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Thread: British Helmets and Other Equipment in World War II

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    Default British Helmets and Other Equipment in World War II

    Various British Army helmets and other equipment from World War II.

    All photographs and captions are from “The World War II Tommy: British Army Uniforms European Theatre 1939-45 In Colour Photographs”, by Martin Brayley & Richard Ingram, The Crowood Press Ltd., 1998 – UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE.

    MK I* HELMETS:


    MKI-H1
    Mk I* Helmet
    Battledress, Serge, 1939 (p 15)
    Battledress was an innovative concept in its day, the most modern and rational combat uniform adopted by any European power: It was more economical than the old long tunics worn by other armies; and a great deal of thought had gone into its design, down to the level of exactly what could be carried in which pockets. Production of the original pattern of BD, often erroneously called 1937 pattern, started in 1938, but issue in quantity did not begin unti11939. Typically, this soldier in early 1939 has been issued the new BD but has yet to receive the 1937 pattern web equipment; he makes do with 1908 pattern, identical to that issued during the Great War except for the entrenching tool and its helve, which had been discarded during the interwar period. All buttons on the BD were of the concealed “fly" type; they were normally of dished brass, with the exception of those for the epaulettes, which were soon replaced by composition button with a metal shank.
    ---


    MKI-H2
    Mk I* Helmet (p 15)
    Our private of the Devonshires, not yet issued with the Anklets, Web, of the 37 pattern set, makes use of the small straps let into the inside of each ankle section of the Trousers, Battledress, Serge. These could be drawn around the ankle and fastened using one of two buttons, to confine the bulk of fabric with the intention of improving the fit of the web anklets. At his feet lies the Mk I* steel helmet in use at this time; it consisted of a Mk I helmet shell - the old 1916 Brodie pattern - fitted from 1936 with an improved liner (note oval rubber pad in skull) and an elasticated web chinstrap. This pattern was not fully superseded by the Mk II until late 1940.
    ---

    MK II HELMETS:


    MKI-H3
    Mk II Helmet
    From “The Armed Forces of World War II”, by Andrew Mollo, Crown Publishers Inc., 1981 (p 61)
    ---


    MKII-H1A
    Mk II Helmet
    BEF Infantry, France 1940 (p 22)
    As the BEF is pushed back to the French coast in May 1940 an infantryman (who also appears on the front cover of this book) waits for orders, with rifle slung. Although not yet issued to the BEF in its entirety, the battledress uniform in its original specification as manufactured from late 1938 was in use with most front line units; note the uncomfortable unlined collar of the serge blouse. An Mk VI respirator haversack carries the gas mask in the alert position; this particular model was introduced in 1939. Passing through the rings of the respirator haversack are the white tapes of the Cape, Anti -Gas, seen rolled behind the soldier’s head and resting above his small pack. A hessian cover with additional "brush loops" is fitted over the Mk II helmet (manufactured from 1938) to camouflage it and prevent reflections. Such covers, echoing practice during the Great War were unofficial but were made up by certain units during the battle of France; one original example is known with a painted hessian divisional flash sewn on. Helmet nets were also beginning to be issued and saw limited use in France; but most helmets were worn uncovered and uncamouflaged - which is somewhat surprising; as the paint finish on many early helmets was "eggshell" or satin rather than matt, without the addition of sand to coarsen the finish and kill reflections. Note that this respirator haversack has been "blancoed"- scrubbed with the same water-dilute powder preservative as the webbing harness. Later in the war hessian covers were sometimes seen worn over haversacks to prevent heavy soiling during exercises; the haversack could not easily be laundered without appearing conspicuously washed out thereafter.
    ---


    MKII-H2
    Mk II Helmet
    BEF Infantry, France 1940 (p 24)
    A brief rest during the long fighting retreat to Dunkirk in May-June 1940 finds BEF infantrymen and French refugees mixed by the road- side. The word has been passed permitting these Regulars to drink from their water bottles. In order to do this the bottle and its carrier have been unbuckled together from the right side of the webbing equipment: the bottle is difficult to remove from the tight-fitting carrier; and even more difficult to replace without the help of a mate. Note that the battledress blouses are absolutely bare of unit insignia. By the spring of 1940 only a few unofficial battalion sleeve flashes, along similar lines to the "battle badges" of 1916-18, had begun to come into use with the BEF. These were usually simple coloured felt shapes - bars, strips, cap badge silhouettes, etc. - adopted at battalion level; only 51st (Highland) Division seems to have had an organised system, and even that was not universally seen. With the return of the BEF from Dunkirk its troops were reorganised and these battle patches disappeared.
    ---


