I picked up an interesting children’s book at a yard sale-it was by a Colonel Brown (USA Ret.), entitled “Modernizing Our Army”. It is a picture book, written for 5th grade boys, with a description of the US Army as it was in 1940. What I found interesting…it depicts a USA infantryman, rushing into battel with his standard issue WWI helmet (Britsh pot-style), and wearing a NECKTIE (tucked in to his shirt-no doubt to avoid stains. My question: when did the US Army cease this practice? I know the khaki field uniform went out in mid-1942…but I think wearing a necktie into battle is pretty classy…maybe we could advise the Army to revive this practice?
Bad idea, a necktie can get caught on things or an enemy could grab it and choke you. One of the reasons soldiers have short hair and no beards is to give a foe less to grab on to.
Neckties have never been worn as part of a combat uniform, as far as I know. Also, BDUs only came out in the early '80s.
I know the Marine Corps is sporting a new type of BDU. The color pattern is computer designed. If you look closely at it, you can see that all the colors are set up in tiny squares, just like a digital camera.
Uh, what’s a BDU? Anything like BVDs?
Battle Dress Uniform. Standard camo fatigues meant for use in the field.
Didn’t Patton require his troops to wear ties?
What’s next, tuxedo fatigues?
I see you’ve been watching The History Channel’s Mail Call, too.
(I like the way they subtley worked the globe and anchor into the pattern.)
Actually, I’ve seen them up close on my job. I work with a bunch of Marines out here in California. Those new style BDUs are pretty cool.
Everything the Marine Corps does is pretty cool, compared to the other services.
The Army combat unifrom in World War One included a wool tunic with a stand-up (“choke”) collar. For fatigue duty (digging ditches and collecting trash) soldiers wore blue denim coveralls.
The wool uniform was unsuitable for tropical duty in the Philippines, where the cotton twill khaki shirt first appeared. It spread through the entire Army gradually, as the mountain of WW1 surplus was ussed up.
By the 1930’s, khaki shirts, with ties, were standard uniform, and long trousers relpaced the old breeches with laces on the shins. In the Army, the tie was tucked into the front of the shirt, while the Marines insisted the tie be made exactly even on the shirt front. Ties were not worn in the field.
The blue dungaree fatigue informs of WW1 were replaced with olive drab herringbone fatigues. Troops found them more practical for combat than the khaki unforms, and so that was what was worn in World War Two.
For cold weather, the Army replaced the long wool overcoat with the M1941 Olive Drab Field Jacket, with knit collar, cuffs and waist. Later upgrades included removable layers so soldiers could adapt it to the climate.
Another factor that spelled the replacement of khaki with olive drab inthe American Army was the fact that our chemists could never come up with a khaki dye that resisted fading, while the English did. So the English army stayed in brown long after the USA became the “the big green machine.”
Seems casually dressed for the day. Most soldiers in the 1940s wore three-piece suits and fedoras into battle. Dress back then was much more formal; remember those old images of suited-up men at the Polo Grounds or Ebbets Field on 100-degree days?