Australian M56 Suspenders

The Australian M56 suspenders, shoulder braces in English terminology, were another item that the Australians adapted from the original US design. The suspenders go over the shoulders and attach to the belt of pouches to support the weight carried within. These suspenders are made of the dark green that Australia used for the rest of its home manufactured M56 webbing:

The modification the Australians made was to the underside of the yoke where it passes over the shoulders. They added a layer of padding that helps make the suspenders more comfortable when carrying heavy loads for long periods of time:

The metal fittings are made of blackened brass and feature a /|\ mark stamped into the metal in several places such as the adjustment buckle:

The suspenders attach to the pistol belt, or to the pouches, with a set of wire hooks:

The set up can be seen here, where the webbing strap goes through the buckle, down to the hook, then doubles back on itself, and back through the buckle which is used to tension it to the correct length:

Whilst the suspenders were designed to be an integral part of the web set, Australian soldiers were nothing if not individuals and it was not unknown for soldiers to discard the suspenders completely and rely on a set of belt order in the field.

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