Chase of Fire (Pilot episode)
introduced in the pilot episode as being with the Second
Division of the British Eight Army, to which Moffitt says,
"Scot's Greys actually, sir."
is the pin of the Royal Scots Greys Second Dragoon and presumably
the pin Sergeant Moffitt would have had somewhere on his
uniform. The Royal Scots Greys were a mounted regiment until
the early part of the second war at which time they retired the
horses and converted to tanks. This is perhaps why Moffitt knew
his way around a horse in The Holy War Raid.
is the pin you see on Moffitt's beret in the pilot episode of the
series. Now we know how it is he learned about "how
to operate a tank". (Darers Go First Raid)
the pilot episode is over, however, the pin disappeared, never to be
a whole story might be read in the pocket flaps of uniforms.
One of the differences between the British and American uniforms can
be seen in pocket flaps. Take a look at the 'scalloped' edge to
Moffitt's jacket pocket flap and compare it to the more square look
of Troy's shirt pocket flap.
short sleeved shirt (shown to the left) in the Chase of Fire Raid
had scalloped pocket flaps too, but as far as was observed, his long
sleeved shirts in later episodes had squared pocket flaps.
Troy's shirts always had squared flaps. It seems 'wardrobe'
supplied the long sleeved shirts for the series, but the jackets and
Moffitt's short sleeved shirt were special order and probably more
British downward-pointing sergeant's stripes shown to the left on
Moffitt's sleeve, and the American upward-pointing chevrons that were
on Troy's shirts in the pilot episode were rarely seen again except
when a 'formal' occasion arose....such as in The Exhibit 'A' Raid)
the picture to the right showing Dietrich's jacket isn't very
definitive, the pocket flaps on Dietrich's uniform jacket were
scalloped. His shirt pocket flaps, however, were square.
was not unusual for bits of uniform to change hands and be used by
both sides during the war in North Africa.
of the uniform jackets on the Germans observed in the series
appeared to have had a scalloped or a simple pointed pocket
flap. That seems to be historically sound although Suncompass
has seen pictures of Rommel in jackets with both scalloped and square
the pocket flap on the picture behind Dietrich here.
'temporary' German uniform in The Double or
Nothing Raid had scalloped flaps.
doubts she will ever again see wartime footage without checking out
the pocket flaps. More research is needed.
hat or Australian slouch hat - by either name, Troy's hat is
authentic and has all the features it should have: one side turned
up, perhaps originally to keep the brim out of the way of weaponry
carried on the shoulder; the Puggaree (band) with seven folds,
dipping down at the front and back of the hat but higher at the
sides; the leather chin strap; and the rising sun pin on the turned
up flap. Everything exactly as it should be.
story goes that Christopher George (Sergeant Troy) chose the
Australian slouch hat for his character because he wanted to honour
the Australians who fought so hard in Greece during the war (TV
Collector Magazine, No. 94, Aug 1998).
Suncompass has been educated (a welcome occurrence) by D.B. from
Australia. He has quite correctly pointed out that the badge
pictured above is not the version that would have been on a
second war Australian hat like Troy's. The one above is the
modern badge. The one pictured below, from D.B.'s own collection
(cool!), is the correct one for the Rat Patrol period.
are some differences between the two badge designs. See that
the words on the banners are different, and that there's an obvious
gap between the upper and lower banner on the wartime design.
And if one looks very very closely one can see the crowns are
to D.B. for his expertise and the badge picture)
again at Troy's hat badge, even on this fuzzy picture the gap
between the upper and lower banners is clear.
hat is authentic second world war vintage - right down to the
correct badge. Bravo to whoever got that historical detail right.
more about the Australian slouch hat and other interesting things
check out: http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-uniforms/slouch_hat.htm
see successive changes in the rising sun design see: http://au.geocities.com/thefortysecondinww2/level2/asstd/gs-rs-badge.htm
kepi is a bit of a mystery and a couple of choices present
themselves according to someone who knows a heck of a lot about hats
(not Suncompass). After looking at pictures of Hitch's
kepi, it might be that there was more than one kepi used in
the series (examination is made all the more difficult by the
squashing effect of the goggles).
version of his kepi appears to be very like an American Civil War Zouave
type kepi (a officer's, no less. See here
for a picture. The braid on the top signifies officer rank).
Another version of Hitch's kepi appears to be a mix of more than one
kepi type and could simply be a product of a Hollywood costume department.
the heck is a Zouave?
fighting force named Zouave arose first in the early 19th century
from the Zouaoua Berber tribe of Algeria (a North African territory
of France at the time) and as such had distinctive uniforms suited to
the hot lands from where their soldiers came. Not long after,
with enlistment changes the units became a purely French body raised
largely in North Africa, but fighting in wars around the world as
French until 1962.
