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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    ripcord
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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by ripcord Thu Feb 09, 2023 5:43 pm

    As I said before on other threads, there are 2 versions/types  of this pattern. One a Legion type, the other an Ejercito de Tierra ( army )type.

    The Legion version was produced in larger numbers as compared to the army type.  It was actually in use as early as 1972, making it one of the first nation to adopt a desert pattern.

    This BW  photo I found recently  is dated June 1972, parade for an anniversary of the Legion.  Finding photos of these patterns in use is challenging, but finding them in use by COEs  is even harder.

    While some Legion units were issued their distinctive cut/type uniforms as early as 1972, the COE variant was not produced/issued until 1975, and then to only one company COE 103 ( second photo ).












                                                                                                            M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 95aniv10

                                                                                                            M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 31965011


                                                                                                       


    M73s was the first Spanish camouflage pattern in to which 2 distinctively different cuts/ types would be produced.

     It would be the Legion's first camouflage uniform, in their own specific cut/type. This same cut was later used in 2nd. type M76 uniforms which were also meant to be an exclusive Legion camouflage uniform.


    On left is a COE/ army type.  It is a pullover, not a button up shirt.  It has tongue and loop wrist closure ( like M69s ) , squared pocket flaps, and pointy elbow reinforcement ( like M69).

    Legion type has a simple button up front placket, a simple button/ button hole  wrist closure, rounded pocket flaps, rounded/ oval elbow reinforcement and Legion embroidery.  Just like M76.

    Trousers follow the same logic.  COE/ army types follow  M69 design , while Legion types would be the first Spanish camouflage trousers to have 4 pockets on leg and other features carried over to M76 uniforms.







                                                                                                             M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 20230227


                                                                                                             M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 20230231




    Here is an example of trousers differences and similarities .

    From left :Green Dominant  M69 , COE/ army M73 , Legion M73, Legion M76 .              M69 and COE M73 trousers are the same cut/type ;  Legion M73 and Legion M76 are also the same cut.  






                                                                                                            M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 20230233


    Last edited by ripcord on Thu Feb 09, 2023 7:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
    mylle
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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty Re: M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by mylle Thu Feb 09, 2023 6:11 pm

    Very nice post, thanks for sharing. I like the desert pattern a lot.

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    CollectinSteve
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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty Re: M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by CollectinSteve Sun Feb 12, 2023 6:57 pm

    VERY nice! Hard to get these at all, not to mention in good shape. I had a set of trousers one time that I think had more repair thread than original Wink

    I checked my Legion and COE sets to make sure they are properly matched tops and bottoms. Fortunately they are, unfortunately I was reminded how faded all four items are. As a consolation prize I have an new condition COE jacket that someone modified to be smaller as it started out "huge" by Spanish standards.

    While we're on the topic... what is the current thinking about this strange (possibly) desert variant?

    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 628f6c10

    It came out of Borsarello's collection after he passed away. It's consistent with M76 cut. It's been in my collection for about 15 years now and it's the only one I've ever seen documented. If it didn't come from Borsarello I would presume it some sort of crazy commercial thing, but he must have gotten it in the 1970s or early 1980s as it is in his "yellow" book published in the late 1980s.

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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty Re: M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by ripcord Sun Feb 12, 2023 8:46 pm

    Steve ,

    Those trousers look like they are brown dominant M69s. Look at the pockets and belt loops . Quick giveaway. M76 do not have rear pockets ( they have 4 leg mounted cargoes ), and M76 belt loops are buttoned down.
    Perhaps the true color does not come through ?


    I didn't really want to comment on this , but the great Borsarello got it wrong when it comes to this photo and caption.

    Pictured uniform is not a Legion uniform. It is a ET ( army ) uniform. No Legion embroidery, square pocket flaps, trousers with with 2 cargo pockets, not 4 .  In his defense, he didn't have the information we have now.



                                                                         M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Dscn1045
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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty Re: M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by Camonut314 Sun Feb 12, 2023 10:25 pm

    I remembered seeing this picture of a mercenary (presumably Spanish) who was wearing a modern, UBACS-cut uniform in an orangy-colored desert uniform that reminded me of the trousers in question. While I couldn't find the pictures I was looking for, I did stumble upon this one which should show the COE version of the M73 desert:

    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Fb_img10

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    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant Empty Re: M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant

    Post by ripcord Mon Feb 13, 2023 1:29 am

    Cool photo. Very difficult finding photos of COE wearing M73.

    These uniforms were relatively short lived, especially the COE/army version.

