Tonight we come to the final post on the 82 pattern webbing set, at least until I track down some more components. The Canadian Army issued a special lightweight rucksack for their troop’s NBC equipment that accompanied the 82 pattern set, although technically it was never actually a part of the equipment. This small pack was popular with troops and frequently used in the field as a general purpose haversack to supplement the ‘butt’ pack we looked at a few weeks back. The pack is made of green nylon, with three straps on the front securing the flap:These are secured with black ‘Fastex’ fasteners:The pack here is made in a mid green shade, other examples can be found with much darker colouring. Under the top flap is a drawstring that helps secure the main part of the rucksack and keeps the contents dry:One side of the pack has a small exterior pocket, secured with Velcro:The rucksack has a pair of shoulder straps sewn to the rear, with slide adjusters to allow the wearer to get a comfortable fit:Each strap is heavily padded for comfort:This pack has clearly seen heavy use as there are a number of different soldiers’ names and numbers written in pen on the underside of the top flap:The only label inside the bag is a small manufacturer’s label for ‘Just Kit’:This then ends our study of the 82 pattern set for the time being- there are still some components left to find so we will revisit the set as and when I add these to the collection. I hope this series has been of interest to you and that I have managed to raise the profile of this underappreciated set of commonwealth webbing.
We are nearing the end of our study of the Canadian 82 pattern set, but we still have a few bits to look at and tonight we are considering two different variants of the 82 pattern bayonet frog:There are actually three variations of the bayonet frog, an earlier design for the C1 bayonet was shorter and lacked a top strap, sadly I do not have an example of that one. When the C7 was introduced it was found that the bayonet could easily fall out of the scabbard so a new design was introduced with a top strap. Two distinct versions of this frog exist, the earliest securing with Velcro:This was clearly found to be inadequate as a variant was introduced that replaced the Velcro with a press stud:Both have a pair of nylon loops to hold the stud on the bayonet scabbard:The rear of one of the frogs has an NSN number and the owner’s name written on in pen:Interestingly I have seen accounts that suggest bayonets in the Canadian army were armoury issued rather than on permanent issue to troops, but they came pre-fitted in a frog. As it was a real pain to dismantle the webbing sets to fit the frog on every time, soldiers bought their own frog and left it permanently attached to the webbing, then took the bayonet and scabbard out of the frog issued by the armoury and fitted it into their own frog already on the webbing set; before reversing the process when it was time to hand the bayonets back in.
Updated Post- My thanks to Ernst-Udo Peters for some more information on this pack that has allowed an update.
The Canadian Army 82 Pattern webbing set was issued with a small haversack, mounted on the rear of the belt that was officially known as a ‘Small Field Pack’ but colloquially got referred to as a ‘butt pack’ due to its position over the wearer’s posterior:This pack was designed to carry a soldiers essential kit to sustain him in the field for small periods of time. It is made of green nylon and is a small squarish shape:Two distinct variants exist, an early example with friction buckles to secure the top flap, and this later example that came into use in around 1986. It has a top flap that is secured on the front by a pair of dark green ‘Fastex’ buckles and adjustable nylon straps:These straps are quite long, so it was common for troops to fit extra items of clothing on the top of the pack, held down by these straps. Under the top flap a draw string is fitted to help keep the contents weather tight:With a plastic friction fastener to secure the draw string tight:Again the earlier variant of the pack has a slightly different cord lock, being made entirely of green plastic up until 1986. The manual provides a nice line drawing of the pack:The pack is typically worn on the back of the belt:To attach it the standard 82 pattern plastic post fasteners are fitted to the rear of the pack:These have the same velcroed tabs as the rest of the 82 pattern items, once the plastic posts have been inserted into the eyelets the two tabs are folded over and secured around the belt for added security:Above these are two further tabs that attach to the Yoke we looked at here:The 82 pattern manual offered two alternative ways of wearing the pack, with the option of attaching a strap into two friction buckles:And wearing it over the shoulder:This pack was never big enough, and troops often supplemented it with other larger packs in the field. Typically the inner pocket along the back of the butt-pack carried a melmac plate and other contents included foot powder, spare socks, boot bands, batteries, matches and water purification pills in a Ziploc bag as well as any additional loads they needed.
We have been taking a weekly look at Canadian post war load bearing equipment for nearly six months now. Whilst most of the pieces are uniquely Canadian in design, they have all been of fairly standard use- ammunition pouch, belt, water bottle pouch etc. Tonight however we have a piece of 82 pattern equipment that I don’t think has been replicated by any other military (if you know better please let me know), The ‘Carrier KFS’:The ‘KFS’ stands for ‘knife, fork and spoon’ and this was a dedicated pouch for these eating implements and the C5 knife. As ever the manual provides a nice line drawing of the pouch:The pouch has a simple belt loop on the back to slide over the belt of the 82 pattern set. The main compartment holds the knife, fork and spoon and is secured with a Velcro flap:The sides of this part of the pouch are left unstitched for about half of the length to allow easier access to the contents:A second pocket is provided on the front and this was used to hold the C5 knife:This was an all metal jack knife and was the Canadian designation for the US Camillus MIL-K-818 knife. Examples were issued both with and without ‘US’ stamped on the body. The knife was to remain in service until the mid-1990s when it was replaced with a multi tool.
