Rare Original 1944 Dated British Army Winter Tank Suit - Size 4 + Hood
An original 1944 Dated 'Oversuits, Tank Crews' as worn by various armoured units in the latter part of the Second World War.
These suits were issued to British Troops in the winter of 1944-45 to a variety of armoured units and feature heavily in photographs of the period. They were often referred to as 'Zoot Suits' at the time and in the post-war years as the 'Pixie Suit'. Whilst production carried on in the post-war period, this suit is a scarce wartime manufactured example.
Typical traits of wartime suits are the full length, brass 'Lightning' zippers which fasten the front and the green plastic buttons used to secure the chest flap behind these. The original brace straps are still present to the interior and have not been removed as is often found with these suits. The original waist belt is also present which again is often missing and the fly fastens with a brass 'Swift' brand zipper. The suit is made from a tan coloured cotton canvas and features a khaki green wool lining. Between these two layers is kapok which is designed to insulate the suit and keep the wearer warm in cold temperatures.
The suit is typical of tank suits and features the original manufacturer's label in the left hand sleeve. It states the size as ‘Size No. 4’ which will fit up to a 38" - 40” chest and a 34" - 36” waist. The 1944 date is present as is the War Department broad arrow marking and the maker's name of 'M. Belmont & Co Ltd'.
The condition of the overalls is good as can be seen in the pictures. It displays nicely and could certainly still be worn with only limited signs of wear and use. The only flaw I can find is that one of the eyelets on one of the chin straps has partly broken although it is rare that these are ever used.
The suit comes complete with an original matching hood which completes the set nicely.
All in all a nice original suit with a hard to find wartime date. This would make a fine addition to any collection and is a must have for anyone interested in armoured units who served in North West Europe in 1944 and 1945.