Early desert windproof, any ideas?

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    Edward53
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    Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:27 am

    I just got this and wondered if anyone can pin it down. Apart from rank slides front and back with small tape-and-slot buttons, it's practically identical to the gaberdine SAS smock. All the buttons look original to it and I doubt it has ever been worn. The tiny XL tab is the only marking. I presume it's early 90s, maybe even Gulf War 1, but if anyone knows different please say. Thanks!












    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:18 am

    Close-up of front tab and one of the large buttons, same size and style as on dpm windproof. The hood cords have a Fixlock adjuster, in black so presumably the sand ones weren't in production yet.

    Everything about this is typical 80s except the rear tab and the taped buttons. It seems odd to have both buttons types on one garment, but I've had a good look and I'm confident they all belong.



    LeeKitchen1975
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by LeeKitchen1975 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:13 pm

    Nice Smock buddy, looks commercial, SASS?

    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:19 pm

    Cheers Lee, that was my thought as well. Whatever it is, not bad for £15 all in! cheers

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:56 am

    Looks to be good quality, but the "XL" is a dead giveaway that it's not issued kit. The small Canadian buttons and rank tab on the front mean that it's sometime after 2000 as the Brits didn't start experimenting with either unit (roughly) then. I don't think it's a Middle Eastern contract piece either.

    Steve

    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:46 pm

    Hi Steve

    I don't know when those taped buttons first appeared in the non-military world, and the first I know of them on issue kit is on the S95 kit. The rank tabs were around early on though, as they were using these on dpm artic smocks from the late 70s. The quality's pretty good, and this in a less-military colour would be ideal for hiking. As you say, it's got to be commercial with just that tiny label in it, but I thought it could be early because it's a near-identical copy of this late 70s SAS type smock, just minimal differences other than the rank tabs. I believe these dpm smocks ran on with minor differences into the mid-90s.

    I thought commercial items would copy current issue kit, hence guessing that this must be pre-S95, but after 1990 is where my knowledge gets hazy and that's why I'm asking. Of course I'd LIKE it to be 90 or 91-ish, but.....!

    Best wishes, E.




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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:23 pm

    It's not first gulf war type. The ones for sale around then were sold out of places like John Bulls in catterick and SASS who did the sparse desert one. I recall all the cloth being desert suit cloth. This to me looks tighter ?

    I also remember around the start of Iraq 2 the Windproof was an expensive bit of kit and a multitude of reproductions and PX style made for soldiers popping up. I bought an American ripstop style cloth DPM smock in 2003 and it was about a ton in cash !

    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:46 pm

    Hi B20

    It isn't the cloth used in the regular desert shirt. It's windproof material, visually identical to the gaberdine weave of my 70s windproof but with a slightly rougher feel. It might be 90s windproof material, I can't say as I haven't handled one but if they are a polycotton mix then I'd expect them to feel like this.

    If the GW1 windproofs weren't true windproof cloth, that seems to point to this being a later commercial item, perhaps for Iraq 2. The only thing I don't get is why at that date they would make a near exact copy of an older pattern with out-of-date buttons, but I'm not exactly sure how windproofs developed after the 80s so I could be off with my dates.

    Cheers, E.

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:59 pm

    I have maybe the answer about the buttons. The start of gulf 2 the troops did have s95 slot buttons but no real large ones for smock only the cheese cloth suited ones. This could mean the large buttons were acquired from something else and the rank ones direct from a MOD supplier.

    The cloth could be surplus frag vest material stocks as they use the old tropical polly cotton blend.

    All in all its a nice jacket that stands out from all the billion windproofs you see.

    Oh forgot to add , I have a similar one that I totally forgot about. It's made from cheese cloth , baggy SAS style non boxed edge pockets , old style dish brown buttons in SAS cut rather than Windproof.


    bravo_2_zero
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:04 pm

    http://iacmc.forumotion.com/t9438-tea-bag-desert-sas-smock

    Same cut as mine but different cloth , wonder if they just used cloth what was surplus at time of manufacture.

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:53 am

    Edward53 wrote:I don't know when those taped buttons first appeared in the non-military world, and the first I know of them on issue kit is on the S95 kit.

    Yes, but very late S95 kit.  I've got a progression of S95 stuff and the earlier pieces have the standard buttons used for decades.

    The rank tabs were around early on though, as they were using these on dpm artic smocks from the late 70s.

