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The first true paratroop drop was by Italy in November 1927. Within a few years several battalions had been raised and were eventually formed into two Folgore and Nembo divisions. Although these would later fight with distinction in World War 2, the divisions were never used in a parachute drop. Instead, they would fight as an elite infantry unit. Most would wear camouflage smocks in the field using the M1929 Telo mimetico pattern. It also has the distinction of being the first printed camouflage pattern for general issue, and the camouflage pattern in longest continuous use in the world.
The 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore earned considerable renown for their heroic actions during the Second battle of El Alamein, where they staunchly defended their position against repeated British offensives, with their surrender being forced only after exhausting all their ammunition. On 11 November 1942, when the battle was over, the BBC transmitted the famous official bulletin: “The remnants of the Folgore division put up resistance beyond every limit of human possibility.”
The 184th Paratroopers Division Nembo was created after the destruction of Folgore and were sent to Yugoslavia on anti-partisan operations. They were then sent to Sardinia to help defend against what was expected to be the main Allied landing. After the Allies landed in Sicily the Nembo was sent to reinforce the island but arrived too late to affect the outcome. After the armistice between Italy and the Allies many would be among Italian paratroopers that joined the retreated Germans and formed part of the new 4th Fallschirmjäger Division, rest of the division joined the Italian Co-Belligerent Army to continue fighting against the Allied advance through Italy.
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At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 the US Army was small and lacking of experience, with only 16,000 enlisted men and officers. Neither side was prepared militarily for tbe conflict, with much of the army scattered across the vast expanse of the American West. Loyalty would be an issue as units were called eastwards to either form the army sent to subdue the rebellion, or to join it. Compelled to join a side they would be torn by loyalty to their country, their native state, and to their army. Volunteers would bolster the Union army and fight alongside the more professional regular regiments.
Uniforms of both volunteers and regulars were influenced by the styles popular in Europe, with particular popularity for the French inspired fashion. There would be many uniform variations for the Union regiments due to limitations on material and unit preference, but primarily the Union infantry would be in dark blue jacket and kepi, and light blue trousers.
The dark blue sack coat was practical and comfortable, with trousers often light or sky blue. Sturdy shoes were worn instead of boots, and the kepi was the predominant headwear. A knapsack or pack was standard issue, and a haversack and canteen were essential items also worn.
At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 the US Army was small and lacking of experience, with only 16,000 enlisted men and officers. Neither side was prepared militarily for tbe conflict, with much of the army scattered across the vast expanse of the American West. Loyalty would be an issue as units were called eastwards to either form the army sent to subdue the rebellion, or to join it. Compelled to join a side they would be torn by loyalty to their country, their native state, and to their army. Since the Confederacy had no regular army before the war one had to be created, with militia and state units drawn to do so.
Confederate regulation uniforms were similar to those for the US army, although they were generally grey in colour. The kepi was the preferred headgear for officers, but was also popular among the enlisted men alongside the ubiquitious slouch hat. The basic equipment was a cartridge box and cap box, a canteen, and perhaps a haversack or a blanket roll for personal items. Knapsacks were rarely used by confederate infantry, with the blanket roll being more comfortable to wear and perhaps offering some additional protection. The blanket roll was made by placing personal items on the blanket (which could range from "issue" blankets to a homemade quilt) and then rolling it up, then wearing it diagonally over his shoulder and across his chest.
After the fall of France and German domination over continental Western Europe was secure, Britain faced the threat of invasion by sea. The Royal Navy had control of the English Channel and North Sea, so German air superiority was necessary to attempt an amphibious and airborne assault on Britain. Despite determined and constant attacks on RAF airfields and infrastructure, and later factories and other strategic infrastructure for aircraft production, air superiority could not be achieved by the luftwaffe. The planned invasion of Britain (Operation Sea Lion) was called off and German attention turned to the East. The RAF had two of the most iconic and exceptional aeroplanes of the war to defend against the luftwaffe, with the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire entering into legend alongside their pilots.
Wearing an Irvin Flying jacket made of heavyweight sheepskin, which would protect against potentially sub-zero temperatures at high altitudes, this pilot is ready to take on Jerry.
Volksgrenadiers were formed in Autumn 1944 after the loss of two German Armies to combat the relentless Allied push towers Berlin in both the East and West. The name was intended to build morale by appealing to nationalism (Volk) and Germany's older military traditions (Grenadier). They were organised around small cadres of hardened veteran soldiers, NCO's and officers, and then bulked out with anything the Replacement Army could spare.
In order to maximise firepower while contending with man-power shortages Volksgrenadier units were armed with a higher proportion of automatic weapons, and were issued with considerable numbers of Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons.
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The Luftwaffe began to form divisions for service in the field in the summer of 1942 from surplus ground, support and other personnel on the order of Hermann Göring. These divisions would be transferred to Heer control in late 1943 and would be issued with many of their equipment to replace their own over time. Most field units spent much of their existence on the Eastern Front, but their combat effectivness was apparently poor, and were frequently used for rear echelon duties to free up front-line troops.
Until taken over by the Heer, and often afterwards, these units were issued with the standard Luftwaffe feldblau uniforms. These were easily identifiable, and often singled out the wearer to opposite forces. Soldiers would often use their zeltbahn to create makeshift wearable camouflage in the form of ponchos and smocks.
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He's the best cook around, using chemistry as his secret ingredient.
Every good cook needs an assistant, even if he's more annoying than helpful!
The Oak leaf camo was a late war pattern used by the German army during World War Two. This pattern was used during Autumn. United Bricks has brought this iconic camo to life with 360° printing. Each one are packed in a special lister pack with double sided printed collectors card.
When you have an appointment at the bank, dress to the occasion and control the situation.
When the bad guys are on the loose, send in the big guns and get the job done right.
American gangsters have nothing on these guys! Straight out of Birmingham comes a true British gang!