Mine Probe Strap

A mine probe is a long metal spike that is used to gently search the soil to see if a landmine is hidden below the surface. It was in the Second World War that mines began to be used on industrial scales and clearance became of ever greater importance. Whilst the bayonet continued to be used, specialist metal probes were also introduced in 1944 which consisted of a handle, pole and spike and to carry them when not in use, a specialist piece of webbing was produced to accompany them. The carrier is a strip of webbing with a series of loops to hold the probe running down the front of it:

Each loop is sized to allow the mine probe to pass through it with a tight enough grip that it does not come loose, but slack enough it can be pulled out when required:

A strap and loop are fitted to each end to allow the carrier to be attached to other items of webbing:

These carriers were used as Royal Engineers stores for many years and many can be found with mysterious markings painted onto the rear of them. In this case it is a black square with a white diamond on it:

I am unsure how much wartime use these carriers received, photographs of them do not seem to be very common, however the wear on these indicates that they were used extensively in the post war period at least. Now I just need to track down the probe itself…

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