Uniforms in U.K. DPM Pattern
DPM Combat Shirt
OD Lightweights (see discussion)
The British Army was in a transitional period here so it wasn't uncommon to see a mix of everything from P66 to P94 within the same unit. When S95 came into effect uniformity became easier to enforce but obviously is not really a cold war look. This list of uniforms doesn't even touch on the tropical patterns of DPM which were quite popular due to their drying properties. Be certain you aren’t buying Dutch pattern DPM uniforms. They are generally easy to spot as the buttons tend to be poppers and pockets tend to be gusseted. Essentially the style of these looks closer to the West German uniform and kit done in up DPM pattern camouflage.
DPM Pattern and Uniforms There is often lots of confusion regarding “patterns” of DPM as well there should be. DPM is the camouflage pattern as applied to a uniform pattern and the "pattern" name doesn't refer to the DPM it refers to the cut of the uniform. So the pattern refers to the cut and style of the actual uniform and refers to the year it was accepted in to service which often has nothing to do with the year it was actually issued. Given the unusual stores system in the British Army any variety of items from any previous clothing or equipment issue was and could be issued out. This situation of affairs continued until well after the introduction of the Pattern 95 (Soldier 95) uniform.
There are lots of places on the internet that you can research the specifics of buttons, stitching, tag colors, etc. of each of these uniforms. This is not going to be one of them. The information here is for general knowledge so that you can determine what uniforms are available to you.
For Eastwind any of the listed uniforms would be fine. P94 and S95 are actually outside the timeframe, but are absolutely acceptable since the earlier patterns are becoming collectibles and are often difficult to come by in larger sizes. In the case of Pattern 85 it was so poorly constructed not much survived, therefore it is likely the Pattern 95 that will be able to fill the bill.
The Temperate Uniform (No. 8 dress)
Early DPM that is difficult to find in any size. Easily identifiable through the sewing lines on the collar. Infrequent on ebay and quite costly.
Pattern 66 and 68 are sized in accordance with a WWII sizing scales. See P68 sizing thread for detailed list (http://www.operationeastwind.com/forum/index.php?topic=2492.0). Finding a larger smock is not too difficult but as far as trousers go long story short if you are not a racing snake finding P66/68 will be quite difficult or very expensive. That said P68 in smaller sizes shows up on ebay UK quite regularly and if you are persistent you can certainly find plenty of it. It is also the mostly likely “old salt” look to be seen in theater at the time.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the P68 uniforms is that they are made of lined heavy cotton. The second thing you will notice is that they don’t dry fast. However, as an all around uniform they are quite good if a bit heavy in truly hot weather.
After the Falklands War (1982) the army made an attempt to improve the uniform with lighter weight materials. This pattern was rife with serious deficiencies and the lighter weight and poor construction meant that the P68 with its heavier and better construction was still the go-to uniform. The drawing pattern of the camouflage did not change for this uniform just the saturation of the brown color; it was made darker, making this uniform appear more brown, which makes it easy to pick out in photos. The cut of the uniform itself is very similar to p68 but drops the field dressing pocket on the right leg for the trousers and both the smock and trousers are only partially lined.
However, this pattern of the uniform is hallmarked by hugely flappy pockets (flagged pockets), single track stitching and unpopular Velcro closures on the smock sleeves that got dirty and non-functional quite quickly. The lightweight fabric and poor stitching meant that very little could be put in the pockets as they had a depressing tendency to rip off. The same stitching was applied to the crotch area and combined with the lighter weight fabric this often meant a windy hole in place of a trouser seat. Due to the poor quality squaddies tended to relegated this pattern to garrison when they couldn't manage to avoid getting it issued to them in the first place.
The P85 smock can be most easily spotted by the addition of a first field dressing pocket on the rear upper right arm and the interior is only partially lined. The shoulder yoke area is lined and still features a poacher’s pocket. The smocks can be quite good if you’ve got a later version or they can be quite bad if you have an earlier version.
When ordering this pattern you will rarely find it in anything other than new/near new condition since issued condition generally meant destroyed. It is however very correct for the timeframe. Just be aware that you may want to stitch your pockets flat to make them less apt to tear away…and bring a sewing kit for your trouser seat.
Still had huge flappy flagged pockets but with additional stitching tacking the corners to keep them from getting caught on everything. Had stronger stitching on the pockets and seat and was issued to correct the mistakes of the P85 kit.
