Blanco colours (Unit specific - 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders)

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by Ox_Bucks_44, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Hello all,

    Looking for original photographs or any information about the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in Normandy in 1944. My Great Uncle served with them and was killed in August 44. I'm trying to put together some uniform elements including webbing etc. and want to try and find out what colour blanco they were using.

    Thanks in advance.
    JEigl likes this.
  2. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Bump - anything to add to this chaps?
  3. Giberville

    Giberville Junior Member

    Would it not be 'KG3' Khaki Green - think this was the standard for North West Europe 44-45? I know Blanco comes in various colours but not aware of this battalion using anything different. Some units that fought in the desert liked to scrub webbing to give it an almost white appearance - showing off 'veteran' status I guess (a bit like the bleaching of Afrika Korps tunics). This was common in Italy.
  4. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Well, this is an area popular opinion that I'm trying to dispel - KG3 was widely used in Europe but I know certain units used KG103 and certain armoured units kept the No 61 'Buff' colour. I just wanted to see if there was any variation and as a collector/living historian it's nice to focus on the accuracy for the history of the unit or regiment.
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It must have appeared in Battalion orders somewhere. 900 men couldn't just have 'known'..but of course it was a private purchase item. There don't seem to be any surviving records from the sales side and it's very difficult within broad parameters to gain an idea from period photos. I too suspect that Buff remained in use with many units. It should be easy. We know so much, but Blanco is more than elusive.
  6. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    Absolutely Richard. That's what I'm hoping to try and discover, finding specific photos of the 1st Battalion in NWE circa 1944 is proving to be quite difficult as well, if I HAD one or two photos I could make a more educated guess against photos of regiments where the information is more solid. The joy of research!
  7. alberk

    alberk Well-Known Member

    The officer in the middle opposite Montgomery is the CO of the 1st Gordons, ca. February 1944.
    Montgomery und 1st Gordons-Offizier.png
  8. Ox_Bucks_44

    Ox_Bucks_44 Member

    I would almost be inclined to say that was light than KG3
  9. Giberville

    Giberville Junior Member

    Do you know which units used KG103 Light Khaki Green? Does this knowledge come from War Diaries or other sources of evidence? Would be interested to know. As you say it's good to get accuracy when displaying webbing for particular theatres or regiments...
  10. Giberville

    Giberville Junior Member


    This IWM photo shows Gordon Highlanders but the battalion is not recorded. Looks a bit lighter than KG3 but it's so difficult to tell...
  11. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    From interviewing veterans, where I made blanco colour a specific question. It seems that the unit specific consistent webbing colour was largely an RSMs fantasy outside of depots. 'In the field' blanco-ing webbing was not considered important - 'Bulling' was an activity done out of the line. Thus units would arrive with consistently coloured webbing, replacements of both personnel and equipment soon added differences. Contrary to original regs. most units didn't consider blancoing new kit important so much of it stayed KD/yellow. Also occasional wholesale changes in kit for cleaning meant replacements often came from a salvage depot with inconsistent colour (similar argument for not unit badging BD in the field). Many soldiers would carry a spare belt for formal duty or 'walking out', this would be the most likely to follow a unit tradition - e.g. many TA Bns with Rifle Vols. traditions were blackened.
    Giberville and alberk like this.

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