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Unusual WW2 Tank Suit


43rdrecce
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Does anyone recognise the tank suit in the photo? I have one of these but have been unable to identify what pattern it is. The photo shows one of these suits worn by an individual in 43rd Recce.

 

They are of heavy khaki waterproof cotton fabric similar to the motorcyclist clothing. Stand collar, single full length front zip, single slash pocket on left breast with simple flap and no button. Slash openings for side pockets, buttoned large pocket on each thigh. Cuffs and ankles are buttoned cuffs. There are splits at the bottom outer seam on each leg to enable the suit to be pulled on over boots.

 

odd tank suit.jpg

 

Any ideas?

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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I'm tempted to say Canadian manufacture, for vehicle crews, drivers of open cab vehicles, motorcyclists or RCAF ground crew.....? The Canadian's appear to have produced several unusual patterns of clothing, the purpose of many that has long since been forgotten about today.........the RAF developed a similar looking rubberised suit in green for ground-crew wear in wet/cold weather during the Korean War period, plus similar trousers, etc......

 

Are there any markings in your suit ? Do the buttons or zipper give any clues...?

Edited by wdbikemad
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Thanks for the response,

 

Definitely British, the WD code Z over W /I\ D 252, indicates 1945 manufacture and the photo dates to very early 1945. I'm assuming that these suits may date from late 44, but it's possible they are earlier of course. No other markings or labels present. In my previous post I said that the cuffs and ankles were closed by buttons, they are actually closed by Newey press studs. These are the smaller type, with the external 'dome' part being 1/2" diameter, ie not the larger Newey type used on the 'Oversuit Tank Crew'

The only buttons are on the two thigh pockets. The pocket on the upper left chest is a simple flap with no fastening.

 

No clues from the zip either, this has the same orangey web tape as used on the 'Oversuit' but the actual fastener is missing. I would imagine it was a 'Dot' I haven't got around to trying one yet but the zip looks to be the same size. There is a storm flap or reinforcing behind the front zip which fastens to a single button inside the suit on the upper right chest. There are double thickness patches at elbow and knees.

 

Interesting item. I've only recently been given the photo of the veteran wearing it. I spoke to him again yesterday, though his health is now very poor. He recalls the suit but cannot recall when or how it was issued to him.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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Guess that confirms a British issue Paul..........I do know that the winter in NW Europe was bloody awful (according to historical accounts and my Grandfather who was with the 51st HD Division in the Seaforths)......

 

I am wondering if this was either an Army or RAF item introduced for tank crews, drivers (of open cab vehicles) or RAF groundcrews at forward airfields) for cold/wet weather protection...? By 1945, most RAF-manufactured clothing bore the Army "WD" stamp rather than the "AM" (Air Ministry) stamp commonly encountered up to 1942...........

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  • 3 weeks later...

It looks slightly similiar to the 1942 'Tank Crew Overalls', but of course that was fastened up the front with buttons. This would appear to be yet another interesting development on the way to the Pixie suit. I must admit to never having seen this before but it has me intrigued! Is there any chance you might be able to provide more detailed pictures of the one you have?

 

Rgds

 

Pete

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  • 3 years later...

Blowing some life in this old thread :

The unusual tanksuit is a "Suit, Waterproof". It is a cotton/canvas covered rubber suit worn specificly by crews of a Daimler Dingo Scoutcar. They are listed as nr. 58 in the STOWAGE EQUIPMENT LIST (1945) Daimler Scoutcar.

 

Two "Suits, Waterproof" were supplied by the War Department after completion of the vehicle and stowed one in the offside, and one in the nearside rear bin.

Weight of the suits is 7.625 Lbs/each.

 

On the stowage diagrams the suits are marked as "Waterproof Clothing".

7037474_orig.jpg

2919745_orig.jpg

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