Identification Guide To Gulf War One Militaria

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:57 am

    TRFs

    The British land force, the 1st Armoured Division, was part of the US VII Corps. The Division was composed of the 4th and 7th Armoured Brigades plus divisional troops. The brigade TRFs (Tactical Recognition Flashes) were the jerboa or desert rat, in black on grey and red on black, for the 4th and 7th Brigades respectively.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:10 pm

    SOME MORE DESERT HATS

    These three desert hats are by less well-known makers. Both Vero & Everitt and Failsworth Hats had been military contractors since the 19th Century. Failsworth Hats and Weston Cap Ltd are both apparently still in existence, but Vero & Everitt Ltd was dissolved in 2008.

    It does not really show here but the Failsworth hat is made up of three different shades of ddpm.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:13 pm

    SOUVENIR T-SHIRT

    This overprinted US military T-shirt was brought back by a British Artillery officer.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:44 pm

    THE NORGIE

    The "Norgie", or Norwegian shirt, is frequently seen in contemporary photos. I don't know when this item was first officially issued to British troops, but I have not been able to find a British example dating to 1991 or earlier, so it is possible these were still a private purchase item. This Norwegian Army issue example, dated 1988, was found with some other British kit. (Sorry about the quality of the following pictures but I'm dependent on natural light and it's the middle of winter!)

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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:50 pm

    JUNGLE BOOTS

    The jungle boot was another footwear variant used in this war. Note the green canvas uppers and DMS sole. Soldiers often superglued the air vents to stop the fine sand entering the boot. This pair is dated 1988.

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    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:15 pm

    Edward53 wrote:THE NORGIE

    The "Norgie", or Norwegian shirt, is frequently seen in contemporary photos. I don't know when this item was first officially issued to British troops, but I have not been able to find a British example dating to 1991 or earlier, so it is possible these were still a private purchase item. This Norwegian Army issue example, dated 1988, was found with some other British kit. (Sorry about the quality of the following pictures but I'm dependent on natural light and it's the middle of winter!)

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    I have a private purchase one somewhere that was used during the Falklands(came direct from the vet).

    Also as it happens have an old one to hand that I must have bought around 10 or so years ago-has the contract details CT34A/866.
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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:16 pm

    Gulf91 wrote:I have a private purchase one somewhere that was used during the Falklands(came direct from the vet).

    Also as it happens have an old one to hand that I must have bought around 10 or so years ago-has the contract details CT34A/866.

    I am fairly confident that CT34A is mid to late 90s.

    I've been looking for a Falklands period one for some time now...
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    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:28 pm

    Will try to dig it out if I can remember where it is.
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    Post by Edward53 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:32 pm

    WW2 WINDPROOF SMOCK

    No desert windproofs were in the current inventory, and the Army had to use old stock dating from 1942. I was under the impression these had been held in store since the end of WW2, but recently I read somewhere that the Army purchased them from a surplus store in London. These were certainly used by British Special Forces but not by anyone else as far as I know. The trousers don't seem to have been used; perhaps someone else knows for sure.

    This example is in a fine, high-quality tightly-woven sateen type of cotton. The smocks were also made from a "salt and pepper" material, and the designation on the labels varied considerably: Smock Suit, as here; Smock Drab; Smock; and - so I'm told - even Smock Green. M/cr is short for Manchester.

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    (As before, poor image quality due to low light here.)
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    Post by Edward53 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:36 am

    CUSTOM ARKTIS CHEST WEBBING

    Chest webbing was a popular alternative to the regulation PLCE. Various suppliers were doubtless used with Arktis a favoured supplier, according to Post 5 here:
    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?146544-question-on-timeline-of-chest-rigs

    Here are members of the Royal Scots wearing the a version of the rig produced specially for the regiment, consisting of 3 ammo, 2 waterbottle and 2 grenade pouches. The waterbottle pouches fasten with clips, the others with velcro. [From: Desert War, A Unique Photographic Record Of The Desert Rats At War, by Mike Moore - an essential reference for collectors.]

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    The rig:

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    Post by Gulf91 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:20 pm

    Edward53 wrote: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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    Was/were ballistic plates used at this time as thought that they were a later addition due to finding out during Granby that the ballistic filler alone didnt afford enough protection?

    Not doubting in any way just what I was always led to believe.
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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:36 pm

    You're correct about the plates only being introduced later, as I found out some time after making the original post. However I can't seem to edit old posts so any errors just have to stay!

    Got some more bits to add when I get round to doing the photos. A commercial desert windproof (posted elsewhere on this forum and assessed as later but which I have since found is almost certainly GW1), a dpm "SAS" windproof c. 1990, and a Survival Aids shemagh.
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    Post by Gulf91 on Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:00 pm

    Edward53 wrote: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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    Just bagged a small job lot of gear from the same guy which included one of those patterend Shemaghs which Im happy with.

    Are you sure the plain one is Granby period as have had a few over the years and all came with the later issue desert gear and was under the impression that they were more modern/current?
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    Post by Edward53 on Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:12 pm

    The plain shemagh came with a batch of kit that was all GW1 and seemed to have belonged to one man. I have several photos of plain ones being worn at the time. I've seen the numerous plain ones on ebay that I presume you mean - they are clearly later but IIRC there is some difference, eg tassels or the patterning, I can't say without doing a major ebay search. Given the context and its very poor quality I feel pretty confident this one is from the period.

