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Old November 9th, 2012, 08:01 AM   #71

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How the CSA decided on grey ("cadet gray" as worn at West Point), I don't know. Maybe someone else does. In the event, it was a contrast to US Army blue and had nothing to do with visibility.
Was it something to do with cheapness and speed that grey was used; i.e. 'homespun' uniforms?
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Old November 9th, 2012, 08:22 AM   #72
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Was it something to do with cheapness and speed that grey was used; i.e. 'homespun' uniforms?
I think that may be more the case with the "butternut brown" clothing associated with the CSA after the early period of the war. Many CSA soldiers went to war in the clothing they wore on the farm.

"Regulation" CSA uniform tends, in photographs, to appear on officers who most likely purchased them tailored privately.

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Old November 9th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #73
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I guess the bright uniforms made it easier to tell who was on what side. Sports teams still use them. Plus if groups got separated, they could find each other. Deserters would have to find some civilian clothes to change into real quick, as they would stand out.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:34 AM   #74

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Bright uniforms are heraldic. They display your affiliation, both in terms of side and unit, and have both advantages in that your own psychology is boosted by this display, and that hopefully the enemy is deterred. It's the same as a 'threat display' used by animals in the wild as well.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #75
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My question is, why didn't they get this idea before? That camos work better than bright and colorful clothes?
Armies wore brightly colored uniforms to intentionally get noticed, not just by their own soldiers but by the enemy too.

The wearing of bright colors and tall hats was meant to be visually imposing

When fast firing rifles were introduced it was clear that moving in formation was a death sentence and that a soldier needed protection - from natural cover and from his uniform.

What is more mystifying is the time it too to develop functional body armor...experiments were carried out in WWI and WWII
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Old November 11th, 2012, 12:25 PM   #76

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What is more mystifying is the time it too to develop functional body armor...experiments were carried out in WWI and WWII
They remained experiments because they were unsuitable - until plastics technology improved significantly, most body armour was based on steel plates - heavy and likely to cause more damage when impacted.

The first functional 'flak jackets' appeared in Vietnam in the 1960's, I think.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #77

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For the British Army (and I think also the American Army), the switch from colors to khaki began in the 1880s, and had finished by World War I.
What propelled the switch was the 1884 invention of Poudre B, the first practical "smokeless" powder. Prior to that, firearms emitted so much smoke that it was impossible for a unit's position to remain concealed and brightly colored uniforms were necessary for unit cohesion. After that, units could fire and still keep their positions concealed, provided they had less colorful uniforms.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #78

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No, I doubt that. Units had used stealthy tactics before then regardless of how much smoke their powder produced. In fact, the smokeless powder remained a bonus rather than a cause. Once armies had decided it was too risky to stand in the line of fire as range and accuracy of weaponry improved, wearing colourful uniforms lost their purpose and armies drifted toward more practical colours.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:45 AM   #79
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As far as I am aware most large armies by the turn of the 19 hundreds were wearing base colours as uniforms.

I have been listening to the imperial war museum archived WW1 footage and a large number of german soldiers comment on how hard it was to see the British as oposed to the french who at the time still wore the blue jackets with red trousers.

A few cavalry divisions of the french army also wore cuirasses at the start of the war, needless to say this was short lived.

Also reading memiors of Anzacs who served on the western front mention seeing a lot of traditional prussian guard uniforms and helmets before the standardised uniforms were issued throughout a nations forces.

I think
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #80

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The French wore a dull sky blue field uniform which unfortunately wasn't as concealing as the British khaki.
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