Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

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    Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:55 pm

    For the past few years, I have focused my collecting on the webbing and field kit of NATO armies from the Cold War period. I remember that some of this stuff was plentiful in surplus stores when I was a boy in the 1980s, but I was not paying close attention then, and a lot of this material is still not widely collected or carefully studied. It is especially interesting, however, to reconstruct the evolution of material used by the smaller NATO countries. In most cases, one can trace the origins of designs to either American or British influences.

    In this thread, I will document the clothing and personal equipment that was typically issued to Dutch soldiers during the 1960s and 1970s. In Dutch (which I do not speak, but can read up to a point), this is usually referred to as ‘PSU’: Persoonlijke Standaard Uitrusting. The soldier’s kit was packed in his plunjebaal (duffel bag). When the new DPM uniforms and equipment were about to be issued to the Dutch forces in the early 1990s, it was no longer required for reservists to turn in their old olive drab clothing and equipment when they left service, so it appears that lots of the pre-1993 kit is left behind in attics or barns across the Netherlands.

    I recently purchased, through a friend in the Netherlands, the entire contents of a typical plunjebaal from a man who had served with the Korps Mobiele Colonnes (KMC), probably about 1970. Of course, there are some items that are missing, but the following series of photographs (to which I will add gradually as time permits) shows everything exactly as it was found (and not necessarily as the collector might wish it to be).

    To begin, the M53 helmet. The stamp on the steel shell is imperfect, but it looks like an early Verblifa shell. The liner is a very clean example of a well-marked Schuberth, dated 1968.









    This appears to be the standard Dutch-made helmet net.



    Last edited by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:58 pm

    Here is a standard Dutch army khaki baret, with the emblem of the KMC, dated 1969.


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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:06 pm

    Below: a woolen scarf (1964), which can also be folded inside out to make a cap comforter, a small camouflage netting that could be worn as a field scarf, a set of handkerchiefs, a hold-all (with MvO stamp, dated 1957), and a sewing kit with an assortment of plastic buttons for the daily uniform and the field uniform (also with MvO stamp).












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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:09 pm

    Below: shoe brushes, with KL markings, clasp knife (1966), utensils, with PSU markings, and mess kit.






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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:12 pm

    Below: towel, woolen trigger-finger mittens (without shells), socks, and an early style field dressing.






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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by 59tankbat on Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:20 am

    Nice post on the Dutch PSU items!Thx!keep them coming!

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:03 pm

    Okay, here is the Dutch model battledress - I believe it is M53, but there was also an M49 (see M. Talens, Van Grijsgroen Naar Camouflage, 126-28). Sadly the KMC collar badges are missing:









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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:06 pm

    And the shirt, tie (introduced I believe in 1954, according to M. Talens), and pullover sweater. There were two khaki shirts in this plunjebaal:






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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:08 pm

    There were two pairs of suspenders, one is MvO and DvD marked, and one is only DvD marked. The M. Talens book has a whole chapter on trousers suspenders, but I haven't read that one yet in detail. Note that even the metal sliders on the MvO pair are stamped "MvO":





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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:15 pm

    Here is the M58 binnengevechtspak. There were two jackets and one pair of trousers so far in this group. Note that the trousers are made by BAWI, which also manufactured Belgian army clothing:









    And also the ubiquitous M53 field cap:



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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:13 pm

    Well, I am still waiting for some boots, and parts of the M58 buitengevechtspak to arrive, so in the meantime, here is some webbing equipment.

    The small pack ("pukkel"): this is one of the freshest, and earliest examples in my collection. It has very little wear, and no blanco. Note that one of the pack straps is Dutch-made, and the other is an un-blancoed British WE 37 example. Such mixing is not rare, but the lack of blanco is not typical.




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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:16 pm

    And the large pack ("ransel"): this is a typical example, with some blanco. Although this is a standard M52 Dutch-made example, it is possible to find British wartime WE 37 large packs that have been blancoed, and have had the loops sewn on for the blanket straps (see five pieces below - all with early MvO markings).



