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Berets

Article about: Hello, I have seen some blue berets associated with Polish uniforms.Is there any significance to these colours or are they a collector affection?Also are the 4 piece Gelfer made pieces the o

  1. #1
    gnashernz
    ?

    Default Berets

    Hello,
    I have seen some blue berets associated with Polish uniforms.Is there any significance to these colours or are they a collector affection?Also are the 4 piece Gelfer made pieces the ones used or something else?(BTW,I dont mean the grey airborne ones)
    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2

    Default Re: Berets

    Quote by gnashernz View Post
    Hello,
    I have seen some blue berets associated with Polish uniforms. Is there any significance to these colours or are they a collector affection? Also are the 4 piece Gelfer made pieces the ones used or something else?(BTW,I dont mean the grey airborne ones)
    Thanks,
    Paul
    Hello Paul and welcome to the forum,

    The Polish Armed Forces in the West did use blue berets. These were found in the armoured corps and also infantry units. They were a very dark navy blue, almost appearing black.

    The “granatowe” navy blue beret was approved for use by infantry units attached to the 1st Corps in the spring of 1945. In 1946 these dark blue berets were introduced to the infantry units of the 2nd Corps just before departure to the UK. Units of the 16th Pomorska Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Warsaw Armoured Division were issued with black berets, typical for all the armoured regiments.

    Other beret colours were the standard khaki green for army units, dark green by the commandos, and of course grey by the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade.

    Single and multi-piece (such as Gelfer 2nd pattern) berets were used along with the General Service caps, the latter not being very popular with the Poles.

    Pictured below for comparison are a navy blue and a black beret, both one piece construction. As you can see, the colours are difficult to differentiate. The one I have pictured on the red background is the blue one. For good measure I also included a pic of one of the 'unpopular' GS caps (Lieutenant 2nd Corps).

    The blue beret is a private purchase with officer grade bullion thread eagle and rank star denoting 2nd Lieutenant. The black one is also a one piece, made by British Beret Basque Ltd, dated 1944. This one belonged to 2nd Lt. Antoni Kos of the 1st Anti Tank Artillery Regiment, 1 Polish Armoured Division.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3
    gnashernz
    ?

    Default Re: Berets

    Hello Tony,
    Sorry I have not got back sooner-work has me in some areas that do not have good internet connection.
    Thanks for the information and the pictures of your berets.Awesome collection,love all the variation found with Polish uniforms,
    Cheers,
    Paul

  4. #4

    Default

    Hello,
    I would like to share with you my WW2 Dark blue Gelfer beret. Please find attached pics. Its 1944 without eagle to the front. As Tony mentioned where used by the Polish Forces. By the way thank you Tony for the information regarding dark blue berets used by Poles and thank you Paul for the interesting thread.
    Just wondering if only Polish Army in Exile used dark blue Gelfer berets? Thank you
    Regards
    Alex S
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  5. #5

    Default

    Hello Alex, and thanks for sharing your Gelfer 2nd Pattern. Very good condition, suggesting that is might be unissued which is not unusual with the smaller sized berets. Re. your question about the use of these berets outside the Polish Army in Exile try posting your question here: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/cloth-...estern-allies/

    Also, seeing that this old dormant thread has been resuscitated it's been given temporary Sticky status to hopefully get some other berets posted from member's collections or otherwise. To get things started is this photo from one of the Zawistowski series of hat eagle books. The caption translates to "berets in the 'locker room' during a visit by General Anders to the 2nd Warsaw Armoured Division in 1944". Wonder where these are today . . .

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    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  6. #6

    Default

    While on the topic of dark blue berets, here is the one that belonged to General Bronisław Duch. I'm not quite certain where this photo was taken but possibly the Sikorski Museum in London:

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    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  7. #7

    Default

    Dear Tony,

    Thank you for your prompt response. I wish to have Gelfer beret with Polish Eagle, maybe someday. Amazing can't say enough wonderful things about General Bronislaw Duch beret. It's like touch of history. Brilliant!!
    Regards
    Alex S

  8. #8

    Default

    Hello Alex, and you're most welcome. Yes, that the Duch beret is special goes without saying. It's wonderful to see items such as these having survived.

    Here's my Gelfer. This 2nd Pattern belonged to ppor. Wojciech Skurjat of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade. Skurjat jumped into Driel during Market Garden Sept. 21, 1944. The Wm. Scully (Montreal) made eagle had been stitched on, presumably by Skurjat, to remedy the broken fastening blades. Scully eagles are known for their fragile blades.

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    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  9. #9

    Default

    Hello Tony,

    Thank you for sharing your historic Gelfer 2nd pattern beret. Have you ever seen some late war khaki Kangol Wear Limited beret associated with 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade? or maybe some of the forum members have seen? Thank you
    Regards
    Alex S

  10. #10

    Default

    Hello,

    Here's my 1945 Kangol Wear Limited belonged to soldier of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade.

    Regards
    Alex S
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