Jump to content

INFO REQ: Were Puttees used with Trousers (not Breeches)?


BEAST
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have an ID'd 38th Division uniform which includes straight leg trousers, not the breeches. Were the leg wraps also worn with the full length trousers? If so, how were they wrapped? Any period photos?

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you talking about the M1918 straight-legged breeches with buttoned calves or trousers like the M1937's of WW2 era? I would think either puttees or canvas leggings would/could have been worn.

 

G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you talking about the M1918 straight-legged breeches with buttoned calves or trousers like the M1937's of WW2 era? I would think either puttees or canvas leggings would/could have been worn.

 

G

 

Gil,

 

The straight legged trousers without the buttons at the calf. I'll post a photo in a little bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Before WW I, the Army issued woolen OD trousers to military personnel whose duties were performed in an office environment. Canvas leggings or puttees were generally not worn while wearing the long trousers.

 

In regard to wearing leggings or puttees, an article that appeared in the February 21, 1919 edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper about the 1918 Woolen Trousers stated:

 

"that the leggings will still be worn".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Found in the May 31,1918 issue of the Stars and Stripes newspaper:

 

The funny thing about the new breeches is that they aren't breeches. They're trousers - plain, common, ordinary long trousers - almost. The end where the foot comes out is narrower, for one thing. The hips and knees are full. The regulation spiral leggin will be worn over them, just as it is worn over the present issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I knew such trousers existed for the blue uniform and the white, but always assumed breeches were standard for drab wool and cotton.

 

It was my understanding (from "quartermaster Support of the Army") that M1918 straight-legged breeches with button calves were the only drab wool variation. These were easier to fit and more comfortable to wear, and cheaper to make, I think.

 

I posted a pair for sale a while back and got no interest.

 

G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took a closer look at the trousers this weekend and saw that they are British-made and marked. The coat that I have from the group is a late war coat described in the same article, but i haven't found a broad arrow in it yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Hi Beast,

 

I wonder if your trousers could be a pair of British 1907 Service Dress Trousers. Can you compare them to the posted photos and let us know if they match either of the two trousers shown?

 

It’s rare to find photographs of Doughboys actually wearing articles of British uniforms in France. But the center photograph of a wounded Doughboy was taken at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC of all places. He appears to be wearing a pair of British 1907 Service Dress Trousers. To his left is a pair of U.S. made 1918 Trousers, and to his right is their British counterpart.

Note that the British trousers have suspender buttons on the outside of the waistband. U.S. made trousers had no suspender buttons. The trousers worn by the Doughboy also have external suspender buttons which are visible directly under his right hand shirt pocket.

post-5143-0-23761300-1417428153.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Close up of the Doughboy and another pair of British trousers. Characteristics of the 1907 pattern British trousers are as follows:

  • 12 pairs of plain “tin plate” style suspender buttons on the outside of the waistband: two pairs at the back and two pairs on either side of the front fly.
  • No belt loops.
  • 6 plain “tin plate” style buttons secured the front fly.
  • 2 side seam front pockets and no rear pockets.
  • The inside of the waistband and crotch was lined with white cotton duck material.
  • A paper size tag was pasted onto the outside of the trousers and the lining on the waistband was ink stamped with the initials ‘W&D’ and the British war Department’s broad arrow insignia.

post-5143-0-23809500-1417428223.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Front fly of the U.S. 1918 Woolen Trousers and the inside of the British 1907 Woolen Trousers. Characteristics of the U.S. 1918 Woolen Trousers are as follows:

  • 6 belt loops and no suspender buttons.
  • The front fly was secured by either 4 or 5 small zinc metal buttons bearing the initials ‘U.S.A.’ The fifth button was required for all trousers whose waist size was 36 inches or larger.
  • The top of the front fly was secured by one large size zinc metal button inscribed “U.S. Army”.
  • 2 front pockets, 2 back pockets, and one fob pocket above the right hand front pocket.
  • A white fabric contract tag was sewn onto the back of the left hand pocket.

