A scarce original British Denim Tank Suit as used during the Second World War.
Officially designated 'Suits Tank Temperate', 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 set and feature green horn buttons as were standard on British uniform from 1944 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. Sadly it has washed out with the details not being clear enough for me to read but is the original issue label, none-the-less. Due to this, and coupled with the fact that there is no War Department acceptance stamp it is impossible to date these exactly as the pattern did not change from the Second World War through to the 1950s. The size of 5 can just be made out on the label which is of the style used during the Second World War - as is the font used for the number 5.
The overalls are a good, larger size but should be worn oversize for an authentic fit. The measurements below should take this into account, as well as the fact that they are cut very wide in the chest. When laid flat they measure -
Chest - 25”
Waist - 18 1/2”
Inside arm - 20 1/2”
Outside arm - 26”
Inside leg - 33”
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 is a hole to the right leg as shown in picture 6 but aside from that there is no other serious damage. They are a vintage item however 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!
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