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Commando Bergen

Article about: A very worn and faded WWII era Bergen I beleive, it seems to match the construction of some period photos I have seen but unfortunately no identifying marks anywhere that I can find, it look

  1. #1

    Default Commando Bergen

    A very worn and faded WWII era Bergen I beleive, it seems to match the construction of some period photos I have seen but unfortunately no identifying marks anywhere that I can find, it looks like its had a hard life with the fading of the canvas and the bleaching of the leather straps it appears to me that its had a lot of contact with salt water perhaps, what do you think..??..opinions welcome.
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  2. #2

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    Your id is correct. By 1945 they were being made in dark green canvas so this will will pre date this.

    Here is my green 1945 dated example which I got from a neighbour in trade for some garden slabs.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks Ade for the reply and the additional info, you got a good trade for some paving slabs too...

  4. #4

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    he sure did but be careful walking near his home.----LOL

  5. #5

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    Here is a picture of the 2 colours together. You have to excuse the poor presentation, I am having a sort out. I need to get a mannequin (or 2!) as it is a much better way of presenting them.
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  6. #6

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    Very distinctive colour difference when shown together, thanks for the post.

  7. #7

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    I have gotten hold of another Tan Bergan, this one has a zip on the front pocket under the flap. (not the zip found under the top flap) This is a feature I have not seen before. It looks original to the rucksack as the stitching is the same as the pocket.

    The zipper is a 'Swift' which I think is period but I cannot seem to find out much about them.

    No marking remains on the backpack but it has a leather pad which I have seen ink stamps on in the past.

    Can anyone add anything ?
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  8. #8

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    Green ones were also made in '44

  9. #9

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    Has anyone seen one of these with a camo pattern before? My grandfather gave me one that he purchased as surplus in the 50s and it has a faded but noticeable camo pattern all over it.

  10. #10

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    An iconic piece of kit that was used mainly by commando and airborne forces. I'm not sure exactly when it was introduced but I believe it was late war possiblly around the beginning of 1944. I do know it was originally part of the mountain warfare inventory but of course the British never went as far as other nations with the formation of specific mountain units but the commando units (Army and Royal Marine) obviously received mountain warfare training and came into possesion of these "bergans" thus.
    Like any pice of kit that is as popular as this was it had a rather long service life and remained as "obsolescent" (rather than obsolete) equipment long after it should have been superceeded by other items.

    When I enlisted in 1975 all the "old sweats" at Depot Para and in 16 Independant Para Bde carried these as a preference but also as a mark of status. I eventually achieved a status that allowed me such an affectation and I still have it somewhere.

    Of course, because of the longevity and popularity of these unless there is a clear date stamp they can be difficult to date.

    The really early ones had edges of pouches trimmed in leather or even puttee tape and this one seems to have the later cotton drill edges but that certainly does not mean post war. As with most field gear there are always minor variations. Either way I don't think the date makes a huge difference given that the British Army has had troops on active service somewhere since 1914 (except for 1967 I think).

    Regards

    Mark
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    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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