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"Made in Britain" -- the ETO Contract jackets and coat


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It seems to me that we should limit the term "ETO" to those jackets/coats made in Britain (or Italy, as I mentioned in the one case) with British CONTRACT LABEL. This would exclude those tailor made by non-goverment shops.

 

Certainly there are plenty of shortened service coats or Ike-styles, made from scratch. Some have civilian tailor labels, some have no labels. Does that help with the definition?

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Gil,

Yes I think your definition is the one that the vast majority would agree with.

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"YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH RED WINE, TOO MANY BOOKS, OR TOO MUCH AMMUNITION."

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I agree that this is a good working definition of an official "ETO Jacket" that is an item of issue.

 

Here is some background information for those reading this thread, taken from the QMC Historical Studies done in September 1946 and published under the title, "Clothing The Soldier Of World War II."

 

The "developmental work on the short, wool, field jacket began early in 1943." The Air Transport Command requested a study of the functionality of their clothing on 26 Feb 1943 and the study found that, "the officer's and enlisted man's coats were worthless garments for combat." The Air Forces adopted the short wool jacket in the fall of 1943. Patterns, specifications, and a sample were issued and sent to the Chief Quartermaster of the ETO who had requested a garment similar to the English battle dress. "Such jackets were manufactured in England under the direction of the Commanding General of the European Theater of Operations."

 

The jacket underwent changes to include the later concealed buttons and General Eisenhower wrote directly to General Marshall to encourage adoption of the short jacket. The stateside QMC developed jacket was then "shown to the Chief Quartermaster of the ETO, General Littlejohn, and his staff. They regarded the jacket as inferior to the ETO-style jacket developed in England."

 

The standardized "Ike Jacket [aka Field Jacket]" with concealed buttons was not classified as a standard item of issue until 2 November 1944. So, all these item of issue jackets (not tailor made or tailor modified jackets) that were manufactured in the ETO prior to this date might be considered "ETO Jackets" it seems.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Sounds good to me. Should we assume that there was some Air Corps influence on Eisenhower himself with the B-13 style jacket? I really suspect there were several threads coming together at the same time.

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Gil,

I am sure you are correct in your assumption. Several threads were coming together at the same time in both the ETO and at home.

 

There was widespread dissatisfaction with the Service Coat as it had basically become a dress item and soldiers left them in piles when they were assigned to combat duties. Everyone seemed to know this garment was worthless as combat clothing.

 

There was a move toward layering of combat clothing. The short ETO/Ike jacket allowed for layering and when it was issued it was intended to be worn with other clothing beneath it. It was also supposed to be washable but this was a struggle to get the correct cloth.

 

The Air Corps got the ball rolling and everyone seemed to pile onto the idea of a short servicable combat field jacket. The field jacket evolved from one with exposed buttons and nappy English cloth into the concealed button harder cloth version that became the 1 November 1944 pattern Field Jacket.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Well, given that the Brits had already adopted the short battle jacket, at least partly as an economy measure, is is not surprising that there was interest in the U.S.

 

Have you ever seen a Brit battle jacket worn by a GI? I have one!

 

Perhaps we shoud initiate another thread here to investigate OTHER pre-Ike, non-ETO short jackets. I have the above, plus Aussie Ikes worn in both ETO and the pacific. I even have a Canadian battle jacket with U.S. (WO's ) insignia. We should also include the AAC versions, B-13 and 14. All of these are the roots of the Ike, in my mind.

 

Then perhaps we can look at the true QM issue Ikes, M1944, M1948 and M1950, for officers and EMs, plus those made under US contract after the war in Germany, etc. I can support all of this, but I need help with the AAC versions.

 

Any volunteers?

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On ETO jackets, about three years ago I was sent a photograph of an ETO jacket that the sender wished to know about. Did I have one or had I seen one like this before and what, when and why did it exist.

The reason for his query was this one was manufactured in blue material. On inspecting the photo it was evident that the pocket linings, the button hole faceing material and the labels were all white. So there was great evidence that it had not been dyed. I have never owned or seen another blue one, and found it very interesting.

 

This is what is quite amusing about the hobby, even long time collectors thirty years or more, still see items they have never managed to see before. Sorry I cannot find the photo, if I do I will post it here.

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Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

 

Life is like a tank of gas, the closer you get to a quarter tank, the faster it goes 

 

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  • 2 years later...
  • 6 months later...

It looks very unusual with its dark OD shade and contrasting light khaki stitching and buttons! Quite unlike any EM's example I've ever seen..and I have several in my own collection!

 

Sabrejet

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Yours is unusual on several counts, most noiceably the use of officer quality fabric to make an Enlisted Man's jacket. Also, as has already been mentioned, the contrasting stitching and buttons are certainly non-standard. I have an officer's ETO in dark OD but its design is quite different from the EM's and its stitching and buttons are dark OD too. However, your label confirms that yours is legit..possibly even unique?! Here's my "standard" second type EM's ETO

 

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Sabrejet :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Thanks Sabre ! :thumbsup:

I don't know if mine is unique ... maybe an "economy product" ?

More info about it : it made in a rough brown-purple cotoon ... not chocolate-brown like the ETO made for officers.

What is this mistery ? :think: :rolleyes:

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Oui, c'est une grande mystere n'est-ce pas?!

 

Ian ;)

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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