    MKII-H3
    Mk II Helmet
    US War Aid Clothing (p 64)
    Italy, 1944: an infantryman wearing US-made battledress. This was one of the anomalies of wartime procurement: while trans-Atlantic; shipping space was at such a premium that many items of US web equipment were manufactured in the UK, at the same time US factories were producing BD and other equipment for the British Army. Production of BD began in January 1943 from specifications drawn up in autumn 1942; its issue was limited to Italy and the Mediterranean theatre. Battledress, Olive Drab, War Aid was of noticeably better fabric and a greener shade than British production. The most noticeable identifying feature is the fly front on the blouse but with exposed buttons to the unpleated pockets, Blouses had two labels on the internal right pocket, one unmistakably American giving contract and stock numbers, and the other giving typically British size ranges.
    ---


    MKII-H3B
    Mk II Helmet
    From “The Armed Forces of World War II”, by Andrew Mollo, Crown Publishers Inc., 1981 (p 123)
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    MKII-H3B
    Mk II Helmet
    From “The Armed Forces of World War II”, by Andrew Mollo, Crown Publishers Inc., 1981 (p 133)
    ---


    MKII-H4
    Mk II Helmet
    Vickers Section (p 93)
    The Vickers in action - note flame in parabolic flash deflector fitted to this gun, a device which reduced the tell-tale muzzle flash, particularly when viewed from a flank. The theoretical rate of fire was in excess of 450 rounds per minute, although in practice one 250-round belt was fired in two minutes, (one belt per minute for rapid fire).
    ---


    MKII-H5
    Mk II Helmet (p 94)
    Barr & Stroud rangefinder; dating from the earliest days of the Vickers gun, this was an essential instrument allowing the platoon to obtain accurate ranges for reference points and targets. Alongside it lies the standard Mk II steel helmet showing the second pattern, cruciform rubber skull pad.
    ---


    MKII-H6A
    Mk II Helmet
    PIAT (p 130)
    January 1945: the last German offensive in the Ardennes has failed: and Montgomery’s 21st Army Group gathers itself just inside Germany for a final thrust across the Rhine and into the heart of the Reich. Moving back into the line, an infantryman from a platoon headquarters section carries a PIAT - Projector Infantry Anti-Tank. This weapon, derived from prewar experiments, went into production at the end of 1942 and replaced the 5.5 in anti-tank rifle at platoon level. Unlike the US Army’s "bazooka" rocket-launcher which performed the same task, the PIAT operated partly by mechanical force - a spring driving a metal rod or “spigot" which detonated a charge in the tail tube of a 31b hollow charge bomb, throwing it 100 or 120 yards. Primarily an anti-tank weapon and capable in that role of knocking out the heaviest German tanks, it was also effective against blockhouses or any other defended buildings.
    Cocking the PIAT before the first shot required the heavy spring to be pulled back; this was done by rotating the butt piece and pulling or pushing it away from the body of the weapon - usually by lying on the back with the feet braced on the butt, and compressing the spring using the strength of the legs and bowed body. The No 2 took a bomb (firm cardboard carrying tubes similar to those used for 3in mortar rounds), fused it, and placed it in the open forward trough, its tail tube fitting to grooves at the spigot aperture. Trigger pressure released the spring; the long rod flew forward with great force up the tail tube of the bomb, detonating the propellant charge, and keeping the bomb straight as it blew itself up the rod and out the front of the trough. The charge also drove the spigot back and recocked the spring. The PIAT had a fearsome recoil; cocking; getting close enough to a target to aim effectively, and controlled firing required considerable strength and nerve. Helmets were always worn, and heads tilted downwards to protect the face. The No 1 carries both the PIAT and a Sten Mk II as his personal weapon.
    Preparing to fire. The No 1 uses rudimentary rear aperture and front post sights, steadying the weapon on its detachable monopod and bracing it tightly with both hands; the No 2 is about to insert the bomb in the trough. The cork hanging below the trough was for insertion into the spigot aperture when the weapon was not in use.
    PIAT bomb: the painted red marking indicates a live round the other coloured bands the type of explosive. Clipped to the fins for transit is a tube holding the detonating fuse, which is screwed into the nose immediately before use.
    ---

