My thanks go to Iain McRuvie for providing the photographs for tonight’s post. Iain has kindly sent me pictures of his Canadian 1951 pattern webbing set. Unfortunately I have not managed to find any of this very interesting webbing set myself yet- if and when I get some elements we will look at the individual pieces in greater detail, but tonight we are just taking an overview of the general setup.
The 51 pattern webbing clearly draws heavily upon both traditional Mills webbing products form the United Kingdom, but also on elements of design from the US Army’s wartime equipment sets. The final design was a modified version of the old 1937 pattern webbing with a number of unique features. The most obvious difference is that the set is pre-made in an olive drab colour and uses blackened brass fittings:Note the two large pouches, clearly inspired by the 37 pattern design, secured with quick release fasteners. These are larger than the Bren pouches of the 37 pattern design and have a choice of two different fixing positions. A third pouch was provided to hold a mess tin in:As can be seen the waterbottle and carrier are clearly based off the US M1910 design, as indeed was the British 1944 pattern example. The belt of the set had a series of three eyeleted holes along its whole length:The back of the pouches had loops to thread the belt through and a metal hook that engaged with the holes on the belt:Two different haversacks were produced as part of the set, one roughly the size of the old 1937 pattern small pack, and one equating to the old large pack:Turning to the rear we can see that they use the same design of ‘L’ strap popularised by the 1937 pattern webbing:Officially this design was replaced by the 1964 pattern set, but this was so poorly regarded that the older pattern continued in use for many years.