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"Difference between US Airborne and Regular Infantry Uniforms" Topic

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JJMicromegas23 Nov 2012 6:57 p.m. PST


I was looking on the Artizan website for uniform guides of the US Infantry and Airborne, it seems as though they are fairly similar other than the fact that the airborne have one color for the entire uniform and regular infantry have the khaki pants.

I am aware that other differences would include the insignia, but I am wondering whether in 15mm this you would notice a big difference between the two?

Thanks in advance, I hope this post isn't sacrilige.

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2012 8:45 p.m. PST

The airborne had boots and the regular infantry had leggings (that is why they are called 'legs.' The airborne also had a different chin strap for the helmet and had paratrooper gloves. Most also carried the .45 cal pistol in addition to their long-arm. Sometime prior to Normandy, heavy olive drab canvas was used to make elbow and knee patches, and reinforce the edges of the cargo pockets on the M1942 Paratrooper Jacket/Pants.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2012 9:15 p.m. PST

For D Day, the US Airborne wear a khaki. By Markegarden they are in Olive Drab

thosmoss24 Nov 2012 8:25 a.m. PST

Cargo pockets, especially on the legs, were enlarged for Airborne and more frequently stuffed full. So the baggy pants above the high boots gave them a distinctive look.

Legion 425 Nov 2012 8:45 a.m. PST

The Airborne had a 4 pocket tunic, reminded me of a bush coat and baggy trousers with cargo pockets on the thighs … The old Vietnam era US Jungle Fatigues were very much the same design, and later the US Cold War era BDUs … Very functional, I liked them both … Watch Band Of Brothers, you get a good idea of both Airborne and Leg Infantry uniforms … From Normandy to the end of the war. The Airborne were later issued a different style coat, much like the M65(IIRC)worn in '60s-'80s. I think it was issued after the Holland drops, or later. But some still wore the older tunics as well. Again, you see it all in BoB …

JJMicromegas25 Nov 2012 10:57 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the detailed responses, the intention behind my question was that I am planning on picking up some US troops for Normandy in 15mm and I am wondering if I need to paint Airborne and Infantry separately. It seems like a lot of the details aren't something that would show up in 15mm and in terms of color schemes there was sufficient overlap in the uniforms (at least prior to Market Garden).

It comes down to how accurate I want to be I guess.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2012 7:17 a.m. PST

For Operation Market Garden and beyond the Airborne had switched to the M1943 field jacket and trousers in an attempt by the Army to standardize uniforms. Cargo pockets were added to the airborne trousers. The M1942 suit, which they dropped with at Normandy, had been withdrawn and it would be extremely rare to see a US Airborne soldier still in it from Market Garden on. One major criticism of the M1942 was it wasnt warm enough so that alone would prompt any still with the older uniform to switch in the Fall of 44.

Alberic Inactive Member26 Nov 2012 3:55 p.m. PST


Airborne uniform, Normandy:


Infantry uniform, Normandy:

Yes, the differences in uniforms do show in 15mm with well sculpted minis.

Hope this helps.

Salutations du Canada,

wingleader35603 Dec 2012 7:10 a.m. PST



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