Pre-Poncho basha arrangements

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by stoatman, Mar 17, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Random question for the /really/ old & bold.

    Before the poncho & Prince of Wales sleeping bag, what were the basha arrangements? How were they carried? Presumably 2 army blankets were involved, but what kept the rain out and stopped water from underneath seeping in? The gas cape is surely not big enough.

  2. PS - a JU-52 just flew over the back garden, fortunately not discharging a stick of Fallschirmjaeger! :D
  3. I think perhaps that they used to hollow out their horses and crawl inside for a kip.I also think perhaps that someone older,bolder and certainly more sensible will pop up shortly with the correct answer.
  4. Spike Milligan mentions many different types of kipping places in all his WW2 books.

    2 blankets wrapped around you and sleeping under a freezing Lybian sky, with holes dug for your hips and shoulders.

    A coffin
    A Fu ing huge gun cover
    A stolen American pup tent
    Back of a wagon
    Top of a wagon
    In a cave
    In a dug out
    I think they uses what Tyne **** they could,

    Also used to wrap their great coats around themselves too.
  5. You need two gas capes, and join them together through the lace holes, the flap on each

    cape , (Flap is not a sexual term in this case) which would allow at least your

    shoulder to be off the wet earth.

    I know from my 'Scouting for Boys' ,(again not a sexual term) that with a

    couple of kilt pins ( again not a ... well you get the idea) you can

    cobble a sort of sleeping bag up, but in training 'They' would make it

    hard for you to do that (not a sex).

    You could also build a troop lean too A La not Bear Grills but the chap we

    admire, then use your gas capes on the floor and benefit from

    your combined body heat . ( Knock yourselves out pals)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. It was possible to make a basha out of 2 of the groundsheet/capes. However, you needed another one to go under yourself, so you needed 3 in all and normal issue was one.

    The DS solution was 2 man tents, with the groundsheet/cape as a groundsheet. The tents were in the system, although how often they caught up with troops in combat I cannot say.

    For bedding there were blankets lightweight, 2 if you were lucky, one if not.

    I used all these as a cadet.
  7. Two man Tents, Luxury.

    But Then you were a Cadet.
  8. IIRC just the gas cape for shelter, so effectively 2/3 of a poncho if you try and make a basha. I only ever used them with a sleeping bag - not blankets - and in the rain it was often more effective to wear the gas cape rather than try and make a shelter out of it.

    Every single photo I've seen of WW2 infantry just shows them sleeping in a slit trench in either a blanket or a greatcoat - no rain cover at all. IIRC some WW2 sleeping bags came with a sort of early type of waterproof(ish) bivvy bag.
  9. I used to do this as a cadet and became something of an expert at it. Joining two groundsheet capes together to make a "bivvie" as we called it back then. Most cadets would carry a length or two of don 10 wire for the job as it was stronger than string and would still fit the holes without any trouble. The technique was simple; just align the two rows of groundsheet holes, poke a loop of don 10 through the hole from underneath and shove a twig in the loop and then pull tight and move on to the next hole.
    Using ponchos for bashas was seen as a huge step forward, and using bungees was like being high-tech... Some keen cadets would buy their own ponchos for basha building too.

    Sometimes we had two man bivvie tents instead with wooden poles and pegs which were a very basic "pup-tent" type of design. With these we could use the groundsheet underneath us and be fairly comfortable. However, we mostly had these when there was truck transport so we didn't have to lug them about.

    On expeditions and D-of-E we were able to take regular, civvy-type tents like the scouts used instead.

    Ahh, happy days!
  10. Bedrolls, those rolls of things carried over one shoulder of pre-WW2 troops, or greatcoats before that. Pre-green maggots, half a lightweight blanket, but that was before my time. I heard it seriously said by an old timer that the sleeping bag had adversley affected the esprit de corps, or something; any exercise would result in the sleeping arrangements of a pile of bodies trying to keep themselves from freezing and trying to get closer to the middle.
  11. I have actually had the pleasure on several occasions of the "two-man basha" pup tent. Not a carryable item though... And we did have the luxury of rollmats & 58pat sleeping bags.

    Thx for the answers so far.
  12. Of course there were those that just got into the turret and closed the hatches behind them....................................
  13. Just used to find a dryish bit of ground & sleep in sleeping bag with the 'waterproof side' facing upwards.Kept the rain off a treat!
  14. Improvisation is what it should be all about if you ask me. How many times have you been on an exercise, digging a shitty shellscrape only a stone's throw from a nice comfy Bedford?
  15. Back in the days when, we used to carry a dry stone wall kit in our large packs. This was like leggo but bigger and the blocks were made of granite. On halting for the night, you made the dry stone wall and then slept in the lee, safe from the wind and enemy bullets.
    • Like Like x 1