South African Camo Question


Bottom Gun
August 19, 2007, 08:07 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this so if this needs to be somewhere else, will the moderator please move it?

I picked up a couple of unusal (to me) camo shirts today and was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about them.

One has a South African tag, the green one has no label at all except for a small adhesive backed label in the collar with the number 1 on it.

They are both still new so itís doubtful this green one has been altered and there is no evidence of any labels having been attached anywhere. That struck me as strange. It is the same excellent quality and material as the shirt with the shirt with the ADRO label so I believe it is genuine military issue.
Iím thinking that maybe the green one was a summer uniform?

Can anyone tell me something about these or where I can find some information on these uniforms and patterns?

Thanks in advance,


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August 20, 2007, 03:57 PM

i googled adro camo, got this. there is a homepage link. Definitely looks South African or maybe Rhodesian, 70's, 80's military camo. good luck.

Bottom Gun
August 21, 2007, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the link. That's a nice site. I also checked

I was able to find the green uniform, which is apparently the SA summer uniform, but I still wasn't able to locate an example of the brownish camo. I would imagine it is a fall variation of the summer uniform since it has a SA tag.

Vern Humphrey
August 21, 2007, 05:20 PM
South African -- note the use of both English and Africaans on the label.

Bottom Gun
August 27, 2007, 02:49 PM
One gentleman is telling me the lighter color is a Rhodesian pattern. I wonder why the tag says South Africa if that is the case?

Odd Job
August 27, 2007, 04:30 PM
Vryburg and Upington are South African towns.

Bottom Gun
September 11, 2007, 10:45 AM
In case anyone was terminally curious or has been losing sleep over this, I posted these on auction sites and got a message from a gentleman who is the Director of the International Camouflage Uniform Society. I donít think he would mind my passing his comments on to you guys so here they are:

On the Rhodesian shirt:

What you have is a South African, Commercially-made copy of Rhodesian camouflage. A quick comparison of the patterns should show you that the green colour is much more olive on the SA made camo than it is on the Zimbabwe re-issue. Furthermore, Zimbabwe issue clothing never had any commercial tags in it like this one. They are either unmarked, or have a crude stamp or hand-written tag inside with the size on it. Some are marked "Army Clothing Factory." None, however, were ever made in South Africa, of all places.

Without getting into greater details, there is a simple principle of logic that should be applied to determining whether this could possibly be a Zimbabwe issue shirt. It was made in South Africa. Following the so-called "election" of Robert Mugabe to the Presidency and the establishment of Zimbabwe, that country had no further diplomatic dealings with South Africa at all. The reasons should be obvious, as South Africa was the last remaining bastion of white-controlled Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe was now in the hands of the people, or at least the people who supported Mugabe. South Africa would never have permitted its products to be exported to Zimbabwe.

Adro was a well-known manufacturer of civilian outdoor clothing. They produced the copy Rhodesian camo, as well as a two-colour urban pattern, that are both commonly encountered on the collecting circuit.

On the green camo shirt:

The photograph you sent me in your last email is a Portuguese Army issue lizard uniform. Yes, loosely based on French, but with a vertical orientation rather than horizontal and of course made in Portugal. These were worn by Portuguese troops as well as Colonial African troops in Angola and Mozambique, although the example you have is probably a post-independence version made in the 1970s.

Very interesting. I had no idea there were so many different camouflage patterns made until I started researching these.

September 11, 2007, 11:27 AM
I like the pattern on the middle shirt. Where did you get that? What type of price?

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