British and Canadian Units
The following is a summary of basic authenticity guidelines for British and Canadian forces employed in England and on the coast of France during the invasion of June 6th 1944.
## For female military authenticity regulations, click here.
British and Commonwealth impressions should not mix materials (e.g. British with Canadian uniforms). British uniforms should be of British brown (khaki in official documents) wool while the Canadian uniforms must be of Canadian green wool. Other nationalities should limit their impressions to uniforms appropriate to their involvement during the invasion of France, 6th June 1944. Every effort should be made to portray a unit that landed on one of the three beaches (Gold, Juno, Sword beaches). The use of 50th British, 3rd British, 3rd Canadian Divisions or 1st Special Service Brigade (commandos) insignia is highly encouraged or to go sans any insignia. The use of gas detection brassards to cover non-D-Day appropriate insignia is also an option that is encouraged. Please note this is the "standard" within the Commonwealth and British equipped forces involved. There will be some variations between standard infantry units and first wave assault troops and Commando units, but the basics should be the same for all.
All Units British and Canadian No beards, sideburns, long hair tucked up into headgear, ponytails, mullets, or other inappropriate (modern/ non-military) hairstyles. Moustaches should be groomed to common 1940's British military standards that can be documented to 1944.
Common Uniforms and Items
Included in the regulations below are references to "most common",“standard" issue" items. As we are portraying a well-documented and photographed moment in history, we ask our participants to strive to represent the look of the vast majority of the soldiers involved in the invasion.
British Infantry Dress Requirements
Battle Dress (BD)
The standard uniform of all British formations during the June 6, 1944 invasion was the brown (khaki) wool Battle Dress. The most commonly seen pattern of BD of British forces during the invasion was the Pattern'37 (known as Battle Dress Serge). It is noted for hidden brass buttons, pleated chest pockets, trouser belt loops and ankle tabs. The Pattern '40 BD uniform (known as Austerity Battle Dress) is also equally acceptable though seen less frequently in photos of the invasion. It is known for exposed Bakelite buttons (either brown or khaki-green) unpleated pockets, lack of belt loops and ankle tabs. Over all, the P'40 BD uniform has a slimmer look than the fuller cut of the P'37 BD uniform.
These are some features of the P'37 BD blouse.
• Collar: Closed fall collar with 2 hook and eye attachments
• Front Closure: 5 brass button fly front that closes at the collar. A cloth waist belt was also sewn in at the waist, and secured closed by a buckle sewn to the lower right waistband
• Pockets:Two breast pockets, box pleated, with scalloped flaps secured by hidden brass buttons
• Cuffs: Vented cuffs, secured by hidden brass buttons. (Note: Post war "open" collar patterns are not acceptable)
War time Battle Dress trousers are identified as follows
• Waist: High waist that rest at or above the navel, with buttons on the inside of the waist band
to support trouser braces. P'37 will have 3 outside buttons at the waist to attach to the Blouse
while the P'40 will only have two buttons
• Pockets: Both patterns had two on seam side pockets, one rear pocket on the right hand side as well as a "bandage pocket" on the right front and a large "map" pocket on the left front thigh in at the waist, and secured closed by a buckle sewn to the lower right waistband
• Belt loops and ankle tabs: These are features only seen on the P'37 trousers (once again with brass buttons)
Are white cotton (non elasticized) trouser supports. They typically have leather tabs to attach to the trouser buttons.
The most common shirt issued to British/ Commonwealth force was a khaki/green wool shirt that only buttoned halfway down the shirt and had khaki cotton banded collar. Gunmetal buttons, three (3) down the front and one at each cuff, are the most commonly seen buttons used on this style of issue shirt.
Black "ammo" boots are an ankle boot made of black pebble grain leather with a toe cap. Must be leather soled with metal hobnails with either the pre-war 25 per boot pattern or the post-1941 15 hob nails per boot or the post-1942 13 per boot pattern.
The British/ Commonwealth troops were issued with simple grey wool socks.
The most commonly seen headgear for British infantry units during June 1944was the General Service (GS) cap with appropriate WW2 era Badge affixed, either metal or wartime economy plastic. The badge must be highly polished if metal. The GS cap is a floppy beret style hat that was introduced around late 1942 and early 1943 for all Army troops, except units that had officially adopted other head gear. (i.e. Scottish troops, Commandos, Airborne forces, and Armored units) Commandos wore a green beret and tank units wore a black beret.
The most commonly seen helmet of British troops was the Mk. II (50th Div, RN beach units and Commando units). Units portraying the British 3rd Division should wear the Mk. III "turtle shell" style. Helmet nets were common along with a Shell Dressing tucked underneath the netting towards the rear of the helmet. The amount of "scrim" used on the beaches was minimal.
Equipment - Basic Components
Web Equipment, 1937 Pattern was made in tan-khaki cotton webbing. Before the invasion the troops blanco'd (or coloured) their webbing a dark green, most common blanco color at this time was KG#3. Although KG#97 and #103 were also seen, these colors are not as common as #3. The webbing set consists of: waist belt, braces, 2 universal pouches (Mk 1 or Mk2 popper style), bayonet frog, entrenching tool w/ carrier, water bottle w/ carrier (either skeleton or sleeved), and small pack with two
"L" shoulder straps. Late war gas mask bag. The gas cape was attached to waist belt or worn at the alert position above the small pack. The webbing set must have brass hardware.
