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M1 Ammunition Bag Worn As Pack


huntssurplus
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huntssurplus

Interesting photo I came across of 4th Infantry Division Troops in Normandy-Area France, July 1944. The soldier in the foreground looks to be wearing an M1 Ammunition Bag as a pack—I wonder if it was field modified? Also looks to be a gas mask bag underneath? Looks a lot like the M1944 and M1945 pack systems that would be seen in the last year of the war.

 

ba8fa97763e969d1ca5f35995f3a5578.jpg

 

Anyone have anymore photos of the M1 Ammunition bag being worn in this manner?

 

 

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ken88

9th ID troops in Normandy... Should be Lt. General Manton Eddy in the car.

 

 

general-eddy-normandy.jpg

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iron bender

Love the German metal hat eagle affixed to his 1911 holster flap

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dustin

Included in its nomenclature was General Purpose, and I don't recall "Ammunition" being in the nomenclature, but could be mistaken. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was Bag, General Purpose, M1? It was designed to attach to the M-1936 suspenders like that of the musette bag. The first image actually shows one of its design functions and is not really an anomaly. It could be donned in multiple of fashions hence "general purpose". Another feature would include a shoulder strap, which comes with NOS bags. Granted not a common observation of them being worn as a pack, but interesting to see.

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doyler

Here we see a late type water proof gas mask bag used as a pack

 

 

 

 image.png.4edad6e87300be09abca55064bfa9a03.png

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Browninggunner688
5 hours ago, dustin said:

Included in its nomenclature was General Purpose, and I don't recall "Ammunition" being in the nomenclature, but could be mistaken. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was Bag, General Purpose, M1? It was designed to attach to the M-1936 suspenders like that of the musette bag. The first image actually shows one of its design functions and is not really an anomaly. It could be donned in multiple of fashions hence "general purpose". Another feature would include a shoulder strap, which comes with NOS bags. Granted not a common observation of them being worn as a pack, but interesting to see.

That's right, M 1 ammunition bag was a sack like bag no flap and a shoulder strap attached permanently, it's marked on it.  AMMUNITION BAG M1.

 

The ammunition bag M2 is the vest worn type marked  AMMUNITION BAG M2.

 

The bag in question is definitely a Bag, General purpose, or GP bag. Some publications name this though as BAG, CARRYING, AMMUNITION M1. (Difference being the word " carrying ").

 

There's plenty of information on here regarding these types of bags and ammunition carriers.

 

Nice pictures though, thanks for posting them.

 

Nick.

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huntssurplus
Included in its nomenclature was General Purpose, and I don't recall "Ammunition" being in the nomenclature, but could be mistaken. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was Bag, General Purpose, M1? It was designed to attach to the M-1936 suspenders like that of the musette bag. The first image actually shows one of its design functions and is not really an anomaly. It could be donned in multiple of fashions hence "general purpose". Another feature would include a shoulder strap, which comes with NOS bags. Granted not a common observation of them being worn as a pack, but interesting to see.

Interesting information, I did not know that.

These bags first appear in 1944 during the Normandy campaign right? I believe at first every rifleman was supposed to be issued two of these bags, and then later it was cut down to one? Seems like they never were issued out in that large of numbers. I guess they were supposed to be a replacement for the ammunition bandolier, but probably never were used as often because they were more expensive to produce, and more cumbersome to carry.

Would love to see some more pictures, especially in the PTO and MTO if anyone can find any. Post pictures of it being used normally with with the shoulder carrying strap, as I believe this was how it was supposed to be carried most often, as an extra bag alongside the M1928 haversack. It seems some soldiers probably ended up preferring it to the haversack, and perhaps the musette bag as well.

Hunt


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dustin

I'm going off fuzzy memory here but I'm sure you can find topics on the forum discussing these general purpose bags. These bags can be found 1943 dated and to say they first appeared in Normandy, I do not think is an accurate assessment. The other information you got Hunt, I do not agree with either. 