This uniform pattern was essentially the same as the P68 but saw the removal of the first field dressing pocket from the right leg, use of lighter weight, unlined fabric and the addition of boxed pockets. The DPM drawing pattern also changed to have smaller shapes and slightly different coloration. The coloring changed with the tan becoming a slightly mustard color and the browns were adjusted back to the lighter template. Also, epaulettes were reintroduced.
A swing back to the heavy cotton versions and the easiest way to pick it out is that there is no pocket on the seat in this version. This is also the last pattern with the button down belt loops. The smock has zippered pockets behind the chest pockets. This pattern was issued in two color variations, summer and winter with the winter having more brown than the summer version. Both versions faded quickly.
Pattern 95 (Soldier 95)
This pattern was to replace all previous patterns and took all the lessons on board learned from each of the previous patterns. The new uniform denoted Soldier 95 (S95) was lightweight, dried quickly, had taped buttons that were less likely to rip off and higher quality stitching among other improvements. The DPM camouflage pattern itself is quite dark compared to all but the P85.
While outside of the EW timeframe practicality makes S95 a good alternative. As previously noted this series of uniform is plentiful and easy to come by in a range of sizes. The trousers mixed with an earlier smock would avoid a too modern look to the uniform. The S95 with the combat shirt would make a good stand in for a tropical weight uniform.
Temperate Barracks dress i.e. Lightweights (No 13 dress)
Solid green barracks/working uniform issued to every member of the British Forces. During exercises it was common to wear the trousers with the General Service (GS)shirt and DPM smock since they dried faster than the heavy fabric/lined Pattern 68 trousers and were cheaper to replace if you should tear them in the field. The correct trousers for the period have a map pocket on the left thigh and while originals are getting harder to come by Highlander makes a very excellent inexpensive reproduction. This is not a field look so much as a garrison look for the UK section; it’s handy for the early set up and routine portion of the event and as a final cultural exchange item but has not been made a requirement and does not meet the two complete DPM uniform requirement. These would be considered an addition to your kit. You will need rubber bands or trouser twists to properly blouse them. See this thread regarding LWs: http://www.operationeastwind.com/forum/index.php?topic=2603.0 For our purposes you will typically be wearing the DPM Smock with this order of dress.
Wearing the Uniform
As a Lancer you have the privilege of wearing the Queen’s uniform; wear it with dignity and pride!
The target look is Temperate Combat Dress for the European theater consisting of DPM trousers, GS shirt and DPM smock. Until S95 uniforms the only uniform issued with what we would consider a combat shirt was the Tropical uniform (no. 9 dress). A tropical uniform is not required for East Wind but given that it can get spectacularly hot a lightweight set of DPM is something that you might want to eventually add to your kit.
It is also recommended that you have several olive t-shirts to use as undershirts. These are cheap and since you can change it everyday its more hygienic than just wearing your other uniform item as your first layer.
Nametapes, if worn, would be over the left pocket. However, nametapes were considered an “other arms” item and was not typically seen outside of Corps level regiments (e.g. Signals, REME). More directly though Battalions from BAOR were used as roulement units for Northern Ireland where nametapes were not used since having the local yobs shout "Oi, Smith we're going to get you" was considered detrimental to morale. Since roulement tours were 4-6 months depending on battalion and you might be posted back in another few months it became generally accepted not to put the name tape on (unless the RSM made an issue of it). TRFs were also not in vogue during this timeframe, though in actual fact it was probably just a funding issue; squaddies weren't about to spend to wear them if not required.
It’s recommended but not required that you have a spare P58 belt to put around your waist when wearing the smock but no webbing to maintain a smart appearance.
The norgie top should always be worn under the smock. It is not considered a uniform top on it's own.
Your beret should be shaved and shaped. Once your beret is fitted and tied the ties in the back should be poked into the band with a toothpick or similar, not left dangling and certainly not appearing as a little bow on the back of your swede. See beret discussion here: http://www.operationeastwind.com/forum/index.php?topic=2595.0
Body armour, if worn, is worn under the smock, this is so you can get to the items in your smock pockets.
No. 8 - Temperate Combat Dress will be your typical uniform and is the target look for the event.
No. 9 - Tropical Combat Dress would be suitable for those hot days.
No. 13 (modified) - Temperate barracks dress is simply a clean uniform you can wear if assigned TOC duty or for the cultural exchange.