Why are ammo boots called ammo boots?

#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".

MsG
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
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'
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
I understood it was a general term applied to issued kit. It just happened to stick on boots.
 
#4
BuggerAll said:
I understood it was a general term applied to issued kit. It just happened to stick on boots.
That sounds very promising as a start. Is there any chance you might be able to expand on that, BuggerAll?

MsG
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
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
Mr_Deputy said:
the style/shape of boot is the key I believe - had a leather sole so as not to create sparks in a powder magazine. Remember alot of soldiers wore knee-length leather boots, no laces, for example for many a year.
then the style/shape became popular and the steel hob nails got added.
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
storeman-norman said:
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.
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
storeman-norman said:
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.
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.
 
#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
smiffy_the_ferret said:
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?
Gettysburg, where there was a boot factory
 
#15
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:
 
#16
smiffy_the_ferret said:
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?
Dont know about that one, but my Dad said if you call the Royal Army Ordnance Corps the ROAC again, he will come round and kick your willy that hard, it will go inside out and end up poking out of your bottom and everyone will then call you dickbum.
 
#17
Sorry old boy - dislexya Rules KO! - as they say....
It's deffo Royal Army Ordnance Corps
and I apologise for a bout of mong fingers, unreservedly.
 
#18
Digressing slightly. As a youngster in the RAC, we had to answer safety qustions whilst on ranges. I remember on one occasion, being 'primed' by an old sweat that if asked, give the answer "Never wear Ammo boots in the Turret". I thought this was a genuine safety point, as a spark would indeed cause an explosion. The Officer then, as predicted, picked on the newest, youngest crow and asked me the question.

A 30min run down range, along with a chorus of laughs and shouts of 'tit' and 'mong' have scarred me to this day.

Anyway, never wear Ammo boots in the turret!

Feck
 
#19
smiffy_the_ferret said:
Were they not issued by the RAOC, or it's predecessor,
The RAOC also had 'Boot Repairer' (Cobbler) as a trade till around 1960 when it was put out to contract. 'Boots, Ankle, Leather' were repaired and re-studded, and could not be exchanged unless you obtained a chit writing them off as 'Beyond Economical Repair' During WWI Armourers were also trained as Cobblers, since till 1942 'Armourer' was also a RAOC trade.

You could also at one time be issued 'Part Worn' Boots. It really was 'Dead Mans Shoes' at one time.
 
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