The uniforms of the 8th Army varied greatly due to the extreme climates faced in the Desert.
Khaki and Aertex Uniforms
Pictured here is a Lieutenant in the Palestine Regiment,circa 1942. Officer uniforms were privately purchased, so they can vary greatly. Notice the F.S. Cap, this is an early war item, and the brown boots another privately purchased item. Notice the brown trousers they are part of the denim uniform set.
Featured below is a member of the Irish Guards in light marching order, he is wearing the P37 web gear set, with the early war gas mask bag and early war rifle the No.1 Mk. 3 SMLE. His uniform is a Aertex shirt,KD shorts,British Army hose,P37 anklets, and the boot of Empire the British Ammo boot. Due to Florida's climate you will get the most use out of a KD and Aertex combination. However most of our tactical's are based in Western Europe so you will need the wools.
The two different wool uniforms issued to basic infantry during the War were the P37 and P40 economy pattern.
The British soldier in WWII wore a very distinct and functional uniform. The regular infantry soldier and the airborne soldier both wore what was known as the Battle Dress uniform. They were issued two sets, one for Walking Out (dress), and one for combat. This was a wool waist length blouse with a collar and two pockets on the breast. Around the waist there was an attached belt and buckle along with buttons on the inside that allowed one to attach his blouse to his trousers. His trousers were also wool and came up to the naval and worn with braces (suspenders). These consisted of a large map pocket on the left leg and a first field dressing pocket on the right upper thigh. At the bottom were straps and buttons that allowed you to "blouse" the trousers so that they would fit inside the anklets (leggings) better. Under the battledress the soldier would wear a collarless shirt, button the top blouse button and clip the collar. If he were an officer the top left open and worn with a dress shirt and tie, late war some enlisted personal also did this.
Here a soldier in the No. 3 Commando models the P37 jacket.
P37 Trousers, they feature covered brass buttons, and a modified BD button on the field dressing pocket.
P-40 Economy Uniforms
(P40 Jacket pictured above, it features exposed plastic buttons and a deletion of the pleats, that are featured on the P37.)
P40 Trousers, feature exposed plastic BD buttons, and a button-less field dressing pocket.
BASIC UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS
We know some of this stuff can be hard to find. If you need help just ask!
Web belts ( 2 required )*
F.S. Cap for Early War
Collarless wool shirt
Spike bayonet and scabbard
Pair braces (equipment suspenders)
Pair universal or Basic pouches
Small pack with "L" straps
Water bottle with carrier
Two-piece mess tin
Brown enamel mug (for tea of course)
First Field dressing or Shell dressing
Cammo sniper vail/scarf.
GS Cap for late war
British Tommy Helmet*
ITEMS WITH * ARE THE MINIMAL ITEMS NEEDED TO START
Again these items listed are the basics you need to accurately portray a WW2 era Tommy. The only truly accurate uniform for most tactical events is full wools, either P37 or P40 combination.
The next uniform you should acquire are the aertex shirt and KD pants or shorts, as its to hot at most events, and we portray the 8th Army most of the time, however you can still accurately portray the 8th army in any uniform on this page.