I recently picked up a pack at a collector show that I cannot identify. The material for the main body appears to be similar to that used to construct bags for carrying the light respirator. All of the webbing and hardware seems to be British manufacture. There are no markings anyway on the pack. A fellow collector friend I showed it to thinks that it may be post Second World War and made for commerical use using surplus materials on hand. As this is the first of its kind I have ever seen and it does not appear in any of my research materials, I figured I would put it out here for discussion. Regardless, it was cheap enough money to take the risk on and has turned ou to be a great pack to wear when driving my Royal Enfield to work!
Got your heart jumping with that subject line, didn't I.
Are there any markings? I think your friend is probably right but I am far from expert. What I do know from my own experience is that there are a lot of commercial made packs on the market in cotton webbing with metal fittings that look a lot like 1937 Pattern Haversacks - but were made for sale by camping outfitters. Instead of brass fittings, they have black metal furniture. It would not be unheard of to see something so close to looking military actually be a civilian item. Military items generally do have markings, particularly when in new condition.
HA!...Mike you also forgot to mention that it was worn by Major Howard at Pegasus Bridge!
Yeah, I looked over every inch of it and could not find a single stamp or tag. I must say that it is very well made and all of the hardware is brass. Though hard to tell in the picture, the material used to construct the side pockets is of a slightly lighter in color compared to the main body. It was obviously well cared for over the years as there very little to no wear and tear on it or staining.
It can't be military. Lousy design.
That large top flap with a one-buckle strap wouldn't work at securing the container when out in the boonies.
You'd have a heavy ruck full of water, sand, and whatever else that's out there. A real POS.
I'd wager it's made in China. One of those Wallyworld specials. -
For what it's worth, we found a dozen or so of these when we cleared out stores about 30 years ago at Hightown Barracks, Wrexham, North Wales. Actually those bags were made of webbing material rather than lighter weight canvas but with exactly the same construction, including the single 'top' strap. I was told then that these were explosives bags, used for satchel charges and no doubt left over from commando training at Erdigg Hall Country Park. Essentially a bergen without the A frame so that it could be more easily stuffed into crevices etc.
Anyways, the old chap who told me about them at the time didn't have any financial need to make up the story (unlike many militaria dealers) and had certainly worked out of stores there from the early 1950's, so I present it as anecdotal evidence for what it's worth; I'm afraid like so much other stuff (wartime battle dress anyone - it went by the bale ?) at the time we burned them all - the barracks was being run down and I wasn't into re-enactment and no one wanted the 'antique stuff'.
The vast majority of post war 'put-togethers' have the A frame included - they were intended for the burgeoning hiking market after all and needed some support - walking with those would be very uncomfortable. Also cheap China made stuff tends to use chrome eyelets - those are very nicely corroded - commensurate with 50 or so years of storage.
There you go - feel free to take it on board or tear it apart as you will.
This is a rich example of so-called experts getting too big for their britches and spouting chapter and verse about what is correct and what isn't. What a laugh. You all discredit the fellow's pack, stating that it's fake; from China, etc. and poke fun at it, only to be told by somebody smarter than yourselves that it's authentic and likely rather collectible.
Turns out this is from Italy, probably from the 1960s. Link above has them available for $19.97 U.S. or you can join their club and save $2 per pack that you buy. Just happened across it in one of their surplus catalogs as we got on their mailing list somehow.
I think you are a little too spun out on this thread, lighten up! From the thread itself, looks like there were a few theories as to the origin of this pack and then there were a few of us who had no idea. The comments about rare SAS or Airborne rigger made or whatever is just a bit of fun about how eBay listings seem to use those terms for things people have no idea what they are.
By the way, thanks for you input, perhaps you might want to add your informed comments instead of just lurking.
The first response in this thread used the phrase, and I quote "but I am far from expert", so I'm not sure what Eric's problem is.
I don't see anyone else in this thread claiming "expertise" either. Perhaps he's reading some messages that I haven't had access to, but as the owner of this forum, I'm not sure how that would be possible.
I too will look forward to his informed comments on this particular pack, as indeed, I have enjoyed the commentary so far, insofar as it has been respectful and helpful.