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Colour Guide – British Commandos

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Commandos – North West Europe (Normandy, etc)

Item Colour Vallejo Model Colour
Beret Commando Green Deep Green 70.970
Helmet Dark Green Russian Green 70.894, Bronze Green 70.897
Helmet Cover Khaki Green Russian Uniform 70.924
Leather Jerkin Brown Mahogany Brown 70.846, Flat Brown 70.984
Uniform Khaki US Field Drab 70.973, English Uniform 70.921, Flat Earth 70.983
Backpack Khaki Green Russian Uniform 70.924
Backpack straps Beige German Camo Beige 70.821
Webbing & Pouches Sand Iraqi Sand 70.819, Dark Sand 70.847
Webbing (variant) Beige German Camo Beige 70.821
Webbing (variant) Pale Green Deck Tan 70.912, Pastel Green 70.885
Anklets / Gaiters Beige German Camo Beige 70.821
Boots – Soldiers Black Black 70.950

Notes
British uniforms were consistent over all branches of the army. Commandos, infantry, artillery and many Commonwealth forces engaged in Europe had only slight variations of insignia and beret. A few specialists’ units also received camouflaged jackets and trousers.

Khaki cloth was mostly a brown shade and relatively colourfast. Vallejo English uniform 70.921 is very dark and brown, Flat Earth 70.984 or US Field Drab 70.973 are lighter tones.

Webbing, anklets and ammunition pouches were issued in Sand and Green shades. They were made from were cotton canvas and faded rapidly. In theory, green is correct for the late war period in Europe, but soldiers were issued with both colours. Green ammunition pouches were sometimes worn with sand
coloured webbing and vice versa.

British made vehicles and metal items were dark green (Reflective Green). American made vehicles were olive green drab (US Dark Green 70.893).

Insignia
Commandos wore the commando badge on the shoulder. It can be simulated by painting a black circle and adding two vertical and horizontal strokes in red to form #. The unit badge was a curved shape at the top of the shoulder. For commandos, this had a red symbol and white text.

Further Reading
Books
General
Andrew Mollo: The Armed Forces of World War 2 (Little, Brown and Company)
This book is a very useful overview of uniforms and insignia. There are 250 colour drawings and 100 photographs which cover every nation involved in WW2. The original 1981 version is a large format book. There is an A5 reprint that does not include the Eastern front.
Chris McNab: 20th Century Military Uniforms: 300 Uniforms from Around the World (Grange Books PLC)
This book is similar in style to Andrew Mollo’s book and has many of the same illustrations.
Osprey books are also very good but there are several which touch the subject, so it is difficult to recommend one item.
Britain
Martin Brayley: The World War II Tommy: British Army Uniforms European Theatre 1939-45 (The Crowood Press Ltd)
A very useful book with colour photographs showing original uniforms and equipment.
Jean Bouchery: 1944-45 British Soldier: From D-Day to V-Day: Pt. 1 (Histoire & Collections)
Jean Bouchery: 1944-45 British Soldier: From D-Day to V-Day: Pt. 2 (Histoire & Collections)

Taken together these two books are very comprehensive. Part 1 covers uniforms. Part 2 covers vehicles and weapons. Both are illustrated with diagrams and colour photographs showing original uniforms and equipment

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