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SimonLMoore

S6 In Miscellanous Haversacks NI '69-'70

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I've been perusing various photographs of early British involvement in Northern Ireland and whilst doing so I noticed that S6 respirators seem to have been issued with a miscellaneous variety of haversacks including the Mk. VII, LAGR haversack and the Mk. 1 S6 haversack.

 

As the latter has been in production for several years by 1969 can anyone shed any light on the reasons behind this mix? Short supply? I can imagine the newest kit probably went to BAOR troops as that was the most likely NBC battlefield...

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There would have been a fair number of S6 respirators with their early haversacks that were used by the RUC in August 1969 that would have been available. So it may have been a matter of convenience to make some use of what was locally available.

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I've been perusing various photographs of early British involvement in Northern Ireland and whilst doing so I noticed that S6 respirators seem to have been issued with a miscellaneous variety of haversacks including the Mk. VII, LAGR haversack and the Mk. 1 S6 haversack.

 

As the latter has been in production for several years by 1969 can anyone shed any light on the reasons behind this mix? Short supply? I can imagine the newest kit probably went to BAOR troops as that was the most likely NBC battlefield...

 

As with all kit - issue was often on an individual or unit basis. So some new kit was issued to newly joined soldiers first then as stocks increased it was issued to units as a whole (the old item being handed in and the new kit issued to a whole battalion or unit at the same time). Sometimes kit was also issued on a 'waste out' basis - which meant you only got issued the new kit as and when your old item broke or it needed replacement (and you only got the new style kit after stocks of the old kit had been used up) - until which time you used the older style item.

 

In general (during Cold War times), new kit got issued to front line units first - i.e. Regular Army Infantry and teeth arm units- who were based in BAOR. In later years NI was added to the 'priority for issue' list and new kit was often issued there prior to UK based units etc. The main exception to this would be kit designed for a specific purpose/theatre - NI, Korea, jungle kit, Arctic kit etc - so units going/based there would obviously get the kit first.

Edited by Exwoofer
added info

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Simon,

 

Like you I've seen photos showing the MkVII haversacks. I was surprised to see these as they had officially not been an issue since the 1950s, though they must still have been in the system in large numbers. It is clear from some photos that I've seen that they appear to hold S6 masks. It may be that they were more convenient to wear in the alert position when carrying other kit than either the LAGR and Mk1 S6 Case.

Here's one in use, seems to hold an S6 (which you'd expect at this date) judging by the shape, but difficult to be certain of course as the LAGR also had a side filter.

 

MkVII case.jpg

 

Regards

 

Paul

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And here the LAGR can't be anything other than the lightweight mask, due to the size of the haversack.

 

Northern-Ireland-1969.jpg

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Thanks for the replies chaps, very interesting and sorry for the late reply!

 

I've attached a photo which shows men wearing S6s with a variety of haversacks on the chest, apparently some Mk. VII some LAGR, I cannot get my head around the use of the LAGR haversack, as you say it's not exactly an easy fit for the S6... :confused:

 

510559407.jpg

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Interesting picture. Thanks. Clearly no self-respecting squaddie of the time would be seen dead without a first generation P58 water bottle pouch. They'd have stopped making them 4/5 years before.

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I have a distant memory, i can't remember exactly which pouch it was (possibly shop bought Arktis) But i remember there being some discussion that an S10 respirator could be easily stored in another pouch, (to reduce the bulk of the normal resi pouch).

There was alot of kit modification in the early 90's in the TA!

I think it may have been in reference to a training excersise where masks needed to be carried without NBC gear perhaps it was FIBUA? (which still dosen't quite sound right to me).

Obviously it was not following standard or  unit SOP's, as you are meanyt to keep everything NBC in the Respirator pouch so it may have just been a discussion with squaddie friends.

but as long as what you had still functioned in the way it was designed to and it didn't look too foreign you could get away with quite alot.

I guess the guys in the photos are doing just that within a kit boundry (i.e. it's British) , they are using what is comfortable and what works.

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