Identification Guide To Gulf War One Militaria

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    Edward53
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    Post by Edward53 on Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:48 am

    Here is a CBA cover with its kevlar filler, though without the ballistic plate. (A sweat rag was folded up in the plate pocket.) Cover and filler are by the incongruously-named Chelsea Quilt Company:

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    The label on the kevlar filler, which I haven't attempted to remove from the cover:

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    Post by Edward53 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:38 am

    BOOTS

    The standard boot on issue to the British Army was the Boot, Combat, High. These were worn in large numbers during the campaign, even after stocks of the desert boot had been supplied, and can be seen in photos of troops in action. They are easily recognised by their “tyre” tread. This pattern of boot was used well into the 1990s. The sizing on this 1987 dated pair is metric.

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    The hurriedly-designed British desert boot was a near-copy of the British jungle boot in suede and nylon. The sole is the old DMS pattern. Subsequently improved on, it was neverthless fairly comfortable to wear in sand. The sizing is in both metric and Imperial measurement. These boots never seem to have any other markings.

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    Unusually, the upper of this pair of British desert boots is reinforced with a rivet.
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    Photos can also be seen of numerous private purchase boots being worn. It was not uncommon for British troops to "acquire" American issue desert boots, also a near-copy of their jungle pattern. This pair came with the complete body armour, Vero and Everitt hat, and helmet with plain cover shown earlier in this guide, along with a spare CBA cover, a shemagh, a desert shirt and an Iraqi helmet.

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    Post by Edward53 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:43 am

    NBC EQUIPMENT

    The S10 respirator was the Army's regulation mask, with only a very few units still equipped with the old S6. This 1989 dated mask is in a 1990 dated green bag, ancillary to the PLCE equipment.

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    I was informed by a veteran that the small facelet masks were also issued, handed out unceremoniously without any training, for use when for whatever reason it was not practical to use the S10. This mask, by CQC, is dated 1984.

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    Post by Edward53 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:57 am

    Remploy seem to have been the sole maker of desert NBC suits for Operation Granby, apparently concentrating on them to the exclusion of all else. The threat of CB agents was believed to be a real one, and all units arrived in theatre equipped with NBC suits. Initially only dpm suits were available, but since desert NBC suits would not be essential until within sight of the enemy, they were one of the last items to be supplied to the troops, in some cases just days before the assault began. This example bears a packing date of January 1991. It is evident from the fabric date of February 1990 that the desert dpm scheme was not rushed out specially for this campaign.

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    Smock and trousers were fastened with zips and velcro. A used example:

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    The most obvious distinguishing mark of early desert NBC suits is the olive green pocket flap. SL34b/0074 appears to have been the only contract in production before the ground war began.

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    Post by Edward53 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:04 am

    NBC gloves inner and outer, and NBC boots, were also issued. Photos show the Royal Scots wearing the boots into action, but not the gloves.

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    When one considers the load of rifle, equipment, ammunition, helmet, NBC suit and body armour, combined with the heat of the desert, it is hardly surprising that diplomacy was "given a chance", allowing the troops time to acclimatize.
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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:15 am

    PLCE

    The standard issue equipment for infantry was the 1990 pattern (actually in use slightly earlier) PLCE, or Personal Load Carrying Equipment, in olive green nylon. This comprised the following parts: belt, ammunition pouches, utility pouch, waterbottle and pouch, yoke, bayonet and frog, entrenching tool in pouch, bergen, daysack pouches and yoke for same. Troops might wear this with the yoke or as a belt kit if the yoke got in the way, with various pouch combinations on the belt. The bergen (correctly – rucksack long) was probably used by special forces but the line infantry generally used two linked daysacks to carry miscellaneous kit into action. Sometimes the PLCE was painted sand colour; mostly it seems to have been left as is. Various personal modifications would be made, usually involving the taping of straps and buckles into place or the linking of pouches to stop them bouncing around.

    Here is a complete unissued belt order kit with ammunition, utility and waterbottle pouches, bayonet frog, and entrenching tool in holder.

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    On this issued set the waterbottle and utility pouches seem to have been coated with something, and the entrenching tool is dispensed with.

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:23 am

    The ammunition pouches, holding a total of eight SA80 magazines:

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    Note the brass C-clip fastenings and the differently-angled yoke strap attachment points for the left and right pouches. The 1991 pattern did away with these in favour of press-stud belt fastenings and universal fittings so that a pouch could fit either side. These pouches are dated 1989.

    The utility pouch was a handy holder for any small item you needed quick access to. It too fastened with brass C-clips, and had attachment points enabling it to be worn in place of one of the ammunition pouches. This example is dated RR90 under the rear strap.

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    The waterbottle and its pouch, with snap-fastener and C-clip arrangement. This was not intended for use in place of an ammunition pouch and so lacks the utility pouch's attachment points.

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:31 am

    The belt, with its Nexus buckle:

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    The main yoke:

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    The SA80 bayonet and scabbard:

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    The scabbard had a snaplock for clipping to the belt if desired:

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    The folding entrenching tool, its rubber pouch, and the web pouch for the latter, clipping onto the belt with two snaplock fasteners.

