WWII US Army M1928 Haversack Reproduction
The majority of U.S. Army infantry troops were issued the complex M1928 Haversack combination pack and combat suspender system throughout World War II in which they carried all their personal equipment and rations in the field. A nearly identical M1910 Haversack was used in World War One.
The removable outside pocket (meat can pouch) held the mess kit with slots knife, spoon and fork). In theory it could be separated though this was rarely done. The two metal grommet holes on the side were for attaching the bayonet scabbard. The main carrying compartment of the pack was formed by bringing the two sides together and with straps and buckles that threaded through a webbing tape sewn to the back of the bottom flap of the compartment. The bottom flap could be let down, or pulled up, to adjust the depth of the main carrying compartment and the sides could be let drawn closer together or spread further apart to adjust the width of the carrying compartment. Though a highly adjustable system and well engineered to secure combat loads of varying size securely so they did not bounce around, the main carrying compartment was open on the bottom on the left and right side. Obviously small items could easily fall out if not packed inside in a manner that they wre secured inside large items. (Example: Wrapping your shaving hit in your extra socks and your extra socks in your extra shirt, and your extra shirt in your raincoat.)
The attached dual front and single rear suspender straps clipped to the soldiers M-1923 Cartridge Belt or pistol belt and were adjustable for the soldier’s height. The D rings at the bottom rear corners of the M1928 Haversack are use to secure the bottom of the carrying compartment against the soldier’s back with clips on the ends of the front outer straps of the supporting suspenders.
I’ve included photos of illustrations from the 1942 Soldiers Handbook to give you an idea how this all went together. Note that the bottom pack tail and leather strap are not included with this reproduction, though the strap holes are present to install them on the haversack. We may get the pack tails later. (They are still found on the loose from time to time at flea-markets where vendors rarely know what they are.)
This reproduction is good, but not perfect, and is priced as such. The main flaws are the grommets for attaching the bayonet scabbard and shovel cover are too close together which means you need to squeeze the hooks on the hanger together to get them to mate up. That’s not a big deal with a reproduction shovel cover, but I don’t think I’d want to do that to an original bayonet scabbard.
It would be ideal for theatrical, or exhibit display use, or just for kids to enjoy playing WWII soldier with. I wouldn’t guarantee that it would hold up to heavy field use or years of reenacting abuse.
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