Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Share

    Flecktarn92
    Officer Candidate
    Officer Candidate

    Name : Oliver
    Location : New York, USA
    Registration date : 2009-07-15
    Number of posts : 500

    Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by Flecktarn92 on Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:59 pm

    I've been looking into the M-1941 Parson's jacket and the M-1943. I know the Parson's was worn throughout the war and is sort of more popular in pop culture like movies, games and tv. But it was eventually replaced by the 43 towards the end of the war.

    My question is when units started switching the 41 for the 43 was it an all at once thing or whatever was available? Would new soldiers coming into a division or unit to replace/replenish numbers be issued new gear while the older guys would have to wait until their old gear wore out or supplies allowed them to replace it? Or was it something completely different?

    I've been trying to find this out to see if squads, platoons etc would have a mix match of older equipment and uniforms and newer ones. The movie Fury seemed to showcase just that but it also seemed like those guys were dressed in whatever they could find.


    CollectinSteve
    ADMIN
    ADMIN

    Location : New England, US
    Registration date : 2009-03-08
    Number of posts : 5567

    Re: Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:29 pm

    As with most large scale changes, it was slow and uneven. Soldiers from the States came with their own kit. If the unit was put together in the States and shipped over in one go, soldiers tended to have the same uniform. However, not necessarily the most current. If the depot supplying them had older kit, older kit is what they got. They didn't hold a unit back until the latest kit could be sourced.

    Mixing/matching was standard throughout the entire war. Soldiers in the field stuck with what they had until they wore it out for the most part. Individual replacements (which was the US system at the time) could have anything on their backs. If a unit was pulled back from the front for an extended period of time they would be more likely to be refitted with new kit vs. one that was pulled back to an immediate reserve position. Etc.

    Little known fact is that Springfield rifles were still commonly issued, even in France 1944, because of a shortage of M1 Carbines. Which is another angle... generally speaking the combat troops got the newest stuff first, the rear units got them last. So you could have a Rifle Battalion where part of the force had the latest and greatest, parts of it a mix, parts of it only the old stuff.

    Think about it in current terms. Much more sophisticated warehousing systems, more "in time production", and yet transitions still take years. When you think about WW2, the timeframe for change isn't so different.

    Steve

    Flecktarn92
    Officer Candidate
    Officer Candidate

    Name : Oliver
    Location : New York, USA
    Registration date : 2009-07-15
    Number of posts : 500

    Re: Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by Flecktarn92 on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:25 pm

    Thanks so much Steve! So I guess it's a little of both as far as whole units vs individual based on where they were and what they were doing.

    James K
    Junior Sergeant
    Junior Sergeant

    Location : Ringwood UK
    Registration date : 2015-09-19
    Number of posts : 134

    Re: Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by James K on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:52 pm

    In most forces you only get something new when the old thing wears out. Most issues have been on the scale of three, one on, one in the wash and one spare. So if one jacket wears out you replace that with a new item leaving you with two old style and one new style.

    CollectinSteve
    ADMIN
    ADMIN

    Location : New England, US
    Registration date : 2009-03-08
    Number of posts : 5567

    Re: Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:11 pm

    Good point James.  For some stuff a soldier might wear a current issue item one day and an older issue item the next then back to current issue.

    You also have to keep in mind theaters.  Units moved from Italy to France might look very different than units moved from Great Britain.  On the German side some of the units fighting in Normandy came from Italy with all kinds of kit specific to the Italian theater (Italian camouflage uniform bits), as was the case from units coming from the Eastern Front (PPSh SMGs for example).

    A good rule of thumb is the more green a unit is, the more consistent its equipment is. The more veteran a unit is, the less consistent its equipment is.

    Steve

    Sponsored content

    Re: Question regarding new uniforms and equipment issued during WWII

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 6:37 am


      Current date/time is Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:37 am