Thursday, 2 May 2013

French paratroopers uniform

There are 4 main types of uniform for the French paratroopers in Indochina, often mixed.

The TAP47-52 (TAP is for "Troupe Aéroportée" (Airborne troops)). This uniform is one of the most common for the French paratroopers in the last years of the war (1953-54). However, some units seems to have chosen not to wear it, or only as individuals (6e BPC, 8e BPC).



The British Windproof, also called "peau de saucisson" (sausage skin), were very common. Alongside the original version,  they were also trimmed and adapted in many ways. The most common modification were, for the vest, the removal of the hood, creation of a collar, front opening with establishment of a zipper and, for the trousers, the creation of belt loops in place of the drawstring and the elastic placement on the lower leg.



The TAP47-51 is less common as is camouflage was considered too light and was superseded by the more dark TAP47-52.



Finally the US Marines clothes. They were less common for the last period of the war. Nevertheless some people seems to have continued to wear them to the end of the war. These outfits are also often subject to adaptations and modifications.

Figures 3.1 above wear an USMC camouflaged vest over a French Colonial Paratrooper jump trouser, figure 4.1 an USMC paratrooper jump smock over a French Colonial Paratrooper jump trouser and figures 4.3 and 4.4 an USMC paratrooper jump smock over a British Windproof trouser.

6 comments:

  1. Very useful guide; thank you a lot for it! Then, the first plate is the more useful for a Na San or Dien Bien Phu based game?

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    Replies
    1. The 2 first plates certainly, but you will find also the other uniforms.

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  2. An excellent set of photos, very useful, your figures will be appearing on my blog as well. Dougie
    http://dougieswargamingblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. If I am not mistaken, the French Colonial jump trousers (fig 4-1 and 4-2) is almost exactly the same cut and design as the TAP47-52 trousers.

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    Replies
    1. Almost... some difference with the pockets, mostly on the back, but really with the all the stuff on it you must really know it to see it ;-)

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