The Maskirna uniforma M-87 (Camouflage uniform Model 1987) was a battledress of Yugoslavian origin, firstly developed and issued in 1987 (as it sole designation clearly points) to 63rd Airborne brigade (63. Padobranska Brigada) of the YAF (Yugoslavian Air Force) as a replacement for the M-68 camouflage suit which was used until then. It was originally intended as a replacement for roughly ageing and long obsolete M-77 (non-camouflage, wool) uniform for all members of YPA (Yugoslavian People's Army), so the M-87 was actually their first truly modern (camouflage & cotton) uniform, since until its appearance, they exclusively used those previously mentioned, non-camouflage wool uniforms. (if not counting the above mentioned M-68 camouflage pattern, which was used either for tent flaps or as a camouflage suit restricted for use only to paratroopers, snipers, and eventually scouts, that is, reconnaissance forces). From that point of view, the YPA was actually one of, if not probably the last European army which used those outdated, World War II standard uniforms for such as long period - literally as far as late 1980s, almost until the very end of its existence. (Even Warsaw pact armies of the Eastern bloc did not use them for such a long period and those which did use them, at least had outdated wool replaced by more modern material, the cotton - like in Soviet army for their M-69 combat uniform, as an example). This also logically explains why this new uniform remained almost unused in YPA and the standard M-77 remained for use until the very end and even in beginning of new, post-breakup formed armies during Yugoslavian wars.
In 1989, two years later after its first introduction, the existing uniform was slightly modified in both design (cut) as well as sole camouflage pattern and due to that officially renamed M-89 (Model 1989). As previously mentioned, it ended almost completely unused by the YPA due to soon collapse of the SFRY and Yugoslavian wars of 1990s, so it was released in very small quantities - mainly to paratroopers (the already mentioned 63rd Airborne brigade), military police and few senior officers (one of more notable users was then YPA major Veselin Šljivančanin, which used complete M-87/89 uniform set during the famous siege of Vukovar in 1991). However, it did not end forgotten after the breakup, but was instead taken by YPA's direct successor, the newly formed VJ (Vojska Jugoslavije - Army of Yugoslavia, better known as the Army of Serbia and Montenegro) which finally made it recognizable when they adopted it as their standard combat uniform in 1993 and again made few trivial changes to its cut. Due to that, it was renamed for the second time, now designated as the M-93. However, due to all of these modifications being really trivial and barely recognizable, it is very hard to visually tell apart the original M-87 from later M-89 and M-93, at least if the one is not put next to the other - for example, among other few minor differences, the M-87 featured a slightly more dense pattern as well as different (brighter) color tones than later M-89 and M-93, which shared literally the same variation of the pattern.
Overview & componentsEdit
The M-87 uniform featured the all new, domestically designed five color camouflage pattern, consisting of light green background as the main color, covered with spots of dark green and brown, black as well as yellowish. This new pattern would have finally replaced the already outdated, non-camouflage SMB (Sivo Maslinasta Boja - Greenish grey color, the official YPA fatigue) pattern in YPA (at least what's concerned of combat uniforms); if the SFRY lived to see the 1990s.
It originally consisted of six components - the trousers (Pantalone or Hlače M-87), the shirt/blouse (Košulja/Bluza M-87), the jacket/windcoat (Jakna/Vetrovka M-87), the all new helmet cover (Navlaka šlema M-87) as well as vest (Prsluk M-87) and two types of caps (Kapa M-87), the usual Titovka or, alternatively called, Partizanka side cap (now made in cotton and featuring camouflage pattern) and new, classic field cap (also made in cotton and camouflage pattern) which was actually also already existing cap, previously intended exclusively for YPA mountain infantry (JNA planinske jedinice) and was based on WWII German Feldmütze M-43 (Field cap Model 1943). The later, post breakup developed variant (the mentioned M-93) also introduced the detachable fur lining for jacket collar and was thus, most probably inspired by very similar jacket of the Soviet M-88 uniform.
