The weapons and equipment of soldiers are vital, helping them to perform the job they have been trained to do to the best of their ability. Soldiers, both past and present, are issued their firearm and equipment upon entering the services and are expected to carry and equip it during certain training exercises and in combat.
Over time, the weapons and equipment soldiers carry have dramatically changed due to advances in technology. Soldiers during the time of the Second World War would have all carried very similar equipment - they would have items such as:
A combat pack - a waterproof bag that would carry essential items such as rations and any personal items soldiers wished to carry with them.
Cartridge or ammunition belt
First aid bag - this would contain one or two dressings for self-use.
Bayonet - if the soldier carried a rifle that had a bayonet attachment, they would carry this on their person.
Canteen, canteen cup and mess kit - the soldiers would use the canteen to carry water in the field, and the canteen cup and mess kit for meal times in camp.
E-tool - an entrenching tool/small shovel
Nowadays, soldiers will carry other equipment that has been developed over time such as personal radios and body armour. Radios allow soldiers to keep in contact with one another during firefights to allow them to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment. The body armour is self-explanatory, with metal breastplates inserted into pouches at the front and back in order to minimise casualties.
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