DDPM NBC Trousers

At the time of the First Gulf War there was legitimate concern that Saddam Hussein would use chemical weapons against coalition forces. He had already used them against his own people in the 1980s and was known to have stockpiled them, so troops were issued with NBC kit, masks and suits. Initially the British Army only had NBC kit in woodland green shades, however Remploy was set to work producing desert DPM versions of the suits and seem to have produced them to the exclusion of all other goods. These were rushed into theatre and arrived just in time to equip British troops before they began assaulting Iraq. In terms of design the DDPM NBC suits were identical to the standard British Army issue design, but in a tan camouflage suitable for use in the deserts of Iraq and it is a pair of trousers from one of these sets we are looking at tonight:imageThe trousers have large patch pockets on each leg:imageThese have top flaps secured with two pieces of Velcro:imageAngled Velcro tabs are fitted to the bottom of each leg, by twisting the trouser leg and securing the Velcro a tight seal can be created around the ankle:imageBlack patches are fitted to each leg to allow a piece of chemical detection paper to be attached:imageThe trousers are heavy, so a set of straps are fitted to the rear that can be passed over the shoulder like a pair of integral braces:imageThese can then be passed through loops on the front and tied to hold up the trousers:imageA Velcro strap also helps draw in the waist:imageA label is sewn into the trousers indicating they were made by J Compton & Webb in November 1991:imageThis was after the initial batches produced for the Gulf War, which seem to have been made exclusively by Remploy. This suggests that it was part of a later contract and then stockpiled in case of a future conflict in the desert. These DDPM NBC suits were to be reissued in the invasion of Iraq in the early 2000s and even today are still commonly seen in service. Here we see a soldier responding to the recent poison attack on a former Russian spy in the UK, he is wearing the DDPM NBC suit with the modern GSR mask:image

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