back to article US Marines splurge on Brit troops' armoured pants

It doesn't happen often, but today it has. US troops, serving alongside British forces in combat, have looked enviously at the kit furnished to our boys and girls and demanded that the Pentagon get off its ass and buy them similar stuff. More normally, things would be the other way around. The kit in question is the armoured …


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  1. Neil Hoskins
    Thumb Up

    Does anybody else...

    ...remember the scene in Apacalypse Now? "Why are you guys sitting on your helmets?"

    1. GeorgeTuk

      Did you mean...

      Alpacalypse Now? That is one amazing film!

      1. Marvin the Martian

        You know,

        An alpaca ønce bit my sister...

        1. hplasm


          I did know that!

        2. laird cummings

          Alpaca bites...

          ...can be nastii.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alpacalypse Now?

        Wasn't Al Pacano in that film? Or was it Marlon Brando?

  2. david willis
    Thumb Up

    Napolionic wars.. pah!

    Genghis Khans troops routinely wore silk shirts, not just to please the ladies, but because they made getting the arrowheads out of shot troopers that much easier;

  3. amanfromearth

    Not large..

    Presumably, being Americans they won't be needing the larger sizes issued to our well-endowed squaddies.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    If ever there was a time when the phrase 'cutting edge' should be avoided, this was it.

  5. Mystic Megabyte

    Speak up Brown!

    The last time I had ballistic underpants was after a hot chilli and foo-foo stew.

    There were also some flames.

  6. MrBilious

    Well Hoo-rah we should buy it from the Yanks immediately!!

    Wait the yanks are buying... from us?!... Lewis, what's going on?? I'm frightened :*(

    1. Dave 15

      date wrong thats all

      Should have been 1st April...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    cog ergo sum

    sums leads me to believe that they are around £44.50 a pair, are they on sale at M&S yet?

    Paris as she probably wouldn't need a pair

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: cog ergo sum

      Those are the Gucci ones.

    2. patrick_bateman

      Mr anonymously

      get a life.

      paris, because i am a dick.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I've used them ...

    They're not too bad. The pants are pretty comfortable, and don't feel that different from normal underwear. I was wearing them this winter, though - come summer people might feel less comfortable.

    The combat codpiece is pretty good - really does the job, and doesn't get in the way at all. Heat loss is going to be an issue with these, though.

    1. nichomach

      Glad to hear it...

      ...but "combat codpiece"??? New keyboard, please!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Joke name

        The name is a joke, but it also looks quite silly. If you do a GIS for "combat codpiece", you'll see a few people wearing it (we were asked if anyone wanted to model it for Soldier Magazine ... no takers, funnily enough).

        I also haven't yet heard of anyone padding it out, but I'm sure someone will.

    2. JeevesMkII

      "terrifies the clergy"

      "Combat codpiece" puts me in mind of the "Black Russian" from Blackadder.

      Now that would strike fear in to the hearts of our enemies.

    3. Dave 15

      doesn't get in the way....

      sounds so wrong

  9. GeorgeTuk
    Thumb Up


    Nice to see we are ahead (a little one area...) for once.

    Especially for an area so vital. Protection that is you filthy people!

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    If I were in the British Army....

    I'd be trying to find out how much of a bung Cooneen, Watts and Stone would want to ensure that the US Marines got theirs with "Hello Kitty" branding.....

    1. Richard 23

      That's another new keyboard

      you owe me!

      Lovely thought.

    2. amanfromearth

      Wrong text

      I believe as with all things American, product liability will take precedence.

      The print will be: "Warning - May contain Nuts"

  11. ratfox

    Silk underwear?

    Strewth! I need a beer.

  12. Domster


    Will the real Lewis Page please step forward, the writer of this article is obviously an imposter.

  13. Rob 9

    I believe that...

    ..Ancient Japanese Samurai wore silk undergarments as it was known that it made it much easier to remove arrows if you happened to get shot. The arrow head would get wrapped in the silk as you got hit and would therefore cause much less damage when pulled out. Also, because the silk was so strong compared to the other materials of the time, arrow heads tended not to go so deep.

    1. dssf

      That wouldn't be fundoshi, I presume...

      The fundoshi:

      doesn't appear to lend much protection to the buttocks, much less the back alley.

      I didn't go there, but Google has youtube vids for the fundoshi...

      Do you have the Japanese ancient name of the garments?

  14. neil 15

    Navy Silk.

