Mauser Chinese Army Photos

6. Shang-hsaio (Colonel)

11. Shao-wei 12.Chun-wei 13. Shang-shh 14. Chung-shih

(2nd Lieutenant) Warrant Officer II} (Colour Sergeant) (Sergeant)

15. Hsia-shh t6. Shang-teng Ping 17. l-ieng Ping 18. Ehr-töng phg

(Corporal) (Lance-Corporal) (Private - trained) (Private - untrained)

7. Chung-hsaio 8.Shao-hsaio 9 Shang-wei to. Chung-wei

(Lieutenant-Colonel) (Major) (Captain) (Lieutenant)

7. Chung-hsaio 8.Shao-hsaio 9 Shang-wei to. Chung-wei

(Lieutenant-Colonel) (Major) (Captain) (Lieutenant)

11. Shao-wei 12.Chun-wei 13. Shang-shh 14. Chung-shih

(2nd Lieutenant) Warrant Officer II} (Colour Sergeant) (Sergeant)

15. Hsia-shh t6. Shang-teng Ping 17. l-ieng Ping 18. Ehr-töng phg

(Corporal) (Lance-Corporal) (Private - trained) (Private - untrained)

1 Gold collar patch edged gold, 3 gold triangles. 2-3 Gold patch, 3 gold triangles (ranks only distinguishable by different gold insignia on cuff of dark blue ceremonial tunic). 4-5 Gold patch, 2-1 gold triangles. 6-8 Branch-colour patch edged gold, 2 gold bars. 3-1 gold triangles. 9-12 Branch-colour patch edged gold, 1 gold bar, 3-0 gold triangles. 13-15 Branch-colour patch, dark blue stripe, 3-1 gold triangles. 16-18 Branch-colour patch, 3-1 gold triangles. 19 Cap badge: silver or white on blue.

characters in the top half, and in the bottom panel his divisional number and rank.

Around the edges of some but not all of these patches were borders in various colours, which were either in the branch colour or related to the man's rank. Western sources have always maintained that these showed branch colours, but recent Chinese sources now state that a different system applied, with the borders being blue for all ranks below field officers, yellow for field officers and red for general officers. Black and white photographic evidence confuses this issue by seeming to show officers with darker borders. Perhaps the truth is that the two systems operated at the same time in different units. Certainly, the design of the patch varied greatly from region to region and army to army, so there seems no particular reason why the border colour sequence should have been common to all.

Arm badges

Another form of insignia worn by some of the better organized armies was a cloth patch worn on the left upper sleeve, which usually denoted the wearer's division. These came in different designs but the standard pattern bore black Arabic numerals for the division and a capital 'D\ e.g. '128D' for 128th Division. These were marked on a white oval, set on a blue or black back around with a white border. In Chinese characters at the bottom of the patch was written the wearer's date of 35

2. l-ohi Shang chiang 3. Ehr chi Shang chiang (Senior General) . (General)

4. Chung-chang (Lieut.-General)

2. l-ohi Shang chiang 3. Ehr chi Shang chiang (Senior General) . (General)

4. Chung-chang (Lieut.-General)

19. Felo-cap Badge

6. Shang-hsaio (Colonel)

Chinese infantry from Yunnan watch shelling on the central Salween river front in June 1943. All are dressed in light-coloured cotton uniforms and have improvised backpacks, with doubled blanket rolls surrounded by a waterproof sheet.

Blanket Ranger Roll

A camouflaged Chinese infantryman, with bayonet fixed and his Mauser rifle tucked under his arm, runs through the Burmese jungle near Pyu. south ofToungoo, in 1942. He wears shorts and puttees, and has a regulation knapsack and blanket roll.

Blanket Roll

enlistment. Earlier patches of the same design bore black Chinese characters rather than Arabic numerals to denote the division, and these probably continued in use concurrently with the new design.

A simpler and smaller form of the divisional patch worn by some units was a white field with a black border, bearing in the centre the Arabic divisional number and 'D'.

Some patches of the same design as the first divisional type bore instead Roman numerals which indicated the war zone in which the wearer was serving, e.g. 'V indicated the 5th War Zone. Sources suggest that these patches may have been worn only by headquarters staff.

Unit badges

Some units also had their own unofficial badges, usually worn as enamel pins on the breast pocket flap. Although few examples of these survive, and none seem to have been documented at the time, they were usually round or oval in shape and incorporated the colours of the national flag - red, blue and white - with e.g. 112D' for 12th Division superimposed. Other units had unofficial cloth patches which would have been issued oil the whim of their commanders.

Armbands

The armband had traditionally been used in China to indicate the allegiance of soldiers, especially during civil conflicts. In the Nationalist Army they seem only to have been worn to denote that the wearer belonged to a special unit. Military police were recognisable by the crimson-pink background to their collar patches, but also wore a distinctive armband. This was made of white cloth and worn on the upper left arm, bearing in red the Chinese characters for 'MP'. Chemical troops had no branch colour of their own, so were distinguished by a white armband with red characters stating their special role.

Field equipment

As for so many other aspects of Chinese Army practice, the official should be distinguished from the actual. Regulations called for the Chinese soldier to be equipped with a leather or canvas knapsack, with a blanket fastened around the sides and top by means of leather straps. A waterproofed tent quarter which doubled as a rain poncho was also fastened on top of the pack. A brown leather waist belt supported three ammunition pouches on each side, holding charger clips for the Chinese version of the Mauser 98k rifle. These pouches were similar to the German Ml933 model, and at least initially were manufactured in Germany. Other equipment included a canvas 'bread bag' or haversack, a water bottle (which came in two models), and a aas mask in a I0112 metal canister with horizontal ribbing. The bayonet scabbard hung from the belt by means of a leather frog.

This field equipment was worn by a limited number of Chinese troops, mainly from the German-trained divisions that were virtually destroyed in the fighting of 1937-38. For the vast majority of Chinese soldiers the typical equipment included a pair of canvas ammunition bandoliers, one worn over the left shoulder and the other around the waist over a simple leather belt. A simple canvas haversack might carry the soldier's entire personal gear. Canvas chest pouches, to carry one German-type stick grenade 011 each side, were also widely worn. An improvised backpack was often made by stowing the soldier's personal kit in a blanket, rolled from both ends until it met in the middle, then lashing the two rolls together. In many cases a rolled shelter quarter or groundsheet was attached round the sides and top of this improvised pack, and pairs of sandals or shoes and/or a plate or mess tin are often seen fastened to the back. A simpler 'horseshoe' blanket roll worn around the torso was also commonly used.

The haversack, chest pouches and homemade backpack were easily produced at a local level, but the average Chinese soldier would have considered himself lucky to be issued with them. Various types of water bottle were also issued, the two main models being based 011 those used by the German Army. Widespread use was also made of any captured water bottles, and some had been imported from Japan before the outbreak of war.

The forces trained by the Allies in India for the Burma front mostly received standard British 37 pattern webbing equipment, much of it locally manufactured and generally of rather flimsier materials and construction than the UK-made originals.

Confederate Medical Uniforms

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  • rita
    How to carry a blanket on a knapsack?
    8 years ago

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