Today's post will continue along with my recent Mosin Nagant theme........... I picked up a beautiful set of Czech leather Y straps off of eBay last week and they arrived a couple of days ago. It is the final item I needed to finish out my early Cold War, Mosin Nagant ammo belt rig. The best part is that they were cheaper than a modern set of elastic suspenders.... and they are in nearly new and unissued condition!
These natural leather, Czechoslovakian Y straps were first introduced in the the early post-WW2 years, something like the late 1940's or early 1950's. They are nearly identical to the WW2 German military Y straps and are often used as the base for counterfeits. About the only real difference are the clips and stamps. After WW2, Czechoslovakia basically adopted many of the German military items for their own production...... personal field equipment and especially armored vehicles. The Czechs fielded a unique mix of German and Soviet styled equipment in the Cold War years. This works great for the military reenactor. I am using these Y straps for a "Cold War Impression" and they are perfect for that. They fit for Russian, Czech or German............... perfect. My set of Y straps is stamped with the date of 1951. Very early production!
These Y straps have the typical, early Czech "fish scale", imprinted texture, on the smooth side of the leather and the fittings are painted green.
These two things are distinctly Czech and are consistent with all of the Czech field equipment from this era. The clips on the shoulders and the "axillary straps" are for the attachment of back packs and other equipment, and when not in use, are just tucked out of the way.
There is not much more to be said about these Y straps, so let's take a closer look:
Here is how they look hooked up to the Soviet belt, with Mosin Nagant ammo pouches, and bayonet:
And here are a few shots of me wearing the "full rig" over an East German rain pattern camo, Winter outfit, with Czech helmet......