m/36 Tunic (Asetakki m/36)

The history and development of the m/36 Tunic is detailed very well in Petteri Leino's book Asepuku M/36 so we are not going to go to into too much detail on them on this page. The book is bi-lingual, so it is a valid source for anyone interested in the development, use and rationale behind the m/36 Tunic.

The increased funding of the Finnish Army in the early 1930's lead to a large scale modernisation of the armed forces, its clothing and equipment. The Field Equipment Commission began its work in 1932 with the aim of evaluating all the equipment from lodging equipment to uniforms and replacing them where needed. In order to achieve this goal the committee followed closely the international development in uniforms and equipment. This included buying of complete British and German uniform sets in 1933 for evaluation.

The brown-green colour of the m/27 Uniform was dismissed as was the loose cut of the m/27 Tunic. It was seen that the shape and colour of the m/27 were not suitable for the military, over the more fitting and military like grey m/22 Uniform. It was thought that the shape of the m/27 uniform was such that it would lower the officers prestige in their mens eyes.

The German design approach was seen as the best option and the Experimental m/34 Uniform was born. The experimental m/34 uniform was almost a direct copy of the German unifom. Evaluations and testing of this uniform lead to the further development of m/36 Tunic and related uniform items. The Finnish m/36 uniform is heavily influenced by the early 1930's German uniforms and is in many ways a copy of them. Certain aspects were changed in order to make it more comfortable and fitting to wear in the field conditions while still maintaining the appearance fitting for parades and barracks duty. The green-grey colour of the German uniform was considered, but the blueish steelgrey colour more similar to the m/22 uniform was chosen in the end.

The m/36 uniform saw use in the Finnish military from 1936 until the mid 1970's. Most of the tunics were manufactured during the war or immediately before it, but the quality standards were rapidly lowered due to the wartime economy. Of the surviving originals most are pre-war tunics or specimens made of better quality wool. Naturally, most of the originals were used post-war until they were thrown away.

The m/36 Tunic saw some changes to it during the wars. The early m/36 Tunics used similar shoulder boards as the older m/22 and m/27 systems had. They were wider in the shoulder seam and ended up in a round point and had service branch colour piping around the edge. These early shoulder boards were removable for the enlisted men, so that they could be taken out and re-sewn on the shoulder seams. This was necessary if the service member changed branches or went to the Reserve Officer School (Reserviupseerikoulu) for example. These shoulder boards were not ideal, as re-sewing them caused some issues with the embroided branch and unit insignia. Post Winter War the use of these shoulder boards were ceased, together with the branch colour piping on the edge. Tunics manufactured between 1940 and 1941 are often without a manufacturing year stamp, but can be identified as the shoulder boards are still the earlier, round shape but have no signs of the branch colour piping ever been sewn on them. During the spring of 1941, right before the Continuation War, the style of the shoulder boards was once again changed. The exact style of these boards is discussed in the "Description in the Manuals" -section in more detail.

Other changes are fairly minor. In addition to the lowering quality of the materials, the vent in the cuff of the m/36 tunic was allowed to be dismissed in the officers and cadre-nco's tunics. m/22 Tunics were converted to the m/36 standards by changing the cuffs or sleeves entirely, adding post-1941 styled shoulder boards and new, m/36 style collar.

Contrary to the m/22 Tunic the m/36 Tunic is the same in cut for both the officers and the NCO's and enlisted men. The differences come in the accepted materials and quality of the tunics, which are detailed below. The rank system and the assorted badges are detailed in a separate article.

All in all, it can be said that there are three different types of m/36 Tunics. For the sake of clarity, they will be adressed as m/36, m/36-40 and m/36-41 on this page.



Last updated: April 20th, 2018


Description in the Regulations

Kenttäpuku m36 ja sadetakki m36, 1937

Vuonna 1939 ja senjälkeen vahvistetut puolustuslaitoksen henkilökunnan virkapukumääräykset, 1941 and 1942 editions

Colour and material: Grey wool of the confirmed colour and quality.

