M43 Jackets "Original"

Thomas Koehle

Well-Known Member
"Original norwegian Army" ...

During the time when I was still more active in reenactment I collected more Army than Airforce stuff. Simply made more sense to ride around in my Jeep in Army Equipment rather than in AF stuff.

For me one of the most interesting - and still impacting modern combat uniforms - was the M43 parka.

Pretty hard to get hands on period pieces in size 44 I was searching for alternatives. One of the many armies using US Army influenced equipment after WW2 was the Norwegian Army. Besides other stuff they copied the M43 combat dress almost 1:1 and used it until the late 1990ies up to 2000.

About 15 years ago the Norwegian Army started liquidation of there old combat dresses and this is how I was able to buy M43 per Kilogramm`s but not per pieces.

I bought about 100 kg assorted, used but cleaned M43 jackets with matching pants. Back then was still the "SPR" and "Band of Brothers" hype ongoing so I slammed 101st airborne patches on the jackets and sold them via Ebay.

I kept 4 jackets with matching pants in my collection ... - besides those "Norwegians" I own period M43`s but in very small sizes.


period M43 in very bad condition - like a lot of homecoming GI`s did in the US the jacket was once used to do some paintwork


antoher period piece - should patch was added by me - jacket was worn by my wife when we did weekend rides in the Jeep (was also still Airborne-crazy back then)


Norwegian M43 out of that 100kg lot outriggered to match the club I was member in back then


Another "Made in Norway" jacket


M43 of the OSLO 82nd Bartender Group fighting for free beverages


and the obligatory 101st airborne - yep I was also addicted to the "BoB" mini-series


all of my 4 remaining ex Norway M43 jackets - obvious the different shades and also the extra seam on the epaulettes on 2 of the jackets (that "extra seam" is no longer found on M65 jackets also)


and here on the far right the 2 originals

Norwegian garment does usually have white sizetags with red embroidered European sizes

there is not some many more obvious differences in the "modern" Norwegian variant compared to originals and as you can see from the pics even the fabric looks pretty similar.

so if someone offers you a M43 which accommodate sizes 44 and bigger (I found one in approx. size 48) check for the sizetag

Saludos
Thomas
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
i remember reading many, many years ago, that the "norwegian" m-43s were american made, and sent to norway. where they were stamped or labeled with european sizes. and yes ondeed they were sold at us army-navy stores for silly coin. some in unissued condition.
 

Thomas Koehle

Well-Known Member
i remember reading many, many years ago, that the "norwegian" m-43s were american made, and sent to norway. where they were stamped or labeled with european sizes. and yes ondeed they were sold at us army-navy stores for silly coin. some in unissued condition.
Well never heard about that ...

In fact one of the jackets I own is stamped with the size - the 2 others do have labels and 1 is totally unmarked

Would be an explanation why the make and quality of the fabric is that near to the vintage jackets in my collection

Just remembered a way to distinguish from vintage garment: there was the Norwegian flag sewn to the left shoulder and when removed they leave a darker area on the shoulder
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Thomas
Great looking collection of M43 jackets. Really like the way you’ve got them tricked out and patched . Very cool collection.
Now I have to start looking for one of these gems.
Saludos
Burt
 

Tom Bowers

Active Member
I love my M-43s and have several originals
I even bought an ATF M-43 repro when it was on deal of the day a while back and I wear it around just for knocking about
Very nice jacket and I like it a lot
Tom Bowers
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Thomas, we are colleagues! You have great jackets. Love it.
I have collected vintage field jackets for more than 15 years. Only originals, not repro. I have 3 of original m43 (one of then first pattern 370 - without letter), m51 and of course my favorite M65 (3 jackets of 1968 with a gray lining). I have also early Canadian MkII and the Dutch m64 from 60's.
But my jackets without patches, I wear them all from time to time
And I do not have Norwegian M43 :)

M43





 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
yup, somewhere around here i have my norwegian m-43. i will have to dig it up and have a look see for stamps, labels, etc., as i dont remember what, if anything is stamped, written, or tagged on it. reason being is that i just wore it with no regard for anything more then usefulness.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
I have two M43's that are US 44", one M50 same size and a massive 50" sized one that has had the epaulettes professionally removed.

All up for reasonable offers........ i have an Aero russet goat i want to order !
 

EmergencyIan

Active Member
What I have found over the years with original M-43’s is that they’re oversized by, at least, one size. So, if you are a size 46, you can certainly go down to a 44 and maybe a 42, unless you plan to wear a thermal undershirt, a flannel button down shirt, a sweater and an M-43 pile liner under your jacket. Frankly, if you get an 43 jacket in the size that you would wear a suit jacket, it’s going to fit like a sack of potatoes.

I love these jackets and hats owned several originals. I learned after the first to go down in size or two sizes and it was well worth it. The other brilliant thing is these jackets are all either regular, short or long.

You gotta love vintage U.S. WWII military clothing. You can really get great fits since it’s so specific.

- Ian
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Very true Ian. Though TBH i prefer the Norwegian ones as they are a cotton duck rather than modal/sateen.

Just can't seem to find one in a euro 54 or 56.........
 
