Zouave - one of a body of light infantry in the French army, originally recruited from the Algerian Kabyle tribe of Zouaoua, but afterwards composed of French soldiers distinguished for their physique and dash, and formerly retaining the original Oriental uniform; ...The Crimean War of 1854-55 confirmed the fighting reputation of the French Zouaves, and their exploits were widely publicized in European and North American journals. At the battle of the Alma on September 20, 1854, Zouaves scaled a precipitous ridge and captured the Russian position, impressing even their stolid British allies with their rapid light infantry tactics and prowess with the bayonet. In the engagement at Inkermann on November 5, the 3rd Zouaves lost heavily in a hand to hand grapple with their Russian assailants, and Zouaves also served at Balaclava, where the English Light Brigade made its famous charge. But it was in the protracted and costly siege of the fortress city of Sebastopol that the colorful warriors won immortal renown. On June 7, 1855, more than 500 Zouaves fell taking the earthwork known as Mamelon Vert at the point of the bayonet. Three months later, on September 8, Marshal MacMahon personally led soldiers of the 1st Zouaves in a charge that overran the Malakoff, a strongpoint that was the linchpin of the Russian defenses.