My Commando uniform

richardtl
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My Commando uniform

Postby richardtl » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:54 am

With us trying to start WWII airsoft in South Africa, this is my take on a Commando Officer uniform.

I will use '49 BD's, as our bush and brush is quite hard on clothing.

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The comforter is a postwar dutch one, but is suprisingly brown (as I thought they would be more green-I have a post war SA one which was very green).

The BD's are '49.

The shirt is a SOF repro (I have an early SA army Khaki one I will use in games). The tie is my actual one fro being an officer in the SA army (we wore the same tie then).

The webbing is my WWII webbing, which I may still Blancho. I have used my belt mounted lanyard fitted to my Bell M1911A

The Bergen is a WWII item, it is a bit rough but still useable.

The toggle is my old SA army one, the toggle itself is period incorrect.

The Jerkin is a rough post war one.

The gaiters are '60's SA army. The cut and buckles placement are slightly different. I have some mint Belgan post war ones (will use these for reenacting only though)

The boots are 50 & 60 SA Army boots, which uppers are a splitting image of WWII oficers boots, i've seen on SOF; but with rubber soles. I'm not sure if commando officers wore the tan coloured boots. I have some WWII hobnail boots but will not wear these to play. I may infact wear '80 dark brown SA army boots to play in to save both these other pairs. The gaiters will cover the top part of the boots.

I have a King's cross RM beret badge, bought locally for R20 and am awaiting a green beret from SOF (which was on a GBP4 special).

I also have a net sarf to wear, ex SA army. This however is only OD brown without the green camo. I see Ebairsoft have a green and brown camo veil which looks the part.

Not shown are my Lewis gun pouches which I may attach to the straps of the Bergen for my Cybergun Thompson drum mags.
Also I have a M1928 Thompson with drum mags and unfortunately 30 round MAG mags.

I did consider wearing the webbing in an officer load out with the extra Bren mags around the neck.

I'm considering some RM commando flashes and the tombstone combined Ops badges
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dadio
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby dadio » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:11 am

looking good,what part of SA are you in ,just wondering what the climate is like because i find the wool bd pretty warm here in the UK in summer
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richardtl
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby richardtl » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:13 pm

Dadio, I'm inland in the highveld in Gauteng Province, the old Transvaal. I stay in a town called Vereeniging, funnily the most coldest place in the area. At present it is winter and I took photo late at night, at about -1 centigrade. In midday and playing I think you will get a bit warm.
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby Ramsay00105 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:35 pm

Looks like a good Airsoft impression.
In regard to Re-Enacting as well. Is there a reason for you doing RM Commando rather than Army Commando?

The brown boots look fine. The commando's had Boots SV which were ammo boots with Rubber sole screwed on with the Vibram "Commando" pattern. So Officers' boots with rubber soles should be OK.

For Web equipment the whole range from unblancoed, to green, white and black seem to have been used by various units on operations. You will need to research a unit and operation to get to a decision.

On operations shoulder titles and Combined Ops badges not usually worn. Rank insignia which can be cloth on Khaki backing was sometimes worn.

For Army and RM the green beret is worn. For an RM officer you will need to source the Bronze two piece cap badge which is rare and expensive. For an army officer they could wear the badge of their original unit or the dagger special service cab badge. This again varies by unit and individual so is up to you to research.

As for weaponry the 1928 Thompson is fine. My managers father was a Commando. A Navy diver who was told by his OC that he has "volunteered" for the Army Commando's. He mainly carried a Thompson with drum magazines for the first two years of the war. He served later in the Med and recalls mainly carrying an MP40 and a Luger in that period!
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richardtl
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby richardtl » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:45 pm

Ramsay00105 wrote:In regard to Re-Enacting as well. Is there a reason for you doing RM Commando rather than Army Commando?

On operations shoulder titles and Combined Ops badges not usually worn. Rank insignia which can be cloth on Khaki backing was sometimes worn.

For Army and RM the green beret is worn. For an RM officer you will need to source the Bronze two piece cap badge which is rare and expensive. For an army officer they could wear the badge of their original unit or the dagger special service cab badge. This again varies by unit and individual so is up to you to research.


Hi Ramsay

Thanks for the guidance and tips. I appreciate it.

Always wanted to be a RM, though your pointers on the badge may give me a bit of a different view, though I do have 2 Kings Crown RM badges. I'll have to see what I can find locally.

For the rank, would I use the Khaki type "slip on's", similar to what I would use with my LRDG kit? I have a few pairs of those.
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby Ramsay00105 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:11 pm

Typically the Stars and Crowns of rank are seen sewn directly onto the Wool BD epaulettes. The slip on rank slides are used on KD due to the frequency of laundering.
I have used slip on rank slides in Airsoft as it makes changing rank for games easier. For re-enactment sewn on rank or no rank insignia would be the way to go.
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richardtl
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby richardtl » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:54 pm

Were the solid brass type pip used and attached to the epaulettes in place of the cloth type. The reason I ask is I have few blackened and gilded type brass pips.
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby Ramsay00105 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:50 pm

I have seen written information that RM Commando officers did sometimes use bronze pips (stars) and crowns on the BD epaulettes. I have not seen photographs nor know how common it was.
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby Yith » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:46 pm

richardtl wrote:Were the solid brass type pip used and attached to the epaulettes in place of the cloth type. The reason I ask is I have few blackened and gilded type brass pips.


Normally these were only used on Service Dress.

However as Ramsay says, there were "weirdos" about everywhere. ;)
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Re: My Commando uniform

Postby Gadge » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:17 pm

While i'm a great beleiver in 'portraying the norm'.. yith it right in that you see an incredible variation of kit, particularly among officers.

Western Desert veterans were notorious for being lax with kit standards and officers particularly so as they brought the informal dress of the med back to europe with them.

Its only one annecdotal account but somewhere I have someones diary account of being greated by his new platoon leader in Normandy (his 4th in about a fortnight as officer casualties were enormous)...

He states the only issue kit the chap was wearing was his 37 pattern belt and holster and the rank pips sewed directly onto a civvy wooly jumper... IIRC he was also wearing brown corduroy trousers and shoes...

Clearly a mad example but it happened...
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