicates that the soldiers belong to the seventh army of the United States Army which was really deployed in the Alsace in 1944.

Mauser Rifle

Unknown Mauser Short Rifles are used by German Wehrmacht, SS soldiers, and Polizei officers. Therese rifles have turned-down bolt handles, grasping grooves, under-mounted sling swivels, tangent-leaf rear sights, and parade hooks. A possible guess could be the Brazilian M1922 or M1935 short rifles manufactured by the Czechoslovakian Zbrojovka Brno company.

A police officer at a border checkpoint with his Mauser rifle (Ep. 03).
SS soldiers with slung Mauser rifles.
Members of an SS firing squad ready their Mausers.
After some hesitation, Peter Imhof gets a personal order to take aim at the deserter (Ep. 04). This scene shows many parallels to the 1993 German movie Stalingrad.

Machine Guns

MG 42

In the last episode, Antoine Roederer and Louis-Charles Kempf-de la Tour are seen handling an MG42.

Maschinengewehr 42 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The MG 42 lies between Antoine and Louis-Charles.
Antoine and Louis-Charles man the machine gun.

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