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Osprey Men-at-Arms 112 : British Battledress 1937-1961
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Osprey Men-at-Arms 112 : British Battledress 1937-1961

At the end of the 1930s more than a few British Army Drill Sergeants must have suffered nightmares after the announcement of a new uniform for the British soldier. Traditional methods are sacred to such men, and their professional world was already shaken by a flood of civilians in uniform and by Mr Hoare Belisha's new barracks. Now they had to accommodate their professional standards to a uniform which resembled a mechanic's overalls, with a huge pocket on the front of the left thigh just where there ought to be a razor-edged crease, and without even any buttons which would take a shine. It is sadly true that many who wore battledress showed a striking resemblance to an animated sack of potatoes. Those with long backs found it impossible to keep the two parts together whenever they had to bend over, this manoeuvre being attended by a pinging of buttons and a rapid cooling of the area above the kidneys. But with all its faults, battledress served its purpose well. It clothed the servicemen of many nations, at war and at peace, for more than 25 years, and did so with reasonable warmth and convenience. Brian Jewell, tells the story of the humble British battledress from 1937-61 accompanied by numerous photographs and eight full page colour plates by Mike Chappell.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • The Arrival of Battledress
  • Evolution in Design
  • Materials and Sizes
  • Departures from Basic
  • Applied Insignia
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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