Thursday, May 12, 2016

Czechoslovakian Army Mess Kit, Post-WW2 Aluminum, Czech CSLA (Československá lidová armáda)

Today we'll be taking a look at another new addition to the ever growing Mess Kit Collection.  

This mess kit is a post-WW2 issue kit for the Czechoslovakian Army, known in Czech as the Československá lidová armáda, or CSLA.  This style mess kit was produced and issued from the early 1950's all they way into the 2000's.  I believe that the mess kit that I have is one of the more recently produced kits that was never issued.

From what I understand, these mess kits were first produced in the early 1950's, probably 1952.  These early mess kits were made of tinned steel, and then later, the mess kits were produced in aluminum, sometime in the late 1950's or in 1960.  The mess kits were only produced in aluminum after that time.  The handles continued to be made of steel for all of the produced kits.

My mess kit is undated, however, it bears the maker's mark of FAX and the volume number of 1L (One Liter), stamped on the bottom of the main pan.

The mess kit has three parts: Large Pan, Smaller Inner Pan, Lid-Plate.  The large, outer pan holds one liter of liquid, and inner pan holds slightly less.  Both pans have folding handles.  The Lid-Plate, friction fits over the large pan.  I think the Lid-Plate was mostly meant to be a plate for eating off off.  It has no handle on it to be a useful lid while cooking, unless a separate tool is used to lift it.  

For carrying, the two pans and lid fit nicely together and when the lid is installed, the handle of the outer pot swings over and snaps into place on the lid, holding the complete assembly together tightly.

There are two strap guides on either side of the outer pan.   The mess kit was meant to be carried in the bread bag or assault pack.  
The kit could be held in place with the pack's internal cloth strap or a leather strap could be used to fasten the mess kit outside the pack.  

Here is a photo of my "Three Piece Czech Field Kit": a 1952 dated bread bag, Model 60/82 canteen, and my Czech Mess Kit with Czech leather strap.  Cold War Classics!

Here are links to my previous blog pages on the canteen and bread bag:

These mess kits are quite plentiful and reasonably priced on the surplus market right now.  Like all surplus though, if you don't grab one right away, they disappear quickly!  I plan on putting my new mess tin into field service with my bushcraft gear.  Stay tuned, field review to follow........

Now let's take a closer look at the mess kit.  Here is the photo album:

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