Why are ammo boots called ammo boots?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Bugsy, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. I was probably one of the last intakes to be issued a pair of ammos and a pair of DMS.

    I always found the term rather misleading and improbable, since it conjures up racks and shelving containing ammo, grenades, explosives and sundry detonators, so the last thing you'd want is some geezer shuffling around striking sparks from hobnails and steel tips on his daisies.

    I remember putting the question on a general thread about boots yonks ago, but there was never a reply.

    It's not that I'm losing sleep over it, but does anybody have an historical explanation for the etymology of the term "ammo boots".

  2. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    From Arrsepedia

    Boots - Crunchy as opposed to Boots - Orthopedic, like the ones Chickenpunk had to bull as a young soldier clad in chrome callipers.

    'Ammunition Boots' ('cause they come with the ammunition') are leather-soled, hobnailed ankle boots. These are now only used ceremonially, are usually privately purchased, and are almost always 'burned down'
  3. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I understood it was a general term applied to issued kit. It just happened to stick on boots.
  4. That sounds very promising as a start. Is there any chance you might be able to expand on that, BuggerAll?

  5. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    c.1626, from Fr. soldiers' faulty separation of M.Fr. la munition, from L. munitio "a fortifying," and at first meaning all military supplies in general. The mistake in the word perhaps was by infl. of Fr. a(d)monition "warning." The error was corrected in Fr., but retained in Eng. Shortened form ammo is attested from 1917.

    The all military supplies not the warning bit.
  7. I was under the impression that a hemp (ie rope) "slipper" was worn over the boots whilst in the Magazine during the 1800s.
  8. i was under the impression that during WW1 the guys had leather soled boots and to add some grip they hammered in empty cartridges cases to act like studs. hence them being called "ammo" boots.
  9. The army in 1908 had hobnailed boots, so it would be a bit of a step backward to start using unnailed soled boots by 1914. Besides, they'd have to have thick soles to hammer a .303 case into it.
  10. They hammered cart cases in? Their boot soles must have been thicker than a Downs sufferer's forehead.
  11. I heard it was a term given 'during the war', for some reason some thought the lads on the front could help more in the war effort, they took a stud out of each boot to be sent home and smelted down for ammo. Originally the boots had 14 studs to displace the shock evenly, hence after the offer, 13 studs remained until present.

    Could be wrong mind you.
  12. I have photos of WW1 soldiers clearly wearing proper hobnail boots.
  13. Were they not issued by the ROAC, or it's predecessor, like the ROAC Bread that always said Thursday on the wrapper?

    Looking at old school army logistics, i.e. from Wellington's day through to about 1914-ish, once the troops have powder&shot, a daily bread allowance and replacements for any worn out boots, they had the basics and could improvise /scrounge extras.
    Wasn't one of the bloodier battles of the American Civil War fought when one army tried to capture a town/warehouse where the other side had a large stockpile of fresh boots?
  14. Gettysburg, where there was a boot factory
  15. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    There was a thread somewhere where I gave a long explanation about numbers and types of studs on ammo boots. If I could be arrsed I'd link it to this thread but reckoned you'd have more fun looking for it yourself. :twisted: