Hi Guys, these items have an interesting history. They were initially developed not as a sleeping bag as such but as a dual purpose item which could also be used to keep a Paratrooper warm in an aircraft. In the early days of the British Airborne forces the obselete Whitley Bomber was often used as a transport aircraft. The Paras had to sit on the floor in the unheated aircraft. This bag was designed so they could sit inside the bag and wrap the two large "bat wing" style flaps around the body even when wearing the 'chute to keep warm. They are still occasionaly called "Whitley Bags".
The bag is done up with a quick release strap held in place by a wooden toggle, which can be rapidly undone to open up the bag.
The bag has numerious internal pockets closed with press studs. Some of these face upwards, while others face downwards.
This example is not maker marked or dated. More often than not they were un marked. But dates of 1943 to 1945 are those most likely to be observed.
The bag can also be found in two other camo patterns: a "splotch" pattern which is belived to be wartime and a 1957 camo version, made in the same colours as the post war Denison smock of the same date. The actual wartime camo pattern, as seen here, is unique to the bag and was not used on anything else. Sadly years ago some re-enactors cut up these bags to make repro Denison smocks as repros were not available then and these bags used to be cheap.
The bag, due to it's size and weight, was not carried into action by the men: they were either supplied by air (via Glider landed stores) or carried in unit Seaborne tail transport.
The bags were popular and saw a long service life. They can often be found with additional waterproof ground sheet type material added to the underside.