Australian Cross Straps

Like the other nations of he Empire, Australia adopted the 37 pattern webbing during WW2. Like all the other nations though, Australia made modifications to suit its own troops, fighting for the most part in the jungles of SE Asia. Troops had found the thin cross straps of the traditional 37 pattern webbing rubbed soldiers’ shoulders and caused sores. What was needed were wider straps and these were introduced late in the war:

0514BE18-6993-4919-9D9E-48CC2BADF202

It is unclear if many of these straps reached front line troops before the end of the war, but they did see use in the conflicts that cam after. As can be seen the central portion of the strap was made twice as wide as the standard cross strap:

B7E2F310-E417-4594-A357-1AAF8CD9464B These wider straps helped overcome one of the greatest weaknesses of the 37 pattern system, having worn traditional 37 pattern webbing myself for a few days in a row, I can attest to how uncomfortable it can become with prolonged wear.

These straps are dated 1945 and have the D/|\D Mark of the Austalian Defence Department:

7C97B4A1-4F19-4B96-9451-9E8D4795CDEC They are marked with the manufacturer ‘MB&Co’. Sadly I can find no further information on this company, but if anyone can help please let me know.

2 thoughts on “Australian Cross Straps

  1. Pingback: Australian Modified 37 Pattern Water Bottle Carrier | Tales from the Supply Depot

  2. Cal Fischer

    These are part of Australian P’37 Jungle Kit. Heres a list of other components:

    Australian P’37 Jungle Kit 1943
    1942 first modified pieces made in Canada and became part of jungle kit in 1943
    1943 set made in Australia with some pieces made in Canada
    1944 onwards all pieces made in Australia

    Carrier, Water Bottle with Belt Attachment (Aust) 1942
    Braces, Wide [3.25 in] 1942?
    Pouch, Basic Large (Aust) [9”x 6.75” x 3.75”] 1942
    Pouch, Basic, Mk III Small (Aust) 1942
    Frog, Bayonet with brass hooks (Aust) 1942
    Carrier, Cartridge SMG (Aust) [5 cell 20 rd Thompson]
    Carrier, Magazine SMG (Aust.) [6 cell Austen & Owen SMGs]
    Carrier, Magazine SMG Thompson 50 rd (Aust)
    Carrier, Grenade, Special (Aust) [10 Grenades]
    Carrier, Shovel (Aust)
    Shovel head (Aust)
    Handle or Helve, Shovel (Aust)
    Pouch, Wirecutters (Aust)
    Carrier, Mess Tins, 1 Quart round pot type (Aust)
    Tins, Mess, 1 Quart round pot type (Aust.)
    Standard – P’37 Belt, Waist
    Standard – P’37 Haversack
    Standard – P’37 Haversack shoulder straps
    Standard – P’37 Carrier, Cartridge Rifle
    Standard – P’37 Pouch, Utility Set
    Standard – P’37 Valise, Officers
    Standard – Wirecutters
    Bren spare barrel bag
    Bren spare parts wallet
    Sheath, Machete [Canvas or US M1942]
    Machete [UK Bolo or US M1942]
    Toggle Rope

    I have some pics I can E-mail to you if you like.

    Reply

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