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Camo modeled on Russians?


Waycool
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Waycool,

Camouflage painting was very rare for the Russians. Not because the tankers didn't want it, but because paint was very scarce, this from the accounts of several tankers. Whitewash was frequently hard to come by in winter, too. Offhand, I'd say camouflage probably isn't in the game for Ivan, so would likely be the handiwork of Fuser et al.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Waycool,

Drat! I somehow missed the word "clothing" in your query. You really need to make sure these are right, though, since the scouts who wore them (and not just in winter) did so as early flak jackets offering significant protection from fragments, but not bullets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telogreika

As for Amoeba, you can have your own. The real deal. Pretty affordable, too. Keyword SOVIET WWII military camo uniform AMOEBA. Unless Steve gets there first!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Waycool,

You really need to make sure these are right, though, since the scouts who wore them (and not just in winter) did so as early flak jackets offering significant protection from fragments, but not bullets.

You think a cotton-padded jacket is like a flak jacket, and would offer significant protection from fragments? I don't see it...

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76mm,

Wrong garments! Vatniks and quilted pants. I believe it works as a kind of flak jacket because the loose fibers of the thick padding wrap around the fragment, slowing it down. Regret confusion. Description is in bottom paragraph of linked page from combat memoir.

http://english.iremember.ru/infantrymen/49-vladimir-zimakov.html?q=%2Finfantrymen%2F49-vladimir-zimakov.html&start=2

Update: Remembered something from my military aerospace days that my department manager told me. He'd worked on all sorts of weapon projects, one of which was some sort of highly secret optimum frag size munition. All went well until tested vs typical Russian and Chinese winter uniforms. Would you believe testing revealed no penetrations to the target mannequin by the fragments from the wonder munition? Great was the consternation. The program was scrapped. It occurs to me that not only is the frag being wrapped up in the fibers, but since they're not uniform in placement or directionality, they may act to destabilize the frag, slowing it and increasing the cocooning effect if fibers do wrap around it.

The link doesn't look right to me, but if that doesn't work, it's page 3 of Vladimir Zimakov's account under Infantry at

www.iremember.ru

Regards,

John Kettler

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I don't buy it. The Soviets did have SN-42 steel body armor, but it was really little different than the types used in WW1. Could stop slow fragmentation and perhaps largely spent ballistic ricochets, but little else.

I did come upon some mention of pre-WW1 experimentation with padded suits made out of genuine silk. Never took off because the cost was massive. Nylon was used for some Allied air crews, but I've never heard of such things being used with infantry during the war.

Steve

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Steve,

Don't know what to tell you. Zimakov is quite clear in that paragraph and is talking about mortar fragments, not shell fragments. He says at 100m the frag won't even get through the padding and at 30m will get to the skin but won't pierce it. He also has disparaging things to say about wearing an armor cuirass, saying it offers the "illusion of protection," rather than protection. Regarding the latter, I don't know whether this is the same as the assault armor the Russian combat engineers wore in MOUT. My boss had worked at both Naval Weapons Station, China Lake, California and also RAND, to name but two.

Adding to the confusion, but very cool for uniform grogs, if the Slavorum site's to be believed, vatniks, telogriekas and fufalkas are the same animal. Keyword Topic: Fufaika, telogreika

Regards,

John Kettler

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John, thanks for the link, I will have to spend more time at that site when I get the time.

Yes, as far as I know a vatnik and telegreika are the same thing.

I read Zimakov's account and remain a bit dubious--its funny that the protective benefits of quilted cotton/wool has not been mentioned in any of the dozens of accounts I've read about the East Front.

That said, he does say that they helped against "small shell fragments", so perhaps he was referring to very small fragments that would lose their lethal velocity quickly---dunno.

And along the lines that Steve mentioned, I seem to recall reading that one of the Mongols' "secret weapons" was that they wore silk undershirts, which helped protect against arrows, or actually made them easier to remove if they penetrated their outerwear.

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Cotton fiber is not up to the task of defeating shell fragments in any way worth mentioning. I don't care how thick it is.

Forget about one guy's brief statement on one website for a moment and think about this with some common sense. If cotton were a viable form of fragmentation protection, explain why NOBODY produced garments made from cotton for fragmentation protection. Also explain why it is easy, easy, easy to find pictures of Soviet steel body armor and no other references to cotton fiber body armor.

Sorry, one paragraph on one website is insufficient to make a case.

What thick cotton clothing might be able to do is absorb stone and wood splinters from ricochets. That I could believe.

I can also believe this guy being told it would defeat shell fragments. That wouldn't surprise me as totalitarian states often tell lies. I have an Iraqi "Kevlar" helmet that is nothing but thick fiberglass. It likely offers less protection than a simple steel helmet. But I'd wager $10 that the Iraqi soldiers were told it was Kevlar.

