Modified M1940s

A place for discussion of mounted services uniforms, headgear, footwear and related personal equipment of the horse soldier.
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Philip S
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Post by Philip S » Sun Sep 15, 2002 8:21 pm

Sam:
I have long been curious about the origin of the American cavalry three strap enlisted and officers boots. They seem to have come into vogue immediately before WWII. I have not been able to find any pictures of officers wearing them before the end of the 30's. You suggest that this pattern was popular in Europe prior to its adoption in the U.S. I therefore suspect that it was first offered by one of the English bootmakers which catered to American officers. I wonder too if the Officers' three strap field boot had to be officially approved first by the Army.

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Post by Todd » Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:40 pm

The boot we call the 1940 model apears in photos as an EM item as early as 38 and the 1931 model was made up until 39
Make that 1931 pattern as late as December 1940 - once owned a pair of these with December 1940 date by Boston Shoe Co.

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Post by Felonius » Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:07 pm

I have seen the boots you mentioned at Horse Country in Warrenton. They appear to be of high quality, and a "friend of a friend" of mine has used them for the past year and loves them.

I've been trying to find a custom pair of these boots, as my feet are too narrow for stock boots. Dehner makes a version that seems more similar to the M1940 cavalry boot discussed on another thread in this forum. I called Vogel in NYC but they didn't seem to understand what I was looking for. Another friend recommended Der Dau (a custom boot manufacturer in Brooklyn, NY, www.derdau.com) and their catalog shows a picture of a three buckle boot similar to those shown on this thread. I'm guessing that this a recreation of an "officer's style" cavalry boot versus what I understand to be the EM issue M1940 boot.

I have heard good things about Der Dau, and may try a pair of these instead of the Dehners. Having said that I do have a pair of Dehner custom dress riding boots that I am very pleased with overall.

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Post by Sam Cox » Sat Dec 14, 2002 10:26 pm

Hello all
What is the correct method of lacing the boots?Are the boots laced and then the bow tucked under the flap of the legging and does that little billet inside the legging secure the lace?
Thanks
Sam

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Post by Ron Smith » Sat Dec 14, 2002 11:02 pm

Sam,
The excess lace goes into the billet, I have found a square knot useful in lieu of a bow.

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Ron Smith

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Post by Sam Cox » Sat Dec 14, 2002 11:20 pm

Thanks Ron
Thats what i was guessing but havent ever found a picture that showed the how to.
Have you still got that disc of 112th photos??
I lost the master copey
Regards
Sam

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Post by Ron Smith » Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:52 am

Yes I do, somewhere, we will find it and send you a copy.

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Ron Smith

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Post by Sam Cox » Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:08 am

No need Ron
Could you just post the pic of the 112th boarding the ship to New Caledonia?
Many thanks
Sam
P.S the pic was posted back in March but i cannot find it

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Post by Philip S » Wed May 21, 2003 8:56 pm

This site shows several pictures of Pres. Reagan wearing his three strap officer's style boots. He, of course, was trained as a horse cavalry officer at Fort DesMoines.
http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/photos/ranch.htm

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Post by Pat Holscher » Wed May 21, 2003 9:54 pm

Interesting that Reagans white horse in those photos was named El Alamein. Arab?

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Post by slim » Fri May 23, 2003 1:06 am

Hey, I just picked up a real nice pair of EM '41 3 strap
boots. Do any of you have a feel for what kind of value
these have? (Live leather,original laces,not much wear.)
Just looking for ballpark guesstimations.
Slim

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Post by rickmclaughlin » Fri May 23, 2003 3:05 pm

On Page 17 of Shelby Stantons bowwk on the U.S. Army Uniformns of WW 2 is an example of the many officers who wore three buckle field boots for undress occasions

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Post by Ron Smith » Fri May 23, 2003 3:29 pm

I have photos of Colonel John Russell in Pinks & Greens competeing at Dublin in 3 Strap boots. In fact he wore them more than dress boots. ALthough not as common mnay Officers wore 3 strap boots in dress uniform. They were actually called the field boot, the boot we know today as a field boot was called a semi-dress boot.

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Post by Philip S » Wed Jul 02, 2003 7:45 am

Below is a picture of a variant three strap officer's boot in the collection of Fort Sill. Notice that the strap end is sewn between the liner and boot leather.

