SAS Kit questions

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Harborne Blue
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Postby Harborne Blue » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:45 pm

Cheers lads - answers all my questions!

It's a windproof plus sand beret for when Gadge says I can get all Special Ops and a maroon beret / tin hat / warmer for when Stirling's boys weren't employed... Although I struggle to think of an Oppo in NWE where you couldn't argue for some SAS involvement... Hey, if you know we're there, we're not doing our job properly ;-)
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Postby Harborne Blue » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:56 pm

Sorry - one more question: is this http://www.replicaters.com/ww2britarmy.html where to get my suit from? Or is there somewhere better?
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Postby Gadge » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:14 pm

If you look on general discussion, latest aquisitions i've just reviewd my new windproof.

pics later
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Postby Joker » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:05 am

Gadge wrote:Joker that is awesome, mind if we copy that and sticky it in the PBI section as a guide.

If you could find some ref pics to go with your text and or put any more in I'd be over the moon

cracking stuff chap!


Not a problem to 'sticky' it. I can put you some more details in and should be able to find at least some reference pics - just need to work out how to get them into the computer as no scanner to hand - leave it with me :thumbs:
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Postby Joker » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:23 am

Harborne Blue wrote: ... I struggle to think of an Oppo in NWE where you couldn't argue for some SAS involvement... Hey, if you know we're there, we're not doing our job properly ;-)


Post-maroon beret the regiment was severely hampered by a combination of (David) Stirling's leadership being absent, a dislike/misunderstanding of what the SAS were about by High Command and 'rivalry' from the likes of SOE.
This led to mis-deployment into a 'normal' airborne role, instead of the original concept of small-scale 'lightening' strikes behind the lines, where the enemy were least expecting it. Even with 'Bullbasket', 'Houndsworth' etc., the concept was 'stretched' by the extended tours (leading to betrayals from local factions and SAS deaths). However, the point of leaving the lads 'in the barrel' was that the Germans DID know that they were there and ended up using massively disproportionate forces to try to hunt them down, tying up valuable manpower that could have been used against the Allies on other fronts.
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby fallingplate » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:54 pm

While I generally agree with a LOT of what Joker has made comment to I would take issue (in a nice way!) on a few points.

I would add firstly EVERYTHING I comment on is regarding British SAS Regts (1st & 2nd) in NW Europe 1944/45.

Head dress: When the SAS Brigade was formed and came under command of Airborne forces a directive was passed down that the MAROON beret was to be adopted by ALL ranks. By and large this was adhered to. There were odd occasions/individuals that rebelled against this order, notable ‘Originals’ from the ‘L’ Detachment days, Paddy Maine being the most famous. The point is here the MAJORITY of SAS troops wore the maroon beret.

In the field/on operations practicality became the overriding factor. Along with maroon berets popular alternatives were Cap comforters and head scarves.

The standard cap badge was an embroidered winged Excalibur and scroll bearing the motto ‘Who Dares Wins’, there was an officers variation on the same design. The Officers version being in bullion thread, but same size and impression.

I will agree the metal cap badges were never used, but would point out 21 & 22 SAS are post war incarnations and not war time Regiments.

Smocks: I agree with Joker not to get ‘hung up’ on ‘SAS windproof smocks’. The Denison smock was the most prevalent camouflaged smock worn by all SAS Regts within the brigade. Most period photos will bear this out. The ‘SAS windproof smocks’ were not in fact an SAS item, they were purely a windproof smock to be issued to any Regt if the need dictated. It is only post WWII that the item started to be termed as an SAS item. There are period photos of SAS soldiers wearing them, but it tends to be the odd one here and there. Stick with a Denison and you cannot be criticised.

Boots: Again I generally agree with these comments, however, wearing captured items of enemy clothing is a dodgy business. There is mention in a number of reference books, most notably ‘Fire From The Forrest’ of ammo boots with an SV sole (ie the ‘commando’ boot) being a standard item. In certain cases SAS patrols were traced because of the distinctive imprint left in the dirt (like nothing else in occupied Europe at the time).

Webbing: ‘Belt Kit’ was the order of the day for British SAS Regiments, the foreign SAS Regts very much wore ‘webbing’ in a more conventional sense. The basic belt kit generally consisted of a pistol holster, pistol ammo pouch and fighting knife of some description. Other items of course could be added such as compass pouch, weapon specific ammo pouches and cross braces with attachments if the load was a heavy one. The whole point of the belt kit is to keep thing light and be able to move fast when needed unencumbered, to be able to move stealthily when needed and to always be able to have it with you without too much fuss. Hence why no big full sets of 37 Patt webbing as normal line infantry Regiments. Ammunition and grenades were generally distributed in pockets, this is easy to do or imagine when you consider the standard issue weapon for the SAS, see below.

Roll buckle belts are a post war thing.