    MK III “TURTLE” HELMETS:


    MKIII-H1A
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Street Fighting: KOSB in Caen (p 84)
    June 1944: two soldiers of the lst Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers advance cautiously through shattered ruins on the outskirts of the ancient Norman city of Caen, which will be devastated by Allied bombardment and will suffer great loss of civilian life before the British finally capture it. One 'Kosbie" is pulling the pin from a No 36 grenade, a weapon used to good effect and in large numbers in the murderous and costly hide-and-seek of street fighting. His rifleman teammate covers him at all times, while staying alert to avoid grenade fragments himself. The bomber wears the utility BD as it appeared from mid-1942, with unpleated pockets and exposed front buttons. Typically of many
    units in France at this time he wears full insignia including the Leslie tartan flash which replaced a regimental title in the KOSB, the 3rd Division patch, and two scarlet infantry strips to indicate 9 Brigade - since their introduction in September 1940 units within infantry division had been authorised to wear either one, two or three strips to indicate whether their battalion served in the senior; intermediate or junior of the three brigades. Both soldiers wear the Mk III “turtle" helmet issued to most of the 3rd Division assault troops who stormed Sword beach on D-Day. It was an improvement over the Mk II its shape offering better protection from the side and rear. The liner was the same as that used in the Mk II; as with the earlier liners, it was retained by a nut and bolt through the apex of the skull.
    ---


    MKIII-H1B (p 109)
    ---


    MKIII-H1C
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    From “The Armed Forces of World War II”, by Andrew Mollo, Crown Publishers Inc., 1981 (p 230)
    ---


    MKIII-H1D
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Rifle No 4 (p 118)
    August 1944: a youthful rifleman from the 1st East Lancashires, 71 Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division takes part in house clearing. Volunteers could enlist at the age of 17 1/2, and could be sent overseas a year later: British infantry casualties were extremely heavy and replacements were soon arriving much less well prepared for combat than the long-trained units which first landed (An officer with 4th Bn, KSLI; which suffered badly in late July, recalled that in early August his company received 40 replacements - and had three days to turn former coastal artillery gunners into combat infantry.) His weapon is the No 4 rifle, a development of the SMLE which had been under trial since before the war but which did not begin wide-spread issue until after 1941; it was standard in the NW Europe campaign, but was late to arrive in quantity in Italy. Simpler to produce than the SMLE but essentially similar; its immediate external differences are the muzzle, the grooved upper forestock, and the aperture rear sight - here the simple flip-up battle sight version. Note (lower inset) the spike bayonet scabbard held into the old pattern webbing frog by a little leather strap, slotted at one end and with a pierced brass tab at the other; which fits over the scabbard stud. The old sword bayonet frog was not replaced; other methods of adapting it for the smaller scabbard were to cut a slot for the scabbard stud in the upper web loop of the frog; or to stitch down the loops to narrow the aperture for the scabbard The sleeve insignia (upper inset) of 4th Welch Regiment, 160 Brigade is interesting on two counts. It shows the 53rd Div. practice of printing the divisional insignia on the same khaki drill patch as one, two or three arm of service strips indicating the seniority of the brigade within the division; some 53rd patches also have one, two or three vertical bars below the brigade strips, to indicate battalion seniority within the brigade. The "little saucepan" flash beneath is a good example of an entirely unofficial but universally worn battalion insignia. “Sospan Fach” begins the chorus of the rousing Welsh language nonsense song, which was the anthem of the battalion’s local Llanelli rugby football supporters.
    ---


