Richard Delingpole

33. Tankiste

France 1940

Tank crewman is a dirty job and the kit is invariably function over style. Crawling through tiny hatches and working in cramped conditions which were either too hot, too cold or letting in the rain means essentials only for the crewman.

The tank variation of the Adrian helmet featured a leather covered pad instead of a peak at the front. Gas mask bag, sidearm (in this case a Colt 1911) and water bottle plus bread bag were all that could be practically carried.

The tankiste featured also carries the Vengeur fighting knife and his beret with the Artillerie Speciale badge on (cross cannon and medieval helm), plus a pair of goggles.

The white cotton scarf or "Cheche" was a popular addition.

The trousers are overalls which can sometimes be seen worn over the regulation leather jackets. The clothing is similar across all motorised and mechanical troops, tank and dragoon units with variations on the colour of the leather helmet bump pads and fasteners.

Richard Delingpole