All SAS soldiers were issued with a bergan as opposed to a small/large pack. Often mentioned in reference books is an escape bag (what would now be termed a ‘snatch bag’). This was a shoulder slung (single brace) small pack or valise with basic survival items. When in hides/encampments this was kept packed and close to hand, if attacked it was grabbed and went with you while you withdrew as generally there would not be much time to pack up your normal kit. Contrary to popular belief/practise the hides/encampments used throughout France in the Summer of 1944 were fairly lax affairs, in some instances with NO security. The famous incident during Bulbasket when they were attacked by German forces, was made easier for the Germans as the SAS had mounted NO security!!! Strange but true!

Weapons: The standard side arm was the .45 Colt 1911 pistol. Later on in NW Europe the 9mm Browning did become available, however, the Colt was standard, ALL RANKS were issued one. A point about low slung holsters, this was done, but not by very many. Anyone who has tried it will quickly find out what a right royal pain in the jacksy it is too!!! The standard MAIN armament was the .30 M1 or M1AI Carbine, period. Some patrol members were issued with the odd M1928 Thompson (20rd magazine being the most prevalent as they did not cause jams as much as the 30rd version), the Bren LMG was also issued on an operational basis. Other weapons that were seen are M1/M1A1 Rocket Launchers (bazooka).

The Sykes Fairbane knife was issued to all SAS soldiers, rarely used for fighting, mainly used for opening food cans!!! The .30 M1 and M1A1 Carbine came issued with the M3 fighting knife in am M8 scabbard in lieu of a bayonet, this is seen on some belt kits in place of the S/F Knife

Although not issued to the British SAS Regiments, there is pictorial evidence of both French and Belgium SAS Regiments using/being issued with MkV Sten Machine Carbines.

All SAS soldiers working with the Maquis would have come into contact with weapons such as the Webley/Enfield pistol, Sten Machine Carbine, No4 Rifle, Bren Light Machine Gun and PIAT. On occasion they provided training to the Maquis on these weapons.

Captured weapons were also used if the opportunity arose.



A NOTE ON CAPTURE EQUIPMENT: On capture SAS soldiers were interrogated/tortured, sent to concentration camps and shot/killed, that was just for being an enemy ‘parachutist’. This was an accepted danger that went with the job, to wear ‘liberated’ enemy clothing would simply infuriated their captors and end up with a harsher time than expected, this would have been recognised by SAS soldier. That said, I totally agree that enemy weapons were used when the situation arose.

I TOTALLY AGREE with Joker that there is a LOT of variation seen in war time SAS soldier, practicality being the order of the day on operations. Bear in mind though, this variation can be used as an excuse to ‘cowboy’ it up!

This post is just meant as a supplement to existing posts and intended to help the would be SAS NW Europe impression.

A small selection of piccies of 1st & 2nd SAS Regt:

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The very naughty Paddy Maine and his sand beret!!! Note tho the other senior Officers wearing maroon berets.
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A very nice study of chris Tilling of 1 SAS and a good basis for an SAS impression.
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Bill Robinson, 2 SAS, maroon beret and denison smock.
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Cyril Radford, 2 SAS with same again and you can make out the M1 Carbine.
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WOII (CSM)'Gentleman' Jim Almonds D Sqn, 1 SAS during operation Gain posing with some troopers in a armed Jeep.
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A bunch of scary scarecrows from 2 SAS, note lots of denisons, maroon berets, belt kit. ONe chappie has decided to wear braces and a low slung holster out of the lot of them.
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Lots of Maroon berets, lots of denisons, lots of belt kit and lots of M1 Carbines from lads of 2 SAS.
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I really like this relaxed shot of John Coleman of 2 SAS, maroon beret and belt kit.
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What is interesting about this shot is there are about 7/8 windproof smocks I can make out (even one set of windproof trouser!), but out of how many soldier pictured!?! kinda puts the windproof smock level of issue thingy into context. Look at all those lovely maroon berets and belt kits without braces!

Cheers,

Andy Ansell
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Steiner » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:21 pm

Andy, thanks very much - great info, great photos.

Come on, PBI members - if this doesn't encourage you to come to Operation Haggard as 1 SAS, nothing will! :D
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Sudden_hit » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:54 pm

SAS is quite an "iffy" topic, many of the soldiers decided to stear away from the SAS "look" and tried to wear other clothing as Hitler had given orders to "execute/ kill every SAS soldier within the German lines as they were reacking havock and doing major damage to the German's supply lines etc. So you could always have some variation in there such as an airborne helmet maybe? Im not too sure what they normally used as substitutes to try and dsiguise the fact that they were SAS but yeah it doesnt have to be completely by the book, as they would not have been back then...
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Houndsworth » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:40 am

Some used to badge up as RTR..including paybook details! However Ive only ever seen this mentioned and havent got any photographic evidence. Most photos 'in the field' show maroon beret with AAC badge. A lot of 'staged' photos show maroon beret and SAS badge.

