Gulf War DDPM Shirt

When the First Gulf War broke out in 1991, the British Army was woefully underprepared for a conflict in the dessert. Although a four colour Desert DPM camouflage pattern had been developed in the 1980s, as the MoD could not see an immediate use for it the design had been used to produce uniforms for the export market and sold to Iraq; it was also produced under license for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia amongst others. As the level of threat increased in the middle east it became clear that British forces might need to deploy to the region and having an identical pattern of camouflage to potential enemies would only cause confusion or worse. The eventual two tone desert camouflage was different enough to go into production and quantities were received by troops taking part in the First Gulf War. Due to the short turnaround times though, the DDPM uniforms were essentially the old tropical uniforms produced in the new fabric. Tonight we are considering one of these DDPM shirts, and it is interesting to contrast the design with that of the CS95 DDPM shirt we looked at here: imageThe shirt has two patch pockets, one on either breast, these are bellowed to allow expansion and secured with flap tops and a single button:imageThe buttons are the same design used on many British Army uniforms since the Second World War. The shirt also has a pen pocket on the upper sleeve:imageEach shoulder has a buttoned strap for the displaying of rank and to help secure webbing under if desired:imageThe shirt is secured with a zip, that is then covered by button fly:imageThe collar has the ability to be turned up and secured with a button, although I doubt this was ever done in practice:imageThe cuffs are also buttoned, with a tab and pair of buttons provided to give differing degrees of tightness:imageAs with all modern military equipment, the shirt has a white label inside giving details of sizing, washing instructions and manufacturer:imageIt is interesting to note that this shirt was made by a British manufacturer, J Compton Sons & Webb Ltd, most modern British Army uniforms being produced in China! We end on a wonderful photograph of a chap on active service in the Gulf War pairing the DDPM uniform with 58 pattern webbing and a Sterling SMG:image

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