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The only hint I have is that the gentlemen in the picture were Polish and it was reputed to have been taken in 1917. So far I suspect that they may be cavalry?

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    A Polish military hat (Rogatywka) has a very distinctive shape, but I cannot tell for sure in this case that the gents in the photo are wearing this kind of hat. There was something called the "Polish Legion", that had several cavalry regiments, that fought on the Central Powers' side, first under Austro-Hungarian command and then later under German command. As far as I can see, all your guesses could be correct. – kimchi lover Apr 11 at 1:51
  • They could also be Polish forces serving in Russian Imperial military. Decorations could give a clue . ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – rs.29 Apr 11 at 9:55
  • There is a lot of pictures of pro-Russian Polish forces here, so check for similarities : smolbattle.ru/threads/… – rs.29 Apr 11 at 9:58
  • Remember there wasn't a "Poland" during World War I; Poles fought in the army of whatever empire they happened to have been born in. – Spencer Apr 11 at 15:21
  • Thank you for your help chaps. @kimchi lover - I similarly thought the cap worn by the chap standing was a Rogatywka but having trawled through countless photos of Polish legion troops I have to concede that I'm not convinced. I similarly have not seen similar coats, collars or boots in said photos. Can you recommend any books that may help my quest? – Tim Dawson Apr 13 at 16:18

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