Japanese Officer’s pack(3/26/08) At the start of World War II, equipment issued to troops by the Japanese Army typically was based on European designs. As the war progressed, material shortages became extreme and the Japanese took many measures to minimize the use of metal in any form. Metal features such as buckles on packs, helmets and other equipment were replaced by cloth or rubberized leather.
French World War One combination coffee grinder and mess kit(3/4/08) During the First World War, the French soldier was required to carry great deal of equipment inside or attached to his field pack. The type of gear carried by an average soldier today has changed from the equipment carried 90+ years ago. The weight on the other hand has remained about the same at roughly 75 pounds.
SA Dagger Imposter(2/1/08) Curiously enough, this SA dagger came into the shop recently and only after careful examination after the fact revealed that in fact this official looking SA dagger was an imposter.
Here’s how I can now tell:
- the color of the handle and the scabbard should be brown, not black,
- the handle itself could be a reproduction and the scabbard changed to reflect the reproduction,
Goodbye to the Mess Kit(1/16/08) If it is true that an Army marches on its stomach, then the mess kit was the way the Army marches.
The examples of mess kits I have belong to World War I and the Vietnam Era. The first is heavy gauge steel and has some heft to it. Its design survived through the Second World War. The ‘chow’ was added unceremoniously into uncompartmented sections where everything eventually ran together.