Para smock 1950s

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    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:45 pm

    hi andrew here is my other camo material covered helmet ,the m71 ,this cover has the center seam and i think it would be a second generation jigsaw pattern as is the trousers which i believe are para commando issue ,one pocket has been removed unfortunately ,thanks james

    Wolverine
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:03 pm

    Thanks James.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:09 pm

    Wolverine wrote:That is pretty cool. I have one purpose made jigsaw helmet cover for the M51 helmet, but I am not sure how widely they were used, versus the improvised covers. I have yet to find a picture of a Belgian soldier with the purpose made cover (it has a seam running down the centre, like the various US GI M1 helmet covers).

    I'm with Andrew on this. The first purpose made covers I can remember date from the 1990s.

    As for the commando trousers, that is indeed what they are referred to. They were worn by Para/CDO members only, as far as I know. They come in both poplin and thick cotton. In fact, I think I have two different weights of each in my collection. I can't remember the earliest and latest examples I've seen, but for sure they were made in the very early 1970s into the 1980s.

    One of the rarest pieces of Belgian camouflage is 8 pocket command trousers in Burshstroke poplin. I have one and it's the only one I've seen available. Unfortunately the white label is totally washed out, but someone wrote "1" (size) and "ABL" in marker on it. Even more interesting is that some of the cloth appears to be British windproof type Brushstroke (contains pink colors). I'm guessing it was a private purchase item in the 1970s.

    Steve

    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:31 pm

    hello steve and thanks for looking over my trousers can i ask what CDO stands for im not too sure  ,this pair seem pretty lightweight and are dated 1982 ,if ok with the Op i will post up these detailed pictures,regards james

    Gulf91
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Gulf91 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:02 pm

    Would hazard a guess short for Commando Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink Wink

    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:07 pm

    Thanks richard ,yes your right it must be an abbreviation for commando ,me a bit thick sometimes Smile

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:14 pm

    Score one for the Welsh today Wink

    Your trousers are the standard poplin cloth that was also used for peace keeper uniforms which, incidentally, were the only non-para/CDO camouflage uniforms issued for this time period. The rest of the Belgian military wore OD colored uniforms.

    A Size 5 is quite a find! I don't know what the biggest size is for this type of trousers, but I think 8 might be the top end. As is often the case, the good sizes tend to be used up to the point of rags. I was told that the para/commandos loved wearing these trousers even when in Belgium because they are very comfortable. However, like all poplin items, not very survivable. I have a used pair with probably 10 repairs on it.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:21 pm

    Steve thanks once again for all your constructive help ,it is appreciated ,as you can probably tell camo is not really my area of expertise but im trying Smile so just for clarification the peace keeping duty issued trousers ,would they be in a similar style to mine or identical and hard to differentiate ,crikey over 10 repairs ,just goes to show the longevity of there use , thanks james

    Camonut314
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Camonut314 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:01 pm

    Yes, I know this feeling. A warehouse I got to has about a dozen pairs of these trousers, not a single one has a full compliment of pockets! (never mind tears in the crotch and other places).

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:17 pm

    Maybe a really beat up pair of trousers could be used to salvage some pockets for repair of a better set?

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:38 pm

    Yeah, I'd buy a couple and piece together a really nice one if I were you!

    Back to the question about the normal peace keeper trousers. They are 6 pocket, for starters, which means no calf pockets. The thigh pockets are flat, not the billowed type of the para/commando type. The shirt is two chest pockets, again flat style.

    Belgians have a LOT of kit out there, so it's a bit confusing if not a little overwhelming. Even though I have a large number of Belgian uniforms, and have been collecting them for more than 15 years, I am still running into pieces that I didn't know existed before.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:32 am

    Steve thank you once again for all your help , here is my earlier brushstroke para smock and trousers both issue dated 1956 the zelt is slightly confusing to me ,even though stamped belgium army my research shows the maker from germany ,the pattern too is unlike my  bdu's yet dated 56 could this be the moons and balls pattern ? thanks james

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:59 pm

    Yup, that is M&B shelter half. Made in Germany, not less. Nice clear stamp to match the excellent condition.

    The telltale sign of M&B can be seen in your first picture. See on the right side of the picture a green shape with a "bite" taken out of it? You can also see it on the left side a little higher up. This is 100%, guaranteed, no doubts about it sign of M&B. There are other signs as well, but depending on condition they can be hard to suss out. The "bite", on the other hand, is usually visible (even on hoods) and therefore is a really great thing to look for.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:49 pm

    Other early Belgian camouflage items were also made in Germany - I believe that RAKA was a German company for example.

    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:27 pm

    interesting to here of the belgium procurement of materials from germany ,steve thanks for pointing out what to look for ,i can see that bite mark you mention ,thanks james

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:48 pm

    I don't know what country RAKA was based in, but Germany is a possibility. My understanding is that Germany did some of this work as part of reparations.

    The German company that made the Zeltbahns also made them for the Bundeswehr and Swiss militaries all within the same timeframe.

    Steve

    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:22 pm

    thank you steve ,you explanation to my german stamping totally make sense now ,i admit i was wondering the reasons ,james

    Wolverine
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:23 pm

    I remember finding the full German company name for RAKA at one point, but I have lost track of my research file. RAKA is sort of an abbreviation of a two-part company name, the first beginning with Ra and the second part with Ka. I remember reading that the plant no longer exists. I will try to dig out the reference. I also recall reading that reparations were indeed a factor in these German contracts for Belgium items.

    thunderchild
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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by thunderchild on Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:25 am

    great info and something to research further ,thanks andrew

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the follow up!

    Yup, many of the early BW items were produced by German firms with abbreviated names, so that fits in nicely. RKK, RAB, and BEFA (for example) are common makers of the Splinter items in the 1950s and yet I don't think any survived after. Even RKK, which seems to have received the bulk of the Splinter production.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:22 am

    I knew I had seen a BW item made by RAKA. Tonight, by a total fluke chance, I found it while looking for something else. It was a 1959 wool (Filzlaus) trousers. I found a 1960 one with the maker BAWI. I'd have to double check, but I think they might also be a maker of Belgian 1956 stuff. My brain is mushy and I can't remember Wink

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:14 pm

    I am 90% sure that I have seen BAWI on one of my Belgian labels Steve. Another one I am trying to solve is TAWO, although that mark appears on ABL webbing rather than clothing.

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:17 am

    I have a couple of very early 1950s para pieces which are TAWO, so for sure they produced more than just field kit. Given the German propensity for abbreviations like this, I'm wondering if it might also be a German company. AMS is another one I see on early smocks.

    Steve

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    Re: Para smock 1950s

    Post by Wolverine on Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:22 pm

    Yes, I have AMS on some of my tags. That is good to know about TAWO, I had only ever seen it on webbing, or in one case, a blue and red ABL brassard.

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