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CBI

Well-Known Member
Yes, originals are oversized!!!! However, when I have gone down a size in either an original or repro, it looks off, like the proportions are wrong so I only wear one if I am going to wear layers under. The issue is the shoulders are generally sized correctly and then the rest of the jacket is oversized. This makes sizing down a challenge. Totally IMO, just my 2 cents.
 

EmergencyIan

Active Member
^Respectfully, I haven’t found this to be the case, at all. How could the shoulders be spot on if they were designed to have all of those layers worn underneath? Logic and experience don’t dictate this conclusion.

- Ian
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
To get nice fit it need to "play" with height (R-regular or L-long or S-short) and yes, all field jackets "oversized" for civil sizes cause they are conceived for wearing on top of uniforms and layers.
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
Ian - not sure but I talked to the guys at At The Front about this a while back and they explained it was the challenge making repros as well. I think they might even say something about it on their site. for me it has not worked out well to downsize for the proper fit, the proportions look off to me. But, its just my experience/perception
 

EmergencyIan

Active Member
Ian - not sure but I talked to the guys at At The Front about this a while back and they explained it was the challenge making repros as well. I think they might even say something about it on their site. for me it has not worked out well to downsize for the proper fit, the proportions look off to me. But, its just my experience/perception
I have no experience with repros when it comes to M-43 field jackets. I never trust any of the companies when they say their jackets sizing is exact to originals. For example, I guarantee that I could not go down two sizes in a Buzz Ricksons M-43 field jacket. I’m sure they’re very nice, but the sizing isn’t like that of an original. Anyhow, they and their M-65 field jackets are way too expensive when originals in mint to near mint condition are, often, considerably less expensive. The originals are also built like tanks.

- Ian
 

asiamiles

Well-Known Member
I have no experience with repros when it comes to M-43 field jackets. I never trust any of the companies when they say their jackets sizing is exact to originals. For example, I guarantee that I could not go down two sizes in a Buzz Ricksons M-43 field jacket. I’m sure they’re very nice, but the sizing isn’t like that of an original.
I sized down to a 36 for my Buzz M-43, and then gave it a few washes (incl. one hot one) to shrink it a little.
 

EmergencyIan

Active Member
^Thata interesting and good to know. I did look at the measurements and figured one could size down one size, but not two. Regardless, in my opinion, there is no reason to buy one of these when you can find an original in unissued or almost unissued condition for much less. However, like I mentioned before, I’m sure they’re very nice jackets, as I own a number of BR jackets and they’re all very nice.

On thing I will say is that I normally wear a size 38, but owned an original M-1941 field jacket in a size 36 and it fit perfectly. As you know, they are not easy to find in good condition; and this original had a Rangers bullion patch sewed on the left shoulder. As a result, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it causally. I eventually sold it to a collector in Ireland who was displaying his collection in his home. Anyhow, when BR introduced their M-41 field jacket, I jumped on it. I spoke to HPA in advance and was told that the pattern and sizing was exact to the originals and that I should be able to size down to a 36 in the BR version. However, upon receipt of the size 36, I tried it on and it was too small. I went to a size 38 and it was just right.

- Ian
 

asiamiles

Well-Known Member
^Thata interesting and good to know. I did look at the measurements and figured one could size down one size, but not two. Regardless, in my opinion, there is no reason to buy one of these when you can find an original in unissued or almost unissued condition for much less. However, like I mentioned before, I’m sure they’re very nice jackets, as I own a number of BR jackets and they’re all very nice.

On thing I will say is that I normally wear a size 38, but owned an original M-1941 field jacket in a size 36 and it fit perfectly. As you know, they are not easy to find in good condition; and this original had a Rangers bullion patch sewed on the left shoulder. As a result, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it causally. I eventually sold it to a collector in Ireland who was displaying his collection in his home. Anyhow, when BR introduced their M-41 field jacket, I jumped on it. I spoke to HPA in advance and was told that the pattern and sizing was exact to the originals and that I should be able to size down to a 36 in the BR version. However, upon receipt of the size 36, I tried it on and it was too small. I went to a size 38 and it was just right.

- Ian
I'm usually a 38 and have a couple of BR M-41's (different models) in that size. But I sized down to a 36 for not only my M-43 but also for my M-43 liners (I have 2 different models) and Mackinaw...all Buzz.
 

EmergencyIan

Active Member
I have the BR M-43 liner, as well, in size 38, and it is pretty “roomy.” Again, it’s very nice, but the originals I had weren’t tight, because they were designed for some layers underneath. The BR M-43 liner goes a bit a wry when it comes to sizing. Go figure.

More recently, I’ve noticed having tonor the ability to go down one size in, at least, two BR jackets. I own a size 38 heavy N1 jacket in 38, but I think a 36 would fit better, though, admittedly, I haven’t tested that. However, I had to size down to a 36 in BR’s 1930’s CCC Civilian Worker coat. Then again, I picked up a BR US Navy Transport Coat and the 38 fits perfectly. I got it through Ratuken because HPA here was sold out. Fortunately, the 38 was available since it seemed to be the last new one available, anywhere.

- Ian
 
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