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Old 02-23-2011, 04:11 PM
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Default Uniforms in the Twilight War

Of all the military weapons and equipment combat soldiers use, I would reckon that uniforms wear out the fastest. After the TDM, it would be much more difficult, if not impossible, to manufacture uniforms in the same quantity and quality as it was before. How many uniforms (ballpark) do modern armies stockpile? Wood the U.S., for example, have stockpiled enough woodland pattern BDUs to keep American soldiers clothed from mid-'97 to 2000 and beyond? Once all surplus uniforms are distributed, how are armies going to clothe themselves?

I don't know much about textile manufacturing, aside from the fact that it was one of the first large-scale industries during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. I'd imagine it would be possible to manufacture uniforms post-TDM, but I suspect they would have to be simpler than pre-TDM uniforms.

I don't think that cotton grows particularly well (if at all) in most of Europe. So, would wool be the primary material in post-TDM manufactured uniforms? I imagine that making camouflage cloth would be more difficult than making monochrome cloth. I supose you could tie-die green fabric to create some sort of cammo but it would be more simple than the complex, multicolor patterns common in the mid-'90s and beyond, IRL.

I imagine some (if not most) late-war American soldiers and Marines would be clad in plain OD, wool combat fatigues. Things like PAGST vests/LBE and Kevlar "K-Pot" kelmets (perhaps without covers once they fell apart) would be salvaged and reused until they wore out completely.

What are your thoughts on military [combat] uniforms in the later stages of the Twilight War?
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:29 PM
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I think this is a very good topic to address. I've always been interested in what these worn down armies might look like after 2 years of fighting without much in the way of resupply.

There's a moment in the TV series Jeremiah where our post apocalyptic heroes find a dead enemy soldier and discover, to their horror, that the man is wearing underwear. CLEAN underwear!

The quote is something like "I wasn't scared until I realized that our enemy has the disposable resources to produce a supply of new clean underwear."

A bunch of guys in fresh duds might be a bit intimidating, no matter what their actual combat abilities.

I always sort of assumed that by the summer of 2000 uniforms and boots (my god! BOOTS!!!) would have been repaired and repaired and supplemented with uniforms from other services or even other armies. The Soviet or Warsaw Pact armies may have even adopted the use of red armbands to show their communist loyalty as their uniforms deteriorate and their insignia wear away.

As for real logistical information, I think the best place to look would be at the Weremacht of WWII. There's an institution that was hard pressed to provide ammo, much less uniforms. There might be lessons there we could apply to our alternate history.

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:06 PM
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As for real logistical information, I think the best place to look would be at the Weremacht of WWII. There's an institution that was hard pressed to provide ammo, much less uniforms. There might be lessons there we could apply to our alternate history.
Good call. I look at the late war Wermacht a lot for ideas about what late-Twilight War outfits might look like.

The German army simplified its basic, standard issue army combat fatigues late in the war. By all accounts, the "new" uniforms were simpler, less comfortable, and generally less well liked by those forced to wear them.*

In the T2KU, I suppose with lots of little factories scattered about Germany and NATO-occupied Poland, there would be a great variety of relatively simple replacement gear items- perhaps sage-green [simplified] BDUs from one factory, OD BDUs from another, simple cammo BDUs from yet a third. Mix in a few less worn-out, original cut and cammo BDUs and late war units would present a very motley appearance indeed.


