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80 Pound Packs

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Bell, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. Bell

    Bell Member

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    I read that Marines carried 80 pound packs in the Pacific campaign. Did the radio operator carry an 80 pound pack as well as his radio equipment?
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    The Marines did not carry packs all the time in combat if at all. A combat load would be much smaller then 80lbs. Especially for the Radio Operator.

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  3. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    80lb isn't bad, particularly when the pack was probably ditched on the way into combat. Keep in mind the Royal Marines in the Falklands carried 120lb packs on their trips back and forth across the island, though obviously these were ditched for combat. In Iraq and Afghanistan troops wear body armor, helmets, weapon, goggles, personal comms, personal ammunition (over 300 rounds, grenades), section ammo (mortar rounds, ugl rounds, LMG boxes, grenades, illume and so on), 3 litres of water, NVG's plus radios, pistols and so on. Just in training I have done attacks with over 70lb.

    Not trying to take anything away from the chaps who were there, just trying to give a bit of perspective. It isn't easy, that is why these guys (particularly marines etc) train so hard. Incredible stuff!
     
  4. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    From the unofficial dictionary of the Norwegian army

    Infanterist (grunt): A person who insists on carry all his earthly posessions (and some "borrowed" ones too...) around him at all times. There is one occation where he leaves his house behind, this is called "combat". (check H-hour for ref.) Sadly this is the time he needs most of the gear now two clicks to the rear, and in the unlikely event he should return from combat he'll find most of his kit missing. (check staff personel for ref.)

    Back to topic.

    The PBI has always marched carrying a lot of gear, I saw a documentary on the Roman empire featuring one of the Monty Python lads (his name escapes me at the moment) As a funny comment he said that throught the ages most foot soldiers have carried an average of 80lbs of kit.

    As an ex Jaeger I'm used to carry heavy kit. 73kg is the heavyest pack I've been forced to carry (personal weapon and gaer excluded) and beleive it or not you get used to tabbing. Like everything else it is down to training.

    The pack is usually split in different lines. Up to three. The smallest beeing the escape pack. Enough food and tools to keep you on the run for 3-7 days (pending on climate and mission). Second pack is combat pack that you lug about everywhere and the third is your "house" as we call it in Norway.
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Bergen, daysack and webbing are the way we divide it Jaeger. During the war most forces operated on a 'large pack' with the kit you live with, 'small pack' which carries necessaries in combat and webbing which you survive and fight from. We use a similar 'live, fight, survive' logic with our kit today, I'm sure you did the same.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    This looks the closest to being 80lbs. But it was not used in combat.

    FIELD TRANSPORT PACK
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    This configuration was the largest version of the M1941 pack. It consisted of the haversack, knapsack and belt suspenders attached to the cartridge belt. The long blanket roll was strapped to the pack in a horseshoe-shape. It was used for traveling and for marches when speed was not a critical factor.
    The photo above shows Marines of 3/26, 5th MarDiv boarding the USS Darke (APA–159) at Hilo, Hawaii on 2 January 1945 prior to shoving off for Iwo Jima. They are wearing fully loaded field transport packs weighing over 65 pounds.
    USMC Photo


    782 Gear of the World War II Gyrene
     
  8. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    Combat packs are bare essentials. One or two meals as required, water, entrenching tool, and ammo. If you carried a crew weapon, radio or other heavy piece, that was all you carried. Everyone else carried extra ammo, tripods, or other components. At least that is the way it starts. If the BAR, radio, or other item's operator gets taken out, someone picks up the item.
     

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