My kit list for 2 SAS is as follows

Maroon beret badged as AAC
RTR black beret
DPM scarf
Civvy Fair Isle tank top
Shirt
1st Pattern Denny
Para Trousers
Anklets
DMS boots ( for ammo boots with screw on rubber soles)

Belt kit
1 belt
1 ammo pouch
RAC holster ( I might shorten it!)
Ammo pouch
Colt 1911 with lanyard
Cross straps
M3 Trench Knife
Bergen

I might consider getting rid of the straps but looking at that photo Andy a lot of their kit is being worn at half mast!!!


Youve got to remember that they were primarily Jeep based so you dont want a load of clutter. They needed to be able to get in and out of vehicles with ease, especially if they got bumped, so no water bottles hanging off your arse.

The Don R look was very very popular with DR boots and britches being worn a lot. I occasionally wear DR britches with German jackboots...no photographic evidence for that but there is an episode where a trooper mentions his escape and his jackboots came off in the river ( luckily for him! ) A lot of soldiers and not exclusively SAS swopped weapons as soon as possible for the much prized MP40 ( see Ambrose Pegasus Bridge where they are pulling all their weapons in a large cart whilst carrying preferred German weapons!)

People get far too hung up on this subject as Ive found out!!! Remember that a lot of the SAS ops went on for months and you can imagine the state of their kit after just a few weeks. As an ex squaddie myself I try and imagine what they would have done in the field and what they would have looked like. At every single reenactment event Ive been to I have NEVER NEVER seen anyone look like theyve been on ops for months..people are far too chary of getting their expensive kit dirty...this is I suppose down to what the public want to see....a soldier straight out of the illustrated pages of osprey.

Ive given up renenacting so Im currently wearing all my kit everywhere...even my lovely dennison is now becoming worn after wearing it on fishing trips!!

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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Steiner » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:51 am

Nice kit, H. 8)

You're absolutely right about how silly pristine kit looks if you're trying to recreate an accurate picture of front-line (or behind enemy lines!) troops. Yes, kit isn't cheap, but in the 18 months I've been skirmishing in mine - and I'm talking monkey / leopard crawling across and through all sorts of terrain - finally, my first piece of kit has become too damaged to repair. My wool M42 trousers got ripped on a piece of pine branch at Bryansk - bit of a freak accident really - and without some serious (and probably fairly visible) repairs, they aren't really usable any more.

So, that's about £40-worth of damage in 18 months - worth it, in my opinion, to look a lot more authentic than a pristine shop dummy. :wink:
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Gadge » Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:15 pm

Dont give up Doog, come to Huskey with us!

I just dont wash my kit after games, it soon gets a lived in look. I air it on the line but i rarely wash it.

PD did a wicked frontline heer impression last month, he was caked in soot and muck and all his kit was worn looking. :)
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Houndsworth » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:26 pm

Im giving up reenacting to get into Airsoft mate!!!!! After my first little event at Gunman tuddenham Im hooked!!! So Ive got all me guci kit to wear just need to get me shooters..which will be

M14
Thompson
MP40
2x 1911
Short Barrelled Luger

Obviously not all to be used at the same time!!
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby AIM » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:05 pm

quick question on an od thread
Am i right in thinking that I have seen pics of WWII SAS wearing Luftwaffe Pilots Jacket ?
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby Gadge » Mon May 16, 2011 12:18 pm

There is a single picture of two guys (out of four) in one jeep at the very end of the war in luftwaffe pilot jackets posing in Germany ( I seem to recall they are also waving a nazi flag but that might be another photo).

There are more pictures though of men wearing civilian leather motoring helmets (of the 30s type) so go figure.

It's in 'Stirlings Men' IIRC.

Certainly incredibly rare/uncommon/don't touch with a bargepole territory unless you're riding around on a jeep in a late war germany scenario... about as common as British Airborne at Arnhem with M1 Carbines... :)

(by that I mean that *one* photo existes of that and they were never issued to the 1st Airborn Division but everyone uses it to try and shoehorn in a naff impression)

Useful research/reference pics here:

http://www.specialforcesroh.com/browse. ... c&catid=25
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Re: SAS Kit questions

Postby McVickers » Tue May 17, 2011 3:12 pm

chief chinthe wrote:That being said, I am about to try to get reproed some kit from 2 photos I have, both from different periods, or a 3 cell Thompson pouch for 37patt web,


Is it the rather short version of the '37 universal pouch with internal dividers and a flat flap?
If so, I found a place on the net (KarkeeWeb, mabey?) showing two examples of these, and a photo of them being used by Polish troops, if thats any help to you. Weird thing is they've only got one buckle on the top, and no belt attachments, as if they were to dangle :?
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