A scarce original British Denim Tank Suit as used during the Second World War.
Officially designated 'Overall Tank Denim', this pattern of tank suit came into use with the British Army during 1942-43 and was designed to be worn over the Battledress uniform in the same way the two piece denim uniform. These coveralls saw extensive issue in Normandy and were well liked due to their lightweight, versatile nature. They were also popular overalls during the post-war period with civilians as they were hard-wearing and ideally suited for use in workshops, garages and other places besides. Due to this they have become very rare to find today and have become a sought-after item by collectors.
The overalls are made from the same green sanforized cotton denim material as the two piece BD set and feature green vegetable ivory (plastic) buttons as were standard on British uniform from 1943 onwards. Unlike the two piece set, the overalls feature two map pockets, one to the front of each leg. Another feature specific to this model is the additional pen holding section on the front of the left breast pocket. The bottom of each leg features tabs like the early pattern denim trousers which is just another interesting feature of these rare overalls. The suit also features a waist belt which fastens with the same type of buckle as was used for battledress during WW2. Inside the overalls the original braces are still present and again fasten with the same buckles as used for the waist. These straps were often cut out by the original wearers but have survived on this pair.
The original label is still present inside the overalls. It has been washed out leaving only some of the details legible including the size of 2. The date is hard to read and looks to be either 1944 or 1954. The War Department acceptance stamp is also unclear so it is impossible to date these exactly as the pattern did not change from the Second World War through to the 1950s.
The overalls are a smaller size which are designed to fit a 34" - 36" chest. When laid flat they measure -
Chest - 21”
Inside arm - 19 1/2”
Outside arm - 22 1/2”
Inside leg - 29”
Shoulders - 20"
The overalls are in good condition with some signs of wear or use. They have clearly been worn and laundered leading to them looking washed and faded out, although this makes them look far more authentic than fresh overalls. There are some rust marks and some small holes which are illustrated in the pictures. The steel waist belt buckle shows signs of corrosion but it may be possible to clean it or change it for a replacement. They are a vintage, pre-owned item so please study the pictures before purchasing.
A great set of rare overalls in wearable condition. A must have for the serious British Army collector!