Steve

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76mm,

You're most welcome. The site is wonderful and used to be better, but most of the English translations on the primary AFV site were lost because of a server crash. First rate stuff whose loss AFV grogs should mourn. I remember is an excellent source for understanding the Russian combat experience, and not just by direct combatants. Read the nurse's account, for example. Tanks blowing up and trying to get out of the trench to rescue the few survivors.

You are absolutely right about the Mongol silk undergarment. The silk was both resilient and strong. Contrary to belief, arrows rotate somewhat in flight, and what happened was the silk caught the arriving arrowhead, wrapped it up and dissipated its force, preventing penetration of the Mogol warrior's skin. The Crusaders did something similar with a padded cotton hacqueton(?) worn over their chainmail. Drove the Saracen horse archers nuts, since the Crusaders were human pincushions and yet fought on unfazed. Also acted as a pretty good insulator against the searing desert sun.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Spanish Conquistadores in Mexico (1519-1521) wore steel armor at first, then they learned that it was much better to wear cotton padded coats similar to the ones worn by some Aztecs warriors. They were much lighter, not as hot under the sun as the steel cuirasses and protected well from Aztec weapons (mostly arrows and clubs with sharp obsidian stones). In a short time most of Corte’s men replaced steel with cotton. IIRC Pizarro’s men in Peru (1532) also wore padded coats instead of steel cuirasses.

Obviously Indian arrows and obsidian clubs were not mortar schrapnel, but it is a true case of cotton beign used as armor.

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You are absolutely right about the Mongol silk undergarment. The silk was both resilient and strong. Contrary to belief, arrows rotate somewhat in flight, and what happened was the silk caught the arriving arrowhead, wrapped it up and dissipated its force, preventing penetration of the Mogol warrior's skin.

You don't dissipate force by wrapping around something at right angles to its direction of flight. The silk did no such thing as "prevent penetration of the Mongol warrior's skin" but what I can believe it did do is reduce the damage done by the arrowhead and make it much easier to remove from the wound. Mongols hit by arrows were less likely to be mortally wounded and much more easy to treat and therefore less likely to die but they were not arrow-proof.

Remember this is a silk tunic we are talking about and then apply some critical thinking to what you read.

The Crusaders did something similar with a padded cotton hacqueton(?) worn over their chainmail. Drove the Saracen horse archers nuts, since the Crusaders were human pincushions and yet fought on unfazed. Also acted as a pretty good insulator against the searing desert sun.

Padded cotton over an iron or steel mail shirt, I can believe helped to stop arrows. Were the horse-archers' bows lighter and less powerful than a foot-archer's? May this also have contributed to the Saracens' arrows' failure to penetrate the cotton/mail combo?

I think you may be getting confused regarding the text in bold; the Mongols' silk clothing was probably great in the sun but I very much doubt that padded cotton over mail was any good at all.

Happy to be proven wrong on any of this but sometimes I just feel the need to stick my oar in and say "haaaaang on a sec".

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What were Vietnam era flak vest made from, 'ballistic nylon'? Said to be able to stop a .45 slug (the fattest, slowest round there is) but otherwise only decent protection for fragments and absorbing blast. I recall one report said the flack vest was a positive menace. After weeks/months of being worn in the field the cloth would be a regular petri dish of germs. Then when it failed to stop an incoming round the rancid-sweat-soaked cloth would be pulled into the wound. I also heard the green dye used to color the vest was somewhat poisonous when violently inserted into the body cavity too.

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Steve,

Here's another account of the ballistic resistance properties of the padded Russian (winter) jacket. HSU Loza was there and reports. (I didn't go looking for this item. It found me while trying to tell two of my brothers about HSU Loza and why his armor books were worth reading). From Valera's site.

http://english.iremember.ru/tankers/17-dmitriy-loza.html?q=%2Ftankers%2F17-dmitriy-loza.html&start=2

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, there were personal weapons in each Sherman that arrived in the USSR, Thompson submachine guns (also known as the Tommy gun). I read that rear area personnel stole these weapons and that few tanks arrived in units still equipped with them. What kind of weapons did you have, American or Soviet?

- Each Sherman came with two Thompson submachine guns, in caliber 11.43mm (.45 cal), a healthy cartridge indeed! But the submachine gun was worthless. We had several bad experiences with it. A few of our men who got into an argument were wearing padded jackets. It turned out that they fired at each other and the bullet buried itself in the padded jacket. So much for the worthless submachine gun. Take a German submachine gun with folding stock (MP-40 SMG by Erma -Valeri). We loved it for its compactness. The Thompson was big. You couldn't turn around in the tank holding it.

Regards,

John Kettler

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