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British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

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  1. #1

    Default British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    I recently bought a collection of black webbing (Haversack, mag pouches, belt and straps - the 1908ptn haversack was an earlier buy) which is named to the same person. The mag pouches are Canadian dated 1943, however, the markings on the other pieces are either either non existant or too faded to decipher. I believe that the 37ptn items are post war blackened as they appear to have been painted as opposed to the use of shoe polish. The 1908ptn haversack has been dyed, again I believe that this is post war as it has straps removed and was probably used in civilian life.
    I am aware that various units blackened their webbing (including Canadian) and this continued for quite some time after the war, my query is whether the webbing was blackened for camouflage / nightime use (I believe this was the case for the Royal Marines in WW2) or for regimental appearance (I believe that many amoured regiments blackened their webbing).
    Also I have not been able to find any period photos (Wartime or post war) of the blackened webbing being used, does anybody have any?
    Given the frequency that black webbing turns up on sites like Ebay I have been surprised at how little information and photo's I have been able to find on it - I know it's out there somewhere!

    P.S. From my internet searching I am aware of the thread on the ARRSE forum and of the excellent website - Karkee Web, however they supply neither definitive answers nor period pictures.

  2. #2

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    Blackened webbing usually done with boot polish, was both a Regimental and a camo thing, so you are correct on both counts.

    I do have some unpublished wartime photos in my collection of the 1st Indep. Para Platoon in Greece where some men, who were ex 2nd Parachute Brigade, 4th Parachute Battl, wore blackened webbing.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    Cheers Ade, I was getting worried that nobody would be able to answer my query! I would be interested in seeing the photos as I have gone through all of my books and searched the internet and I can't seem to find any pictures of anybody wearing black webbing (although there are a few pictures that I have seen where the webbing looks darker but due to them being black and white it is dificult to tell). What is your view on this webbing? The haversack and straps appear to have been painted (although this may have been over pre-existing blackening) along with some of the some of the brass ends (although some of the brass bits have clearly been polished). The backs of the pieces look particulary untidy if it was blackened for Regimental reasons.

  4. #4

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    I have heard of it done by the Army Cadet Force post war too.

    I don't have any pics scanned at present. But I know from the Veteran who kindly provided me with the pics that it was boot polish used.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    Many thanks Ade. These are the only two images that I have been able to find so far, one of Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey with a black belt and the other of a crewman of a light reconnaissance vehicle, although his webbing could be green and just looks darker against his light shirt.

  6. #6

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    I have scanned this one for you. It is cropped down from the original. Taken outside the Bank of Greece in Athens in 1944.

    I think it shows the belt very well.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    Many thanks

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    A lot of County Cadet Forces and public schools cadet forces did this also, i must admit we were never allowed to, everything had to be blancoed, and it was a real pain in the rear

  9. #9
    ian
    ian is offline
    ?

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    when i was a junior leader royal armourd corp at bovy md 70s we had 37 pat small pack cross straps belt and strap extenders (no ammo pouches ) we had to black all of it
    it was done with matt black paint as a base coat then boot polish
    i have my old set upstairs some where ,ill look it out
    cheers ian

  10. #10

    Default Re: British black / blackened 37ptn webbing

    Many thanks chaps. Would the cadets have used the ammo pouches?

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