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German Uniforms and Equipment

Y - Belt for Cavalry (Koppeltraggestell für Kavallerie


In an effort to reduce the weight of the cavalry equipment, trials were held.
These trials were concluded in February 1940 and led to the introduction of 2 new kind of saddlebags to replace
the older Packtaschen 34 (Saddlebags Model 34).

In order to carry the smaller one of the saddlebags as a backpack a new type of Y-belt was introduced as well.

These items were introduced with Heeresmitteilung HM 216

Below the 1st part of the HM
(The rest of the HM will be dealt with in the section for the new saddlebags)






216. Luggage relief for Cavalry

I. End of trials with the introduction of the trial pieces

The equipment weight reduction trials for Cavalry are closed. The following items will be implemented for Cavalry:

a)     1  Small Packing Bag for the Fighting Pack and
        1 Large Packing Bag for the Mess Tin and Horse
         equipment to replace the Saddle Bags 34

b)     1 Carrying Belt for Ammo Pouches to replace the
         webbing carrying straps of the Uniform

Description and Request numbers

Small packing bag for Cav.............................. B 247
Large packing bag for Cav............................. B 248
Carrying Belt for Ammo Pouches for Cav..... B 249

                                               15 february 1940


Below, the Y-belt for Cavalry is shown

Basically it was the same as the normal Y-belt for Cavalry (Kavallerie-Tragegerüst) but it was equiped with vertical D-rings to accomodate the
small saddlebag. Also auxiliary straps were added in the same style as the Y-belt for Infantry.

Initially only the 1st Cavalry Division and Cavalry Regiment 21 were equiped with these.

As for the name: Initialy these were called "Trageriemen für Patronentaschen für Kavallerie" (Carrying belt for ammo pouches for cavalry)
but an order (HM 431, april 2nd 1940) the name was changed to :
"Koppeltraggestell für Kavallerie"







On the left one strap is shown.

The front straps are 29 mm wide and reduce to 20 mm.
They have 6 holes for the front hook.

The auxiliary straps are 18 mm wide and have 13 holes for the adjustable buckle.

On this example the hook is steel, while the rest of the hardware is made out of aluminium.






Here the backside of the hook.

A new feature shown here is the extra leather loop which was sewn on the front straps.

The purpose for this was to secure the auxiliary strap to prevent it from swinging when the cavalrist was riding the horse






And a side view which clearly shows the loop




Here the front of the strap and hook is shown where the auxiliary strap is put through the leather loop.

Also the maker mark D&C of the hook is shown, which stands for " Dransfeld & Co. in Menden, Kreis Iserlohn/Westfalen "




And a side view of the auxiliary strap pulled through the belt loop.




And a back view of the straps. Also visible is the aluminium rivet that holds the auxiliary strap.



Finally, below a detail shot of the vertical D-rings




Of course, as with all german equipment, variations existed.

Below, an example is shown with square vertical D-Rings and a somewhat crude back strap hook.

Also, the back strap can't be adjusted in size.





Below, a detail shot of the square D-rings.







Left, a detail shot of the steel hook.




And a side view, which shows that the hook is riveted to the strap.




And the Reichs Betriebs Nummer on the backstrap which indicates it is produced in or after 1943.



Below a picture taken from the book "German Infantry in Action" from Squadron/Signal Publications
which shows these type of Y straps in use.

As can be seen this example has another style of back strap



Also a webbing version existed which will be shown later



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