*On the other hand, the Wermacht and Waffen SS wore a dizzying array of different cut, color, and camouflage uniforms throughout the war, right up until the bitter end. The German military was guilty of producing lots of small batches of different, complex, hi-tech options in the same category of weapon/equipment instead of focussing on a couple of simple, tried-and-true designs and producing them in large numbers. The Russians took the opposite tack. I'm not sure that I agree but a couple of military historians have argued that if the Germans had just focussed on producing more late-model Panzer IVs instead of relatively small production runs of Tigers (I & II), Panthers, Jagdpanzer IVs, Jagdpanthers, Jagdtigers, Elefants, Brumbars, etc., they could have won the war on the eastern front.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
I don't think that cotton grows particularly well (if at all) in most of Europe. So, would wool be the primary material in post-TDM manufactured uniforms? I imagine that making camouflage cloth would be more difficult than making monochrome cloth. I supose you could tie-die green fabric to create some sort of cammo but it would be more simple than the complex, multicolor patterns common in the mid-'90s and beyond, IRL.
Probably rather than tie-dye, people would do something along the lines of the WW2 Denison smocks the Brits used -- solid base color with dye hand painted on (at least that was how originals were done). This would even have the added plus that you could do it regionally and make a camouflage optimized for the local environment.



My take in the US is that both MilGov and CivGov are doing this circa 2000, with MilGov pushing for a new standard of a woodland-ish pattern dyed on khaki (or butternut) base, while CivGov is pushing for OD green as a base and camo just applied to the jacket. (And neither side getting universal adherence or fully replacing legacy woodland BDUs. I also have MilGov's Colorado cantonment having a large stockpile of not-entirely-practical five color desert DCUs that they've been partially redyeing with OD or similar green tones to make a sort of poor man's Multicam.)

I could see both sides also sorting out some sort of arm band system as well for IFF, especially for guys like militia and local police who aren't going to be high on the list for kit. The complication being that both would probably want to use some very similar take on red-white-blue.

In Europe, I've taken the view that most armies would draw the line at getting all their personnel into at least the appropriate shirt or jacket sporting their national camouflage pattern. Pants, boots, nice accessories like sweaters and thermal stuff -- all that by 2000 would be catch as catch can for the most part, and be anything from surviving uniform stuff to scavenged enemy uniform components to civilian stuff acquired along the way.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:13 PM
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My guess is that commanders would try their best to ensure all their soldiers were wearing similar clothing if they couldn't get exactly the same to reduce the chance of fratricide. More importantly, helmets and other easily recognisable shapes would be important - using captured enemy helmets and weapons is a recipe for getting shot in poor light conditions.

In Europe this may mean that camp followers are employed sewing uniforms, dying cloth, reloading precious brass for the standard issue weapons, raising sheep, scavenging cloth, etc.

In my mind if armies 200+ years ago could provide uniforms for their troops while on campaign, why shouldn't units in 2000 be able to employ similar techniques after a period of adjustment?
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
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My guess is that commanders would try their best to ensure all their soldiers were wearing similar clothing if they couldn't get exactly the same to reduce the chance of fratricide. More importantly, helmets and other easily recognisable shapes would be important - using captured enemy helmets and weapons is a recipe for getting shot in poor light conditions.

In Europe this may mean that camp followers are employed sewing uniforms, dying cloth, reloading precious brass for the standard issue weapons, raising sheep, scavenging cloth, etc.

In my mind if armies 200+ years ago could provide uniforms for their troops while on campaign, why shouldn't units in 2000 be able to employ similar techniques after a period of adjustment?
That is the what will have to happen for any military unit of any size to survive. There will be a lot of services that personnel of Brigades, Divisional, Corps, and Army level HQs will start incorporating more. There will be more and more troops at platoon, company and battalion levels that will be dual hatters. Who will spend part of their time while not in the field providing service to the rest of the unit, or some would become foragers of old.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
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What are your thoughts on military [combat] uniforms in the later stages of the Twilight War?
Widely mixed from whatever they could get their hands - resulting in heavily patched and mended items. Mending will return as being more economical than manufacturing as it once was. I don't see any uniform production at all, except in the most organized of places, and certainly not in Poland or anywhere near that region.

Last edited by Fusilier; 02-24-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:55 AM
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People who can sew will be worth their weight in gold. A foot-pumped sweing machine will be a treasure.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
In Europe this may mean that camp followers are employed sewing uniforms, dying cloth, reloading precious brass for the standard issue weapons, raising sheep, scavenging cloth, etc.