Note: Post war black painted metal hardware webbing is not authorized.
The 1942 "assault jerkin" was used by certain units of the 3rd British division. It was made of a brown canvas. It replaced the need for the 37 pattern web equipment and a separate small pack, e-tool pouch or water bottle carrier as these were all incorporated in the design of the jerkin.
Standard '37 pattern ankle gaiters with either web or brown leather tabs. Best if they are blancoed the same dark green color (KG #3) as the 1937 Pattern webbing. The strap buckles must be brass.
The most common rifle during the invasion was the No. 4 Mk. I. The Sten gun was issued mainly to NCOs and Officers. The Mk. II and Mk. III Sten guns were seen in equal numbers in invasion photos of June 6, 1944. The main section support weapon was the Bren gun. The Mk. 1M Bren guns were very common while the Mk. II Bren gun was making its 1st appearance in great numbers at this time. Hand guns were not carried in large numbers. These were typically only carried by officers and crew members of Armored.
Fighting Vehicles: Other Additions
Gas detection brassards, General Service shovel or pick, wire cutters, or any other documented item that a British solider went ashore with on Gold or Sword Beaches. Commando troops may carry Bergen rucksacks in lieu of small packs. The carrying and use of the BSA folding bicycle is also to be encouraged by Commandos as well as follow-on Infantry. troops.
Closed fall collar with either 2 hooks or one cloth tab.
5 button fly front. A cloth waist belt was also sewn in at the waist, and secured closed by a buckle sewn to the lower right waistband.
Two breast pockets, box pleated, with scalloped flaps secured by buttons.
Vented cuffs, secured by hidden buttons. (Note: Post war "open" collar patterns are not acceptable)
Battle Dress Trousers
Same pattern as British P'37 BD (Battle Dress Serge) but in Canadian Green wool and Canadian metal buttons.
Canadians can use the British made white cotton (non elasticized) trouser supports. They typically have leather tabs to attach to the trouser buttons. Canadian troops also had their own pattern of braces (known here as suspenders). These braces were khaki elasticized "Y" shaped trousers braces with leather tabs to attach to the trousers."Police" brand being the most common.
Black pebble grained leather ankle boots, without a toe cap and having leather soles with metal hobnails. Some units of the 3rd Canadian Div wore a combat boot (known as a 3rd Div boot). It was similar to the ankle boot but was taller and had a black leather flap with a single buckle at the top. This eliminated the need to wear gaiters with this style of boot.
The British/ Commonwealth troops were issued with simple grey wool socks.
Standard Canadian made '37 pattern. These were normally blancoed KG#3. These will have web straps with either brass or brown painted gun metal hardware. These are only worn with the ankle boot not the "3rd Div Boot".
1937 Pattern Web Equipment Basic Components
Web Equipment, Canadian made 1937 Pattern was made in golden-khaki cotton webbing. Before the invasion, the soldiers blanco'ed (or colored) their webbing a dark green, most common blanco color at this time was KG#3. Many Canadian units used vehicle paint on their webbing.
The webbing set consists of: waist belt, braces, 2 universal pouches, bayonet frog, water bottle w/ holder (either skeleton or sleeved), and small pack with two "L" shoulder straps. Late war gas mask bag, gas cape attached to waist belt or worn at the alert position above the small pack. The Canadian webbing set may have either brass hardware or brown painted gunmetal hardware. /span> Note: Post war black painted metal hardware webbing is not authorized.
The 1942 "Assault Jerkin"
The 1942 "Assault Jerkin" was used by many units of the 3rd Canadian Division. It was made of a brown canvas. It replaced the need for the 37 pattern web equipment with a separate small pack, e-tool pouch or water bottle carrier as these were all incorporated in the design of the jerkin.
The Canadian Khaki beret with WW2 era Regimental badge on it was the most common hat worn by Canadian forces. Some units in the 3rd Canadian Div were of Scottish heritage and they wore a Tam'O Shanter style khaki green wool hat.
The most commonly seen helmet of first wave Canadian troops on D-Day was the Mk. III helmet. Units portraying the 3rd Canadian Division should wear the Mk. III "turtle shell" style. Helmet nets were common along with a Shell Dressing tucked underneath the netting towards the rear of the helmet. Mk. IV helmets are allowable substitutes of the Mk. III.
The most common rifle during the invasion was the No. 4 Mk. I. Sten guns were issued to many NCOs and Officers, the Mk. II and Mk. III Sten gun were seen in equal numbers. The main section support weapon was the Bren gun. Mk. Im Bren guns were very common while the Mk. II Bren gun was making its 1st appearance at this time. Hand guns were not carried in large numbers. These were typically only carried by officers and crew members of Armored Fighting Vehicles.
Gas detection brassards (brown color) were very common during the assault. General Service shovels, or pick as well as wire cutters, helmet netting, or any other documented item that a Canadian went ashore with on Juno Beach. The only major infantry Canadian formation, involved in the D-Day landings, was the 3rd Infantry Division. Every effort should be made to portray one of the many units within this formation.
Items to Avoid - Unauthorized items
The use of Denim BD or Khaki Drill clothing during the beach landing is prohibited as the use of either of these uniforms during the initial assault on June 6, 1944 has not been documented. TThe SMLE No.1 Mk III rifle is also a very rare weapon on the beaches. There is little or no photographic evidence of its use during the invasion and thus is best avoided.