 

post-5143-0-44591200-1417428273.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WWI Nerd, Thanks for the examples! Mine has a fly closed by four small unmarked buttons with a matching button for the waist. The buttons almost appear to be of brass as their is verdigris on them. No suspenders buttons and the belt loops are larger than on a normal pair of US made breeches. There are 6 belt loops which measure almost 2 1/2 inches. Marking above the broad arrow is "115" and below "M".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

It looks like the AEF must have had contracts for the 1918 Woolen Trousers with British clothing firms.

 

I've seen loads of British made overseas caps and 1918 style service coats, two pairs of British made 1917 pattern service breeches, and just one British made1917 pattern service coat, but never a pair of British made 1918 trousers. It sounds like you might have something quite rare?

 

I know that according to a report made in April of 1918, the AEF had received 100,000 "suits of uniform clothing" from the British. The report further stated that an additional 100,000 British coats and 200,000 pairs of matching trousers had been ordered but not yet delivered.

 

On top of all that there were 3,000,000 pairs of British ankle boots, 1,800,000 pairs of tartan-drab mixture No. 5 trousers and 1,440,000 matching tunics, as well as British manufactured OD shirts, heavy and lightweight socks, spiral wrap puttees, woolen drawers, undershirts , and 60,000 yards of the No. 5, tartan-drab cloth which was to be used to make overseas caps all on order early in 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few photos of the trousers. They look like they share characteristics of both British and American designed trousers.

 

post-203-0-44093300-1417565817.jpg

post-203-0-17968000-1417565828.jpg

post-203-0-58083000-1417565848.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

That's a very interesting pair of wool trousers. They are definitely British made with British "tin plate" style buttons.

 

I wonder if these trousers might be a pair of the Tartan Drab No. 5 Trousers that the AEF ordered from the British early in 1918?

 

Regardless they are a great find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...
Hello,

The trousers M1918 was distributed to the troops present in Europe in 1918 ?

If yes, for which unit ?


I have a US M1918 trousers but I don't know if it knew the AEF ..


Best regard

Aurelien
Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

Aurelien,

 

The 1918 Trousers were adopted by the U.S. Army in May of 1918. Somewhere, but I don't remember where, I read that the straight legged trousers did not arrive in France until after the Armistice was signed in November of 1918.

 

I have seen around ten or so photographs that were likely taken in 1919, of 3rd Army guys and of wounded men walking about on the hospital grounds wearing olive drab, straight legged trousers. I may have some more information on the 1918 Trousers tucked away somewhere. I'll have a look and see what I can find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

world war I nerd

I did some digging and according to an article in the February 21, 1919 edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, 2,500,000 pairs of long trousers had been ordered by the AEF. That article, however, did not state when they were ordered or when they would arrive.

 

The article, once again stated that the long trousers would be worn with puttees. It also went on the mention that the marines wore their forest green trousers with puttees during the Belleau Wood campaign, so the army could do it too.

 

There apparently was a General Order issued by GHQ, AEF (General Orders No. 28, the issue date was mentioned) that stated that all members of mounted organizations would continue to wear breeches, and that foot troops would draw the new trousers.

 

As a final note, the article proclaimed that all of the breeches that were currently in use by the AEF would remain in use until they were no longer serviceable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
ArmorCurator

The earliest contract I have observed for the Pattern 1918 Wool Trousers is 4433 P dated July 9, 1918 to A. Mendelson & Brother Uniform Company for 50,000 pair.  Most of the trouser orders were made in August through October of 1918.  A few were awarded in November, but they were all canceled.    Three companies received orders for 240,000 pairs each - Jacob David Sons & Company, John Taaffe Inc, and L. Margulies & Sons Inc.  Other orders awarded (for over 100,000 pairs each) went to John Hall Inc and Schwartz, Jaffe & Charles D. Jaffe Inc.  All of those contracts were awarded around August 14, 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...