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WW1 GERMAN KNAPSACK, 1895
A simplified version of the 1895 Knapsack. It was made in grey canvas and accommodated reserve rations and a change of clothing.
On the top are leather straps for fixing the 1892 tent section which would be rolled round the edge of the pack. On the flap are more straps for holding a mess tin.
Only the back of the sack is covered with cow hide, earlier packs had both sides covered the front and the back, economies during the end of the war meant the loss of one side, at least the soldiers back would be kept warm, unlike the British who did not seem so concerned about a soldiers comfort.
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- The cow hide on a German "Tornister" was to keep the content dry.
Not to keep the soldierīs back warm. In contrary, soldiers often sticked small pads or wooden rods under the belts to improve the air exchange and cooling of the back.
BTW: Because of his hairy back and his sometimes inclined setting on the soldierīs back the Tornister was in military slang called "Affe" i.e. "monkey"
.......... Claus Mayer, Schweinfurt, Germany, 17th of November 2014