SADF Groundsheet

The SADF issued a large waterproof groundsheet to its forces in the 1980s to use on operations, it was large and rectangular in shape and in the standard nutria brown colour. Made of nylon, it has poppers around the edge to allow it to be linked to other ground sheets to make tents and bivvys. Loops are fitted to the corners to allow it to be used as an improvised stretcher:

The groundsheet was designed to be carried clipped to the webbing set and so has a set of straps attached so it can be folded and rolled up:

Standard stamped buckles are used to secure the straps that hold the rolled up groundsheet:

Spring clips are fitted at the top:

As these groundsheets are made of nylon and the straps are cordua nylon, I believe these date from the very late 1970 or early1980s and were part of the wider updates to SADF equipment at the start of the decade. Johan Raath explains their use as a stretcher when on operations with UNITA forces in the 1980s:

Three of them were wounded, but fortunately their wounds were not critical, so it was hastily treated with bomb bandages (field dressings), and one was placed on an SADF brown canvas groundsheet with handles for carrying the wounded. The Unita soldiers carried their wounded comrade, and the entire group withdrew in a box formation.

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