    MKIII-H2
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Barathea BD and Economy Webbing (p 122)
    Winter 1944/45: a Grenadier Guards major from 21st Army Group HQ staff is visiting the front line. He recalls his days as a company officer well enough to borrow an OR’s rifle and basic webbing set so as not to stand out in a snipers sights, although the open collar and tie spoil the effect.
    His battledress is privately tailored in fine barathea: to the prewar pattern; he has had the epaulettes replaced on his promotion to major so as not to show unsightly marks of his former three pips. Note also the economy pattern of web brace with folded and fully stitched junction of broad and narrow sections; earlier patterns had one-piece woven or two-piece pre-shaped stitched sections. A close look also reveals that the brass keeps each side of the waistbelt buckle have been replaced by web loops. These, and the later economy pattern belt with gunmetal alloy replacing the brass fittings, saw only limited issue in NW Europe.
    ---


    MKIII-H3A
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Officer’s Webbing Equipment (p 120)
    Autumn 1944: a pause during the advance of the 'Desert Rats'. A captain of 1st Bn, The Rifle Brigade (which provided the Motor Battalion for the Armoured Division’s 22nd Armoured Brigade) wears the Mk III helmet, and battle-dress of prewar pattern. However, the collar has been faced with serge and tailored permanently open - a private modification frequently seen. His embroidered rank pips are in black on Rifle green, as is his RIFLE BRIGADE shoulder title. Beneath the Jerboa divisional insignia is the Rifles' green arm of service strip. The 1937 pattern web equipment was a universal set designed to meet the needs or all arms and all ranks. The officer’s set was inspired by that sold during World War I by the Mills Equipment Company. It used the web waistbelt common to all sets, braces, brace attachments, binocular case, compass pouch, pistol ammunition pouch, holster and officer’s valise (a small pack with single buckle closure, originally converted from 08 pattern small packs). The set was generally finished off with a map case, the standard pattern being a board with clear plastic cover and webbing flap, later replaced by an all-web version. Our captain wears the basic set; the shoulder braces are of the late economy pattern with bakelite replacing the earlier brass tips. It should be emphasised that in battle many officers modified their dress and equipment. One former NCO recalls the arrival of a new platoon commander in July 1944; after murderous fighting at Hill 112 in Normandy - his third lieutenant in five weeks, by which time only nine men of the platoon were left of the 36 who had landed. His lieutenant wore a pair of corduroy stacks, a thick woolen pullover with his rank pips prominently displayed, and a non-issue pistol buckled; round his waist; his beret was the only regulation item.
    ---


    MKIII-H4
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Bren Group (p 107)
    Autumn 1944: taking cover in a drainage ditch somewhere in the Low Countries, the Bren team of an infantry section lay down covering fire for riflemen during “fire and movement" - their key role. The Bren, here with bipod down and carrying handle folded over has an effective range of up to 1,500 yards; the magazine holds - in practice - 28 rounds. The No 1 and No 2 carry about a dozen magazines in their basic and utility pouches, and others are distributed among the rest of the section. The junior NCO points out targets to the No 1; tracer rounds can be used to highlight the point of aim. Ready to change magazines - or barrels every 500 rounds, by lifting the release latch on the left of the receiver ahead of the magazine - the No 2 crouches to the gunner’s right. He wears an extra pair of utility pouches; these can also carry 2in mortar bombs for another of the platoons support weapons. All unit insignia have been removed here for security; the only badge visible is the No 1’s LG qualification on the left forearm (originally for Lewis Gunner).
    ---


    MKIII-H5
    Mk III “Turtle” Helmet
    Bren Group (p 107)
    ---

    AIRBORNE HELMETS:


    P-H1
    Airborne Helmet
    Glider Infantry (p 98)
    The term “Airborne" is often mistakenly understood as applying only to parachute units; but in World War II it included substantial numbers of troops of several arms of service who were delivered to their objective by gliders - a hazardous method, costly in lives and abandoned after its brief vogue in 1941-45. A complete infantry brigade and virtually all the supporting arms and services of a British airborne division came into this category of air-landing forces. Airborne troops were readily identifiable by several items of dress and equipment, which were unique to them, although as the war progressed this became less the case.
    This private of the 2nd Bn, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry is a member of 6 Air-Landing Brigade, 6th Airborne Division. The "Ox & Bucks” were one of several infantry battalions converted en bloc to the air-landing role; the others in 6th Brigade were the 1st Royal Ulster Rifles and 12th Devons. The 2nd Ox & Bucks recorded their most notable success on the night of 5/6 June 1944 when, in the very first moments of the Allied liberation of Europe, six platoons landed by glider to capture and hold the vital bridges over the river Orne and the Caen Canal. (Glider-borne infantry were paid an extra shilling a day - 10p - in recognition of the risks they faced)
    His appearance typifies that of the Airborne soldier; the most distinctive item of dress is his Smock, Denison, Airborne Forces, with its printed camouflage pattern and half-length front zip. Note the seven-pocket webbing Bandolier, Sten; made from 1942, this freed the basic pouches for other essentials such as grenades. Kit stowage space was at a premium for Airborne troops, who required a high degree of self-sufficiency as there was no guarantee of early resupply once they were behind enemy lines.
    ---