    Surely the Mongol horde used silk prior to the jolly jack tars for the same reason.

  15. lglethal Silver badge

    Trouser Envy?

    Well you know thats always been part of the reason Americans buy big cars... ;)

  16. John 62

    but does it chafe?

    non-chafingness was probably a good reason to wear silk, too (reminds me of Shatta's MicroMail(TM) in Pratchett's Unseen Academicals)

    glad a Northern Irish company is doing well from this, but sad that the keks were probably developed for a local need.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damn you!

      I haven't read that one yet!!!

  17. Mako

    I seem to remember reading...

    ..somewhere that the US FDA does not recognise the anti-microbial properties of silver.

    Therefore products such as clothing and food storage containers couldn't be avertised with it as a benefit.

    Hope they don't get caught out by that, (assuming that military clothing and consumables need FDA approval, that is).

  18. ravenviz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Be a Great Actor

    (You add dialogue at the buzzer)

    2nd Announcer: 'All Quiet on the Western Front', adapted for radio by Jeff Astle and Jean Genet. (more music) Episode 8: Charles Returns to Barclay Manor

    Belinda: Oh Charles! Charles! Charles!

    You: Buzzzz

    Belinda: Oh Charles!

    You: Buzzz

    Belinda: I never thought I'd see you again.

    You: Buzzzzz

    Belinda: Oh that's wonderful news, but why? Are you...

    You: Buzz

    Belinda: Where?

    You: Buzzzzz

    Belinda: Oh no!

    You: Buzz

    Belinda: Yes Charles?

    You: Buzzzzz

    Belinda: I love you too.

    You: Buzz

    Belinda: But what?

    You: Buzzzzz

    Belinda: Shot off?

    You: Buzzz

    Belinda: Completely?

    You: Buzzz

    Belinda: Oh Charles!

    You: Buzzz

    Belinda: Charles!

    You: Buzzz

    Belinda: Charles!

    You: Buzzz

    (Fanfare Music)

    1st Announcer: Will Charles ever play football again? Does Ascrith really know what is happening to the chaps in France? And is Belinda such a good (buzzer) as everyone says? Don’t miss next weeks exciting episode.

  19. Will Derrrick

    BCB Blast Boxers

    How do these compare to the BCB Blast Boxers?

  20. Tom 13


    Of course, I think we'll need to develop a domestic source but until that happens you guys deserve the buy.

  21. David Eddleman

    Ballistic armor in a good location

    I'm glad to see that they're starting to make protection for the one area that's largely been unarmored until now. Which is a shame, too -- being hit in the thigh can be just as deadly as in the chest, particularly if it strikes you in the femoral artery.

    Sure, it's not true ballistic armor, but it's a step in the right direction. While I doubt anyone's going to start sticking rifle plates to their legs, why not take the current tech a step further? Kevlar or aramid underweave and stop/mitigate the two biggest threats to that area: shrapnel and ricochets?

    1. laird cummings

      No reason...

      ...that trauma plates can't be added. Maybe not easily to the inside of the thigh, but the rest, even the hams and the outside of the hip, can easily enough be equipped. Elsewhere, will just need to double up on the thickness of the cloth.

      Oooh, wait - Why not a 'combat kilt', to go with the rest..? The troops can all look like Marvin the Martian!

  22. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    A bit rough on the scots

    Are the men of the "3rd Foot and Mouth Regiment", the famous devils in skirts, left totally unprotected?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Ballistic Silk

    So just to be clear, ballistic silk is literally made from silk (and silver), right? Meaning not Kevlar "silk" or genetically engineered spider-goat silk, just regular mulberry moth cocoon silk, right? So it would be correct and not all all misleading to say our soldiers will be wearing silk underwear, is that correct? I just wanted to be totally clear on this point.

  24. Antoinette Lacroix

    Excuse me for asking

    but if a bullet hit's your unmentionables, wouldn't the impact itself cause severe damage, even if the thing won't go through ?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Bullets yes ...

      Even the combat codpiece can't do much against a direct impact from gunfire. The pants and codpiece, however, are mostly to stop IED blast/fragments from smashing up into the groin and destroying genitals or causing catastrophic bleeds inside the pelvis or at the top of the thighs (too high for a tourniquet).

  25. dssf

    Hmmm, Fundoshi it must be...

    (looks more like an Alien's Hitch Hiking Guide to Human Underwear)

    In the pic of the 3 mail models posing in the bluish room, they at first appeared to me to be under water....

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