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M40 Palm Smock
M40 Palm Smock

: $124.99

M40 Palm Smock Size*:

Product Description
New, ATF reproduction of the M40 reversible smock in the "Palm" pattern camouflage. These smocks are exclusive to At the Front- they are not sold by any other company.

The M40 smock is nearly identical to the M38- the changes were the elimination of the elastic at the neck, a simpler placket, and a change in the hem construction. These are the most commonly seen smock design until 1944.

Although Palm camo has been reproduced by several companies over the past 30 years, we are the first to have duplicated the exact size and artwork correctly. The design on authentic WWII cloth "repeats" every 50cm, which is the circumference of the rollers used to print it. Rollers in that size are no longer available, so the other companies were forced to alter the design either in scale or by adding in extra "leaves and twigs" to make it fit the current printing equipment. We found a manufacturer with a newer printing system (no, not ink jet) which utilizes mechanical flat screens- which allow virtually any repeat or pattern size as they are not restricted by roller sizes. Having the 50cm pattern means that a "shrubbery" will always be present at or near the shoulder (long story). So, yes, the process isn't quite the same as WWII, but the results look identical.

Once the artwork was re-created, the next bit of fun was choosing colors- which was accomplished using authentic WWII smocks. The problem with Palm is that it was not used on Zeltbahns, which are my normal source for authentic fabric- and smocks are far to expensive to cut. Luckily, all of the colors are shared with other patterns and we were able to create color swatches for the printer to match- and after months of trials and tribulations, we got them right.

Our fabric is likewise custom made- woven with the same densely woven, fine sized yarn making it water and wind repellent. No light shows through. Finally the cloth was treated with Teflon making it as water repellent as cotton can be, short of waxing.

The smock pattern itself was taken quite literally, straight from the real one. WWII smocks typically measure 60" around the body, 74-76" cuff to cuff and 32-34" down the back. I made ours with an extra inch or two in sleeve and body length since they will shrink slightly when washed (or get wet and dry). Every seam, panel, placket, and measure is as the smocks made in WWII. Our thread is the correct dark, dark gray seen on most originals- it has a cotton exterior with a center core of polyester- 100% cotton breaks too much to be practical.

The front is closed with 5 pairs of sewn eyelets- originals are hand or machine sewn. The drawcords are the correct flat-woven rayon material. (They were not issued with leather laces.)

Our smocks are assembled like the genuine articles. They were normally sewn with medium and dark gray thread, 5mm eyelets (machine or hand sewn), and neatness was an afterthought. I instructed the inspector to be rather casual in trimming excess thread, to pass mis-printed fabric, and to allow a somewhat sloppier than normal finish overall. This is characteristic of WWII smocks- not an error.

Shading: There is little if any shading on these as the concept completely freaked the factory out.

Size: We have two- Size L is the same as original smocks, and a larger Size XL for the modern, curvier 21st Century physiques.


History: The M40 Palm smocks appear in period photos during the invasion of Russia in the Summer of 1941. The smocks were quite prevalent through the battle of Kursk, after which the photographic frequency declines, but they not uncommon in Normandy and are still seen occasionally even in 1945. They were general issue to all combat units.

Washing: Although washer/ dryer safe, we recommend cold wash and hang dry for longest life and fewest highlights.