    I've read some place that unissued M73s were used as Op Force uniforms during the 1980s.
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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon Feb 13, 2023 1:45 am

    I'm glad I asked Wink I've not really paid much attention to the trousers in a very long time, so it's nice to take a fresh look at it.

    As Rip pointed out, M-69 (sort of! See below) and not M-76. Wasn't thinking when I wrote that last post.

    For sure it's not faded as it is unissued. Here is what it looks like on top of unissued M-73, M-76, and M-69. Clearly different colors:

    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant D4d1ae10

    There are some differences between this and standard M-69. First, it has no internal waist adjustments, rather it has an elastic gather along the rear. I have some memory of some other Spanish piece in my collection like this, but I could be getting it confused with something else. Buttons are unlike anything else I've seen and it has a cheap zipper fly instead of buttons. Belt loops are smaller than issued trousers. There are no tags or markings in it except for a small size tag (56) which is, incidentally, very wrong (I'd guess it is 42, tops).

    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant 2a62d810
    M73 Desert Ejercito variant. compared to M73 Legion variant E5f1c510

    OK, so what do I know about this oddity?

    1. It came from Borsarello's collection, then to our friend Tamas, and then to me around 2007.

    2. It is pictured in Borsalrello's famous "Yellow Book" entitled "Camouflaged Uniforms of the NATO Forces", picture 83. It was published in 1989, though this one isn't dated. I purchased it in London in 1990.

    3. From side by side comparison with M-69 I can see that the printing is identical.

    4. It has the same pockets and seat reinforcement as standard M-69.

    5. There was no commercial camouflage made under Franco and I've never seen copies of Amoeba printed for maybe 20 years after the Yellow Book's picture.

    6. Manufacturing is professional through and through.


    That's about all I can say for sure.

    I'm perfectly willing to say that this oddity is commercial. However, it doesn't easily point to commercial for a couple of reasons. The primary one is that there's no other pieces of this known to anybody, as far as I know. Commercial companies tend to make enough pieces that more than one survives, not to mention an unworn example.

    Commercial stuff tends to follow current military patterns, not something from a decade or more earlier. They also look to shortcut on manufacturing costs, like velcro instead of buttons, no reinforcements, straight pockets, etc. The two things they simplified (fly and waist adjustment) would not be visible when worn with a matching jacket, but the things they did retain (pockets and rear reinforcement) would. This might be consistent with a quick prototype. The size tag doesn't make sense for either item as it is so wildly wrong. Commercial items also tend to have clear markings to promote their products as well as to satisfy legal requirements for commerce.

    My conclusion is that this is a one-off made either as a prototype or by someone who managed to secure a small amount of rejected military cloth. I do not think it is standard commercial, I also don't think it was a trials item.

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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon Feb 13, 2023 1:51 am

    ripcord wrote:I didn't really want to comment on this , but the great Borsarello got it wrong when it comes to this photo and caption.

    I forget the unofficial name for the "Camouflage Uniforms of European and NATO Armies 1945 to the Present", but it was something like "Borsarello's Bloopers and Blunders" Smile It is riddled with problems, including pictures of commercial uniforms. Like you, I excuse this because the man was breaking new ground and it is through him many of us old hands got our start. As a source of inspiration and appreciation, he's right up there with the best of the best. As a source of reliable information? AFAIK his Waffen SS research holds up very well (that was his focus, after all), but his post war information is problematic.

    Steve
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    Post by ripcord Mon Feb 13, 2023 4:28 pm

    Well, certainly can see the different base color now .

    Is fabric the same as the other M69 pieces, or more like the yellowish fabric found on the non camo side of M76s?, Or ?

    Zipper instead of buttons and back elastic panel instead of  the unique adjustment  tabs are the obvious differences .  Fabric content could be a clue.  That little size label is in metric, but looks suspicious.
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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:49 pm

    ripcord wrote:Well, certainly can see the different base color now .

    Is fabric the same as the other M69 pieces, or more like the yellowish fabric found on the non camo side of M76s?, Or ?

    Not sure what you mean. My unissued M69 and M76 sets seem to have the same style cloth and both have a yellowish underside. The cloth of the mystery trousers is the same style of cloth, but it feels a tiny bit lighter in weight. The inside is also a yellowish brown color, though not identical.

    Here's something to throw into the mix. I recently acquired an orphan set of M69 style trousers in Woodland camo. Like the mystery Amoeba type, it has an elastic waist instead of the adjustable tab style standard on other Spanish uniforms. Unlike the Amoeba trousers, it has a button fly, saw a good amount of wash/wear, and the interior of the cloth is white.

    Steve

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