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

Just_plain_you

War Hero

It's a trading name of Cadets Direct.

I'm amazed Arktis haven't gone bust as they just don't reply to emails.
 
- 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.
Putting my money (so to speak) where my mouth is, I've trawled t'internet for half decent fotograffiks to confirm my assertion above.

Here they is:

From an IWM collection about MARKET GARDEN:

Look closely at the bloke with the double chin (and what might be a PIAT or a mortar) on the right of frame.

The only bloke in the phot who is unequivocally wearing a Dennison smock (sans webbing and weapons) is the poseur by the cockpit door, whom I take to be a Crab Air PTI-cum-jumpmaster. I'm betting the rectangular object sewn to his lower right trouser leg is a scabbard for a knife to cut static lines in case of emergency.

Then there's this one (June 5 1944) of Pathfinders doing a synch-watches routine before they board.

The one to look at is 2nd from left. He's clad in the whole shebang, bar his parachute harness. I suspect the remainder (by virtue of the fact that at least 2 seem already to have donned their lifejackets) have declared the over-smock redundant, and opted to go out the door with the harness over what you see them wearing here.

You certainly never see it in post-WW2 pictures of paras.
 
Arktis are still around?
Yes, IIRC an ex FFL bloke took them commercially into France and has made good with supplying initially the Legion and then wider to other Military Units, hence why the French woodland DPM versions like this:
 
One of the best items I came across in the army was the old Korean war era green parkas. With a kapok outer in a green shell with a fibre pile type inner with a big wired hood they were supremly warm. Only good for very cold dry weather though and when static or in vehicles.

They disappeared around 1977 when the world went DPM.

They were replaced by a DPM smock similar to the Artic smock but with eppauletes on the shoulder and a detachable chairman Mau fighting suit inner, both of which weren't a patch on the original.
I had , we had OG green parkas in Germany in 1983 . Could only draw them from the QM in winter if you were going to a mountain site where it was fuccing cold.
 

Slime

LE
Cadets Direct has the UK's biggest selection of new and used cadets with guaranteed next day delivery.
Cant fault them, that’s where I got my Opel :)
 
Survival aids didnt go bust but SASS did
Pretty sure they did.

I bumped into them at COPEX after they re-incarnated, had a nice chat with the team who consisted of some of the old team who rather than be unemployed had picked up the pieces..


It's a trading name of Cadets Direct.

I'm amazed Arktis haven't gone bust as they just don't reply to emails.
I used to see Arktis doing the rounds of the military expos in euro-land, last time I chatted with them a mate was trying to blag a sniper drag bag - he got a good discount on one they used for display at the expo.

They also traded under the name Country Covers, when I spoke with their bloke running that he was on about doing £60K a month to the US alone. They were also shipping MFO boxes full of smocks and other kit in the appropriate camo to the French and several other NATO members.
 

par avion

War Hero
Think they were taken over by another company but still trade as Survival Aids
It can't have helped their sales when the army started issuing a lot of items that they sold - like gortex windproofs, bivi bags, Norwegian shirts and sleeping bags.

Plus cutting their customer base by a third with options for change.
 

par avion

War Hero
Pretty sure they did.

I bumped into them at COPEX after they re-incarnated, had a nice chat with the team who consisted of some of the old team who rather than be unemployed had picked up the pieces..



I used to see Arktis doing the rounds of the military expos in euro-land, last time I chatted with them a mate was trying to blag a sniper drag bag - he got a good discount on one they used for display at the expo.

They also traded under the name Country Covers, when I spoke with their bloke running that he was on about doing £60K a month to the US alone. They were also shipping MFO boxes full of smocks and other kit in the appropriate camo to the French and several other NATO members.
Wern't they formed originaly by a Royal Marine Officer, and Survival Aids by a Royal Signals officer?
 

par avion

War Hero
I had , we had OG green parkas in Germany in 1983 . Could only draw them from the QM in winter if you were going to a mountain site where it was fuccing cold.
Like I said, I think they were issued for service in the Korean war. A direct copy from the US issue. Korea is very hot and humid in summer so OGs and jungle hats were the order of dress. In winter it is reallly really cold. After the first years fighting once it had settled down to trench warfare they would have been invaluable. Once the weather warmed up they were probably handed into Division Ord Depot for re-issue to the next battalion in winter time. A tour being one year.

When the last British battalion left Korea in 1957 the army was probably left with a wharehouse full of parkas which were subseqently issued on a central basis down to QMs for use as needed until they eventually fell apart with use.

I have looked on e-bay but I have not seen any.

I have never come across anything as warm though.

Mind you I have never experienced anything as cold as a Korean winter.
 

par avion

War Hero
Putting my money (so to speak) where my mouth is, I've trawled t'internet for half decent fotograffiks to confirm my assertion above.

Here they is:

From an IWM collection about MARKET GARDEN:

Look closely at the bloke with the double chin (and what might be a PIAT or a mortar) on the right of frame.

The only bloke in the phot who is unequivocally wearing a Dennison smock (sans webbing and weapons) is the poseur by the cockpit door, whom I take to be a Crab Air PTI-cum-jumpmaster. I'm betting the rectangular object sewn to his lower right trouser leg is a scabbard for a knife to cut static lines in case of emergency.

Then there's this one (June 5 1944) of Pathfinders doing a synch-watches routine before they board.

The one to look at is 2nd from left. He's clad in the whole shebang, bar his parachute harness. I suspect the remainder (by virtue of the fact that at least 2 seem already to have donned their lifejackets) have declared the over-smock redundant, and opted to go out the door with the harness over what you see them wearing here.

You certainly never see it in post-WW2 pictures of paras.
I think that by 1944 they put everyting into the large army kit bag (which those of us joining in the seventies will fondly remember) together with webbing rifle etc, and carried things like pistols, knives and grenades in the smock.

They jumped with the kitbag and lowered it on a rope once the chute had opened. Very much like the modern system with CSEP and bergans.

Once on the ground they pulled in the kitbag via the rope, retrieved weapon and webbing and were good to go.

Originally everything was copied from the german system where weapons were dropped in a seperate weapons container and the troops had to search for the containers after they had landed.They used this system on the first operational jumps in North Africa in 1942.

The down side to this, as the germans found out in Crete ....

Finding the weapons container in the first place - especially in rough and windy terrain.

Those dastardly British and Anzacs would wait until the germans got to the containers and pick them off as they tried to unload it.

Not very sporting at at. But then again the germans don't play cricket.
 

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