m/27 Field Blouse (Kenttäpusero m/27)


The m/22 Uniform – which preceded the m/27 Uniform – had only been in use for a few years before the criticism of it became more vocal within the Finnish military. Contemporary sources talk about the m/22 uniform being stiff and constricting movement, something that was not ideal for use in the field. A shift in the thinking of what a field uniform should be like is quite apparent in these discussions as the steel grey colour of the old uniform was also seen as unsuitable for the Finnish nature. This eventually lead in the instituting a commission for the design of a new uniform for both the Civil Guard and the Finnish Defence Forces in 1925. The new uniform was adopted in August 15th, 1927.

The new m/27 Field Blouse was a radical change from the m/22 Tunic. The usability of the blouse in the field was the foremost requirement in the design. The m/27 Field Blouse was very loose fitting to allow unrestricted movement in the field. It had large pockets that allowed for the carry of ammunition and explosives within the blouse. Instead of a stiff standing collar the blouse had a large, soft collar that could be turned up to protect the face from the cold. The material of the blouse was beefed up as well, making it much thicker and warmer. The m/27 Uniform went with a single colour for all branches – a greenish grey-brown. This was apparently greatly influenced by the contemporary “camouflage” colour of the British military and was seen as a good colour for field use. The universal style of uniform for all branches was an attempt at simplifying the manufacturing and stockpiling of the uniforms. The m/22, m/19 and m/18 all had great variations between branches and units, stretching the resources of the military.

The new blouse was much liked by the conscripts as the new blouse offered warmth and protection and was comfortable to use – something the previous uniform didn’t do well. However, many of the officers took a dislike to the new uniform. In their eyes the new uniform didn’t look sharp enough and it was feared that it would lower to status of the military in the eyes of the civilians and conscripts. As one of the officers bitterly wrote in the Sotilashallinnollinen aikakauslehti: “The new uniform is well suited to lower the value and respect [of the officers] in the eyes of the men". The colour was considered by many to be a problem too. While it certainly was better for camouflaging the men, it reminded many of the colours of the old Imperial Russian uniforms and those of the contemporary Soviet uniforms. These concerns imply that it was feared that in the case of a conflict with the Soviets it would make it harder to distinguish friend from foe.

Despite these concerns the uniform was adopted and began to be issued to the troops. This was however a slow process, largely due to the budgetary reasons. Many of the m/22 Uniform items continued to be used side-by-side with the new Uniform items. This led to the use of so called “Vanhempi” or “Older” version of the m/27 uniform items in some units. These were m/27 pattern uniform items made in a steel grey wool that matched the older m/22 in colour. The logic behind this seems to have been that it was important to get the pattern in use whenever possible due to its better suitability for the field use. This allowed however the older m/22 trousers and hats still to be used alongside the new m/27 blouse.

The m/27 blouse had few variations in its design which are elaborated below. The issuing and manufacture of these variations seems to have been somewhat sporadic, with majority of issued blouses having been of the universal type. Early 1930’s also introduced the “light” versions of the blouse which had some small modifications and adjustments on the design.

The m/27 Blouse saw use until 1937. With the introduction of the m/36 Uniform the older style was started to be phased out. Conscripts were to use some parts of the uniform in their training as long as they were available. Military officials – who had to pay for their own uniforms – were given a longer time to replace their uniforms.

Winter War in 1939 is well known for the Finnish army having been a ragtag, poorly equipped force. While this is a exaggeration, the phased out m/27 Blouses were brought back in use in numbers. This continued the life time of m/27 until the summer of 1941, when the m/27 blouse was ordered not to be used in the frontline anymore. This order was reverted in the Headquarter Order leaflet No. 13 on 1st of April, 1942: “As the acquisition of new uniforms in the present situation is causing problems the use of m/27 uniform is to be extended for the time being.” This generally meant that those officials and men in the rear that couldn’t be uniformed – or couldn’t afford to be – in the new m/36 Uniform could still be issued with the older uniforms in the stocks. In the light of written and photographic evidence the use of m/27 blouse in the frontlines however was rare.



Last updated: April 20th, 2018


Universal m/27 Tunic (Yleinen kenttäpusero m/27)

The Universal m/27 Field Blouse was the most common version of the blouse. It was meant for use both in the barracks and in the field. There was no difference in quality, make or structure of this blouse between the different branches nor between the officers and the enlisted men. This was commonly used even in cavalry as well, even if they had their own design available as well.

The m/27 Field Blouse was not intended to be used by the officers in their daily work. Instead of it the m/27 Light Jacket was to be used instead. However, m/27 Light Jacket being a voluntary item, the m/27 Field Blouse can often be seen worn by the officers during the Winter War even outside field conditions.



Description in the regulations

Valtakunnan puolustusvoimien virkapukuohjesääntö (V.P.O.), 1930

Colour and material: Brown-green-grey wool fabric

Cut: Ample space in the chest area, no back seam, 6 hidden buttons in the front with the lowest being at the waist height. When buttoned the left portion covers around 10 to 12 cm of the right side. The waist has a horizontal seam to which the top is tapered to. There is a separate back piece extending from the waist down that covers about 6 cm of the side panels on the top and about 8 cm on the bottom. It shall be fitted to the wearer and sewn closed on the side panels. On the waist of the side panels there are vertical, around 6 cm high slits through which the cloth belt is lead inside the tunic.

