Web Infantry Equipment, Pattern 1937

Fitting Instructions

All of these Fitting Instructions are presented in Karkee Web's usual Adobe PDF format. You'll need to use your browser's back button to return to KW after accessing them.

British Printing, Issue of 1939

brit 37The Pattern 1937 Web Equipment, 57 | General | 9512, Notified in A.C.Is. for the week ending 25th October, 1939. This copy of the first set of Fitting Instructions for W.E. Patt. '37 was scanned from the first UK printing. From the Ed Gould Collection. Patt. '37 W.E. was announced in the List of Changes with §B1623, dated 8th June 1938, and these FI's appeared just over a year later. This document would be the basis for both the Canadian and Australian issues below, although the Australian version differs considerably from this one, with new and different photos, as well as other modifications appropriate to Australian usage. From the Ed Gould Collection.

 

 

 

 

Canadian Printing, Issue of 1940

coverThis set of the 1939 Fitting Instructions for W.E. Patt. '37 was scanned from the first Canadian printing, dated December, 1940. The production values in this issue are not very good. Yes, there was a war on, but still! The pages are misaligned, the pictures don't always fit the pages properly, and the photograph reproduction quality is simply awful. Still, Karkee Web has provided a faithful reproduction of the document "as issued". At the end, we've included the one-page "Amendment No. 1", issued 28th August, 1940, and reprinted in Canada in 1941. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

 

 

 

Australian Printing, Issue of 1941

oz37This is a scan of the Australian issue of the Patt. '37 Fitting Instructions, printed in Melbourne in 1941. The cover and title pages bear the note: This Pamphlet has been modified for use with the Australian Military Forces. The text has been revised and reorganised, and all of the pictures are new. The production values are much better than those of the Canadian version. Note the "Arrow-in-C" ownership mark on some items (e.g., Plate 14) , which was Canada's ownership mark. Once the war began, it was impossible to supply Australia from the U.K. and Australia had yet to establish her own factories making Patt. '37. Supplies therefore came from Canadian stocks and manufacturers. Some of the components therefore have manufacturing differences, when compared to production items from M.E.Co. and M.W.&S. Ltd. This was due to there being no looms capable of carrying out integral- or reduction-weaving in Canadian factories. Note also Plate 22, which shows the Patt. '08 Pack with eyeleted 2 inch tabs, for use with Patt. '14 Equipment. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

 

 

Army Training Memorandum No. 45 (1943)

brooksbankQuite who “Brooksbank” was is not known but - as often happens - someone comes up with a Wizard Wheeze for an “improvement”. This one was thought worthy of being published in Army Training Memorandum No. 45, published in 1943. It was intended for use when infantrymen needed to move “light”. Whilst it dispensed with the Waist belt, Basic pouches and Water bottle, it allowed extra ammunition to be carried. Had Brooksbank not heard of the Bandolier, cotton, 50 rounds?!

We refrain from comment, save to note that it contradicts itself. On P. 26 Item (a) it states that the “…supporting straps…” were dispensed with. However, on P. 68, in  Para. 2, a statement is made that “…the two valise straps…” are used. So, not only a contradiction, but an incorrect use of nomenclature too. Supporting straps and Valise straps are one and the same – Straps, supporting pack. Presumably the "supporting straps" mentioned were actually the Braces, which were dispensed with! All very slapdash – which rather matches the visual effect of this improvement. This pamphlet was supplied to KW by regular contributor Nick Wall.

 

 

 

Istruzione Provvisoria Sull' Uso dell' Equipaggiamenti Britanico MOD. [1]937

itla 37This very interesting copy of the Istruzione Provvisoria Sull' Uso dell' Equipaggiamenti Britanico MOD. [1]937, dated Ottobre 1947, was provided to Karkee Web by Giacomo Stacconeddu. It is both the earliest and the most complete record we've seen of Italy's use of Web Equipment, Patt. '1937. The equipment shown and detailed in this provisional manual is almost exclusively British or Canadian production; sharp-eyed KW reader Colin Schlacta has pointed out that, based on the style of lettering used on the date stamp, the Cartridge carrier appears to be Indian made. This set of FI's apparently predates Italian specific equipment such as the "one over two" Cartridge carriers, the stylish web Beretta Holster, and the Basic pouches with leather tabs.

To add to this, Giacomo has told us that he carried this equipment when he served in the Italian Forces in the 1980's, and he has promised to send us some photos of some of the Italian Patt. '37 type equipment he used. Let's hope he includes a shot of him wearing it!