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Allenby
(@allenby)
Noble Member

You can't go wrong with most British and U.S Camo kit issued during the Second World War, though a lot of it was tailored 'in country' to individual needs. The frogskin camo jackets and British sausage skin (camo windproof) trousers seemed a popular combination but there was tremendous variation amongst units. Some German splinter camo saw use.

A lot of the French webbing items didn't see use until late in the war and really aren't essential. I've got the French TAP 50/52 Lizards but these weren't in use until Dien Bien Phu in significant quantities.

The M47 jackets turn up a lot online and are cheap. Most of these are stocks that would have seen more use in Algeria and had draw strings inside, the colour's off as well from the Indochina version but honestly the differences are slight and we're not going for re-enactor standard here with a first event. The WW2 attitude of friendliness and good sportsmanship are the things that are absolutely essential. :)

Your WW2 kit as is is almost certainly fine in motley combinations.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 12:22 am
Rolf
 Rolf
(@rolf)
Trusted Member

I'm thinking of going with a USMC P44 frogskin jacket/shirt (Spearhead Militaria do a repro for about £29, but it's out of stock at the moment ), US HBT trousers, a mix of French and US webbing and either a French M51, Yankee M1 helmet or tan wide brimmed hat.

I don't think I've seen any pictures showing legionnaires wearing Belgian camo Rolf, whilst I wouldn't completely rule it out it doesn't sound very likely, considering it would have been fairly new to the Belgians at the time. Are you sure they weren't custom tailored British windproofs?

Would be handy though because I have a couple of pairs of Belgian trousers, but I'd like to see some pictorial evidence first.

From pictures I've seen, the Denison wasn't too common (probably due to the climate), but they were definitely there, lizards and frogskin camo seem to be the most prevalent camo patterns though.

Also quite looking forward to putting a Viet Minh impression together, gonna have to shop around for a plain tan/light green, cotton shirt.

I'll probably use my Sten Mk2 for both impressions, unless someone releases an AEG M1 carbine anytime soon, but I won't hold my breath...

Hi Moss, Yes, I should have said that the Belgian Camo may be a good substitute for the British wind proofs, as they are very similar in pattern. I've seen a few guys use them for indo-china war impressions. However, having said that, the pattern I am thinking of was actually in service (with the Belgian army at least) from late 1940's to early '50's, so reasonably plausible that the legion may have used these as well as the British wind proofs...
I did a quick search and found this picture... they could be either pattern really, but it looks to me like the pockets on both thighs indicate that they are more likely Belgian trousers, as opposed to the one pocket found on the front left thigh that the wind proof's have, but as you rightly say, many 'field modifications' were made....

https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/318911217343332499/

I'd be interested to hear what you think on the photo.

.... I Hate ALL officers....

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Posted : 24/04/2016 6:31 pm
BootedFeet
(@bootedfeet)
Honorable Member

I would like o point out at this juncture that the Belgian windproof trousers were made in both the older 40's(?) blob pattern and the later brushstroke pattern that you see on the Congo smocks,

Early

Late

Wether or not the distinction bothers you or not it down to you but I suspect the earlier type would actually be pretty plausible, don't quote me on that though.

I've fired a bullet on every continent. Nearly hit someone, too.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 6:52 pm
Allenby
(@allenby)
Noble Member

If there was ANY Belgian camo in use in Indochina it was rocking horse shit rare. The 'Moon and Balls' variant didn't enter service until 1952 and the French by that time were starting to churn out their own Lizard pattern. You're more likely to see German Oak Leaf camo than Belgian.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 7:07 pm
BootedFeet
(@bootedfeet)
Honorable Member

If there was ANY Belgian camo in use in Indochina it was rocking horse shit rare. The 'Moon and Balls' variant didn't enter service until 1952 and the French by that time were starting to churn out their own Lizard pattern. You're more likely to see German Oak Leaf camo than Belgian.

Well there you have it gents, I'll defer to Gareth here :)

I've fired a bullet on every continent. Nearly hit someone, too.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 7:15 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

Rolf in the picture you linked I would say that they are definitely British windproofs that have been tailored, the camo pattern is instantly recognisable. Also Belgian trousers don't have two cargo pockets, just the one on the left thigh (as in the pictures Mr BootedFeet kindly posted above).

As you said though, I've seen quite a few pics of reenactors and airsofters wearing them in lieu of legit windproofs.

The older moon and balls pattern first appeared in '52 and the later brushstroke pattern came about in '54 (according to camopedia, which is a brilliant and credible resource) so I'd say that it's most likely completely impossible that they were used by the French in Indochina*, as most Belgian units probably didn't get them for a little while. It'd make no sense for them to give away their latest issue kit, especially seen as the Belgians were in the same boat as the French, militarily speaking.

I suppose there's the miniscule chance that they could have been privately purchased, but that is really and truly clutching at straws. They're a decent substitute for windproofs if they're all you have though.

*Ah bugger, beaten to the post by Gareth.

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Posted : 24/04/2016 7:28 pm
Rolf
 Rolf
(@rolf)
Trusted Member

A ha, I see.
Yes, I know of camopedia. There is an even earlier Belgian pattern there, based on the British denison... Given that the French army of that era used whatever they could get their hands on, in my humble opinion, just about any era correct camo could likely have been used.
Anyway, sorry for the confusion, only meant to suggest that the Belgian camo might be a cheaper or more available alternative to the wind proofs... Maybe should have said that in my earlier post...

