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      Collectible Canadian 1964 Pattern Web Equipment

      Collectible Canadian 1964 Pattern Web Equipment

      Canadian 1964 Pattern Web Equipment (also known as "64 Pattern or P64)

      In the early 1960s a totally new design of load carrying equipment was developed in conjunction with the new combat uniform. The new equipment was designated Web Equipment, 1964 Pattern (WE'64). WE'64 employed plastic buckles and fittings with hook and loop (Velcro) fasteners and was designed to be simple to adjust and easy to decontaminate. The belt and braces were made of a heavy rot resistant OD Green cotton web material. Individual pouches were coated with a green plastic waterproofing, this tended to flake or peel off after some use. WE'64 was not widely issued to the Regular Force until 1966 - 67 and was not issued to the Reserves until the late 1970's.
      WE'64 was superior to the 1951 pattern in ease of assembly and adjustment, but in most other respects was a failure and disliked by soldiers. Equipment tended to slide out of position on the belt, and over time the hook and loop fasteners lost their ability to remain secured especially when wet.

      The most obvious fault was the absence of magazine pouches, but this was a design failure. The concept of the combined Combat uniform and WE'64 was based on the premise that the infantry soldier would ride into battle in an Armoured Personnel Carrier and dismount to engage the enemy. Combat would require only weapons, ammunition, water and light rations. Additional clothing and personal gear required for living in the field would be carried in the APC. This concept also assumed that the soldier would not be required to march long distances on foot or carry heavy loads. Magazines for the FN C1 rifle were intended to be carried in specially designed pockets on the Combat uniform. Magazines for the FN C2 light machine gun were carried in a 4 pocket "chest pack". There was no provision made for carrying magazines for the C1 submachine gun, they were to be simply stuffed into any available uniform pocket.

      In the field, it was common to see belts and tabs held together with green gun tape or metal keepers from the 1951 Pattern waist belt. The "Y Strap" braces were thin and unpadded and dug into the shoulders. Some reserve soldiers modified their web by replacing the Y Strap with American M1956 or M1967 load bearing suspenders.

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