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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:21 pm

    Here is the early pattern canteen, with metal body and tall plastic cap (dated 1963). These can be found in early and later service kits, along with the brown plastic types (which came later). There are many varieties of canteen cover, but this is an early canvas type, with unusually clear markings. The canteen cups do not seem to have changed much over 30 or 40 years. This one is dated 1955-56.

    Also shown is one of two types of etool carriers. The other type is all canvas, similar to the US M1943 cover. This particular cover will carry US, German, or postwar Euro-made folding shovels. This particular kit came with a German-type shovel (yet to be photographed).





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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:24 pm

    And here is the ubiquitous set of belt, braces, and brace attachments. Each of these examples are Dutch-made, with a mixture of blancoed and un-blancoed items. (There were no ammunition pouches in this kit, which is normal.)

    Note how fresh the belt is - although it is olive drab, it appears to have KLu (air force) markings, which is a mystery to me.



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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:26 pm

    This is the rain-cape/groundsheet, which I have not yet unfolded. More on this later.


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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:57 am

    I missed some of the last posts! Very interesting stuff.

    The leather e-tool carrier is very interesting! There is a very similar looking one that is supposedly very early Bundeswehr. One type has the cross leather strap sewn on both sides, the other has the clip like your example. However, it is very possible that there is no connection to the Bundeswehr as I've never seen a picture of it and I don't believe there are any BW markings on them. I have an example that I will look at in more detail once I find it.

    I have a few pieces that are not covered here. I will take some pictures tomorrow and post them for identification.

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:34 am

    Probably it is a Dutch carrier Steve, as the Dutch received a large quantity of German folding shovels, circa 1955. Also, the M1910 wire belt hooks would only work with the very earliest BW belt. It is easy to see why it might be confused for a BW item though.

    I still have more items from this particular group to photograph and post - mostly outerwear, underwear, and boots.

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by abefroman on Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:56 am

    Wow, this is really great stuff. You really need to write a book!!

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:14 am

    Thanks, it is on the 'to-do' list. More stuff from this group came in yesterday, so I will post more photos soon.

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Gulf91 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:47 am

    Doubt many people in Holland itself have anything this complete so you are a very very lucky man Andrew to have this lot in Canada.

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:56 pm

    Thanks Richard - actually, when I finish posting everything, I will mention some of the items that are missing from this group that one sometimes sees in other groups. Of course, no plunjebaal is ever quite 100% complete after it has been sitting around in the attic or shed for 30 or 40 years. This group, for example, has no respirator, but it is not unusual to find respirators with other lots. On the other hand, this group has a clasp knife, and these are relatively uncommon otherwise, probably because they are handy items to keep around.

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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Mon May 02, 2016 12:22 pm

    A second batch of items from the plunjebaal has arrived.

    Here is the M58 buitenjas, along with its removable woolen liner and hood:









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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Mon May 02, 2016 12:30 pm

    And here is a pair of M58 buitenbroek, shown for comparison next to a second pair of binnenbroek that arrived with this batch (this pair is identical to the other BAWI pair that I have already illustrated up above).

    There are some key differences between the buitenbroek (ie, outer trousers) and binnenbroek (ie, inner trousers):

    Buitenbroek (left):

    -very heavy, two-ply poplin manufacture
    -no belt loops
    -two rear pockets with flaps
    -two cargo pockets
    -no hand pockets
    -can only be used with hook-type suspenders (not button type)
    -can be rolled up to mid-calf and fastened in place with tabs and buttons, Danish style
    -no drawcord at hem

    Binnenbroek (right):

    -light HBT material (same as M58 inner jacket)
    -belt loops
    -one rear pocket without flap
    -two cargo pockets
    -can only be used with hook-type suspenders (not button type)
    -drawcord hem





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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by Wolverine on Mon May 02, 2016 12:34 pm

    To be thorough, here are some assorted undies, of the pattern manufactured roughly between 1960 and 1970:





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    Re: Documenting a Plunjebaal, circa 1970

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed May 18, 2016 6:21 pm

    At long last, here are my items. Almost all of them came together along with a pair of red-brown pebble grain leather boots (forgot to take a picture of them). Many of those items have the same solder's name written on them. Note that the BAR belt came separately and for all I know it might be Belgian or some other country's.

    I'd love to know more about the stuff I have!























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