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This rucksack is unlikely to be worth more than a tenner at best. It is a Rucksack GS (General Service) designed in the 1970s to replace the 58 pattern large pack once the powers that be finally accepted that this wasn't much use. Yours is missing the frame. The same frame was used for the Clansman radio set and for the larger "para" bergen / SAS rucksack, issued to paras, marines, SF and anyone else likely to need a larger load. The GS rucksack is seldom used these days for its original purpose as, basically, it wasn't that great and lots of better alternatives, notably the SAS rucksack, are readily available. About its only value is as a Falklands War collectable if it has a pre-1982 date and even then it's unlikely to achieve a high price. If it's marked anywhere it'll be under the lid, but from the colouring this one looks like a mid-late 80s model.

 

You say "they" which implies you have several of these. The other version is made of a less plasticy material, is larger, the lid does up with ties instead of buckles and the side pockets have press studs to fold them away. These are much more desirable but seem to go for wildly varying prices on ebay, so it's pot luck.

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As others have said, it is a GS bergan. It is missing its large, heavy, external steel frame. The SAS had a larger (taller?) version. A company called SASS sold them with a lightweight internal aluminium frame.

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I think a good unmodified pre-1982 bergen without names written all over the outside will still make the money if properly described. The vast majority of para / SAS bergens on ebay are either 1982 and so probably Falklands replacements, or mid to late 80s. Also the understanding of contract numbers doesn't yet seem to have spread very widely. There's been a well-used but perfectly ok para bergen c. 1975 sitting on ebay for months that seems to have escaped general notice and could probably be got quite reasonably. And no, it's not mine nor does it belong to one of my friends. I'd have bought it myself if I didn't already have two good early ones.

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Hi,

 

I am a new member to the hmvf forums, i have been on it before and came across this thread and just wanted to add my bit to it.

 

as it has already been mentioned by others that what you have is most certainly a GS Bergen and is a 1980s type the earlier 72 pattern GS Bergen i believe had a different designation and also had different clips instead of pull closiers.They are different to the SAS Para bergen as i believe the GS to be a 75 litre bergen and the SAS bergen to be a 120 litre bergen they both use the same frame, which the one in the pictures posted does not have.

 

They are quite hard to find and without the frame go for anything up to 20 pounds, however if it is a 72 pattern one it will probably fetch for much more.

 

Hope this helps,

Lewis

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=Scotch Harry;458960Ebay recently has been swamped with SAS Bergens and prices have dropped a LOT so now is a good time to buy(but not sell as I found out:undecided::undecided::undecided:) and SAS Bergen.

 

Yeah there has been alot poping up on ebay usually they get snagged by brokenarrow1971 who relists them at stupid prices:wow:

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=Scotch Harry;458960Ebay recently has been swamped with SAS Bergens and prices have dropped a LOT so now is a good time to buy(but not sell as I found out:undecided::undecided::undecided:) and SAS Bergen.

 

Yeah there has been alot poping up on ebay usually they get snagged by brokenarrow1971 who relists them at stupid prices:wow:

 

Brokenarrow71,now that doesnt surprise me:cheesy::cheesy::cheesy::cheesy:

 

The one I sold a month or so ago on Ebay was in my opinion a very very nice one complete with frame etc and from memory sold for a poxy £37. Not that long ago you would have to pay twice that or more for a decent one.

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Only a couple handed in recently by ex-cadets.

 

Send me a message with any offers but I would prefer collection. Obviously not expecting much judging from the replies.

 

Hi are all the GS Bergens you have the same or do you have any early types?

 

Regards,

Lewis

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  • 1 month later...

 

To re-cap and confirm the contributions here.

 

The rucksack as pictured is for sure the ‘Rucksack GS' NSN 8465-99-132-2813

 

The type pictured was issued in the early 1980’s (the majority are dated 1984/1985) as a stop gap measure – primarily to improve the load carrying ability of the Infantry. Lessons from the Falklands highlighted the inadequacy of the 1958 Pattern Large Pack (although this was well known prior to the conflict and new designs were already in progress).

 

The Rucksack GS (General Service), as issued in the early 1980s, was a development of an earlier rucksack design – which dated from c1972.

 

In 1972 a new pattern of load carrying equipment was trailed and eventually rejected for service. Collectors know this equipment as 1972 Pattern but the official designation was in fact 1975 Pattern. The 1975 Pattern rucksack was similar to but had minor design differences to the Rucksack GS – for example the side pouch fastenings were plastic clips on the 1975 Pattern, rather than the metal buckles of the Rucksack GS.

 

Whilst 1975 pattern equipment as a whole proved to have design faults and was thus rejected – the rucksack was accepted for limited service (despite having an imperfect design – the load capacity was deemed too small by many). The reason for this decision was that the 1958 Large Pack had been clearly identified as inadequate and there was a need for an improved load carrying capacity for troops in some theatres – one specifically being Northern Ireland. Hence, the 1975 Pattern Rucksack can be seen in many NI photos from this period.

 

More successful was the similar but larger ‘Rucksack SAS’ which was trailed at the same time as the 1975 Pattern Rucksack. This was accepted into service for use by the SAS and other troops with a need for a larger carrying capacity i.e. Airborne troops - in the early 1970’s. The frame and shoulder straps of the Rucksack SAS, the 1975 Pattern rucksack and the later Rucksack GS were almost identical.

 

Although, as suggested, a replacement for 1958 Pattern webbing had been under development prior to Falklands (a number of designs had undergone user trials i.e. 1975 Pattern and more recently 1958 MK2 – nylon) it was far from being ready for service (indeed it would be 1989 before it (90 Pattern PLCE) was introduced into service). However, the pressure to improve the Infantry Load carrying capacity - from the lessons learnt from the Falklands- required that a stop gap measure be introduced into service and thus a slightly adapted version of the 1975 Pattern Rucksack was introduced into limited service around 1984/5 – the Rucksack GS NSN 8465-99-132-2813.

 

 

This information is sourced from official MOD documents –supplemented by my own personal experiences of the time.

 

 

 

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