An original 1950s French Army TAP 47/53 Parachute Smock in good condition.
Following the Second World War the French Army immediately set about rebuilding. A new uniform was designed including items made in what is now often referred to as 'Lizard Pattern' camouflage. A specific jump smock and trousers was designed for parachute troops which was released in 1947. A version was made in Lizard Camouflage and proved popular. The design of the smock and the camouflage pattern clearly took their influence from the American jump smock and British Denison smock, worn during WW2. The smock went through various changes over the next decade with this example being the 1956 pattern; hence 47/56.
The smock is made from herringbone twill which has had the camouflaged pattern screen printed onto it. The jacket features 4 pockets to the front which feature three press studs to the flap. Under the flap are 6 more male press studs allowing the pockets to be fastened in two positions. The left breast pocket features a horizontal 'Elless' branded zipper as well as a patch to the front which can hold pens and pencils. A brass zipper fastens the front and is a high quality 'Elless' brand example with locking puller. There is a buttoning fly front which fastens over this and metal eyelets are fitted to the armpits to aid in ventilation. There is also evidence of where parachute wings have previously been fitted.
Inside the smock is an internal pocket which fastens with a button. The original markings are also still present to the interior including the manufacturer's name of 'J. Pauwels & Co Ltd' of Merville. Of particular note is the lack of Israeli Defence Force stamps which are often found on these jackets. This example only has French markings which means it wasn't reissued later.
The jacket is cut, like all smocks, in a large, loose manner. This is because they are worn as an outer layer and are designed to offer as much free movement as possible. This is particularly noticeable across the chest and shoulders and needs to be taken into account when considering the sizes below. When laid flat the smock measures -
Chest - 23 1/2"
Inside arm - 17"
Outside arm - 21 1/2"
Shoulders - 19 1/2"
Length - 27 1/2"
The smock is in good, vintage condition. It has signs of wear and use etc but is still very wearable. There is a large period repair to the right sleeve and a small hole where the collar joins the jacket. There are general signs of wear and use etc which are to be expected from an issued combat jacket. Please take time to study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a pre-worn combat jacket!
A fantastic example of this sought-after pattern of smock. It would make a great addition to any collection without a doubt.