In my mind if armies 200+ years ago could provide uniforms for their troops while on campaign, why shouldn't units in 2000 be able to employ similar techniques after a period of adjustment?
I agree. Civilians in well-established cantonments would be employed carrying out support tasks for the forces stationed there, including uniform repair and- if facilities are available- basic uniform manufacture.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:06 AM
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I would image that the dead would striped to almost nothing then buried, local taylors could also be employed in some area, tored and ripped stuff could made into new items, I guess, or a local commader could just set up a sweat shop I mean those kids are'nt going to school, I would image that Kathy Lee Giffrin and Oprah would doing something along those line in the states in TW 2000
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:57 AM
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Sorry, was picturing something like Bartertown, only with Tina Turner replaced by Oprah Winfrey playing herself. There's something to make some players' heads explode if they wander into the greater Chicago area . . .
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:41 PM
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In the Vistula campaign one of the Polish towns was described as having developed a friendly bond with the Polish Pact unit that was cantoned there. One of the benefits was that the townspeople were happy and proud to provide sewing service, having patched/repaired "their" unit's uniforms.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
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People who can sew will be worth their weight in gold. A foot-pumped sweing machine will be a treasure.
With a little ingenuity and some hardware, an even an EMP-fried electric sewing machine could be converted to muscle power by the simple expedient of adding a crank handle/knob to the hand wheel. This arrangement might require the assistance of a second person ("or an intelligent child" in the vernacular of Victorian advertisements)--one to crank, the other to feed the cloth through. An even better set-up would be to add a pulley/belt arrangement and mount the whole thing on a stationary bicycle. Make that a multi-speed bike with extremely low gear ratios for sewing canvas or leather.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:38 PM
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Remember some of those who died with the 7th Cavalry Regiment were more or less civilian contractors in this day and age. The Indian Scouts, there was a reporter, just to name of them.

It has been well documented in these forums that in many cases, the support units function including those of quartermaster, cooking, medical, and mechanical/maintenance would be taken over by more and more civilians as well general laborers for Engineering units would be more and more civilians. While more and more troops would take on combat roles in the field, and help out in their former MOS as needed, when the situation dictated. Another thing is one could see local scouts being employed more and more much like they used way back when.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:36 PM
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During WW2, the German clothing industry that fed the war effort was a cottage industry....there really wasn't the type of standardization like that seen in the US, Soviet, or Commonwealth militaries.

Up until the end of the war, there were those...even new replacements...that were issued pre-war M36 and early war M40 Feldblusen that were new production.

As the German Army (non-panzer/assault gun) field uniform evolved during the war, it got progressively simpler and cheaper to manufacture, to the point that the final uniforms were very similar in appearance to the WW2 US "Ike Jacket". Most accounts have veterans becoming angry at being issued the later uniforms as replacements...having the earlier uniform and being one of the remaining Alte Hasse was a status symbol of sorts.

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:49 AM
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I imagine that part of the agriculture in some rear areas would be the growing of dye plants.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
My guess is that commanders would try their best to ensure all their soldiers were wearing similar clothing if they couldn't get exactly the same to reduce the chance of fratricide. More importantly, helmets and other easily recognisable shapes would be important - using captured enemy helmets and weapons is a recipe for getting shot in poor light conditions.

In Europe this may mean that camp followers are employed sewing uniforms, dying cloth, reloading precious brass for the standard issue weapons, raising sheep, scavenging cloth, etc.

In my mind if armies 200+ years ago could provide uniforms for their troops while on campaign, why shouldn't units in 2000 be able to employ similar techniques after a period of adjustment?
And its a "gimme" that those soldiers too badly wounded for field service would be used to oversee or take part in this process....and free up an able-bodied soldier for the front line.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull View Post
Remember some of those who died with the 7th Cavalry Regiment were more or less civilian contractors in this day and age. The Indian Scouts, there was a reporter, just to name of them.