Cut: Single row of buttons, with epaulettes, loose on the back without a seam in the middle. On the sides, about 3 to 4 centimeters away from the side seams, there are two belt hooks made out of grey steel wire attached to internal suspenders. There are 3 holes for the hooks 1 cm apart and the internal suspenders have 6 holes so that the position of the hooks can be adjusted. The back piece has two 20 cm long darts that are sewn closed and can be opened if necessary. There are 6 large buttons in the front with the lowest being just below the waist. The tunic can be made without a liner or with a partial or full liner.

Length: Down to the crotch. Cavalry tunics as well as the tunics of the men riding horses could be 5 cm shorter.

Collar: Same fabric as the tunic, soft stand-and-fall collar. Height 7 cm in the front and 5 cm in the back. The collar has collar rank tabs.

Sleeves: The cuff has a 12 cm long vent that can be closed with two hidden buttons. Inside of the sleeve has a small, flat button about 4 cm from the edge of the cuff that can be used to tighten the cuff. Officers and NCO tunics can be manufactured without the vent.

Pockets: The chest pockets are sewn on top of the jacket with a 3 cm wide pleats on the top. The pocket opening is 11 to 12 cm wide. The pocket flaps have a dull point in the middle. On the point there is a large coat-of-arms button.

The bottom pockets are sewn on top of the pockets and expand like bellows and are without pleats. The pocket opening is 19 to 22 cm wide and the pocket flap is the same style as the chest pocket flaps. There is a small interior pocket made out of the liner material inside the bottom pockets. On the inside on the left side there is a inside breast pocket.

Epaulettes: Pre 1941: Same fabric as the tunic and soft with a branch colour edge. 6 to 6½ cm wide in the seam, the end is narrow and round with a button hole and a small coat-of-arms button. The epaulettes have the special badges, ranks and cadre officers lion badge.

Post 1941: Same fabric as the tunic and soft, 5 cm wide on the shoulder seam, end is sewn in a 105° angle and there is no branch colour. The end has a button hole and a small coat-of-arms button. The length is 12 to 13 cm. The epaulettes have special badges or branch badges, conscripts also have their rank badges.

Buttons: Pre 1941: Copper coloured metal, convex, with grooves and a coat-of-arms lion. Buttons in the front and on the pockets are 22 mm wide and the buttons on epaulettes and collar tabs are 16 mm wide.

Post 1941: Grey, convex, with grooves and a coat-of-arms lion. Buttons in the front and on the pockets are 22 mm wide and the buttons on epaulettes and collar tabs are 16 mm wide.

Post ~1943: Black or green bakelite buttons were accepted

Collar tabs: Sewn on the front of the collar about 5 mm from the edge.

Materials

This is a translation of 1936 dated technical material report. This represents a prewar situation and does not list all the substitute materials used during the war.


Wool fabric m/36
Technical report

1) Width 144 cm + sidestrip 3 cm = 147 cm
2) Weight 700 g / linear meter +- 4%
3) Configuration: 2800 threads per 208cm of width; 134 weft per 10 cm.
4) Warp thread: 9½ mm carded yarn, Z-twist
5) Weft thread: 9½ mm carded yarn, S-twist
6) Weave: Cross twill
7) Quality: Blend: Warp and weft 75% 60:s and 25% best quality domestic wool.
8) Strength: Warp 60 - 57 kg
Weft 55 - 52 kg. Test pieces: 180 x 77 mm
9) Colour: Grey blend which is to be as close to the sample and as pure as possible.
10) Bolt length: 35 meters


Size Table

This is a sizetable of wartime sizes. All sizes are in centimeters.

Regular sizes

Soldiers Height 158 -
163
163 -
168
168 -
173
160 -
165
165 -
170
170 -
175
164 -
169
170 -
175
175 -
180
166 -
172
172 -
178
178 -
185
168 -
173
174 -
180
180 -
187
172 -
177
178 -
185
185 -
190
Sizes 46 48 50 52 54 56
A B C A B C A B C A B C A B C A B C
Halfback height 39 42 44 40 43 45 41 44 46 42 45 47 43 46 48 44 46 49
Fullback height 63 67 70 65 69 72 66 70 73 67 72 74 69 72 75 70 73 77
Chest
circumference
92 92 92 96 96 96 100 100 100 104 104 104 108 108 108 112 112 112
Waist circumference 80 80 80 84 84 84 88 88 88 92 92 92 96 96 96 100 100 100
Sleeve length 61 62 66 62 64 67 63 65 68 64 66 69 65 66 70 66 68 71
Collar size 40 40 40 41 41 41 42 42 42 43 43 43 44 44 44 45 45 45