Length: Down to the crotch.

Collar: Low, turn down collar, 9 to 12 cm wide, of the same fabric as the blouse. On the backside of the collar there is a 5 cm wide and 9 to 10 cm long tab with a spearhead point that can be used to close the collar when it is turned up to cover the face.

Sleeves: Ample sleeves with the seam slightly below the shoulder. The sleeve ends in a 8 to 9 cm tall cuff which is closed with 2 buttons. There are two pairs of buttons so that the cuff can be tightened to the users wrist. The elbow has a oval reinforcement of the same material as the blouse and below it there is a slit that ends to the cuff.

Pockets: Chest pockets are expand like bellows and have pleats in the middle. The pocket flaps narrow to a dull point and it is closed with a large coat-of-arms button. The side pockets expand like bellows and have no pleats. The pocket flaps end up in two dull points and are closed with two large coat-of-arms buttons. Inside the left side of the blouse there is a breast pocket sewn inside the liner. On the same side, 5 cm from the hem and sewn on top of the liner is a bandage pocket that is closed with a button. The right side has a similar pocket in the same place.

Belt: The cloth belt is about 5 cm wide and of the same material as the blouse. It is sewn on top of the back piece for the full length of the back piece. The loose ends of the belt are lead inside the blouse through the slits on the side and are to be tightened so that the blouse fits snug on the waist. There are two coat-of-arms belt hooks on the backside.

Shoulder straps: Soft, made of the same fabric as the blouse. The bottom is about 9 to 10 cm wide and attached to the shoulder seam. The top narrows to a round point and extends to just under the collar. It is closed with a small coat-of-arms button.

Buttons: Visible buttons are slightly convex, smooth with a coat-of-arms lion and of the same colour as the blouse. Large buttons are 24 mm in diameter, small ones are 18 mm in diameter.

Markings

Markings on the m/27 Field Blouse vary somewhat in their content but follow the general rule: They have the "Int" stamp of the Army Intendants Department, length and width stamps. These are sometimes supplemented by the manufacturers stamps, the "SA" cartouche and "M" or other similar stamp to show that the blouse has been sold and removed from the army books. Variations of these markings can be seen and it is common for only some of them to be present.

All in all, the markings follow the general standard as any other Finnish army uniform item.

The width, or size, in the blouses are marked with the typical Continental European numbers, ranging from 44 to 60 in increments of two. Length is marked with a letter from A to D for normal sizes.


Incomplete list of manufacturers below:

  • AP = Armeijan Pukimo (renamed Valtion Pukutehdas in 1939)

Size Table

This sizetable for the Universal Field Blouse is a period sizetable dated on August 18th, 1927. All sizes are in centimeters.

Regular sizes

Sizes 1 2 3 4 5 6
A B A B A B A B A B A B
Halfback height 46 46 44 44 42 42 40 40 38 38 36 36
Fullback height 79 79 76 76 73 73 70 70 67 67 64 64
Chest circumference 126 118 122 114 118 110 114 106 110 102 106 98
Waist circumference 108 100 104 96 100 92 96 88 92 84 88 80
Sleeve length
from mid shoulder
90 90 87 87 84 84 81 81 78 78 75 75
Collar size 48 46 47 46 46 45 46 44 44 43 43 42

Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive photos

Author's Collection

Cavalry m/27 Field Blouse (Ratsuväen kenttäpusero m/27)

The Cavalry version of the m/27 Field Blouse comes up in period regulations, but they seem to have been rare. As the universal blouse was intended for all the troops, including the cavalry.



Description in the regulations

Colour and material: Brown-green-grey wool fabric

Cut: Ample space in the chest area, no back seam, 6 hidden buttons in the front with the lowest being at the waist height. When buttoned the left portion covers around 10 to 12 cm of the right side. There is no waist seam. The back piece has a vent in the middle from the waist to the hem.

Length: Down to the crotch.

Collar: Low, turn down collar, 7 to 10 cm wide, of the same fabric as the blouse. On the backside of the collar there is a 5 cm wide and 9 to 10 cm long tab with a spearhead point that can be used to close the collar when it is turned up to cover the face.

Sleeves: Ample sleeves with the seam slightly below the shoulder. The sleeve ends in a 8 to 9 cm tall cuff which is closed with 2 buttons. There are two pairs of buttons so that the cuff can be tightened to the users wrist. The elbow has a oval reinforcement of the same material as the blouse and below it there is a slit that ends to the cuff.

Pockets: Chest pockets are expand like bellows and have pleats in the middle. The pocket flaps narrow to a dull point and it is closed with a large coat-of-arms button. The side pockets expand like bellows and have no pleats. The pocket flaps end up in two dull points and are closed with two large coat-of-arms buttons. Inside the left side of the blouse there is a breast pocket sewn inside the liner. On the same side, 5 cm from the hem and sewn on top of the liner is a bandage pocket that is closed with a button. The right side has a similar pocket in the same place.