During the American civil war a number of Zouave regiments were
established with American soldiers and fought on both sides of the
conflict (the most famous civil war Zouave unit was from New York
state). The regiments adopted the unique uniforms of the North
African French Zouave forces. Those uniforms included baggy
pantaloons, a tasselled fez and turban. The unique aspects of
the uniform disappeared gradually as it became difficult to replace
The American Zouave regiments included something even more unique
than their uniforms - many regiments included a vivandiere,
or female Zouave. She performed mostly nursing duties during
battle, but wore a uniform like that of the men.
Suncompass does not know when the red kepi like Hitch's replaced the
standard Zouave red fez. Like on the kepi pictured here
the yellow/gold braid design on the top of Hitch's kepi replicates
that found on the top of the French Zouave officer's kepi (see here
- scroll down) and other French army caps (see here
- a clear reminder of the French roots of the force.
more about the Zouave - forces and otherwise - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zouave
an eye-opening history of the military kepi, see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepi
lots of authentic hats of all sorts (but not Hitch's) at this site: http://www.reiss.dk/hats/
What's that You're Wearing?
Dare-Devil Rescue Raid
episode mission briefing
Rat Patrol await in the desert for the arrival of Moffitt's father,
a professor of Anthropology at Cambridge University. He has
uncovered information about an ancient Roman road through the desert
that, if located, might be used to transport valuable Allied
supplies. The plane with the senior Moffitt on board crashes as
they watch, and Moffitt junior defies Troy's orders and goes to a
nearby German held town to find his father. To avoid capture, he
'borrows' Arabic garb.
on Suncompass's very limited knowledge of Arabic dress, names
for the parts of Moffitt's attire have been applied.
is acknowledged that the labels may not be correct.
Corrections are welcome from anyone with knowledge about traditional
to Tie a Proper Ascot - just like Moffitt
is sure to know how to properly tie an ascot although Suncompass
doesn't recall ever seeing him do so. Steps 1 to 4 are
identical to the 'four-in-hand' knot - a standard knot used in tying
the usefulness of the ascot in desert warfare. It might have
reduced chafing at the collar and could be pulled up to protect
against the elements - blowing sand (Hourglass raid), the sun (Fatal
Chase Raid), and as protection against inhalation of smoke bomb
smoke (Fire and Brimstone Raid). Maybe it would help
keep the neck warm on cold desert nights. For some reason
Moffitt didn't wear an ascot in the pilot episode (Chase of Fire Raid)
but perhaps he should have. Suncompass doesn't know if the
ascot was officially part of the uniform.
wasn't the only one to wear an ascot in the series. David
Troy wore one with his RAF tunic (Nick George in Field of
Death Raid). Major Bracken
(Howard Caine in Violent Truce Raid) and Colonel
Jameson (Ben Wright in Fifth Wheel Raid) each wore an
ascot with his British uniform. But it wasn't only the British
who wore ascots in the series. Colonel
Voss (Ben Wright in Double or Nothing Raid) and Colonel
von Graff (Charles Irving in Hide and Go Seek Raid), both
German officers, wore ascots too.
handy German uniform, complete with built-in expertise
Thine Enemy Raid
episode mission briefing
Rat Patrol destroy a German convoy with their usual ease but when
they halt to inspect the damage, Troy accidentally shoots and
seriously wounds a female German nurse. He is filled with guilt
and insists that they must take her into the nearest field hospital -
a German one. Despite misgivings, Moffitt agrees to help Troy
get the nurse into the hospital. They steal handy German
uniforms and carry her into the camp. While in
the hospital tent,
an officer sees
Troy's sleeve badge and approaches him. Moffitt intercepts and
then later reports to Troy what the officer had wanted. "The man
on the table is a demolitions expert," reports Moffitt. "He
[the officer] wanted you to take his place on a mission."
is that really a demolitions expert's cloth badge on Troy's
sleeve? Maybe...or maybe not.
two crossed rifles (that's what Suncompass thinks they look like on
Troy's sleeve) is strikingly similar to the badge worn by a tropical
weapons maintenance sergeant (Unterwaffenmeister?) or the weapons
maintenance of weapons was naturally of critical importance, and to
ensure the weapons continued to perform when needed, a specially
trained expert was assigned to all German infantry units. They
had their own special tools so they could effect maintenance and
repairs in the field.
far as Suncompass has discovered, the weapons maintenance sergeant
wasn't necessarily a demolitions expert.]
course, we all know that Troy had demolitions expertise so even had
he been called on to act as a demolitions expert for the German army,
we can guess that he'd have done a bang up job....but not exactly in
the way the Germans would have wanted.