Special sizes

Soldiers Height 163 -
168
165 -
170
172 -
176
171 -
178
174 -
180
178 -
185
160 -
165
177 -
182
172 -
176
Sizes 46
D
48
D
50
D
52
D
54
D
56
D
58
60
62
Halfback height 42 43 44 45 46 46 42 46 44
Fullback height 67 69 70 72 72 73 67 73 75
Chest size 92 96 100 104 108 112 116 120 124
Waist size 86 92 96 100 104 108 110 116 120
Sleeve length 62 64 65 66 66 67 62 66 64
Collar size 42 44 44 45 46 47 46 47 48


Markings

Markings on the m/36 Tunics 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 tunic 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. It is not uncommon to see unit markings in pre-war tunics, but war time tunics rarely have them. Officers tunics are often without any such markings.


Incomplete list of manufacturers below:

  • AP = Armeijan Pukimo (renamed Valtion Pukutehdas in 1939)
  • VPu = Valtion Pukutehdas
  • O.Y. Kokkolan Kappatehdas
  • Kesko Oy
  • Kauranen Oy
  • Yhtyneet Pukutehtaat Oy

Officer's Tunics

While the cut was the same for the officers, NCO's and the enlisted men in the m/36 Tunic there are still some notable differences. The officers had their tunics tailored by one of the hundreads of private tailors that existed all around Finland or by the army depots. They were manufactured from a accepted fabric that was ordered from the army depots and are often fully lined. The accepted materials for officer tunics were generally wool gabardine but other, higher quality wools were used as well. Officers could use a separate field tunic which could be made of lesser quality materials. The officers tunics that are private manufacture do not generally have army issue stamps and only have the manufacturers labels. The army depot tunics are stamped.



Uniforms from collections

Anti-air artillery Luutnantti's M/36 tunic (m/36-41)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.


Vänrikki's M/36 tunic (m/36-40)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.


Infantry Lietunant's M/36 tunic, 1941 (m/36-41)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.


Infantry Lietunant's M/36 tunic, 1942 (m/36-41)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.



Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive photos

Author's Collection

Enlisted Men's Tunics

The NCO's and the enlisted men in general received their tunics directly from the Army depots. The tunics were of lower quality than what the officers or cadre NCO's received. Pre-war m/36 Tunics are often made from higher quality wool than the wartime wool serge tunics. Wartime wool was mostly made of different fibers mixed with wool fibers to create inferior quality tunics. This was mostly due to the material shortages Finland experienced during the war. It is not uncommon to see these tunics with civilian type buttons.

The tunics are sized with width (number) and height (letter), unlike the German tunics that had very detailed tailored sizes. This means that often times the tunics you see in the original period photos are less than fitting for the men wearing them.



Uniforms from collections

Häme Dragoon Regiment Rakuuna's tunic (m/36)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.

Infantry enlisted men's tunic (m/36-41)

Photos from Dragoon Militaria.

Artillery Vääpeli's tunic (m/36-41)

Artillery Vääpeli's tunic made out of diagonal wool. Stamped with "VPu 50B", "int 41" and "M"-stamp as well as "UK"-stamp for Upseerikoulu - Officer School. Lining on the sleeves is black. Photos from Dragoon Militaria.



Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive photos

Author's Collection

Musicians's Tunics

Musicians were not formed in to separate units during the 1918-1945 period, but were instead part of the larger formations. Thus nearly all the larger formations had their own musicians troops as part of their structure.

The Musician's uniform was introduced at the same time as the m/36 uniform for rest of the armed forces. It was to be worn by other ranks than the officer ranks. The only difference between musician's uniform and that of the others are the "Swallows Nests", or shoulder covers. The Covers are sewn on the shoulder seams. The background colour in the covers is the same as the background colour in the collar tabs. The vertical 1 cm wide stripes and the 5 mm thick strip on the bottom are the same colour as the edge in the collar tabs with the expection of Guards Troops whose edge colour is white.

Based on the period photographic evidence the use of shoulder covers was not very common. This could also be due to the ad-hoc nature of many of the orchestras and bands formed during the war time.

Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive photos



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