Article ID: CBB312384599

Layering for a Cold War: The M-1943 Combat System, Military Testing, and Clothing as Technology (April 2019)


This article analyzes a World War II-era Army field jacket and the principle of layering it represents as a technology of war. The M-1943 jacket, designed in military laboratories and issued to soldiers in the European Theater, represents a scientized approach to layering clothing developed on test expeditions and in new research and development laboratories run by the Quartermaster Corps. Drawing on both histories of technology and histories of design, this article shows how the M-43 jacket operated as part of a broader assemblage of testing facilities, institutions, and individuals. The debate within the Army about how best to equip soldiers points to the struggle to control the growing authority of scientific expertise in the military bureaucracy. The science of dress, more than personal or subjective experience, shaped how the American military equipped soldiers for war and contributed to the expansion of military research laboratories in the Cold War.

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Authors & Contributors
Angevine, Robert G.
Frandsen, Bert
Hoffman, Jon T.
Haworth, William B.
Roland, Alex
Turpening, Roger
Technology and Culture
Comparative Technology Transfer and Society
American Heritage of Invention and Technology
History of Psychiatry
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Harvard University Press
Smithsonian Books
Center of Military History, United States Army
Duke University
University of North Carolina Press
University of Oklahoma Press
Military technology
Military research
Technology and war; technology and the military
Clothing and dress
Science and war; science and the military
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Jacobs, Mary Phelps
Blakely, Sara
Eisenhower, Dwight David
Presley, Elvis
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
United States
Great Britain
North America: United States; Canada
United States. Army
Sandia National Laboratories (United States)
Great Britain. Army
Operation Paperclip
Strategic Defense Initiative

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