Military surplus

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A military surplus shop in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China
Military surplus trucks

Military surplus are goods, usually matériel, that are sold or otherwise disposed of when no longer needed by the military. Entrepreneurs often buy these goods and resell them at surplus stores. Usually the goods sold by the military are clothing, equipment, and tools of a generally useful nature, as well as embroidered patches, name tags, and other items that can be used for a faux military uniform. Occasionally, vehicles will be sold as well (jeeps, trucks, etc.).[1]

Demand for such items comes from various collectors, survivalists, and players of airsoft and paintball, as well as those seeking high quality, sturdy, military issue garb.


The history of army surplus dates back to the Civil War.[2] The Civil War was the first war that required proper uniforms for many troops. Before this troops were basically a militia wearing whatever they had with them. To keep up with the demand, the military on both sides of the war mass-produced wears and arms. After the war, to recoup some money they sold the supplies in stores. Thus the military surplus store was born.

Bannerman's surplus[edit]

Bannerman founded and owned "Bannerman's surplus".[3] His surplus company was one of the largest ever to exist. He even built a massive storage facility on Pollepel Island to store all of the surplus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World's Biggest Clearance Sale." Popular Mechanics, February 1955, pp. 89-93.
  2. ^ "Short History of surplus." Kaufman surplus
  3. ^ "The Bannerman empire." Antique Trader

External links[edit]