Equipment of Infantry (1943)
… to equip an infantry division with war-like stores takes 179,101 packing cases, 4,165 road vehicles, and seven 10,000 ships. The equipment weighs 12,500 tons deadweight.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 5 January 1943
Our Staff Correspondent
London, Jan. 7.—For the first time in the history of the British Army, the complete equipment of an infantry division has been assembled under one roof.
This exhibition has been arranged by Ordnance to demonstrate the complexity of modern equipment. It is being visited by British, Allied, and Dominion officers.
In a great hall is ranged every type of the equipment required to put a British infantry division in the field.
There are many new weapons on the secret list and others which already have been tested on the field of battle.
Some new developments can be mentioned. There are the new rifle and bayonet which are being issued to the British and Canadian armies. The rifle is not substantially different from the older model, but its simplified design makes mass production easier, and it weighs a few ounces less.
The bayonet, in comparison with last war's model, seems absurdly short, light, and toy-like.
The general tendency towards simplification is especially notable in wireless equipment. An interesting development is a one-man wireless set, in which the voice is transmitted not from the mouth but by vibrations from the throat, enabling "silent speech."
The display of soldier's rations includes tins of self-heating soup. They are ordinary tins containing a cylinder of heating matter, which can be lighted from a cigarette and heats the tin in four or five minutes.
Coloured graphs on the walls enable staff officers to see at a glance the transport required to move divisional equipment. For example, to equip an infantry division with war-like stores takes 179,101 packing cases, 4,165 road vehicles, and seven 10,000 ships. The equipment weighs 12,500 tons deadweight.