The trousers (Pantalone/Hlače M-87) featured four pockets, two open ones at the top sides as well as additional two, closed ones at the lower sides, above the knees. The trousers generally featured knob as well as zip buttoning like the rest of the uniform components and had the usual belt loops in order for belt to be pulled through, whether wider, combat one (in summer configuration) or the thinner one intended exclusively for pants (in winter configuration), since in winter configuration, the combat belt along with its straps was worn just tightened around the jacket/windcoat (right above the lower two pockets) in summer it was worn pulled through the belt loops on trousers due to the fact that shirt/blouse was always carried sticked into the trousers, by uniform regulations and jacket was, naturally, not worn over.
The shirt/blouse (Košulja/Bluza M-87) and jacket/windcoat (Jakna/Vetrovka M-87) were somewhat similar in appearance, shirt featuring four pockets, two upper closed ones as well as two lower, open and diagonal ones. The jacket was somewhat longer and featured all four the same, closed pockets. Shirt was already redesigned in succeeding M-89 variant, those two diagonal open lower pockets were removed and replaced by additional two closed ones as same as on the jacket (same as the upper ones), so the actual M-87 shirt is very rare nowadays. Jacket also featured two additional closed pockets on upper side of sleeves as well as the zip detachable hood for collar and the M-93 variant alternatively introduced the also detachable and popular black fur lining for collar, as mentioned before. Somewhat unusual, both featured aluminium hooks (known as the D-rings) on frontal pockets (the same ones usually attached on their combat belts), which were intended for American style of carrying hand grenades or carrying a compass as an example. Both shirt and jacket also featured the usual epaulaettes which had a double role; to put ranks onto them as well as to pull through the WWII German alike 'Y' straps of their conscript's combat belt underneath (or diagonally passing single strap of officer's combat belt - Sam Browne style), to prevent them from falling off shoulders while moving.
The vest (Prsluk M-87) featured only two, lower closed pockets and lacked sleeves. The later, M-93 variant of the vest also introduced another small pocket on the left side of chest together with two hanging aluminium rings, similar to the shirt and jacket.
The helmet cover (Navlaka Šlema M-87) was the very first of its kind in the history of YPA and was intended for their standard M-59/85 steel combat helmet or later, the newer, (but due to breakup marginally used) M-89 kevlar helmet. It would have surely replaced the usual and popular artifical foliage cover (nicknamed Kupus - Cabbage, among YPA personnel) if the M-87/M-89 arrived earlier to see more widespread use. As same as the sole M-59 helmet, the cover featured a red star sewn onto its frontal part (which was later, after the breakup removed on the M-93 variant and not replaced by any other symbol) but it did not feature any kind of foliage loops, like most helmet covers usually feature.
Like in previous YPA uniforms, the M-87 uniform, together with both of its succeeding variants (M-89 and M-93) was being produced by many various tailor factories around the whole former SFRY and later Serbia and Montenegro (as M-93), almost every single one which could sew and had adequate material (cotton) and (sewing) equipment.
As mentioned in the beginning, the M-87 and succeeding M-89 arrived too late in order to be properly distributed to all YPA personnel, however, the M-89 was soon taken by post-breakup formed Army of Serbia and Montenegro and designated as M-93, which was continued to be produced and officially used as far as 2010, at least for Serbian Army (Montenegrin Army started to replace it from 2006 and completely expelled it when joined NATO in 2017), when it was replaced by all new M-10 (Model 2010) combat uniform of digital pattern, in color tones roughly similar to M-89/93 (it practically resembles M-89/93 pattern in digital print). However, although also slowly starting to be expelled from Serbian army during past ten years, the M-93 can still be seen today, being ordinarily used by their conscripts and eventually, reservists, same as some other pieces of equipment from long time disbanded YPA, like their boots, backpacks and the mentioned helmet, as an example.
As mentioned before, the M-87 uniform evolved into M-89 variant already two years later and four years later that M-89 then finally evolved into the last, M-93 variant, which was the most known, used and produced model of all three. As also mentioned, the differences between those three are really trivial, M-89 and M-93 slightly differ in pattern when compared to M-87 (they feature somewhat darker color tones) and all variants mutually slightly differ in cut, that is, in design of some uniform components.