It has been well documented in these forums that in many cases, the support units function including those of quartermaster, cooking, medical, and mechanical/maintenance would be taken over by more and more civilians as well general laborers for Engineering units would be more and more civilians. While more and more troops would take on combat roles in the field, and help out in their former MOS as needed, when the situation dictated. Another thing is one could see local scouts being employed more and more much like they used way back when.
There were twenty guides, interpreters and packers and fifty one Indian Scouts that took part in the Little Big Horn...and one correspondent, ten were killed and three wounded.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:53 PM
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I remember a piece from MSNBC a few years ago when the then-new MARPAT had not yet been introduced to Iraq. MARPAT was supposedly uncopyable due to its digital design. The reporter took a brand-new MARPAT uniform to a tailor in Baghdad specializing in uniforms, and asked him to reproduce it. The tailor had an almost-perfect copy for the reporter when he came back an hour later.

Good uniforms can be made under relatively-primitive conditions,
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:41 PM
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A couple of bits with some of my thoughts that I may have posted before but added here for completeness.

As ever thoughts and comments welcomed.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf British Army Uniform.pdf (219.7 KB, 138 views)
File Type: pdf Uniforms 24-04-11.pdf (39.8 KB, 289 views)
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:28 PM
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James,
Do you mind if I post this here: guildwargamers.com giving you full credit of course...I think it would be of great value to the guys there.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:47 PM
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Excellent work as usual James. I particularly liked the 98 pattern uniform and the complete mish-mash of uniforms worn by the Marine patrol.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:26 AM
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Cracking job James - well done. Loved the rundown on which colour wooly pulleys different Regiments / Corps wear. Just one small suggestion if you do a second draft - maybe do the same thing for the different colours of berets?

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
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James,
Do you mind if I post this here: guildwargamers.com giving you full credit of course...I think it would be of great value to the guys there.
No problem, if you wait a few days I will try and update the article to add the beret details requested and a few other bits.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:05 PM
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The Finnish Defence Forces in Twilight 2nd edition would probably be using the old pattern (m/62, m/91 and m/95) camo that has been replaced in the real world by the new (m/05) combat outfit, which would probably be in use with most of the troops in the 2013 timeline. However some variations of the m/91-95 models would have probably been made even in the 2nd edition, based on the experiences in the peace keeping missions abroad prior to the war.

The combat webbing would most probably be the old m/85 with older reserve units using even older models and the special forces being the only ones to use some kind of a modular system (except in the 2013, where the first line troops would probably have the m/05 vest with modular components and reserve units using the m/85). Some reserve units could possibly use the old m/83-85 grays (practically completely dismissed dress/leave uniform) for garrison duty, though they'd be pretty poor for any kind of combat duty.

Low ranking reserve units would still have to resort to using only steel helmets and no ballistic vests while the first line units would wear the anti-shrapnel (flak) vest with or without inserts and ballistic composite helmets or, in 2013, the combat armour of m/05 (actually, it was used already in 2000 by some, especially MP-units). Most useful headgear in this country, especially in the winter, would still be the 'elephant c*nt' - the fur hat, which has its nickname from the m/83 gray synthetic fur cap with some similarities to the Soviet fur service caps like the down-foldable earmuffs and so on.

Last edited by Medic; 02-18-2012 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Fixed an offensive word...;-)
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:26 PM
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Most useful headgear in this country, especially in the winter, would still be the 'elephant c*nt' - the fur hat, which has its nickname from the m/83 gray synthetic fur cap with some similarities to the Soviet fur service caps like the down-foldable earmuffs and so on.
Hilarious! Up to you, but you might want to use an asterisk somewhere in the more offensive words (in the way that I've altered your quote above). It tones down the offensiveness marginally. I can totally imagine how that headgear got its nickname though. I LOL'd!
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:24 AM
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Sorry about the offensive words, but yes, I'm sure you can image a fur cap, moist from sweat and snow. Do I need to say more?
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