Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Czechoslovakian Vz.60 Canteens, Model 1960 - 1982, Czech M-60/82

Here is one of the most recent additions to the canteen and mess kit part of my collection.  They are a pair of Czechoslovakian Vz.60 canteens, also known as the Model 1960 canteens.

Both of these canteens are officially the last model of Vz.60 canteen style that was issued from 1982 until some time in the early 1990's.  In 1982, the specifications for the canteens were changed, doing away with an old cork cap and replacing it with a plastic cap-cork.  The only difference between the first model 1960 and the second model 1960/82, is the cap.  Other than that they are the same.

Even though both of my canteens are both the same model, there are differences.  Each one has a slightly different leather harness.  The difference being the rivets and the buckle type.  I believe the harness with the roller buckle is from the earlier Model-1960 era, and the flat, plain buckle is from the later Model-1960/82 period.  This is just a guess based on Czech leather gear and hardware that I have observed through the years.

The rough felt covers are held in place with a series of snaps, in the same manner as the old German canteens.  Each cover is marked on the inside, along the top trim area.  One canteen cover is marked with the date 1982 with some other illegible markings.  The other cover has the Czech crossed swords acceptance stamp and other illegible markings.  Unfortunately the markings are small and faint, and do not show up well in the photos.  Here is a shot of the trim areas with the printing............in case your eyes are better than mine!

The covers on my canteens are grey, but they were sometimes issued in "Czech Brown" as well.  It seems that both colors were interchangeable.  The felt is very coarse and seems to have been made with a crazy assortment of recycled fiber.

One of the canteens is stamped with the makers mark of FAX on the neck (double stamped actually).  The other canteen has no makers stamp, but does have an odd cross hatching on both sides in the center of the canteen, front and back.  I have no idea if this was originally applied at the factory or was scratched in later and then the canteen was repainted.

One canteen is painted in a gloss green and one in a flat green.

The plastic caps are slightly flexible and fit quite tightly when pressed into the neck.  The caps have a recessed area in the top that I understand was used to store water purification tablets of some sort.  The caps are secured to the canteen body with a length of "hemp" cord.  It is interesting that Czechoslovakia continued to use a cork style cap long after the rest of the "military world" had moved on to screw caps.

The canteen was meant to be attached to the soldiers belt when carried, but they were more often carried in the pack or bread-bag.   To attach the canteen to the belt, there is a "belt loop" area on the back strapping.  Neither of my canteens show evidence of having ever been carried on a belt.

These canteens are definitely unique.  Only Czechoslovakia used this style and configuration, however the actual body of the canteen is very similar to the WW2 German canteens.  The leather harness system for carrying the canteen is unique only to Czechoslovakia.  These canteens are out there on the surplus market right now, but I have a hunch they will disappear soon, seldom to be seen again.  Grab one or two while you can!

Lets take a closer look at the these canteens:

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