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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

US Overcoat Questions from a Newbie


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Hi there,

This is my first post, and I hope it will be intelligible to the rest of you that have been on here a while. My question is about overcoats. Am I correct in saying that the four models that either preceded or were issued during the war are M1908, M1912, M1917, and M1918? For the M1908, which has two rows of five buttons expanding outward from bottom to top, is there a name for that button effect? Also, how common are extant M1908 coats? I bought one recently, and am having it repaired for moth holes. Also why, for private purchase, were officers even after WW1 allowed to use this pattern for their coats while the EM's had the M1912, M1917, or M1918 with their 6 or 8 button coats, with the buttons all in a row? I have two private purchase coats like this, one of rather inferior wool, and no marks, and one from a 2nd Lt. that served a year overseas and was wounded twice. It's quite nice.

This is such a picayune question, I'm sorry. I guess my fixation is on the M1908 and the private purchase coats, at least with the overcoat.

Thanks for any help that may be rendered.

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I was in the Army Transportation Museum in VA today and they had on display a number of WWI uniforms, including a beautiful example of an M1912 overcoat, with six buttons, double breasted style, expanding in placement from bottom (closer) to top (further apart). It was the only overcoat they had. It was issued to an Army Transportation sergant who wore it while driving open wagons and trucks.

It was actually pretty stylish, Paris fashions could take some styling cues from it.

Warmest Regards!

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