one for General Melchett?

ugly

LE
Moderator
#1
I haven't seen this webbing before and saw it in the second edition of Skennertons Lee Enfield Story. It screams Italy to me for some reason and the Bren gunner looks like a Ghurka!

Yes its the open ammo pouches that interest!
 

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the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Has someone got hold of a nice set of Yank pouches?
 

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rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
The Bren Gunner in question strikes me as a Pathan, from one of the Frontier Corps Units, the pullover he's wearing seems evocative of them as does the webbing. I don't recall photos of Ghurkas in pullies form that period. Though tbf I could be very wrong.
 
#5
Looks like a set of pouches for BAR magazines defo Looks like Ghurkas in Italy and it is an MP40 in the back ground looks like they are scrounging whatever kit they can lay there hands on
 
#6
Open pouches, poss scrounged of the yanks, fighting in a pully and use fo a weapon that he hasn't passed a WHT on...

I pity whoever the poor fcuker was the 'Soldier magazine letters editor' at that time.
 
#7
I'm not sure if .303 chargers would fit, but the pouches look a lot like 37 Pattern revolver ammunition pouches.
 
#11
Not sure its a compass pouch - .303 chargers are a tight fit in one of those. Might be the similar, unlined, pistol ammo pouch, but the pouch in the photo looks too rectangular and deep.
 
#12
the pouch in front of it is the rear of a pair of these:


The open one with the rounds sticking out of it looks more like a pistol pouch to me but I claim no particular expertise.

Pistol pouch:
 
#13
Dear Soldier,

I must applaud the efforts of our brave forces who have drawn the line in the sand at El Alamein, and pushed Jerry out of Afric across the Med and in to Africa. They have stalwartly bent and driven on the beaches of Itally and dipped their heads and shouldered their foes through the South of Italy.

But I feel I MUST highlight the fact that some of them, frankly, look unkempt. Their pouches open, they wear jumpers or other non-official merchandise and regularly scrounge weapons or equipment where ever they find it. This must stop. How can they march on Berlin looking like a bunch of scruffs who have been involved in a war for the past few years?

We didn't win in the Sudan like this, I know I was there and am thinking back through my rose tinted glasses (issue of course). My freind next door also agrees with me, and he's never been in the forces in his life.

Yours harrumphly
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
The Bren Gunner in question strikes me as a Pathan, from one of the Frontier Corps Units, the pullover he's wearing seems evocative of them as does the webbing. I don't recall photos of Ghurkas in pullies form that period. Though tbf I could be very wrong.
It was pretty standard for all Indian Army units, including Gurkhas, during the WW2 era. Note also that most Frontier Force regiments weren't exclusively (or indeed in some cases even mostly) Pathans. In fact if I was forced to bet on it, going by the face of the man behind and to the left of the Ben Gunner, I would say they probably weren't Pathans (or Gurkhas). To be honest there's not really anything in that pic to give any indication of their unit. Ugly- was there no caption information?
 
#15
The soldiers have no4 rifles and what looks like a Sten. Possibly indicates they're Brits or Poles, as IIRC most Indian units retained No1s/Thompsons in Italy.


Edit: in the original photo, the bloke in the foreground appears to be wearing German half-boots, and the two guys at the back appear to be armed with MP40s. From their complexions, they do appear to be Indians.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
Sadly no caption or even credit, unuaual but the book comprehensive an update as it is does seem rushed!
 
#18
Edit: in the original photo, the bloke in the foreground appears to be wearing German half-boots, and the two guys at the back appear to be armed with MP40s. From their complexions, they do appear to be Indians.
INA on secondment??
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
INA on secondment??
Defectors in the Western Theatre would have been in either the Italian recruited Battaglione Azad Hindoustan or German recruited Indische Freiwilligen-Legion Regiment 950 (commonly referred to as the Legion Freies Indien or "Free India" Legion), both of which wore, turbans notwithstanding, the general issue uniform of their sponsors accoutred with Indian National unit flashes. As did the Japanese recruited INA (both incarnations).

Most likely this is a standard case of soldiers pilfering the boots of enemy dead/wounded/POWs who weren't in a position to contest it. 4(T) where did you see the original?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
Dear Soldier,

I must applaud the efforts of our brave forces who have drawn the line in the sand at El Alamein, and pushed Jerry out of Afric across the Med and in to Africa. They have stalwartly bent and driven on the beaches of Itally and dipped their heads and shouldered their foes through the South of Italy.

But I feel I MUST highlight the fact that some of them, frankly, look unkempt. Their pouches open, they wear jumpers or other non-official merchandise and regularly scrounge weapons or equipment where ever they find it. This must stop. How can they march on Berlin looking like a bunch of scruffs who have been involved in a war for the past few years?

We didn't win in the Sudan like this, I know I was there and am thinking back through my rose tinted glasses (issue of course). My freind next door also agrees with me, and he's never been in the forces in his life.

Yours harrumphly

Gentlemen, the top hat is not a suitable item of clothing in the 8th Army!

Some mornings its hardly worth chewing through the straps! Sent from my Blackberry!
 

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