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"8th Army uniforms at El Alamein" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

42flanker23 Sep 2021 11:18 a.m. PST

Greetings all.

Allowing for difference in unit standing orders etc, were the attacking troops on October 23rd and in the ensuing actions mostly dressed in khaki drill (shorts, etc), battle dress blouse and/ or trousers, or an ad hoc mix?

I know what the PR images suggest but was there an alternative reality?
Thanks JF

42flanker24 Sep 2021 9:15 a.m. PST

Here perhaps are some indicators, providing a degree of context.

From, War Diary, 1st Bn The Black Watch (Nov-Dec 1942)

c 24.11.42 (SIDI SULEIMAN) Cardigan, shorts, steel helmets, battle order. Tps will remain properly dressed throughout the move,
i.e. Helmets will NOT BE REMOVED

[No Date] 1942 Raid ADM.- DRESS A Coy will wear battle-dress trews, patrol boots, cardigans and NO head-dress

1.12.42 Greatcoats will be worn but can be taken off on orders of Coy Commanders. BD Blouses will be worn. Steel helmets NOT be removed.

26.12.42 Steel helmets, greatcoats. (to be removed on orders of [Sp cmds] Equipment will not be worn but made up to wear over cardigans.

McWong7324 Sep 2021 10:58 p.m. PST

8th Army covers a lot of different nations, I can't see too many in the 9th AIF worrying about blouses for example.

Martin Rapier25 Sep 2021 2:11 a.m. PST

I would imagine they are only wearing BD, jumpers and greatcoat at night. It gets a tad chilly in the Sahara at night, I've been there twice now.

It is quite warm in the day time though, so my 8th Army chaps wear shorts and aertex shirts.

AndreasB28 Sep 2021 5:43 a.m. PST

Greatcoats would have been a must in late October/November during the night.

I've come across one mention where a desert-experienced soldier mentions they wore them during the morning as they kept the cold from the night for a bit while it got warm.

All the best


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