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Tigerstripe is the name of a group of camouflage patterns developed for close-range use in dense jungle during jungle warfare by the South Vietnamese Armed Forces/US Forces. It derives its name from its resemblance to a tiger's stripes. It features narrow stripes that look like brush-strokes of green and brown, and broader brush-strokes of black printed over a lighter shade of olive or khaki. The brush-strokes interlock rather than overlapping, as in French Lizard pattern from which it apparently derives. There are many variations: R.D. Johnson counted at least 19 different versions in early drafts of Tiger Patterns, his definitive work on the subject, although it is unclear if these are all different print patterns, or if they include color variations of a few different print patterns.

A commercial tigerstripe pattern




History

It is unclear who developed the first tigerstripe pattern, consisting of sixty-four (64) stripes. The Frenchmarker used a similar pattern in their war in Vietnammarker [226843], while simultaneously, the Britishmarker used a similar pattern in Burmamarker [226844](Possibly the-then SASmarker Smock/Denison Smock). After the Frenchmarker left Vietnammarker, the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps continued using the pattern, a variant of which was later adopted by Vietnamese Rangers (Biệt Động Quân) and Special Forces (Lực Lượng Đặc Biệt). When the United Statesmarker began sending advisors to South Vietnam, USMAAG advisors attached to the ARVN were authorized to wear their Vietnamese unit's combat uniform with US insignia. Soon, many American special operations forces in the Vietnamese theater of operations wore the pattern, despite not always being attached to ARVN units: it became the visible trademark of Green Berets, LRRPs, SEALs and other elite forces.

Tigerstripe was never an official US-issue item. Personnel permitted to wear it at first had their cammo fatigues custom-made by local tailors, ARVN uniforms being too small for most Americans; for this reason there were many variations of the basic tigerstripe pattern. From 1969 5th Special Forces Group contracted with Vietnamese producers to make fatigues and other items such as boonie hats using ARVN fabric. During the latter stages of the war, tigerstripe was gradually replaced by the-then-new ERDL pattern, a predecessor of the woodland BDU pattern. [226845]

Besides American and ARVN forces, Australian and New Zealandmarker military forces also used tigerstripe camouflage combat uniforms while on advisory duty in Vietnam, with Australian and New Zealand advisors to the ARVN, and Australian and New Zealand Special Air Service soldiers being the principal wearers of tigerstripe uniforms, while regular Australian and New Zealand ground forces continued wearing the standard-issue olive drab green combat uniforms.

Users



Current use



The Tamil Tigers used a tiger stripe camouflage pattern in their uniforms, but it is graphically very different from the family of patterns famous as Tigerstripes from the Vietnam War. The Tamil Tigers' pattern lacks black, and is small and overwhelmingly horizontal.Some private companies, such as Tiger Stripes Products, [226846] manufacture variants of tigerstripe for the civilian market. The United States Air Force has developed a digital tigerstripe pattern using various greens, greys, and blues for use with its new Airman Battle Uniform. Digital MARPAT pattern used by U.S. Marine Corps was also influenced by tigerstripe. Of the two patterns shown here both are from the Vietnam era, the first one being a Tigerstripe Products recreation of an early to mid Vietnam War pattern referred to as "John Wayne Dense" from its appearance in "The Green Berets". The other version pictured is a product from the latter part of the war which is darker than most other patterns of Vietnamese War tigerstripe.US Special Operations Forces such as the US Navy SEALs and the Green Berets are still using Tigerstripe camouflage in operations in Afghanistan, and it has proved itself to be very effective for this type of environment. As well, many US militias use Tigerstripe because of the effectiveness in wooded areas. But a disadvantage vs. digital patterns is the fact is has no camouflage against infrared where all digital camouflages do.

See also



External links



Further reading


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