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Military Clothing – Camouflage, a Recent History
The use of camouflage in military clothing took hold in more recent history as the nature of war changed

World War and the impact on military clothing
The two major world wars had a huge impact on the military and the investment in military technology and military clothing. Advances in technology during this time saw the first mass-produced military camouflage material being made. Initially this was used to cover shelters but it soon became common in military clothing in World War Two.

Camouflage for military clothing
The Germans used pattern camouflage for military clothing used by combat units. The types of patterns were varied including:

• Palm Pattern
• Swamp Pattern
• Pea Pattern
• Mimetic Cloth

Magician designs military clothing
It wasn’t until 1942 that the British army used patterned camouflage military clothing, and in America 150,000 jungle camouflage uniforms were produced for beach and jungle environments. US marines used camouflage as part of their military uniform. The British has their own research unit that featured the magician Jasper Maskelyne who was famed for his work with camouflage for military clothing.

How military clothing evolved
America perhaps is the leading force in changing military clothing – they changed their uniform in every military campaign since the Revolutionary War until World War One. By then the use of camouflage in military clothing changed the idea of the military uniform. The shift was from being visible and bold to becoming ‘unseen’.

Vietnam and jungle warfare
Vietnam shifted the uniform as practicality and the environment demanded changes in military clothing. Jungle combat meant various new camouflage patterns emerged, including the tiger stripe pattern that was used for the Green Berets but became standard by the end of the war.

The dangers of Velcro
By 1980, although military clothing and designs had advanced, there were still major concerns. The use of Velcro on the pockets of American uniforms was a concern for soldiers who felt the ripping noise would give away their position.

Military clothing in the desert
The ACU uniform in America was produced in response to the Gulf War and another environmental change and shift in the nature of warfare. This military clothing was designed to improve comfort and practicality. Pockets were shifted from the chest to the bicep area to accommodate other protective military clothing, namely the Interceptor Body Armour Outer Tactical Vest. The covering was designed into the military clothing to protect soldiers from the more recent threat of homemade antipersonnel devices.

John Bull Military Clothing is a supplier of quality merchandise to the Forces worldwide. John Bull Military Clothing is based at the Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire. For all your military clothing, outdoor and survival equipment needs you can order from the online shop. For more details telephone 01748 833614 or email:

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