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A soldier's "web gear" is as important to his ability to live and fight on the battlefield as are his clothing and weapons. In World War II the US Army issued equipment items that had originated in 1910, though modified and augmented in the 1920s and 1930s, and again during the war itself as a result of combat experience. This book describes and illustrates the great majority of the personal equipment provided for infantry riflemen, GIs armed with other weapons and their ammunition-bearers, officers, and medics. In addition to the web gear itself it covers canteens, mess kit, and first aid items; weapons-related and other specialist items; the long struggle to produce a practical backpack; bivouac and shelter gear, and the most commonly carried tools. The text also explains the basics of materials, colors, markings, nomenclature, and weights for the guidance of collectors. It is illustrated with wartime photos and color close-ups, and the wide-ranging color plates specially prepared for this book offer more than 130 images.