70 Pattern Yoke

We continue our study of the South African 70 pattern webbing set this week by looking at the yoke that goes over the shoulders and connects to the belt to help distribute the load comfortably. The yoke is often one of the most critical parts of an accoutrement set as if it is poorly designed then it can make a long march excrutiating for the unlucky soldier as the weight of their equipment rubs the bony shoulder. Happily the 70 pattern seems to be well thought out and clearly draws on the tried and successful British 58 pattern and US M56 sets:

The yoke attaches to the rest of the web set with small spring clips that connect to D-rings:

Two clips are fitted to the end of each front portion of the yoke, which clip to the matching two rings on the belt, as seen above:

The two rear straps each end in a single spring clip with a friction buckle to adjust the sizing:

The yoke joins at the back, with two more straps and buckles to allow items such as a sleeping bag or bed roll to be strapped here when the large pack is not being worn:

Note also the D rings which are used to pass the straps from the kidney pouches up and back down through to hold these steady.

The yoke flares out over the shoulders for comfort and there are more loops and straps to attach further items to the set:

This is a key feature of the 70 pattern set as the idea was to make it as flexible and customisable as possible to allow men to configure it how they wished in the field. The loops and rings allow extra items to be clipped on with the standard spring clips wherever was most comfortable.

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