Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, February 29, 2008


This is coolbert:

In a previous blog article, I had casually mentioned the puttee. A World War One [WW1] uniform accessory of WHAT USE AND VALUE?

"A puttee . . . a covering for the lower part of the leg from the ankle to the knee, consisting of a long narrow piece of cloth wound tightly and spirally round the leg"

A mystery to me of what utility the puttee served.

Well, here is the answer. As I thought, an article of clothing of dubious value. MORE of a hindrance than a help! Hated and detested by all?

"Puttees were long strips of woollen material bound round the lower leg from ankle to knee and were intended to stop water and mud sloshing into boots [the British soldier of the era wore that low-cut boot] and breeches. They were cursed by soldiers as worse than useless; they cut off circulation when too tight because they shrank in the wet, and unwound when too loose, hampering movement."

It had to be just an ordeal just to put the damn things on? I also wonder to what extent these damn things accelerated the process by which a troop would get the World War One phenomenon of "trench foot".

Puttees. Gone with the days of the collar stays and spats!


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