    P-H2
    Airborne Helmet
    Glider Infantry (p 99)
    Third pattern Airborne helmet, here with the web chin straps which began to replace the earlier leather type from 1944; The straps had a leather cup section for the chin and a long nape strap that ran through a loop at the rear of the helmet, giving a more secure fit, particularly when parachuting. Note the heavily padded rim and crown pad and the web cradle supporting the helmet on the wearer’s crown. Ballistic protection was comparable to the general issue Mk II helmet, although the higher and more vertical sides of the Airborne helmet reduced the “glancing" effect. To break up the outline hessian scrim has been added to the helmet net.
    ---


    P-H3
    Airborne Helmet
    From “Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia”, by Lt Col Eddy Bauer & Brigadier Peter Young, H.S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers, 1978, Volume 13 (p 1794)
    ---


    P-H4
    Airborne Helmet
    From “Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia”, by Lt Col Eddy Bauer & Brigadier Peter Young, H.S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers, 1978, Volume 13 (p 1795)
    ---


    P-H5
    Airborne Helmet
    From “The Elite: The Worlds Crack Fighting Men - The Airborne”, by Ashley Brown & Jonathan Reed, The National Historical Society Publications, 1989, (p 85)
    ---

    MOTORCYCLIST HELMETS:


    MC-H1
    Motorcyclist Helmet (p 135)
    It is spring 1945, and a motorcycle messenger from HQ London District awaits further instruction in the grounds of a country house loaned to the military as a headquarters for the duration of hostilities. Around his steel motorcyclist’s helmet are his motor transport goggles with their distinctive teardrop shape. With his BD blouse of prewar pattern he wears Breeches, Motorcyclist made of heavy whipcord fabric with kid leather rein- forcing patches on the inside of the legs. They were also made in cavalry twill or green twill fabric. Where they taper at the calf a khaki drill band with a vent is secured by two buttons (these were unfastened to give greater room when pulling the breeches over the feet). Positioned high on the right thigh is a button - fastened field dressing pocket. He is armed with a webbing pistol set.
    ---


    MC-H2
    Motorcyclist Helmet (p 135)
    Detail of the interior cradle of the steel Helmet, Motorcyclist.
    ---


    MC-H3A
    Motorcyclist Helmet (p 70)
    The helmet worn here has a white painted band visible under the camouflage net; identifying a member of the traffic control branch of the Corps of Military Police. Note the details of the motorcyclist's boot, often worn with an extra pair of long socks. Later in the war a protective metal plate was added under the right instep to prevent excessive wear by the kick-start. The gauntlets remained unchanged throughout the war typically in buff or brown leather; they were also used by some motor vehicle drivers and armoured crews.
    ---

    RAC ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS HELMETS:


    RAC-H1A
    RAC Royal Armoured Corps Helmet
    Tank Oversuit (p 110)
    First seeing widespread issue in 1943, the Oversuit, 1ank Crews (more popularly, the "Pixie suit) was a warm and practical garment, obviously based upon the design of the 1942 tank suit. The suit was made from heavyweight tan cotton with a full interior lining of khaki wool fabric. It had seven external patch pockets, two side pockets with vents allowing access to clothing worn beneath, and three internal pockets. Ankles and wrists had adjustment tabs, the wrists also having elasticated internal cuffs. The tall, lined collar could be closed around the face with a double strap and buckle arrangement. Getting into and out of the oversuit was made easier by two full-length zips running from the throat down each side of the chest and continuing down each leg to terminate at the ankle.
    Due to the weight of the suit it was provided with integral supporting braces; these ran from the rear waist, through cloth channels over the shoulders and down to adjustable buckles inside the front waist. Designed to distribute the weight slightly better they were frequently removed from the suit, as was the external waistbelt.
    ---


