Trials pre 1980's Para smock , Newey Swift new unissued

TheAssassin

Old-Salt
So does anyone know the actual reason why para smocks have wool cuffs??
And why is it still a thing to tailor the wristlets onto end of smock/field jacket sleeves? (admittedly, am only aware of this happening in theatre, but do possess a desert DPM field jacket with them tailored on)
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
When combined with putees, a deadly combination...

View attachment 445868
And wooden furniture - why wouldn't you mention wooden furniture? Are you blind? And Lightweights, real Lightweights. You should post a warning - that photo may be too much for some on here.
 

Oyibo

LE
And why is it still a thing to tailor the wristlets onto end of smock/field jacket sleeves? (admittedly, am only aware of this happening in theatre, but do possess a desert DPM field jacket with them tailored on)
Stops a lot of heat being lost from the wrists. It's no just a para smock thing.
 
I believe that the Windproof Smock that @TamH70 refers was fashioned from the Windproof Smocks that were issued on Op Corporate and came on the scene around mid to late 80's.

Really light compared to a Para Smock, and dried out in minutes.
Issued to SF and arctic role units. I was issued one in 1980 and still have it.
 
Issued to SF and arctic role units. I was issued one in 1980 and still have it.
I think there were two smocks. The wind proof one was of a really light material that was smooth to the touch. The arctic smock was more like standard combat jacket material with the wired hood.

Then there were the various ‘knock off’ smock sold in regimental PRI and ‘survival aids’

Of course these could be memories diminished by time and Herforder...
 
I think there were two smocks. The wind proof one was of a really light material that was smooth to the touch. The arctic smock was more like standard combat jacket material with the wired hood.

Then there were the various ‘knock off’ smock sold in regimental PRI and ‘survival aids’

Of course these could be memories diminished by time and Herforder...
My first was super light material. Later versions issued to me were heavier material.
 
So does anyone know the actual reason why para smocks have wool cuffs??

I'd heard it was to prevent trapping slipstream close to the body. Apparently, once back on the ground, a combination of slipstream and para 'musk' could overstimulate untrained individuals.
 
. . . . . . when the smock first came into service it was worn over the webbing during parachute assaults
You are mistaken (as, for a very long time, was I). The garment worn over the webbing as you describe, was like a long, baggy, zip-up waistcoat in khaki drill fabric, donned over everything bar the parachute harness, and ditched as soon as the wearer was free of said harness. No strip-tease on the LZ required. Eventually someone cottoned on that it was actually redundant, as indeed is is the tail on the smock, but the Paras retain it for tradition's sake*

I've recently re-read Men At Arnhem (first hand account by a veteran) who describes, very early in the book, the getting togged-up process.

The book is dirt-cheap on amazon Kindle, and worth adding to your Arnhem collection, along with the same author's "The Devil's Birthday", a more formal history of the operation.

* Stonkernote: As a reminder, perhaps, of their close kinship to the rest of the great ape family? :-D
 
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So does anyone know the actual reason why para smocks have wool cuffs??
Very early ones had tabs and a couple of buttons for adjusting the fit at the wrists.

Buttons and other hooky-things do not co-exist benignly with the rapidly deploying lines of a parachute in the all-too-likely event of the heavily-laden young parachutist making a total bollox of their exit from a moving aircraft, hence these were dispensed with in later marks of the garment.
 
I think there were two smocks. The wind proof one was of a really light material that was smooth to the touch. The arctic smock was more like standard combat jacket material with the wired hood.

Then there were the various ‘knock off’ smock sold in regimental PRI and ‘survival aids’

Of course these could be memories diminished by time and Herforder...
I thought the Arctic and the windproof smock (often referred to as the ‘SAS smock’), were the same, the only differences being the lack of rank tabs and wire hood on the SAS smock.
 
I thought the Arctic and the windproof smock (often referred to as the ‘SAS smock’), were the same, the only differences being the lack of rank tabs and wire hood on the SAS smock.
I think you’re right - but the material definitely got heavier over the years.
 

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