BACKGROUND: As a result of the German paratroopers’ successes early in the second world war, the British quickly organized an Airborne battalion in early 1941. These voluntary personnel were originally kitted out with a grey/green cotton duck smock patterned after the German paratroopers’ smocks, until late in 1941, when the camouflage "Denison" smock was introduced. The smock was intended to be worn over the battle dress, with any equipment to be worn on the exterior of the smock. Due to the success of the design, it was continued, with minor variations, into the post-war period.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A three quarter length, mid-weight cotton twill construction smock with a printed, random splotch, camouflage pattern in assorted shades of browns, tans, and greens. The front has a zipper closure measuring approximately 38cm or 15" in length beginning mid-chest and ending at the wool lined, stand up collar. A vertical row of three alloy snaps are to either side of the base of this front closure with one of these snaps missing. The two breast, and two forward waist, large patch pockets each have scalloped-tipped snap-down flaps. A tab with a female snap button is to each hip; these mate with male snaps beneath each of the forward waist pockets, to adjust the fit. The reverse bottom edge of the tail skirt has an extended vertical crotch flap with two male snaps, otherwise secured to corresponding female snaps to the reverse waistline. This flap was designed to run between the wearer’s legs, then being secured to one of the three pairs of female snaps to the interior base edges of the front closure. The crotch flap may also be snapped to the hip button tabs, creating "legs holes" out of the tail skirt, as an optional form of wear. Two metal snaps are to the rear of the smock to keep the flap secure when not in use. The sleeve cuffs are straight with a tab with a pair of buttons. The armpits have six stitched eyelet ventilation holes. The integral shoulder epaulettes are to the neck with button retainers. Vertical slash patch pockets are to the interior breast at either side of the front closure. Good large size. Shows the expected period use and wear but overall nice condition. Dated for 1952.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $800.00

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