.... I Hate ALL officers....

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Posted : 24/04/2016 7:38 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

The earlier pattern is very different to the later patterns used by the Belgians. Again, seen as the Belgians were in the same situation as the French in terms of military supply, it's highly unlikely they'd have given away the only camo pattern available to their commando and airborne troops at the time. There was another pattern used primarily by their commando units, but it seems to have only seen use in Korea.

No worries though, just thought I should clarify to make it clear to anyone who uses this thread for reference in the future.

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Posted : 24/04/2016 8:26 pm
Rolf
 Rolf
(@rolf)
Trusted Member

Yes, of course.
As for me, I have my FFL impression pretty sorted anyway....

.... I Hate ALL officers....

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Posted : 24/04/2016 8:39 pm
Allenby
(@allenby)
Noble Member

The earlier pattern is very different to the later patterns used by the Belgians. Again, seen as the Belgians were in the same situation as the French in terms of military supply, it's highly unlikely they'd have given away the only camo pattern available to their commando and airborne troops at the time. There was another pattern used primarily by their commando units, but it seems to have only seen use in Korea.

No worries though, just thought I should clarify to make it clear to anyone who uses this thread for reference in the future.

Spot on.

Also for those who've ever owned French kit of the period, it's pretty bloody good. Superbly made, very robust. The TAP kit was years ahead of its time, arguably the best stuff available until British 60 Pattern showed up. Using anything else with that available in quantity would have been a downgrade; by at least 53' they'd started to get decent quantities of it after the Metropolitan army had been equipped.

Mind you on the subject of Windproofs, it's a testimony to their quality that units retained them in Indochina until the end of the war, then on into Algeria.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 9:08 pm
Rolf
 Rolf
(@rolf)
Trusted Member

Agree with you there Allenby, although I tend to wear the repro lizards, my original set is pretty sturdy...
Managed to get most of my Tap50 in unissued condition. Great stuff, but agree again with regards to the British '58 pattern I assume you mean?

.... I Hate ALL officers....

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Posted : 24/04/2016 9:31 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

I think he might mean the British '60 pattern clothing, which from what I've heard is quality kit. Basically the same as the DPM 68 pattern kit, but plain green.

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Posted : 24/04/2016 9:43 pm
Rolf
 Rolf
(@rolf)
Trusted Member

And very hard to find!! Not to mention expensive when you do!! One minor difference between the Two, no sleeve pocket on the 60 pattern...
Having said that, I found a pair of 60 Pat trousers in a charity shop, mint condition for a fiver... shame they are way too big for me. An investment for the future maybe.

.... I Hate ALL officers....

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Posted : 24/04/2016 9:53 pm
Allenby
(@allenby)
Noble Member

I think he might mean the British '60 pattern clothing, which from what I've heard is quality kit. Basically the same as the DPM 68 pattern kit, but plain green.

Yep, the 60 pattern came from a time when quality was the first and foremost consideration. Like the TAP stuff, it's built to last.



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Posted : 24/04/2016 11:11 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

Yeah I've only seen trousers for sale in decent sizes and they do command a high price. Shame really, I quite like the look of plain green in a British style cut.

It's a shame kit isn't made like it used to be, although for the more popular bits very good quality repros can be had, but they tend to be pricey.

I'm going to try and build up my French Indochina kit over the summer, so hopefully by next year I'll have a decent impression to get to games with. I'll also be putting a Viet Minh impression together, as it can be done well on the cheap, which is always great.

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Posted : 24/04/2016 11:17 pm
Granger
(@granger)
Noble Member

Same here Moss. I'm really liking the usmc camo shirt and british windproof trousers combination.

Just torn about which uniforms to buy. There's too many options! I should probably be sensible and get some gear that I can wear for other games too. At least the windproofs I could use with my Brit kit so I'm thinking I might just get a full set and wear with tap50 webbing and an m51 helmet.

I'm sure I read somewhere that windproofs were worn in Algeria too so if that's true then I'm sorted for that too.

Regards,

Ralph

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Topic starter Posted : 25/04/2016 8:27 am
Allenby
(@allenby)
Noble Member

There's a suggested kit list on the group page, mate. Steve wrote one up and it's about as comprehensive as there is. As you said, just base it around your existing WW2 kit and you really can't go wrong.



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Posted : 25/04/2016 9:00 am
cjw957
(@cjw957)
Famed Member

as Gareth has said there is a kit guide on the group page and thats what we are using for the games :)




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Posted : 25/04/2016 9:02 am
Granger
(@granger)
Noble Member

There's a suggested kit list on the group page, mate. Steve wrote one up and it's about as comprehensive as there is. As you said, just base it around your existing WW2 kit and you really can't go wrong.

I did have a look at that but Facebook told me I couldn't view it for some reason :(

Regards,

Ralph

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Topic starter Posted : 25/04/2016 9:11 am
cjw957
(@cjw957)
Famed Member

There's a suggested kit list on the group page, mate. Steve wrote one up and it's about as comprehensive as there is. As you said, just base it around your existing WW2 kit and you really can't go wrong.

I did have a look at that but Facebook told me I couldn't view it for some reason :(

yer your bank account requested we block you




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Posted : 25/04/2016 9:16 am
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