World War II Mountain Uniform
During World War II, there were two unique units created for specialized warfare under mountain or arctic conditions: the 10th Mountain Division and the First Special Service Force. Specialized uniforms were developed for their use consisting of the jacket and trousers described here plus skis, snow shoes and other equipment for their ski and alpine operations mission.
Today in WW II: 21 Jan 1942 Rommel's second offensive drives the British 8th Army back almost 300 miles, halting on 4 Feb between Gazala and Bir Hacheim, 30 miles west of Tobruk, Libya.
World War II Mountain Uniform: Jacket
A special "Jacket, Mountain" was developed, derived in 1942 from the same design that became the M-1943 Field Jacket. It was a parka-type long jacket, with an integral hood that could be tucked into a pocket at the back of the neck when not in use. The front has an almost full length zipper, and four flap pockets. The top pockets had zippers while the bottom pockets had button closures. A storm flap covers the front zipper and extends to the collar which can be closed high across the throat. The sleeves have adjustment straps which can attach to one of two buttons.
Rear view of Mountain Jacket, rear pocket loaded.
The Mountain Jacket had several unique features. The back was a bellows with a long zippered left side opening that could be used to hold rations and other essentials when no pack was carried, as in combat. Internal sewn-in suspender straps could be adjusted to shift the load of the pockets and back pouch to the shoulders. The outside of the jacket, at the waist, had a tunnel for a standard web trouser belt to be inserted.
This jacket was intended to be worn over a wool sweater (or "Shirt, Knit" a special light shirt for mountian troops) and other layers of clothing, varying with the weather condtions. The poplin jacket was rain and wind resistant, made in OD #3 light shade.
Stock numbers will be in the range 55-J-544-25 to 55-J-545-90 depending on the size of the jacket.
World War II Mountain Uniform: Trousers
The "Trousers, Mountain" were made of 9 oz. OD cotten sateen same as the matching "Jacket, Mountain". The design included roomy cargo pockets and elastic foot straps to keep the cuffs down. The trousers were intended to be worn with suspenders so heavy loads could be carried in the pockets. A lightweight set of aimple drawstring overpants was provided in white fabric to be worn as camouflage in snow.
Stock numbers will be in the range 55-T-39820-29 to 55-T-39832-30 depending on the size of the trousers.
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