Whilst this pouch was issued and used, it was never universally popular and many troops found it just as convenient to store their KFS in a pocket or pouch. That the Canadian government issued a dedicated pouch though suggests they realised how important a soldier’s cutlery was to him and how essential it was that he could access them easily in the field for a snatched meal without rooting around in the bottom of a pack.
The design of some of the components of the Canadian 82 pattern did not stay still, and new modifications and updates were made to certain components based on feedback from those actually using them and experience in the field. A case in point is the utility pouch which can be found in three main variants. The utility pouch was originally intended for mess tins and wet weather gear, however it evolved into a carrier for a 200rd box of ammunition for the C9 light machine gun by the third pattern and this is reflected in the three models:Left to right we have the first pattern which was introduced in 1982, the second pattern which added a hook strap and the final version which was slightly larger and fitted with grenade loops on either side. Turning the pouches over we can see clearly that the first pattern on the left lacks the hook strap to attach it to the yoke:By adding the hook strap to the second and third pattern troops had more flexibility in where on the belt they put the utility pouch and by attaching the pouch to the yoke heavier items could be carried with more support from the shoulders, preventing the belt from being deformed by the weight. All three pouches have two sets of plastic hooks and Velcro securing straps to attach them to the belt. The hook strap fitted to the second and third pattern has metal reinforcement grommets on it and can be tucked away if its position on a belt meant it was not needed:All three pouches use the same plastic and web tab quick release fasteners on the front with two positions provided to ensure the lid is secure regardless of how much has been placed inside:A webbing loop is fitted inside the pouches to allow the contents to be drawn out of the pouch:The strip of webbing goes from the top front of the pouch in a loop down to the bottom of the pouch and back up the back, pulling on it shortens the loop of fabric and draws the contents out of the pouch for easy removal.
Interestingly it is the second pattern of Utility Pouch that is illustrated in the user’s manual for the 1982 pattern set:The third pattern of utility pouch adds two fabric loops for grenades to be carried, as ever I don’t have the correct grenade for this, but a British 1970s training grenade illustrates the principle:The inside of the third pattern pouch has this rather nice manufacturer’s stamp, dating this particular example to 1991:Canadian troops tended to carry at least one of these pouches on their webbing and fire team partners and other members of the section would commonly help spread the two section light machine gunners load by carrying extra belt boxes of ammunition for them in their utility pouches.
As discussed last month, amongst many short comings on the 64 pattern webbing set was the wholly inadequate suspenders to support the weight of the equipment over the shoulders. The 82 pattern set sought to remedy this problem and a well-padded yoke was provided, offering comfort far beyond that available on the earlier system:The yoke used in the 82 pattern set is based off the American ALICE system of the 1970s, but adapted for Canadian service. The yoke assembly illustrated above is actually a combination of two parts, as shown in the user’s handbook. The Yoke:And four ‘hook strap assemblies’:As these were normally left connected we will treat them as one unit for this post. The yoke is heavily padded with protection for the wearer across both shoulders and the top of the back:The side of the yoke away from the wearer has a centrally mounted panel fitted with metal eyelets used to attach equipment (most often an entrenching tool) to the upper back:The front half of the yoke over each shoulder has a series of webbing loops to allow items to be hook on if required:Often a shell dressing would be taped onto the webbing at this point. Plastic friction buckles are sewn to the ends of each shoulder piece and at each corner of the back part of the yoke:These are attached to the ‘hook strap assemblies’ that in turn attach to the belt or other parts of the webbing with a plastic hook fastener and Velcro strips:One Canadian serviceman with eleven years’ experience wearing the 83 pattern set explains how it is attached:
To be more detailed in regards to how it fits, the yoke for the Canadian 82 Pattern Web-Gear, has four straps. The two in the back, have little plastic hooks which point in opposite directions (up and down) and clip onto the butt pack. The two in the front, have the same plastic hooks and clip onto magazine pouches, or the utility pouch. Obviously, the magazine pouches, utility pouch and butt pack all clip onto the web belt. The straps from the yoke will not properly clip into the web-belt directly – and stay connected – they have to be connected to the pouches and butt pack.
One of the great improvements the Canadian 82 pattern webbing set brought over its predecessor, the 64 pattern set, was that it finally reintroduced a dedicated ammunition pouch: that the 64 pattern did not have one is still frankly baffling. The new set was heavily influenced by the US ALICE system and in the end two distinct variants of the pouch were produced, an original plain ammunition pouch and a later development with a pair of grenade pouches fitted to either side:The pouches held two magazines for the service rifle, with a pair of lifting tabs to help pull them out of the pouch:The user’s manual illustrated how to use them:A top cover was provided to keep the elements off the magazines, secured with the standard plastic and webbing tape quick release buckle:The back of the pouch has the usual plastic tabs to engage with the eyelets on the 82 pattern belt:Velcro then passes over them to help secure it further:Drainage holes are fitted to the base of the pouch to allow water to drain off:The second pattern pouches have two grenade pockets on either side of the main pouch body. I do not have a Canadian grenade available, but this British training grenade illustrates the principle:Variants of this pouch can be found to fit FN C1 magazines and C7 magazines, with slightly larger examples available to house FN C2 magazines. The pouches were generally well liked, the most serious complaint being that the stitching sometimes broke and became loose, the go to repair being to patch them up with heavy duty tape.