 

The general purpose bag was just that, it was designed to old one .30 cal. ammunition can, or 6-8 rifle grenades or flare, or hand grenades in tubes not sure how many, and what everyelse one wants to carry. So if you're looking for pictures start with weapons platoons and the like, that is exactly what that first picture posted is. Also with in rifle squads and platoons they had grenaders', had to carry rifle grenades

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dustin

 

Check this old topic out, has some more insight to the bags. Trying to post a link here

M1 General Purpose bag - FIELD & PERSONAL GEAR SECTION - U.S. Militaria Forum (usmilitariaforum.com)

 

but it does not want to cooperate, search "general purpose bag" and a few topics come up.

 

 

Here is a quote from one of them. Craig Pickerall

" found the answer. Look in U. S. Army Infantry Divisions 1943 - 1945, Volume 1 - Organization, Doctrine and Equipment by Yves J. Bellanger published in 2002. If you refer to the chapter on Infantry Heavy Weapons Companies the TO&E 7-18 lists all of the different ammo bags issued and the quantities by person. A hint is that the majority are issued to the MG section."

 

 

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huntssurplus
I'm going off fuzzy memory here but I'm sure you can find topics on the forum discussing these general purpose bags. These bags can be found 1943 dated and to say they first appeared in Normandy, I do not think is an accurate assessment. The other information you got Hunt, I do not agree with either. 
 
The general purpose bag was just that, it was designed to old one .30 cal. ammunition can, or 6-8 rifle grenades or flare, or hand grenades in tubes not sure how many, and what everyelse one wants to carry. So if you're looking for pictures start with weapons platoons and the like, that is exactly what that first picture posted is. Also with in rifle squads and platoons they had grenaders', had to carry rifle grenades

Interesting, so it wasn’t something issued to a regular rifle squad? I’m trying to find where I saw that information I posted. This bag seems to be shrouded somewhat in mystery, or at least not very well known compared to other field gear pieces. Hard to find it being mentioned in my experience.


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huntssurplus

Looking at that thread mentioned, it seems like the GP bag was something issued to grenadiers and the MG/heavy weapons section, while all other infantry personnel could pick one up if they wished to. Doesn’t look like it was a standard issue item, but rather something that could be chosen.

Let me know if this is wrong, but that is how I interpreted the information. If anyone could post a scan of the page mentioned by Craig in that thread (and quoted by Dustin) or quote the information, that would be appreciated as well.


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dustin

That would be an interesting research project for you.  I bet you'll find PDF's of Table of Organization and Equipment, or perhaps order copies. Then you'll know allotments, procurement schedules were based on allowances as prescribed through T/O&E's.

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That reminds me... 

 

A gp bag worn frontside prior to the Normandy invasion. Paratroopers loaded them with grenades, ammo cartridges and or demolition equipment, as they were to be cut off from the main seaborne assault force you can bet these men packed them full with all sorts of things that could supply them for at least a couple of days. 

 

 

ike-talking-to-troops-small.jpg

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huntssurplus

Nice pictures Ken! Especially like the first one didn't even realize that famous photo of Ike speaking to the paratroopers before the Normandy invasion had a GP bag in it. Looks like he is hanging it from the D-loops on his suspenders. I wonder if he jumped with the bag hanging like that? 

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On 5/13/2021 at 3:16 PM, huntssurplus said:

Nice pictures Ken! Especially like the first one didn't even realize that famous photo of Ike speaking to the paratroopers before the Normandy invasion had a GP bag in it. Looks like he is hanging it from the D-loops on his suspenders. I wonder if he jumped with the bag hanging like that? 

 

Possibly, but I am guessing he moved it to make way for the reserve chute. 

 

Came across this Utah beach pic to add to Doyler's comment, the M7 assault gas mask carrier worn as pack, it probably contained the assault gas mask itself, but it's still an interesting picture. 

 

 

utahgasmask.jpg

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Johan Willaert

First runs of the Gen Purpose Bags had two standard hooks on each strap, so that it could be worn with a  M1936 carrying strap or attached to suspenders as shown
Late WW2 production had a ring on one side and a hook on the other, so that it could no longer be hooked to the suspenders, and needed the General Purpose Strap to carry it slung to the body

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  • 1 month later...

Another one... Looks like assault troops. Picture was supposedly taken somewhere around St-Lô, France.

 

 

 

gpbag.jpg

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iron bender

Grunt bottom right carrying a German mapcase

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