Belt: The cloth belt is about 5 cm wide and of the same material as the blouse. It is sewn on the inside of the back piece for the full length of the back piece. The belt is to be tightened so that the blouse fits snug on the waist. There are two brass hooks on the side seams, instead of coat-of-arms belt hooks.

Shoulder straps: Soft, made of the same fabric as the blouse. The bottom is about 9 to 10 cm wide and attached to the shoulder seam. The top narrows to a round point and extends to just under the collar. It is closed with a small coat-of-arms button.

Buttons: Visible buttons are slightly convex, smooth with a coat-of-arms lion and of the same colour as the blouse. Large buttons are 24 mm in diameter, small ones are 18 mm in diameter.


Uniforms from collections

Cavalry tunic from 1932

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.

m/27 Field Blouse, Older (Kenttäpusero m/27/Vanhempi)

In some units the use of m/22 Uniform was still common during the introduction of the new m/27 Uniform. As it was seen to be inappropriate and un-military like to wear uniform pieces of different colours, the m/27 was manufactured in the older steel grey wool. This allowed the new uniform to be adopted in the units still mostly wearing the m/22 uniforms.

It can be argued that this variation of the m/27 Field Blouse is somewhat rare as well, as the use of m/27 uniform did not properly pick up in the military before the introduction of the new m/36 Uniform. From period photographs it is difficult to say if the m/27 Field Blouses are steelgrey or if they are brown-grey-green wool - same goes with many of the surviving originals. In the end, these were made in some numbers and used in some numbers.



Description in the regulations

Colour and material: Steelgrey wool fabric

Cut: Ample space in the chest area, no back seam, 6 hidden buttons in the front with the lowest being at the waist height. When buttoned the left portion covers around 10 to 12 cm of the right side. The waist has a horizontal seam to which the top is tapered to. There is a separate back piece extending from the waist down that covers about 6 cm of the side panels on the top and about 8 cm on the bottom. It shall be fitted to the wearer and sewn closed on the side panels. On the waist of the side panels there are vertical, around 6 cm high slits through which the cloth belt is lead inside the tunic.

Length: Down to the crotch.

Collar: Low, turn down collar, 9 to 12 cm wide, of the same fabric as the blouse. On the backside of the collar there is a 5 cm wide and 9 to 10 cm long tab with a spearhead point that can be used to close the collar when it is turned up to cover the face.

Sleeves: Ample sleeves with the seam slightly below the shoulder. The sleeve ends in a 8 to 9 cm tall cuff which is closed with 2 buttons. There are two pairs of buttons so that the cuff can be tightened to the users wrist. The elbow has a oval reinforcement of the same material as the blouse and below it there is a slit that ends to the cuff.

Pockets: Chest pockets are expand like bellows and have pleats in the middle. The pocket flaps narrow to a dull point and it is closed with a large coat-of-arms button. The side pockets expand like bellows and have no pleats. The pocket flaps end up in two dull points and are closed with two large coat-of-arms buttons. Inside the left side of the blouse there is a breast pocket sewn inside the liner. On the same side, 5 cm from the hem and sewn on top of the liner is a bandage pocket that is closed with a button. The right side has a similar pocket in the same place.

Belt: The cloth belt is about 5 cm wide and of the same material as the blouse. It is sewn on top of the back piece for the full length of the back piece. The loose ends of the belt are lead inside the blouse through the slits on the side and are to be tightened so that the blouse fits snug on the waist. There are two coat-of-arms belt hooks on the backside.

Shoulder straps: Soft, made of the same fabric as the blouse. The bottom is about 9 to 10 cm wide and attached to the shoulder seam. The top narrows to a round point and extends to just under the collar. It is closed with a small coat-of-arms button.

Buttons: Visible buttons are slightly convex, smooth with a coat-of-arms lion and of the same colour as the blouse. Large buttons are 24 mm in diameter, small ones are 18 mm in diameter.

m/27 Light Field Blouse (Kevyt kenttäpusero m/27)

Only few years after the introduction of the m/27 Field Blouse a lighter, simpler version was issued. The changes to the original m/27 are described below.


Description in the regulations

Cut and Material: Generally same as in the m/27 Field Blouse. The blouse is made fit better by inserting a cut under the chest pockets. Also the back vents are sewn closed instead of being open.

Collar: The collar is narrower, about 7 to 8 cm wide. The rank tresse is to be sewn to the edge of the blouse, not 2 cm away from the edge as previously.

Shoulder straps: The bottom of the straps are 2 cm narrower.

Sleeves: The elbow reinforcements and the second pair of buttons in the cuff are omitted.

Belt: The belt is sewn from side seam to side seam, then sewn in the seam. No sideholes for the belt. Cavalry light blouse does not have the belt.



© 2020 | Design: Panu Korhonen | Content: Petri Peltola & Panu Korhonen