This is the standard issue battledress worn by all Army Units by O/R's and NCO's, it was also known as the "economy issue" or "austerity pattern" which differed from the earlier version by being made more ecomically and having certain features left out. Each man was issued 2 battledress tunics, one for drill and combat and the other for parade or walking out, Officers were issued 2 as well but had the collars tailored so they could be worn open, they also privately purchased battledress tunics that were better made. This particular battledress is badged up as a Paratooper with insignia worn on both sleeves, the Para qualification badge is worn on the right sleeve only, this soldier is also wearing the stripes of a Corpoal (NCO) and wears the MG badge on lower left sleeve meaning he is the squads designated machine gunner also below is the wound strip awarded for recieving a wound in combat, above the left chest pocket is the MM medal ribbon bar for actions in Normandy 1944
This was worn by all British serving Army troops, the shirt is a collarless brown wool type which replace the grey woollen type (greyback) at the begginning of the War, notice Airborne issue trousers with pressstud pocket with white Army service braces attatched and fibre dog tags, which were made in red and green fibre material, both tags bore the same info which was name religion and Army number, the red tag would be left with the body (if KIA) for ID purposes
Denison smock issued to Airborne and Commando troops, this is the 2rd pattern issued in 1944 with elasticated woollen cuffs and unbuttoned wind flap at the rear of smock, the 3rd pattern was fastened to the rear with press studs, notice wings and rank badge on right sleeve only
Webbing load out as issued to normal Infantry soldiers, blancoed in Late War 1944 pattern colour, the webbing consists of x2 pouches (left and right), web belt, x2 cross straps, E-Tool in cover worn at the rear, sten gun bayonet on left side, and water bottle in web holder worn on right side, notice light weight respirator worn at rear of belt near E-tool in canvas cover, this at first was only issued to Airborne troops because of compact size
A small pack with personel contents which would have been carried by a soldier in WW2, spare water bottle, mess tins, sewing kit, wash kit and shoe cleaning kit, even in combat the British soldier was required to shave (if possible) and have well maintained uniform and kit
An Airborne Pathfinder squad leader kit outlay including, standard Airborne denison smock, Mk 2 helmet, toggle rope, standard issue BD trousers, boots, gaiters, light respirator and pouch, Sten Mk3, FS combat dagger, Sten gun airborne bandolier, standard belt with sidearm and holster (semi auto Enfield 38), binnoculars and map case
Known as the "commando knife" the FS dagger was issued only to commando and Airborne troop. It was invented by W E Fairbairn and A Sykes who wree ex Shanghai policemen and based their design on the Shanghai dock knife used by the crimminal element in Shanghai. Both men were part of the Commando training school at Lochailort Scotland and visited the Wilkinson sword factory in 1940 with their design for a ne combat knife which was designed for close quarter fighting and surprise attack, Wikinson Sword started producing the knife in 1941. There were several versions but the main thre patterns were 1st pat had S shape crossguard, 2nd pat had flat oval crossguard but both early knives had brass handles with etched or knurled grips, the 3rd pat produced distressed the designers because it had a ringed grip which unbalanced the weapon also made it difficult to hold when wet, also the handle was made from a cheaper cast alloy which made it simpler and cheaper to poroduce due to the War effort. A firm is still making these knives today but a sterile version with no markings used by NATO and made by William Rodgers Co.
By 1944 all Parachute troops were issued the Sten MK V, only Glder Airborne troops still carried the No 4 Lee Enfield Rifle. The three types of Sten gun carried by men of the Pathfinder Companies were the MK2, MK3 and MK5, all 3 types of Sten gun had the same specs, 9mm calibre, fired 550 rds per min and had a range of 100m, the box mag held 32 rds, the normal Parachute troops after 1944 were only issued the MK5 Sten.
The Parachute Regt especially the Pathfinder companies only used small arms in combat due obviously to weight and transport problems as these men had to travel light and without difficulty The Bren gun being one of the heaviest weapons that the Patfinders would carry, it was a 303 cal the same as the Lee Enfield Rifle so only one size ammo need be carried for both weapons, it had an auto rate of fire of 650 per min, in a box shaped mag containing 30 rds, it had a max range of 1500m
Another lightweight weapon suitable for Airborne units, this specially designated mortar was very light for Airborne troops to carry. It had a 2 inch diameter and fired a projectile weighing 1.130 kg, it had a range of 450m up to 4 rds per min. Two types of projectile were used, an explosive shell which would be effective against armour up to 100m, this shell had a brown casing with a red and green band, the other type of projectile used with this weapon was the smoke shell, this had green and red bands and when fired would give off 2 mins worth of smoke on a 50m front, used for camouflage purposes in battle, there was a 2 man crew for this weapon.
This another light weight "heavy weapon" used by Airborne troops, it was a heavy weapon but light enough to be carried and transported by one man, because of having to keep kit to a min weight and being highly fast troops the idea was that a light weapon was needed but with enough power for it to stop any armour that appeared hence the Piat. It was light weight but powerful, with an effective range of 100m against any armour then in service, it had a high range of 350m against houses/bunkers and fired the armour piercing shell weighing 1.130 kg and had a rate of fire of 5-6 rds per min, it could be used by 1 man but generally had a 2 man team.