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Soldiers Equipment In Normandy

Discussion in 'History of Britain during World War II' started by Jim, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Cpl G. Cowie, Section Commander; I S Platoon, ‘D’ Company, lst Tyneside Scottish:

    Apart from; entrenching tools, each company section was issued with spades and a couple of picks. We all carried one or the other, and they were either shoved down one’s back under the small haversack or carried through the web belt at the front, with the metal spade protecting some of the body’s vital parts. Both tools sometimes had their handles shortened to allow this. In addition to these ways of positioning entrenching tools, other methods of carrying equipment were newly devised, i.e. positions for bayonets, water bottles, respirator etc. New buckles were put on our small haversacks to allow us to carry more gear, including mess tins, emergency rations, spare shirt, socks, toilet gear and a few personal items. A gas cape was folded and placed on top of the haversack. Bren gun pouches also had new buckles in order to make it easier to fit magazines into them. We also had the new type steel helmet, while some in other divisions were to carry on wearing the old type.
    As a section commander in Normandy, I also carried on my web belt wire-cutters, a machete and eight Sten gun magazines in two pouches. Inn addition, I was equipped with an Army pocket watch, compass and binoculars. It was quite a load. How we envied our carrier and truck drivers. Section bundles were carried on our QM truck. These bundles contained one groundsheet and one blanket each. Later, the greatcoat was included. If we had been in a position for two or three days, these bundles came up to us, as did containers of tea, stew and rice. Meanwhile we just survived, probably eating our emergency rations (without orders). Shown here is an example of the actual kit list handed out to the 1st Tyneside Scottish rank and file soldiers in 1944.

    Soldiers kit list (TOS- Scottish battalions preferred tam- O’-shanter)


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