Bren packsaddlery

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Pat Holscher
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Couvi, I'm curious what you think of this pack saddle arrangement for the Bren gun. Quite interesting to compare it to US pack saddle equipment.

Pat


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The bandoleer has no visable markings. It is part of the Small arms collection at Warminster. The only other one I know of is at the MoD Pattern Room at Leeds.

The saddle wallet holds 4 Bren mags and has wartime British markings (will try and get pics from the owner.

Tom
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Pat,
Originally posted by Pat Holscher[/i]
Couvi, I'm curious what you think of this pack saddle arrangement for the Bren gun. Quite interesting to compare it to US pack saddle equipment.

Pat
It bears a passing similarity to the US Phillips Cavalry Saddle, M1934, but any packsaddle used to carry a light machine gun would.

The appliances are similar to that used for the Benét-Mercie carried on a mule-mounted Aparejo in the Punitive Expedition shown in a previous thread. It seems to use cinchas and a surcincle, which I find odd, but I am sure they had a reason for it. It does appear to carry a lot of stuff. Item #8, Carriers, Ammunition, Bren, are full of ammunition and are carried on both sides. In addition, there is the gun tripod mount and accessories, so this would be quite a heavy load. Note the breeching and the breast collar. This is indicative of use on a horse that moves at the same speed as the other Cavalry horses, rather than a pack mule that moves at a walk.

We originally used the British equipment to carry the 2.95” Vickers-Maxim Mountain Gun. The Army packers were not happy with the British equipment, so the Aparejo continued in use until the Phillips Packsaddle system emerged in the early 1920’s. Both US systems are more heavily built. This equipment appears to be considerably lighter in construction than US equipment.

Couvi

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Pat Holscher
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Originally posted by Couvi
Pat,
Originally posted by Pat Holscher
Couvi, I'm curious what you think of this pack saddle arrangement for the Bren gun. Quite interesting to compare it to US pack saddle equipment.

Pat
It bears a passing similarity to the US Phillips Cavalry Saddle, M1934, but any packsaddle used to carry a light machine gun would.

The appliances are similar to that used for the Benét-Mercie carried on a mule-mounted Aparejo in the Punitive Expedition shown in a previous thread. It seems to use cinchas and a surcincle, which I find odd, but I am sure they had a reason for it. It does appear to carry a lot of stuff. Item #8, Carriers, Ammunition, Bren, are full of ammunition and are carried on both sides. In addition, there is the gun tripod mount and accessories, so this would be quite a heavy load. Note the breeching and the breast collar. This is indicative of use on a horse that moves at the same speed as the other Cavalry horses, rather than a pack mule that moves at a walk.

We originally used the British equipment to carry the 2.95” Vickers-Maxim Mountain Gun. The Army packers were not happy with the British equipment, so the Aparejo continued in use until the Phillips Packsaddle system emerged in the early 1920’s. Both US systems are more heavily built. This equipment appears to be considerably lighter in construction than US equipment.

Couvi

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Thanks Couvi.

Pat
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Tom, that last series of photos causes me to have to ask, do you have a dewat Bren gun?

Pat
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Er, well, 6 as it happens, plus a Vickers-Berthier to add variety.

The PGS rig in the 3rd drawing is the sort most likely used with the infantry version of the Bren equipment. The set in the first drawing is the unmodified version and since the gun shown is a ZGB rather than a true Bren, and its in the 1st pattern of cover, (for which there is no LoC (all the ones I have seen have been 1938 dated and straight from stores)) I suspect the drawing was done around 1937/38. The MoD Pattern Room library still has the photo the drawing was taken from along with some other rather interesting stuff.

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Pat,<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Pat Holscher</i>
<br />Courtesy of Tom:

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Pat<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">This view shows that it is similar to the Decker packsaddles.

At work I have some 7.92mm Machine Gun, Light (Bren). Purportedly, they are of Canadian manufacture for the Chinese Army in WWII. They are un-issued and complete.

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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Couvi</i>
<br />
At work I have some 7.92mm Machine Gun, Light (Bren). Purportedly, they are of Canadian manufacture for the Chinese Army in WWII. They are un-issued and complete.

Couvi

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<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Wow!

I wasn't aware the Bren was made in anything other than .303 and 7.62 NATO (a rebuild). I guess some of the latter saw service as recently as the first Gulf War. Are they actually Brens or Brno light machineguns upon which the Bren is based.

On the Brno, I wonder if this pack arrangement, or others, were used by any other forces. It was a very widely used lmg.

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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Tom Ready</i>
<br />Er, well, 6 as it happens, plus a Vickers-Berthier to add variety.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

The Vickers Berthier is an interesting item. Do you have a photo of it?

Pat
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Lots, I will e-mail you one as putting them on the forum is beyond me. I've scanned a lot of handbooks and manuals relating to the V-B at the Pattern Room and got several years worth of Indian LoCs, mainly relating to the related pack saddlery. Theres some drawings in the SATs of the saddlery and in one of the commercial handbooks theres a couple of photos of the mounted equipment, including one of the gun bucket.

All the best
Tom
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<font face="Times New Roman"></font id="Times New Roman">
Hi again
just a quick note to say I am scanning in the "Handbook for Military Artificers 1915" April 1918 printing, to preserve the wifes copy.

It should be done by the weekend. I can only do it in short bouts (family...) and because of the thinness of the paper am having to put thin black card behind each of the 50 two page spreads to stop the other sides showing through.

On that vague note I have recently harvested and scanned in quite a bit of material on the Lewis and Hotchkiss Portative from the Pattern Room. It's mainly WWI UK stuff. The 1931 Small Arms Training Vol II has a appendix on the pack saddlery for the Lewis (no Pics unfortunately)which makes interesting reading.

I'll be sending copies to Dave in due course but if any one wants them please get in touch.

tombear@btopenworld.com

All the best

Tom
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Hello Tom:

I would love to have a copy, either electronic or paper.

Please let me kbnow if I can help cover any out-of-pocket expenses.

I can be reached at jruf@hs.spotsylvania.k12.va.us

It is very kind of you to offer.



Regards,

John Ruf
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Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936
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No Problem, I'll e-mail you for a address to post a disc to when it's done, and I'll fill the space with the VAOS etc that we have already scanned in (1931 and 1940 for the Harness etc and a early post war illustrated job the drawings above have come from, 80 or so of them.

All the best

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Correction, theres 200 pages so of course ther will be 100 2 page spread JPGs, D'oh!

By the way if any one has a 1918 copy with the front cover in very good condition (ours is quite battered) could they please scan it and e-mail it to me? 300 res' as colour photo. Ta!

Thanks

Tom
Done up to page 78 so far...
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Tom Ready</i>
<br />Correction, theres 200 pages so of course ther will be 100 2 page spread JPGs, D'oh!

By the way if any one has a 1918 copy with the front cover in very good condition (ours is quite battered) could they please scan it and e-mail it to me? 300 res' as colour photo. Ta!

Thanks

Tom
Done up to page 78 so far...
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Tom, can I get a copy of that also?

Pat
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No problem at all, I'll stick it on a CD and get it off to you as soon as I have a address to send it to.

tombear@btopenworld.com

I'll include the 1931 and 1940 Harness and Saddlery VAOS as well as that post war illustrated VAOS with the 80+ pages of drawings like the above. I've some horse related LoCs scanned in as well which I'll include if theres space, a lot of them haven't been processed (Ie are unlabled/lop-sided) but they're still worth seeing.

I've another inch high stack of LoC photocopies taken from the Volumes 1914-1939 to scan in but since I'm snowed under it will be a while before they get done, sorry.

ATB

Tom
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