Tag Archives: the Second World War

Aluminium Water Bottle

Bottle, water, aluminium.

In the final years before the outbreak of the Second World War, the British army was looking at a variety of designs for updating its uniforms, weapons and equipment. One area they looked into was replacing tinned steel mess tins and enamelled water bottles with aluminium alternatives. Aluminium was lighter, shaving a few ounces from the soldiers burden; and more hygienic it didn’t rust:imageThe water bottle is based on the earlier enamelled version, with a flat top:imageThe cork is the standard type used on all British water bottles of the period, attached to a string that attaches through a loop next to the spout:imageOn the base is a maker’s mark and date, M.M.S. 1939:imageThe bottle is painted in an overall drab green paint and no felt cover was issued with these bottles.

These bottles were never very common, with the outbreak of the Second World War curtailing their introduction. They were withdrawn and recalled for salvage in 1941, with aluminium being considered a strategic resource. Therefore surviving examples are becoming increasingly hard to find. The green army version is more common, whilst I have only ever seen a blue painted RAF version once on a dealer’s website. Needless to say it was not cheap!