Australian S61Bayonet Frog

The US M56 webbing set attached the bayonet and its frog to the outside of the entrenching tool cover to free up space on the belt for other items. When the Australians adopted the set it was more typical to move the entrenching tool from the belt and either discard it completely or fasten it to the pack. Whilst soldiers might not need to carry the entrenching tool on their belt, there was a much more pressing need to keep the bayonet on there so that it was readily available, even if the pack had been dropped. It therefore made sense to add a traditional bayonet frog to the standard pieces of webbing produced for the Australian Army. The bayonet frog introduced by the Australians was heavily influenced by the preceding 1937 pattern design, but with a distinctive change:

The obvious change is the addition of the M1910 style hanger hook which passes through the two layers of webbing used to construct the frog below the loop for the belt:

This gives the wearer a number of options for wear, he can either wear it with the belt fed through the loop on the frog, or hang it from the eyelets using the hanger hooks depending on his preferences and this allows it to hang higher or lower, by a small degree, depending on preference. The hanger hooks also give the user the option of attaching to other items of webbing than the belt if he wishes, such as the side of the pack if that is required. The other features of the frog are far more recognisable, so we have a two loops with a gap between them for the stud on the bayonet scabbard to pass through to hold it into the frog:

A loop of webbing to stabilise the handle of the bayonet is fitted to the top and can be passed over the handle to stop it bouncing back and forth:

The use of this loop dramatically slows down the length of time it takes to draw the bayonet so it was not used in combat, but was a useful feature to have available out of the line. The bayonet most commonly used with this frog was that for the Australian SLR, either the L1A1 or L1A2 model. I don’t have an Australian made example, but this British made example illustrates the use of the frog well:

The frog was introduced in 1961 and continued in service for the rest of the lifetime of the SLR and the M56 web set, only being dropped in the late 1980s when Australia updated its rifle and equipment.

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