Velocity Systems

Alpha Industries Reintroduces the M1951 Parka

Alpha Industries has continued to manufactured many old school military clothing items. This time it’s the M1951 ‘Fishtail’ parka. While you seem to find these all over the UK thanks to their adoption by the Mod culture in the 1960s, you rarely see them in the US. They are great oversized parka shells and can be worn to protect or conceal what’s underneath.


From Alpha Industries:
The Army “Fishtail” Parka was part of a layering clothing system for cold, wet weather. The parka was named “Fishtail” because the back had a split skirt tail the resembled a fish. The skirt could be snapped into the parka when not needed but in wet weather the two parts would be wrapped around the soldier’s legs to provide additional protection from rain and snow when the solder sat or marched. The parka pictured here is the 1965 model, but it was first developed in 1951.
(Unfortunately, whoever put this together didn’t realize that they have the button in frieze liner wrong side out)

A commercial model is available exclusively through Urban Outfitters. (Never thought I’d be mentioning them on here). Heads up, it does not include the liner and uses an orange zipper rather than the original brass zipper and incorporates oversized drawstring keepers.


6 Responses to “Alpha Industries Reintroduces the M1951 Parka”

  1. Engineer says:

    The urban outfitters line gave me a good laugh.

    • Strike-Hold says:

      Indeed. 🙂

      I actually clicked on the link, and was disappointed to see that not only have they used a Rescue Orange zipper, but they’ve also made the cut of the parka much slimmer than the original (so you won’t be able to use the button-in liner shown in the photo above), and the length of the body is also so much shorter that the “fish-tail” is no longer functional either.

      So, all in all, it looks like a “fail” on authenticity for Alpha Industries and Urban Outfitters. 🙁

  2. moped1967 says:

    Didn’t realize these were hard to find in the states or very sought after, may need to dig out the dozen or so I have stashed in the garage.

    • Mark says:

      I might take you up on one of those! The Alpha one is made overseas.

      I remember using the whole OG-107 arctic outfit in Alaska in the winter. It was heavy as hell but it worked.

      Still have a set of the trousers and liners, and a wool shirt. Money.

  3. Stefan S. says:

    No thanks. I’ll dig out the one I got in Berlin in 1988.