37 webbing packing

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by stoatman, Jan 29, 2010.

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  1. A total anorak question, but does anyone know how an infantry rifleman was expected to pack his gear into his 37 pattern webbing?

    I seem to remember at some point it being something along the lines of:

    Left ammunition pouch: 2 Bren magazines
    right ammunition pouch: spare socks, one or 2 bandoliers
    small pack: mess tins, mug, shaving kit, rations, gas cape on top
    large pack: in the wagon containing miscellaneous other stuff that I can't remember

    I'm probably entirely wrong -- please educate me!
  2. Most European theatre troops seem to have ended up with either all Bren mags in the pouches, or Bren mags in one and grenades in the other; all rifle ammo being in bandoleers.

    At least they didn't have to carry a PT shoe in each '58 kidney pouch....... LOL
  3. My father wore it in the war, they carried ammo water and food. Thats all they needed, not all the crap we have to carry now
  4. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I suspect thats what experience teaches, all theatres give new demands to troops and more kit to be carried, I do believe that troops in Italy would be kitted and scaled differently to those in Burma etc.
  5. squeekingsapper

    squeekingsapper LE Reviewer

    Or screwed up newspaper in a holster...
  6. Now has that Digger padded his pouches out with cardboard to squared them off ?
  7. Fighting order x2 ammo pouches bandoliers .303 150 rds grenades x2 bren mags.
    Bayonet frog , entrenching tool , small pack consisning of water battle mess tins 24hrs rations, emergency rations spare socks cardigan and a ground sheet tucked into the flap.

    Edit to add hanging off the small pack enamel mug.
  8. The incomparable "Quartered Safe Out Here" (George McDonald Fraser) gives a description of the equipment carried in Burma. Excuse me if I don't replicate it, it's pages 19 to 22. If you don't have it, get it, it should be on the bookshelf of anyone who claims to have in interest in WW2 military history, IMHO!
  9. PT shoes were often carried in the small-pack as well - they were the footwear of choice for patrolling.
  10. The 37 patt webbing was designed to work in conjunction with a fully operational A and B echelon. When was the last time you ever saw one of those?

    'Light' infantry depend on 'agile' echelons....
  11. RM officer, immediately post-Falklands; "You need two things in your equipment; ammunition, food, and more ammunition'

    Good idea, but how to get it past your unit SOP's?
  12. I remember having to wear the bloody stuff as a cadet. The most uncomfortable experience of my life: overnight kit crammed into a small pack, sleeping bag inside a bin liner bungeed on top. When you clipped the small pack to the top of the pouches the waist belt ended up round your tits. All that plus a cap comforter (perhaps the most badly-named piece of kit ever) and .303 Lee Enfield. Oh yes, and buttoning two ground sheets together to make a basha!

    What a laugh :(
  13. I can just imagine some ol' Tommy circa 1940 telling the new lads Feck me that 1908 pattern stuff was gash this new 37 pattern is the dogs.
    Circa 1916 mudfilled shell crater ol' CPL telling pals battalion this 1908 stuff is the dogs now that Slade Wallace stuf......
  14. The problem there is you were not using it the way it was designed to be used.

    Overload the small pack and leave the ammo pouches empty, and of course it will be unbalanced.

    Fill the ammo pouches with ammo and limit what you put in the small pack and things work much better.