    Not sure what you mean.  I don't see a chest rank tab on the smock you pictured.  Generally speaking the chest rank tab concept is a fairly new feature for all military uniforms, including British.  The earlier S95 desert jackets had shoulder epaulettes, not a chest one.  I even have a jacket that has both.  I don't know what year they switched over to chest rank only.

    The quality's pretty good, and this in a less-military colour would be ideal for hiking. As you say, it's got to be commercial with just that tiny label in it, but I thought it could be early because it's a near-identical copy of this late 70s SAS type smock, just minimal differences other than the rank tabs. I believe these dpm smocks ran on with minor differences into the mid-90s.

    Old patterns sometimes never die Very Happy  I had an Omani smock that was pretty much stitch for stitch, feature for feature, the same as the original British smock including the plastic hood cinch.  I'd guess it was made in the 1990s.  Same goes with P84 type jackets made for Oman in the 1990s or early 2000s.  The reason the copies last so long is often the factories that made the originals keep producing them for commercial or foreign contracts.  Or someone buys the patterns since it's a lot cheaper to start making stuff if you have the patterns in hand instead of making new ones.

    I thought commercial items would copy current issue kit, hence guessing that this must be pre-S95, but after 1990 is where my knowledge gets hazy and that's why I'm asking. Of course I'd LIKE it to be 90 or 91-ish, but.....!

    Adding to what I said above, US BDU style is still being produced for many nations even with the ACU being the defacto standard in fashion these days.  There's economic reasons for this as well as tradition.  There's even a couple of countries that still employ US Vietnam era jungle uniforms that the US hasn't made since the mid 1970s.  Which is to say that an older design only tells you the earliest possible date it was made, not the latest.

    Steve

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:56 am

    What I'd like to know is what the heck is a tab doing on the back of the smock. I don't think I've seen anybody do that before.

    Steve

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by dee222 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:02 am

    During the Falkland war there was a Royal Marines issue artic parka's that had rank slider on the chest and on the centre of the back it was discontinued because no one could see the one on the back when kit was worn and it snagged on kit(see osprey 133 Battle for the Falklands, 1 land forces page 32) .

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Bolty717 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:04 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:What I'd like to know is what the heck is a tab doing on the back of the smock.  I don't think I've seen anybody do that before.

    Steve

    Seen it down here in New Zealand on imported Brit smocks when there were the preferred option in the 90s. Id say it was a officer thing.

    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:41 am

    Guys, excellent responses one and all. Steve, it is true that there is no rank slide on the smock I showed. I should have mentioned that there are two versions of this smock, the "SAS" type here - which I think is about 1980 - and the "Royal Marines" version, same cut but with a wired hood and rank slides. Both types were in production, with minor changes, from the mid-70s on. If I had an early dpm arctic smock I'd have shown it, but they are extremely scarce and have so far eluded me. There's an example here at Post 10, an incomplete photo but you can see the rank slide and the label, which dates it to the late 70s:
    http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?35976-2nd-Pattern-DPM-Arctic-Smock

    I can accept that this is not a GW1 windproof, but I'm still not entirely convinced it's as late as 2002-3. In GW1 the lack of a desert windproof was glaring, with WW2 stocks having to be issued. Between then and Iraq2, the regular desert clothing went through at least two modifications, so why wasn't the corresponding windproof developed? Or are there mid-90s windproofs out there but I'm missing them? And if they were made, why the need for additional commercial garments?

    More questions I'm afraid, but hopefully there is an answer out there!  Smile

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Gulf91 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:00 pm


    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:35 pm

    Similar in being private purchase, but yours appears to be a different fabric, and has the "transitional" buttons of the shirt between the first model and the S95 type. Maybe c. 1994 as suggested in the thread?

    Edward53
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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by Edward53 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:03 am

    Ok, I think I more or less know what this is now. Private purchase windproof, c. 2001-3. The maker had large old style buttons in stock but only a few small modern ones, hence the compromise with the mix of types. So nothing really special, but early in that it - presumably - came before the generation of windproofs currently all over ebay.

    I still don't know why, in the intervening ten years, the British Army was developing desert combat clothing but seemingly doing nothing about windproofs.

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    Re: Early desert windproof, any ideas?

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:27 pm

    That sounds good to me Very Happy

    I hadn't heard about the epaulettes on the Royal Marines parkas for the Falklands period. I can understand the concept of one on the back, I just don't understand how anybody thought it would work Wink I suppose someone assumed the parka would be worn without kit and therefore not a problem.

    Steve

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