    RAC-H2A
    RAC Royal Armoured Corps Helmet
    Tank Oversuit (p 110)
    Strengthened epaulettes were fitted at each shoulder, secured with press studs. The cloth was strong enough for them to be used in the extraction of a wounded man, but their general lack of bulk made a firm grip very difficult, and only a very strong man would have been able to drag the dead weight of a casualty from a tank using the epaulettes alone. Unlike the 1942 suit the oversuit had no internal rescue harness.
    The Royal Armoured Corps pattern steel helmet was an improvement over the earlier fiber types, offering both considerably greater crash protection and unlike its predecessors, ballistic protection as well. The shell was the same as that used for the dispatch rider’s and Mk III Airborne helmets, the three differing only in their liners. The RAC helmet used the same type of liner as the Mk II general service helmet.

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    George, are those real photographs taken during WWII? IF so, they look eerily different than the usual. Looks cool. Thanks.

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    Moved back from the 2006 archive.
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

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    Quote Originally Posted by ww2admin View Post
    George, are those real photographs taken during WWII? IF so, they look eerily different than the usual. Looks cool. Thanks.
    No, they're modern re-enactors wearing WW2 kit.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Just to be picky, what's wrong with the Bren gun photos?

    And the Welch Regiment photo, athough consistent with action?

    It's to do with the same objects in each photo.

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    Can I be picky too??

    Brits call anklets, gaiters.

    Some regiments never opted for gaiters, but continued to wear puttees - but only around the ankles instead of to the top of the calf as in WW1.

    Soldiers like washed-out kit as it gives the impression of being seasoned - and sometimes cooked.

    Re-enactors would be far more able to keep their kit blancoed, than the blokes out on active service.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 05-05-2007 at 09:32 AM.


    "Fellas, Let's Go!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Can I be picky too??

    Brits call anklets, gaiters.

    Some regiments never opted for gaiters, but continued to wear puttees - but only around the ankles instead of to the top of the calf as in WW1.

    Soldiers like washed-out kit as it gives the impression of being seasoned - and sometimes cooked.

    Re-enactors would be far more able to keep their kit blancoed, than the blokes out on active service.
    Which raises another picky point, but I don't know enough to be sure.

    Should the bloke in the first photo be wearing gaiters?

    Also, the loose ends on the basic pouch webbing looks wrong. I wore that '37 Pattern webbing, but I'm buggered if I can remember how it looked. I'm pretty sure there weren't any loose ends.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 05-05-2007 at 09:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Also, the loose ends on the basic pouch webbing looks wrong. I wore that '37 Pattern webbing, but I'm buggered if I can remember how it looked. I'm pretty sure there weren't any loose ends.
    I'm having a bit of a flashback here.

    There were a couple of angled brass buckles on the back of the hip belt which met opposing brass buckles on the front. Of that I am sure.

    They took narrow straps about an inch or so wide, which was narrower than the wider part of the belt which went over the shoulders and carried the basic pouches etc. Which wouldn't explain the wide basic pouch belt hanging loose on the soldier in the first photo.

    Or have I had a terminal seniors' moment here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    - and sometimes cooked.
    Ah, yes. Burning the boots. Burning the polish. The wonders of heat, flame, metho and everything else except the labour that is required to produce the result which will meet the RSM's standard.

    Not to mention glossy enamel paint. Which worked brilliantly for a bloke I knew until his mirror finish destructed progressively as he moved about in his mirror but brittle finish boots.

    Coca Cola and its overnight wonders upon sad brass.

    Oh, yes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    They took narrow straps about an inch or so wide, which was narrower than the wider part of the belt which went over the shoulders and carried the basic pouches etc.
    Photos # 3, 4, and 5 show what I meant.

    I should be more careful in looking at earlier posts.

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    -

    Thanks Dani for moving this thread back from the 2006 archive. I sent the following reply as a private message to ww2admin yesterday when the thread was still locked (and hence I was not able to reply on the public forum).

