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CC-2 impregnation on uniforms


Guest Wild Ranger

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Guest Wild Ranger

I'm a member of the 101st reenactment group from Poland. I wonder how the impregnated uniforms looked years ago? We are going to impregnate our reproductions for this specific stiffness and dirty look. But we are not sure about the CC-2 impregnation. How did it look? Was it some liquid fluid or grease paste? Was it added to water and then the uniform soaked in this mixture and hung to dry? Maybe it was spray painted from airbrushes? We think that silicone oil from spray could be good to imitate this. What do you think?

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I have a couple of comments about CC-2 impregnated uniforms. These uniforms are extremely rare and I have only had the honor of handling a very few over the years, but I have never experienced one that was stiff. The uniforms feel much heavier than non-impregnated uniforms and they also have an oily "slick" feel to them when you touch the material. The material may darken a little bit, kind of like when you take a pair of khaki pants and submerge them in water. Once you pull them out of the tub, they are a much darker shade.

 

My understanding of the CC-2 process is that the uniforms were submerged into vats of CC-2. Once the uniforms are treated, they have a very noticeable stench to them. It is difficult for me to describe the smell, but the best I can do is say that it has a sour scent. I cannot imagine wearing a uniform that smells this bad for a prolonged amount of time and further can't imagine anyone wanting to re-create the smell.

 

I have had a number of veterans describe the look of freshly CC-2'd uniforms as having a white color to them. I have also had one veteran tell me that some of the men dumped foot powder on their uniforms to give them the same appearance. Most of this whitish color ended up pooling in the creases of the uniforms, especially around the pocket reinforcements and at the elbows and knee patches.

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I have two identified M41 Field Jackets (5th Ranger & 5th ESB) and a complete HBT set that were CC-2 treated for Normandy.

 

All items have that heavier feel and slightly darker look that Allan describes above. The fabric looks oily, but when you touch it, nothing sticks to our hands, it's actually very strange.

 

The odor/smell has vanished to almost non-existent after all the years.

 

My ID'd M42 jump suit was probably boiled or washed several times. There's no CC-2 left and it's heavily faded.

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Guest Wild Ranger

We do not want to recreate the smell, just proper look of D-Day uniforms. Most reenacting groups don't care about it but we think that it's important and can give more realism to our impressions.

 

Maybe you can also answer what this CC-2 formula was? Was it a thin liquid ready for use? Or was it a concentrate to make the mixture with water? I tried with silicone lubricant spray. The material had darken and I think feels slick-non tacky. It doesn't smell at all. I think that CC-2 was intended to prevent the mustard gas aerosols penetration of the material and due to that prevent the gas scalds. When I tried to wet my M42 after this silicone treatment it was difficult. I think that could be the way to recreate it! What do you think?

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Allan,

I should probably rephrase that. What I wanted to say is that when you look at it, you'd think it was sticky when in fact it isn't. It is indeed slick. I guess in a way you could compare it to the Barbour Oily Rain Slickers, but then less pronounced.

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Some troopers tried to avoid the impregnation. Fred Bahlau, H/506, had rubbed foot powder all over his jacket to make it look like it had been already impregnated. Besides, some troopers boiled the CC-2 out of their jackets during the Normandy-Campaign. So there were a few M42's not impregnated due to reasons like this.

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If you want authenticity, I'd stick with the true CC-2 formula. If you smell like a combination of baby spat and motor oil at least you will be authentic. Personally, since this wasn't widely done, I would not deem it as neccesary for a Normandy impression. It reminds me of German camo's. Everyone wants a German camo for their impression, but not every German wore them either. Camo'ing can be as simple as smearing mud on your jump suit or helmet. It's a little off topic, but I think you get my point.

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My reasoning is quite simple. I have examined probably close to a thousand M42's, and I have never seen a wide use of this. By and far I have found just your plain old M42. This would also lend to the fact that such jackets are indeed rare, when found.

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It is my understanding also that while in theory every man that landed on D-Day should be wearing an impregnated uniform but in reality very few were. Due to logistics and the time frame it just did not happen. Putting things on your uniform that were not intended to be on it may well cause it to rot, mold, or who knows what, not to mention what it might do to your skin. I would leave well enough alone and just roll around in some dirt.

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  • 1 year later...

for what i have : pairs of local found socks in Normandy and Germany it's sticky but no discoloration

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  • 2 years later...

Here's some info I found on the CC-2 from the US Army Corps of Engineers:

 

Impregnite kits were issued to soldiers in World War II to make the

undergarments of military issue chemical suits impermeable to chemical

agents. These kits contained two substances: a) XXCC3, which is a fine,

white granular crystal powder, and B) a black waxy material or honeylike

syrup.

 

XXCC3

Fine white granular crystal powder consisting of Zinc Oxide and Octachlor

Carbonilide with a strong bleach-like,Chlorine Odor. XXCC3 can be an

eye, nose and throat irritant. It is relatively non-toxic. According to the

Material Safety Data Sheet for the substance, it would take massive doses

to be toxic. XXCC3 is not listed by the International Agency for Research

on Cancer (IARC), National Toxicology Program (NTP), Occupational

Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or American Conference of

Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) as a carcinogen.

 

Here is a link to a newsletter documenting an environmental cleanup of the Impregnite kits at a Virginia Army base:

http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/projects/Env...te-Kit-Fact.pdf

 

The government spec Mil-C-11873C says that a container of the impreginite consisted of:

 

1.65 lbs Somerset #85 (Highly toxic)

4.33 lbs Chlorinated paraffin (Just toxic)

16.5 lbs Impregnite XXCC3 (not toxic)

1 lb dye mix (Probably OD)

 

The white powder located at the creases as previously described is probably the paraffin flaking off the fabric. I've read some AARs where troops noticed a distinct chlorine odor. Also note, that the US military required that all uniform fabrics be dyed with a dye that is non-reactive to chorine bleach. No wonder why...

 

I guess you could take the above info and try to recreate it, but I wouldn't :crying: :blink::unsure: :thumbdown:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would suggest waterproofing the jumpsuit with TX10 from Nikwax it will give your suit water proofing and may slightly darken them up,it wont give you cancer

Always looking for WW2 Cavalry,Pack Mule and Constabulary horse platoon stuff.

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Probably 60% of the impregnited M42s worn in Normandy did not last through the campaign (27 IIRC days without relief, showers or laundry or resupply of clothing).

 

By invasion SOP, each trooper carried a change of clothes in his musette. The spares could be M42s (UNtreated), or HBT fatigues. Sometimes a wool shirt was added or substituted for the HBT shirt, but wool trousers were too bulky/weighty.

 

If not ditched sooner, were nearly ALL were turned in, and destroyed, en masse. Probably half the troops ditched the treated M42s BEFORE their combat time was concluded. After being withdrawn from the line, a trickle of (clean) replacement clothing became available in the staging camps, and more paras either abandoned their smelly M42s or (a few) kept them as souvenirs. The impregnited ones that got back to England were collected and turned in.

 

Thus, truly "real" impregnited M42s of Normandy have surfaced in FRANCE, where left, OR from a handful of vets' footlockers.

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