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P37 and P40 uniforms

Article about: I'm slowly learning about the uniforms worn by the Brits in ww2, and hadn't really paid attention to the differences until I put some pictures side by side. Were the P37 uniforms worn mainly

  1. #1

    Default P37 and P40 uniforms

    I'm slowly learning about the uniforms worn by the Brits in ww2, and hadn't really paid attention to the differences until I put some pictures side by side. Were the P37 uniforms worn mainly by the Home Guard? or were they handed down after the P40 uniforms came out? I want to put together a manequin, of a Tommy, but have to stay in a budget, but am not quite sure what time frame to pursue. I know the Dutch, the Danes and the Greeks all copied British kit, and have a Danish P37 belt, small pack. How close were they copied? I want to use these pieces to stand in until I can get the rest of the actual pieces.
    Sorry, I'm rambling, if I was going for Italy say, 1943-44, would a P37 uniform be ok? or would they all be wearing P40? or would it be a light weight version?
    I'm just asking here quick, there's an auction for a Greek copy of a P37 jacket I'm hoping stays around 25 dollars, and a repro of a summer weight P40 that's 70. The seller is saying that the repro was something that would have been worn in Italy, I know how sellers can be sometimes. I found an original I like, but it's already 60 with a couple days to go yet, and it being original, I wouldn't want to add any patches as it has none right now. Or would I be better off looking for a tropical type shirt, like what would have been worn in the desert? I know I have to read more, I was just hoping for a nudge in one direction or another. Thank you

    Paul

    The Greek copy
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    The repro
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    The original
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  2. #2

    Default Re: P37 and P40 uniforms

    Wow, that's a lot of questions in a small space Maybe I can answer a few of them.

    Quote by Stinkpotpete View Post
    Were the P37 uniforms worn mainly by the Home Guard? or were they handed down after the P40 uniforms came out?
    The answer to that is "no" and "no"

    There was never any changeover from 37 to 40 Pattern, and in terms of how the British Army viewed it, there wasn't really a 37 or 40 Pattern. Battledress Blouses and Trousers were just issued, regardless of pattern. When they wore out, they were replaced. The specifications of Battledress changed gradually from 1938 to 1943, which, for the blouses, I laid out in another post: Clarification of British uniforms (UK, no Canada, Australia, India, etc., just UK)

    The reason for the Home Guard being always seen in 1937 BD, is because they didn't wear them out as quickly as the regular army. In many cases blouses and trousers of mixed pattern were worn, creating what was termed the 'sports jacket and flannels effect', that is, a mismatched jacket and pants.

    Quote by Stinkpotpete View Post
    Sorry, I'm rambling, if I was going for Italy say, 1943-44, would a P37 uniform be ok? or would they all be wearing P40? or would it be a light weight version?
    All of the above. The clothing in Italy varied a lot, troops wore wool Battledress Blouses and Trousers, Khaki Drill shirts, shorts and Bush Jackets, and all these seem to have been 'mixed and matched' throughout the campaign. There wasn't really a lightweight version of BD issued, that I am aware of, however, troops did wear the "Overalls, Denim" as a light uniform, and perhaps this is what the dealer was referring to? There were KD and JG versions of BD, but these were mostly Far East theatre items.

    What was very common in Italy was the use of American-made 'War Aid' clothing, that is, British uniforms made in the US, which included Battledress and KD Bush Jackets for certain, and maybe other garments as well. I have even seen a picture of a Canadian soldier in Italy wearing War Aid BD, and they almost never wore anyone else's BD.

    Rob

  3. #3

    Default Re: P37 and P40 uniforms

    Here are some examples of clothing in Italy (these are technically Canadian pictures, but illustrate the point well):

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    Full Battledress

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    Denim Overalls

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    KD shirt and BD Trousers

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    Mixture of clothing including KD Bush Jacket and KD Trousers on the left man, and a mix of wool shirts, KD shirts, and KD and BD Trousers on the rest

    Rob

  4. #4

    Default Re: P37 and P40 uniforms

    Those are great pictures, and great info, on both posts thank you very much. so now my bits n bobs will all fit nicely together and they can all get along lol

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