    Quote Originally Posted by ww2admin View Post
    George, are those real photographs taken during WWII? IF so, they look eerily different than the usual. Looks cool. Thanks.
    -

    Thanks ww2admin,

    The only genuine photos are P-H3 and P-H4 (Airborne Helmet) with the paras standing with aircraft beyond.

    From “Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia”, by Lt Col Eddy Bauer & Brigadier Peter Young, H.S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers, 1978, Volume 13 (p 1794 - 1795)

    -

    All other photographs and captions are from “The World War II Tommy: British Army Uniforms European Theatre 1939-45 In Colour Photographs”, by Martin Brayley & Richard Ingram, The Crowood Press Ltd., 1998. Those are re-enactors with authentic or real uniforms and equipment.

    -

    Glad that you like them - I think they're cool too.

    -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I'm having a bit of a flashback here.

    There were a couple of angled brass buckles on the back of the hip belt which met opposing brass buckles on the front. Of that I am sure.

    They took narrow straps about an inch or so wide, which was narrower than the wider part of the belt which went over the shoulders and carried the basic pouches etc. Which wouldn't explain the wide basic pouch belt hanging loose on the soldier in the first photo.

    Or have I had a terminal seniors' moment here?
    I imagine that the reason for those loose straps, is that the men wearing the kit in the photos are re-enactors, not soldiers, and, therefore, are unfamiliar with the polite requests, suggestions and incentives offered by the senior NCO's/ W.O.'s to to keep their kit tidy.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 05-06-2007 at 05:04 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Ah, yes. Burning the boots. Burning the polish. The wonders of heat, flame, metho and everything else except the labour that is required to produce the result which will meet the RSM's standard.

    Not to mention glossy enamel paint. Which worked brilliantly for a bloke I knew until his mirror finish destructed progressively as he moved about in his mirror but brittle finish boots.

    Coca Cola and its overnight wonders upon sad brass.

    Oh, yes!
    Those cheating methods used to shine boots could easily be recognised by any professional soldier. Nothing achieves the 'black-diamond' richness of shine as does layer upon layer of Kiwi polish. Nothing compares. Cherry Blossom is a runner-up....but then the Kiwis were always better soldiers than the Japanese .

    Even today, British soldiers purchase their own pair of leather studded (ammunition) boots. Modern, rubber-soled boots cannot compare - there is nothing quite like the crack of a guard of fifty or so, leather booted, men, slamming their feet into the parade ground, as one, at the completion of the movement. Much the same as with rifle drill, when they strike, grasp and grip the weapon in unison - no clapping, just one sharp, loud crack!

    Vinegar works as well, if not better, than Coca Cola, and is cheaper when lifted from the cook house.


    "Fellas, Let's Go!"


    Henry V - Azincourt


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Even today, British soldiers purchase their own pair of leather studded (ammunition) boots. Modern, rubber-soled boots cannot compare - there is nothing quite like the crack of a guard of fifty or so, leather booted, men, slamming their feet into the parade ground, as one, at the completion of the movement. Much the same as with rifle drill, when they strike, grasp and grip the weapon in unison - no clapping, just one sharp, loud crack!
    As I found out the hard way, one thing that rubber soled boots can do a lot better than the studded ones is allow the wearer to keep his footing in a fight on smooth concrete. Not the best thing when you're surrounded by a few blokes and have to keep turning rapidly, and can't kick with one of those beautifully hard toe caps for fear of ending up on your bum and copping a kicking yourself.

    Vinegar works as well, if not better, than Coca Cola, and is cheaper when lifted from the cook house.
    Probably left in the cook house as it's the only fluid that can't get the cooks drunk.

    Theoretically, any carbonated drink, including soda water, should do the trick as they all contain carbonic acid.

    There was a product that I used, which might also have been a Kiwi product, called something like Glint. A sort of light woolly stuff, maybe very slighty abrasive, impregnated with some sort of brass polish. Worked better than Brasso.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Eller View Post
    -

    Thanks Dani for moving this thread back from the 2006 archive. I sent the following reply as a private message to ww2admin yesterday when the thread was still locked (and hence I was not able to reply on the public forum).
    Off topic:
    Any time buddy!

    BTW if anybody of you might want to post in a locked and archived thread let the staff know by pm or by opening a thread of requests.
    Thanks.
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

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