WWII UK Commando Bergen RucksackThanks to : paratrooper.fr
Just two days after the end of the Dunkirk evacuation in June of 1940, the British Commandos were created, after a request from Winston Churchill to form an elite butcher and bolt raiding force to generate a reign of terror down the enemy coast . It soon became apparent that such an outfit would need load bearing equipment that would support long-range independent operation, in other words, large capacity, versatile design, and rugged construction. Various things were tried, but the Commandos settled on a design used in Bergen, Norway, and it became known as the Pattern 42 Bergan Rucksack. It was so successful that it continued in use all the way into the 1980s. These bergens, as the Commandos called them, were used by most of the special operations troops during the war, including the famous SAS, and were part of some of the most dramatic and daring exploits of WWII.
Construction- The Pattern 42 Bergen Rucksack is teardrop shaped, as most mountaineering rucksacks
had been before this featuring a large capacity. The main pocket is 16 inches wide, 6 inches deep, and 18 inches high, with a small internal pocket. The main pocket closes with a cinch rope and has a flap cover. Some have zippered pockets in the cover. Three large pockets were attached to the exterior, two side pockets of 6 x 2.5 x 11 inches, and a back pocket of 8 x 2 x 12.5 inches. The exterior pockets close with web straps and buckles of the P37 type. The P42 was designed to carry large amounts of equipment externally, too. The two straps for the top flap are 23 inches long, permitting large items to be secured under the cover. Outside the top cover is a very long 44-inch strap also for securing equipment at the top of the rucksack. Underneath, two straps of 29 inches with leather slot anchors provide for attachment of material below the bag.