    Photos show a wide variety of types, commonly the red one and the Survival Aids green one. I have examples of these and will post eventually. I acquired the red one without any context, but it resembles those in photos and is the same flimsy material as the issue brown one, whereas later red ones and indeed all later shemaghs seem a lot more substantial.
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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:54 am

    To continue: As previously noted, temperate dpm saw a lot of use in the early stages and continued throughout with troops behind the lines or otherwise out of sight, eg tank crews. No official issue desert windproof was made for this campaign, and when the weather proved nastier than expected both temperate dpm arctic and SAS smocks made an appearance.

    Here is an arctic smock of the period. Note the oversize hood from which the internal wire was often removed, as in this example which dates to about 1990. Unusually for this late date, there is still a rear rank tab.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:02 am

    This SAS windproof, one of the very first SL32b contracts, is of a similar age to the arctic smock. Note the smaller, much more manageable hood and absence of rank tabs. There is a YKK zip instead of the usual Opti.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:14 am

    Para smocks were much favoured, especially by tank crews. Major James Hewitt of the Life Guards is shown wearing one in Mike Moore's Desert War, and a former Life Guards trooper told me they were widely worn within the unit. Other photos exist showing them worn by infantry, sometimes daubed with sand colour paint. This one, originally belonging to a warrant officer, also dates to about 1990. Note the unusual "IBEX" zip. Although 170/96 is the smallest size, the para smock is an oversize garment and this example would easily have fitted the average soldier over desert combats.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:59 am

    Since beginning this thread I have learned of a 2-part 1991 Military Illustrated (issues 41 and 42) article on by a Major Tanner entitled "The British Soldier In The Gulf". I have been unable to find out anything about Major Tanner, but he wrote an excellent and extremely helpful guide which has filled in quite a few gaps and I hope he won't mind me quoting it here: "As cold, wet weather developed during the winter months many varied items of clothing appeared...An entire squadron of the 1st Armoured Division Signal Regiment wore a UK-manufactured desert smock made to the same design as the arctic windproof smock. Most commonly worn were various items of temperate clothing, invariably worn with desert combat trousers".

    If anyone wants a copy of this article, PM me and I'll send one assuming I'm not deluged with requests.

    I believe the smock shown here to be one of the UK-manufactured smocks referred to above. Although not quite the same as the arctic smock - it lacks the ungainly hood - it has had front and rear rank tabs, now removed, and the only logical reason for the green zip is that sand-coloured zips weren't yet available, indicating rushed early production. The smock has had a nylon "sniper" tab attached, though when this was done is not clear as early smocks might have been worn during any later campaign.

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    The only marking is a tiny XL label in the back:

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    Note the green YKK zip:

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    Note also the "Canadian" button threaded on behind the hood for no obvious reason:

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:07 am

    Here's another private purchase windproof, to the same design as the previous one but with a sand-coloured zip and rank tabs intact. It appears that the "Canadian" button on the previous example was from one of the removed rank tabs. This smock seems to have been part of either a hurried or a careless production run, as only one half of the cuff velcro tabs has ever been attached.

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    This time the size label is in red and the zip is unbranded:

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:46 am

    Another piece of temperate dpm worn in this campaign: the ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) cap, sometimes seen in photos of Special Forces. This one dates from the late 1980s, differing from the earlier version in having a full fleece lining and a stitched-in rather than glued-in label.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:50 am

    More shemaghs: I am fairly certain that these two are the Survival Aids shemagh, also referred to in Major Tanner's article. They are identical to a damaged one that came with the complete kit of a 7th Brigade infantryman. The pattern is quite distinct from the common later green shemaghs readily available on ebay.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:56 pm

    There are plenty of red shemaghs being worn in photos of British troops in the Gulf War. I haven't been able to find a close-up allowing me to identify the type with certainty, but I think this one is a good candidate. It looks very similar, is made of the same flimsy, low-quality material as the brown issue shemagh, and is quite different to the plethora of red ones readily available on ebay. You can see the thinness of it in the second photo.

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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:02 pm

    Lastly, I'm including a US Army sweat rag on the basis that a great deal of American kit was obtained through various means by British troops. This is dated 1984.

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    Post by Gulf91 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:55 am

    Edward53 wrote:The earliest desert combat trousers, like the shirt, were a direct copy of the tropical pattern. They featured a rear pocket and a zip-and-button fly. This cumbersome arrangement may have worked with the tropical trousers, but it is very awkward with the heavier material used in the desert combats. These trousers are by Supercraft, from the SL32b/5466 contract. Zip by Opti.

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    Just bought a pair similar to these,same contract numbers and maker,zip and button fly but NO rear pocket.
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    Post by Edward53 on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:51 am

    Some more kit. First, a helmet with contemporary graffiti. This came with the cover and goggles shown here. The cover is marked "4th Armd Brge" above the desert rat, and below, "Hell for leather". The black cord is a DIY extra chinstrap to go under the respirator.

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