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I think it may be a Polish uniform, but I'm not sure. The eagle hanging down from the chest pocket seems unique in my web surfing for similar uniforms My family came to US from Snietnica, Galicia in 1907. So either it's a uniform prior to 1907 or it's another family member who remained in Eastern Europe. I would love to know a time range for this style uniform. enter image description here

  • The cap seems to be characteristically Polish Rogatywka . The collar markings seem like those discussed in polishforums.com/history/… – kimchi lover Jun 15 at 20:12
  • @kimchilover True to cap & collar, but the decoration seems typical Polish eagle, & yet 'worn like a typical bookmark'? – LаngLаngС Jun 15 at 20:21
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    Can you make out the lettering on the bottom of the eagle badge? – kimchi lover Jun 15 at 20:25
  • I can't make out the lettering under the eagle. Any idea when this uniform was from? – Jenifer Eisenman Jun 15 at 21:02
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    "Czołgi" is Polish for "tanks". – Spencer Jun 16 at 0:16
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This is a placeholder for an answer. This is definitely a Polish uniform. The cap shape and collar decoration are distinctively Polish. The cut of the uniform looks World War I-ish. I don't think the Sam Browne belt was much used outside Britain until about 1910, and became extremely widespread after World War I.

The Wikipedia article on Sam Browne belts has a photo of a modern Polish officer wearing the same kind of cap as your relative, with a zig-zag decoration on his cap related to the wiggly collar decoration on your photo (as discussed here; that discussion cites this), and of course sporting a Sam Browne. The first two of these three things are definitely Polish.

Since Poland was not an independent country in the period 1795-1918, without an army of its own, it is unlikely your photograph dates from before 1918. I believe during World War I there was a Polish Legion fighting with the Germans against Russia and a Blue Army fighting with the Allies against the Germans. After the war veterans of the Blue Army wore a uniform similar to yours, even though during the war itself the Blue Army uniforms did not look like yours.

If the writing on the breast-pocket badge says "Czołgi" [="tanks"] as Spencer commented, the likelihood is that this was a Polish uniform of the period 1918-1939. The Polish Army made extensive use of tanks throughout the interwar period, as described in this Wikipedia article.

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  • Have you ever seen such a uniform with national Polish symbols etc pre'18? Your Legions-link pretty much denies that as well. – LаngLаngС Jun 15 at 22:34
  • No, but I could imagine a student club or patriotic club might have. – kimchi lover Jun 15 at 22:48

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