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Uniforms ID help, please!

Article about: Hi all! I have a photo of men of the Greek National Guard parading in my hometown. It's unfortunately undated, but I can limit the timeframe from 1947 (2nd year of the Civil War) to 1950-51.

  1. #1

    Default Uniforms ID help, please!

    Hi all!

    I have a photo of men of the Greek National Guard parading in my hometown. It's unfortunately undated, but I can limit the timeframe from 1947 (2nd year of the Civil War) to 1950-51. The National Guard was at the time an auxilliary force of armed civilians.

    That's pretty evident on their clothing, although the regular army itself presented at the time a rather non-homogenous picture concerning the issued uniforms, since the greek made BD copies were NOT yet manufactured and the clothing of the army was depending on British and US aid.

    I would be really grateful if I could get some help in IDing the pictured BDs. I guess that if the photo was taken in 1950-51 the blouse marked as "1" could be one of the first greek made copies. Could it be a British pattern 46 or 47, though?

    Now, regarding the 2 BDs marked "2". Could what the first man is wearing be a pattern 47 or 49 British made BD or even a pattern 44 US made field jacket (looking at the shape of the pocket flaps)? That's for sure not a greek made one.

    And what about the man behind? Could that be a pattern 47 or 49 blouse?

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards, Giorgos
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Uniforms ID help, please!  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    Hi Giorgos, the first blouse, No. 1, looks like a wartime US "War Aid" made British BD.

    Not sure at all about the others. The V shaped opening to the neck is very deep, which makes me think they are not British or even US.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    Hi Ade!

    Thanks for the answer! I was hoping you would chime in!

    Do you think that both mens' jackets have large collar openings? The first man, unlike the second, has at least one button open! Looking at the second man, the V closes just at the seams of the pocket flaps, which I thought was right for pat. 47 or 49?

    Regards, Giorgos

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    Hi Giorgos, yes I noticed the open button, but neither are British blouses. Collars and pockets are wrong. If I was forced to guess, I would say it might be a US Ike jacket.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    I was leaning towards the direction of a US Ike jacket, too, it seems plausible! Looking at period photos, even the regular army was dressed in an awful mix at that time, reminding in a way of the uniform chaos of the Germans during the last stages of the war!

    Thaks again for the reply! I really appreciate it!

    Regards, Giorgos

  6. #6

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    Well, found some info on the National Guard in a book I am currently reading about the Civil War. This info explains something that was strange for me and till I had it cleared up I hesitated in sharing one point, since I had not enough details even in a matter of family history: The man in the first line, with the open jacket is my grandfather, whose discharge paper I posted here:

    It looked like my grandfather switched sides during the civil war, which was pretty unexplainable for me, looking at his later life, when he nearly risked arrest and exile.

    So, here's what I found out: After the first large scale operations of the National Army against the forces of the Democratic Army (communists) in 1947, codenamed "Terminus", it was evident that its forces were being stretched thin, leaving large gaps between the advancing columns, something that gave the opportunity to the partisans to flee to the back of the advancing formations, escaping encirclement. So, although the basic plan was sweeping the country from South to North, pushing the partisans to the border, they would appear again in areas which had supposedely been "cleared out". That occupied a large number of combat units in guard duties, making them unavailable for operations.

    So, in 1947, the National Guard was formed with the support of the US. The US would equip 20.000 men (so the jackets worn could be US made ones) and the Greek government 20.000 more, constituting a force of 100 batallions. They were to take up guard duties and provide support to the regular formations according to the plans.

    Here's what I was missing: Although the first formations of such type in first post-war years were created in a voluntary basis, the National Guard was manned by recruits, called back from the reserve. These men needed no basic training, since they had already taken it and what is interesting is that the recruiting policy served another purpose, too: Since the reinstituted authorities had lost contact with these men, able to carry weapons during the Occupation years, some of them were suspect of having been members of ELAS or other partisan formations. That way, they kept them to the side of the government during these years. It looks like it was spot on and that it worked with my grandfather at that time, but there have been cases that these men just handed over their weapons to the Democratic Army and joined its ranks when they had the chance.

    It's a pitty that my grandfather passed away when I was just 2 years old and since he was not talking about his experiences with the other family members, much info has been lost. I have to follow leads of items left by him and research to find out the answers of what he has been doing during these years...

    Regards, Giorgos

  7. #7

    Default Re: Uniforms ID help, please!

    number one is a British Army US made War Aid & wartime manufacture battledress jacket...the number two is a typical US ARMY IKE' JACKET...You can see greek made battledress copy jackets with markings as early as 1949...i dont recall if i'v ever seen a greek made 1947 dated one but i dont think so...i think the Greek 1949s are the oldest...

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