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"WWI US figs" Topic

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Pvt Snuffy09 Dec 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

What are the differences in appearance between US forces and British forces in the 1918 campaigns [if any].

It seems like the US mostly used British gear or made British gear to Brit standards. US Colored Troops apparently wore French gear.

In 10-15mm are the figures pretty much interchangeable?

thanks for thoughts!

Bernhard09 Dec 2018 8:25 a.m. PST

With the exceptions of two divisions which served alongside the British the US used French armaments. British equipment but French guns. The only US arms carried would have been the .45. For 15 mm, the only thing you may have to do is modify the Lewis gun or you could just assume they Belonged to one of the division's serving alongside the British. I believe that possibly the artillery and definitively the tanks were French regardless.

Pvt Snuffy09 Dec 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

Bernhard, thanks for reply. A little confused, but I think you're saying that the US used:

- British clothing and web equipment
- French weapons
- French Tanks
- French artillery

So in essence they would look British except for the rifles, LMGs, etc.

William Warner09 Dec 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

Actually most AEF troops were armed with the 1903 and 1917 Springfield rifle, cal.30. The two divisions that served with the British did use British arms, but the majority used the .03 Springfield along with French machine guns, artillery and tanks.

Cerdic09 Dec 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

The US used their own uniform and webbing.

The overall appearance was similar to British troops helped by the fact that they both used the same tin hat. Both armies also used shades of khaki, in contrast to the French and Germans.

The American jacket was similar in cut to the British, but it's when you get to the legs you see the differences! The US trousers/pants were of a baggier, jodhpur-type cut, and instead of puttees Americans wore long gaitor/legging things.

William Warner09 Dec 2018 5:44 p.m. PST

The AEF did wear leggings at first; you see them in many photos of training camps and of newly arrived units in Europe. However they proved impractical in the muddy trenches, so units in the field switched to woolen puttees. By 1918 virtually all of the armies in Europe wore puttees.

BW195909 Dec 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

U.S. Colored troops wore French helmets and fought under French command. So would probably look more like French troops

Old Contemptibles09 Dec 2018 9:01 p.m. PST

USMC uniforms were initially Forest Green. It is different from the Army uniform and hard to replicate.

Martin Rapier10 Dec 2018 12:27 a.m. PST

In 10 or 15mm you only need to fill off the Lewis gun mags to look more like Chauchats. Otherwise just use British figures. It is easy enough to paint the puttees as leggings if you wish, and if the USMC wore green, then paint them green.

French Renault FT for tanks though, and French 75mm guns for field artillery.

Old Contemptibles10 Dec 2018 10:16 p.m. PST

The Harlem Hellfighters were issued French weapons, helmets, belts, and pouches, although they continued to wear their U.S. Army uniforms.


Old Contemptibles10 Dec 2018 10:19 p.m. PST

Just get yourself a can of green spray paint. Their just 15mm figures. So who cares?

Old Contemptibles10 Dec 2018 10:32 p.m. PST

Painting Marines.


AICUSV11 Dec 2018 9:02 p.m. PST

The difference between British and US uniforms was mainly in the collar (US stand up, Brit Fold over), the cut of the pockets, the trousers (US troops wore riding breeches), the color (Brit is lighter). That being said, some US troops were issued British made uniforms, these uniforms were sometime closer to the British pattern than the US. On top of this in 1918 the US started to issue trousers replacing the breeches.
As to weapons, the standard long arm was the Model 1903 Springfield, supplemented by the P17 Enfield (same as the British P14 but calibered in 30'06). Some units in the 2nd Infantry Division did receive the SMLE III. Canadian Rosses and Russians contract rifles were also issued (but I believe any of these went over seas). The Browning model 1917 machine guns was used as well as the British Vickers and the French Hotchkiss. Light MG were the the world famous French Chauchat and some British Lewis guns as well as the BAR (late).

Artillery – the US 3inch field piece, the French 75, US 105 and the French 155 (long barrel). 37mm French infantry gun was also used along lithesome other light guns.

Good luck with your project.

AICUSV11 Dec 2018 9:04 p.m. PST

As to the Marines' uniform – I was lucky enough to interview a few USMC vets, all of them said the same thing, the green uniforms were replaced with Army uniforms before they went into the trenches.

Heisler12 Dec 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

US Marines replaced their uniforms with army uniforms on a piecemeal basis. Basically when you wore something out it was replaced with the US Army equivalent. The Marines were only in the "trenches"as it were for about three months, Mid March till Mid May in a quiet (relatively speaking) sector.

Marine replacements arrived in full Marine uniform which meant there was a lot of uniform variation from unit to unit. USMC Forest Green (which is not the same green used in WWII) is a lot closer to the German Field Grey than actual green.

Here is a link to some reference pictures on my blog:

Old Contemptibles12 Dec 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

Exactly, as they wore out they were replaced with Army uniforms. The only exception might be Marine Naval Aviators. There are documented accounts in which Navy pilots, writing that the Marine Forrest Green uniforms were more suited to working on and flying aircraft.

Hard to believe but the Navy expected their pilots to wear dress whites or blues when flying, just like any officer in the fleet. In the field they quickly adopted the forest green Marine uniforms. This led to the Navy adoption of the Green Aviation Uniform.

AICUSV12 Dec 2018 4:34 p.m. PST

According to the vets – they were issued the Army uniforms as a unit. None of them were in the greens in combat.

Heisler29 Dec 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

I could certainly believe that platoon sized units might have all changed at the same time. There are, however, plenty of historical accounts of WWI Marines going into combat in forest green and the uniforms being replaced on a piece meal basis. I certainly mean no dishonor to the vets you interviewed but their experience doesn't necessarily reflect the experience of every Marine that served in the 2nd Division.

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