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:35 am

    The daysack consisted of one, or two zipped together, pouches carried on their own yoke. These were mostly worn in pairs during the assault. Here they are with and without the steadying strap in use:

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    Rear view of the linked pouches and their yoke, which has just two straps compared to the main yoke's six:

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:38 am

    The bergen. On the left side of the first picture, the zip can be seen for attaching one of the daysack pouches, which could be used to add capacity to the bergen:

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    Extra ammunition could also be carried in the SA80 bandolier:

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    Post by saltefanden on Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:04 pm

    Impressive PLCE, bergan and pouch collection, and in fantastic condition too!!
    The Danish Army completely 'copy-pasted' the British set up from that period, down to shape, buckles and zippers, only made out in M/84 camouflaged cordura.

    And I cannot imagine how unbearable it must have been, either doing drills or actually advancing in those NBC suits in a desert war, but the thread of Saddam's chemical weapons did look very real at the time.
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    Post by Easy Gee on Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:28 pm

    Huge congratulations on your intensive research and sheer dedication to cataloguing this often overlooked conflict my friend, this is something that I wanted to do myself over the years but never found the time and the fact that Op Granby is just not that popular a genre of militaria collecting so lacked the inspiration,however saying that I hope that your thread will become THE place for others to turn to to research their own pieces. I know we have discussed this prior offline as it were ,so I am very pleased you started this thread.

    kind regards,and respect.

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    Post by Edward53 on Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:39 pm

    Thanks very much indeed for the appreciative comments guys!! The research wasn't a problem as I needed to learn what was what for my own collection, and it seemed a waste not to share it. I've now covered most of the basic issue items, but still have some things to post, eg shemaghs, TRFs (a bit light on those), more non-desert kit that was used out there, etc. I hope to get onto this next week if not earlier.
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    Post by Gulf91 on Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:23 pm

    Superb work Ted,thanks for going to the time and trouble of posting it all up.
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    Post by Edward53 on Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:34 am

    SHEMAGHS

    This seem to have been locally-purchased items. The two shown here both came with Gulf War kit groups. The patterned one is identical to some in contemporary photos. Both are made from very flimsy, poor-quality cotton, rather like cheesecloth.

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    Post by Edward53 on Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:48 am

    WINDPROOFS

    For some reason the powers that be don't seem to have thought desert dpm windproofs would be necessary, and so a very miscellaneous assortment of items got used, including WW2 drab windproof suits, temperate dpm clothing, and the British soldier's must-have: the American night desert clothing. These were designed to fool early NV equipment and by 1991 were obsolete for their original purpose, but they made excellent windproofs, were very warm with the button-in liner, and were reportedly favoured by UK Special Forces. The parka minus liner and the matching trousers are shown below. Considerately (for us), the US military authorities still date their equipment: see the two-digit number after DLA100 on the labels.

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:29 am

    OTHER

    The following items belonged to a Trooper in the Life Guards who served in the Gulf War.

    Desert clothing:

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    SA80 bandolier painted sand colour:

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:33 am

    85 pattern dpm combats:

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    85 pattern dpm jacket cut down to a gilet:

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:37 am

    Dpm NBC suit:

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    Dpm waterproofs:

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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:43 am

    Tank overalls, regular and flame-retardant:

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    The owner of all this kit told me they weren't keen on the flame-retardants until they saw them used in a demonstration of a fire, then they were convinced! He never wore his though, as he was in the Support Company, lightly-equipped and scouting ahead in Land Rovers, hence the painted bandolier. He also told me they didn't wear their NBC suits, as they doubted the Iraqis would use CBW so close to their own troops, and if they did they would contaminate the water supply anyway and nobody would last long without that.
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    Post by Easy Gee on Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:45 pm

    Excellent Ted, and a very good point to raise about the 85 pattern Temperate items of uniform which was a common theme in this conflict. I look forward to seeing this thread grow and gain the recognition it deserves,well done again.
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    Post by Edward53 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:55 am

    GOGGLES

    Goggles were needed in the prevailing sandy conditions, especially for anyone driving a vehicle. As with so much else in this campaign, a quick solution was needed without time for the usual trials. The American company Scott Sports supplied motorcross style goggles in black rubber with an elasticated headband, with the Scott logo on the front and the interior foam padding.

    This early pair has an unusual white nylon strap fixing:

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    Here, more typically, the strap is attached directly to the rubber frame:

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    After the initial delivery, the Army apparently decided it didn't want the brand name on the goggles and later contracts were made without it, although it remained on the interior padding. Both the logo and non-logo variants can be seen in contemporary photos.

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    Post by Edward53 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:58 am

    JERSEY MAN'S HEAVY SAND

    The olive green “Jersey Heavy Wool” was copied in sand colour for this campaign. It seems to have been particularly popular with high-ranking officers, but photos also exist of it being worn by other ranks.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:30 am

    HEADOVER AND BALACLAVA

    The “headover” is just a lightweight balaclava. This one is conveniently dated 1990.

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    This balaclava is from RAF stores, according to the 22 designation.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:45 am

    EARLY DESERT SHIRT

    In Post 5 I said that there was apparently only one SL32b contract (to Supercraft Garments) for the desert dpm. However, the contract number on this sparse print shirt by Cookson and Clegg is just visible as SL32b/5493. It has the large buttons usually seen on its successor, the “transitional” shirt in “teabag” material with pointed pocket flaps. I am guessing that this is very early production, superseded almost immediately by the small-button variant. The zip is by Opti. General Sir Peter de la Billiere, British C-in-C, and Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck, commanding 4th Armoured Brigade, are wearing this style of shirt in contemporary photos.

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