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Post by roamingchad » Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:03 pm

I have a question a tad bit off of subject. I'm curious as to how to identify the non lace or buckle boots that were popular during the 20's and 30's. How can I tell they are military rather than civilian and also is there any way to tell there are American if there aren't any hallmarks? Thanks for your time.

Chad

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Post by Pat Holscher » Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:21 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by roamingchad</i>
<br />I have a question a tad bit off of subject. I'm curious as to how to identify the non lace or buckle boots that were popular during the 20's and 30's. How can I tell they are military rather than civilian and also is there any way to tell there are American if there aren't any hallmarks? Thanks for your time.

Chad
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

That's a more difficult question than it might seem.

To start with, if you have a pattern which matches the issue pattern, you'd expect to find certain data stamped in, manufacturer, date of manufacture, etc. I have a vintage pair of GI boots around, and when I get a chance I'll take a peak and see what they have printed on them. Perhaps somebody else can provide additional information if they have it handy.

However, the problem arises as to boots purchased by officers. As you can see, there's quite a variety. The Army was not all that strict about having an absolutely to pattern pair of boots, as long as they were more or less of the correct pattern. Even color varies, as another thread indicates. Throw in reserve units, and it can get reallly confusing. So, without some other data, if you had a pair that generally appears correct, the best you could probably do is guess. Added information, such as manufacturer, etc, might help as some manufacturers were more or less popular with officers.

To add just a little more confusion, if you go back a few years into the teens, the situation with boots (with the pattern predating the three buckle boots) is just as confusing. Theoretically, you should find service shoes on ems, and field boots of one or more types with officers. Actual photos, however, show both ems and officers wearing varying patterns. I've seen photos of officers wearing lace up boots in this period, well before they were officially adopted, as well as the type of boot then popular which laces most of the way up and then buckles. The thread on Military Long rides starts off with a link to a website that shows an officer wearing this type of boots. I've seen a few photos of ems wearing these type boots also, with these men potentially being Guardsmen.

It's interesting to note that boots have been a topic of perpetual complaint, to varying degrees, in the US Army for decades. Written complaints of one kind or another on boots date back all the way to at least the Civil War period, and probably earlier. As a natural result, the practice of a few soldiers buying their own boots has been continual, and carries on to this day.

Pat

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Post by Philip S » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:45 am

"is there any way to tell there are American if there aren't any hallmarks?"

The only way to tell with officer's boots is to know the history of that particular boot. The problem is that officers were not issued boots but purchased them privately. The standards were flexible and there is a great deal of variation. Also, many (perhaps even most) were foreign made (esp. English). You have the same problem with officer's saddle stirrups which were commonly privately purchased and made in England. A similar situation existed for other leather items such as belts, gloves, and crops (swagger sticks).

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Post by Dave J. » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:16 pm

I was in contact with Dehner customer service, and they told me that most of the "russet" color boots were really tan. That, it was the polish that gave it the russet color.

If you look at the boots shown in the very fist picture on this thread, it does look like they are a tan color, under an oxblood polish.

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Post by Pat Holscher » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:24 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Dave J.</i>
<br />I was in contact with Dehner customer service, and they told me that most of the "russet" color boots were really tan. That, it was the polish that gave it the russet color.

If you look at the boots shown in the very fist picture on this thread, it does look like they are a tan color, under an oxblood polish.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

A WWII pair of three strap boots I have, which have not been polished, are tan, as that color would be identified by shoe polish manufacturers. But the polish would no doubt change it over time. I presently have two pairs of mule hide cowboy boots which were likewise somewhere in the neighborhood of tan, or perhaps a tannish fair, and which polish will make resemble what some would call russett. The older of the two pairs, which is much older, has quite a dark shade in some areas, simply through use. A well used pair of three straps would no doubt take on a similiar change.

Pat

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Post by Jim Bewley » Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:35 am

Been gone a few days so will play catch up here. I have also seen the three buckle boots at Horse Country. Quality is good, but look to me as if some break-in time and perhaps a few blisters would be required. Horse Country also carries a line of boots made for them in Italy. The leather is supple and you can wear them all day right from the start. I have a pair of the dress boots and want to get a pair of the brown field boots which look "russet" to me. Very nice......

Jim

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