Mine Probe Frog

Today we have a rather unusual piece of webbing to look at, and my thanks go to Michael Skriletz for kindly sending it to me. Mine clearance is a slow and exacting science and although much use was made of electronic mine detectors during the Second World War, often the only way to clear mines was to go on your hands and knees with a bayonet and gently probe the earth to see what was buried beneath. Although a bayonet worked effectively, there was the concern that being made of steel the enemy would develop magnetically fired mines and so a brass mine probe was produced in limited quantities. This very much resembled a pistol cleaning rod, but came to a point. It was issued with a special webbing frog to carry it in that was suprisingly sophisticated in design:

I do not have the probe to go with this frog, however I have found some photographs online that show what it looks like:

Made of a thin, single thickness of woven cotton webbing, this frog has a brass head to it where the probe is inserted to prevent damage from the point:

A flap with a lift the dot fastener is included to secure the probe in the frog:

The tab goes through the handle of the probe to ensure it is held in the frog securely:

A belt loop is fitted to the top of the frog to allow it to be worn:

This is certainly one of the more elaborate pieces of specialist webbing in my collection and is beautifully made but sadly unmarked. As I do not have a mine probe, for now I have added a spare section of cleaning rod with a loop on it to the frog so that it looks correct at a glance until one turns up.

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