Pattern 70 Design and History - by M.J du Toit

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Name: Slaai
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Pattern 70 Design and History - by M.J du Toit

Post by slaaibak »

History of SADF pattern 1970 webbing.
Before going into the army in 1966, I acquired a set of SADF issue webbing which was called Pattern 61/64 and which had been based on the
British Pattern 58 webbing. Having always been a collector of webbing and uniforms, I started modifying the set, to my own design, for my use when I got called up.

I started my national service in January 1966 and did my basic training at 1 SSB at Tempe, Bloemfontein. After basics, I move across to 1
Parachute Battalion to do the jump course. (Course no: 36 V).

During basics, I used the issued Pattern 61/64 but at Parachute Battalion, I used my modified version of Patter 61/64 which was the embryo of Pattern 70, which was still to come.
During May/June 1966 I was spotted using my modified version and was brought on orders to the O.C. and asked where I got it from. I told him I had modified the issue set as I thought it was uncomfortable and unpractical. At that meeting, I was introduced to Colonel J.T Nell from the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.) department of defence research. (Armscor did not exist at that stage.) He was then leading a project, on behalf of the SADF, to design a newset of webbing for the SADF.

He got me off the army for 10 days and sent me to a company called I.B. Joffe in Langlaagte, West Rand, who was currently helping him with the sewing and sampling of some earlier basic webbing
designs. During those 10 days, I further converted my modified Pattern 61/64 to what was to become Pattern 70.

After the army, I joined I.B. Joffe in 1967 and was involved in a lot of further field testing of Pattern 70 with the CSIR.
In about 1969 I left I.B. Joffe and became involved in civilian clothing manufacture but remained in contact with Colonel Nell and helped with the design of some aspects of the SADF brown field combat uniforms.
In about 1977 I joined Armscor and was seconded to 1 Reconnaissance Commando as their textile technician. This involved the manufacture of special clothing, boots, webbing, and fire force jackets as well as the packing and maintenance of parachutes, etc. It was during this time that I designed the SADF Paratrooper Slangvel Jump Jacket and trouser, helmet cover and parachute inner carry bag. During this
period, I did a Parachute Riggers Course at PISA. (Parachute Industries of South Africa.) and aparachute packers course at I Parachute Battalion.

After Armscor, I joined SAPHI (South African Pith Helmet Industries.) and while there, designed Pattern 80 webbing. Pattern 80 was never an official military requirement but an initiative on my part to offer Parachute Battalion and Recce Commando something different. Only about 100 sets were ever made and filtered into service but it died a natural death because the military were not interested as they still had Pattern 70 in stock and in use.

The next official set of webbing to appear was Pattern 83, which I had nothing to do with.

M.J. du Toit.
22 October 2018.
CSIR.jpg (75.58 KiB) Viewed 1494 times
* A copy of the project report written by the CSIR about Pattern 1970 design and development is held at the Military History Museum in Johannesburg under the curator Hamish Patterson. ... ry-history
* See also:
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:12 am
Name: Slaai
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Re: Pattern 70 Design and History - by M.J du Toit

Post by slaaibak »

Photo description.
Photo number....

1. Slow conversion of 6t/64 to P7O. This set was sprayed black camo and note the zip in the main pack.
1.jpg (63.27 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
2. Slow conversion of 61/64 to P70. Note cleaned up back of kidney pouches and a yoke sewn onto back of groot sak so it could be carried independent of skeleton webbing.
2.jpg (64.37 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
3. Early P70. Note longer side pockets and different closing buckles. it also had the SA stamp.
3.jpg (47.21 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
4. Beginnings of P70. Note loose straps going into big grommets on top of back pack.
4.jpg (47 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
5. Slow conversion of 61/64 to P70. This set was sprayed black camo and note the zip in the main pock also US type entrenching tool attachment on groot sak.
5.jpg (68.21 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
6. Early P70. Note pocket on poncho cover to keep spare web belt and S.A stamps on kidney and back pack.
6.jpg (51.58 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
7. Early P70. Note different length ammo pouches.
7.jpg (26.27 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
8. Early P80 prototypes.
8.jpg (56.22 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
9. Early P80 prototypes.
9.jpg (36.33 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
10. Early P80 prototypes.
10.jpg (36.02 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
11. Early P80 prototypes. Note new nutria bush jacket and trousers.
11.jpg (39.08 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
12. Experimental webbing.
12.jpg (39.12 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
13. Early P80 prototypes.
13.jpg (126.73 KiB) Viewed 1493 times
14. Experimental camo jacket and helmet cover. The rifle is on original Israeli Galil
14.jpg (81.92 KiB) Viewed 1489 times
15. Experimental Recce uniform. The camo design was geometric zig-zag dark brown on standard nutria fabric. In the book "Recce" there is a similar one being worn in plain nutria.
15.jpg (44.78 KiB) Viewed 1489 times
3 June 2019
M.J. du Toit.
Jump course 36 V, 1966.
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