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Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message "Ammunition" boots worn by a soldier of the Army Air Corps Ammunition boots, also known as Boots, ankle, General Service BGS , were the standard footwear for the British Army from the late s until the late s. Ammunition boots were unlined ankle- boots with leather laces, iron heel-plate and toe-plate , and an iron-studded leather sole.
The vamp front and quarters sides were often made of a contrasting type of leather than the toe case toe cap and counter heel cap , one made of "pebble-grained" dimpled leather and the other of smooth leather. They were designed to be hard-wearing and long-lasting rather than comfortable. The hobnail -studded soles made a loud crunching sound when the wearer was marching, earning them the nickname "crunchies".
Soldiers were issued two pairs of boots, both made with a brown finish that had to be polished black. There was a brief period to where they were issued one pair that was hand-polished in black for parade and drill and one pair finished in raw brown hide for fatigue duty and field service.
World War I forced the reversion to brown leather boots for Other Ranks but polished black boots were still worn by some individuals or units out of habit.
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Officers, who purchased their own uniforms, were still required to wear polished brown boots and matching leather Sam Browne belt with their field service uniform, marking them apart from their men. The later Boots, General Service adopted in were issued from the factory in black leather. Patterns[ edit ] The original Pattern was made from to During the Second Boer War , civilian manufacturers made a series of variants on the Pattern due to differing manufacturing techniques like machine-sewn uppers or glued-on outer soles.
These were declared obsolete in as they were not of uniform appearance and did not wear well. An improved i pattern was adopted from to It was temporarily replaced by the similar and patterns from to while they did research for a replacement boot. By , the "B" series was begun, consisting chiefly of the "B2" and "B5".
It was a pattern of ammunition boot with woven cotton laces, a plain-leather counter, and lacked the leather toe cap. It was created to save leather and increase production.
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To reinforce the boot and increase wear the B2 series had a horizontal seam between the parts of the upper and the "B5" series had rivets between the vamp and quarters.
In , the post-war pattern came into service. It had a "clump sole" one-piece sole and heel , smooth leather vamp and quarters, and pebbled-leather counter and toe-cap. It came in brown leather, but was polished black. It came in brown leather and had 25 hobnails. In , the later Pattern boot, the BGS, was similar except it came in black leather.
Variant Patterns[ edit ] Vehicle drivers wore boots without hobnails because they would damage the pedals and create sparks.
This was extended to armored vehicle crews in the Royal Tank Regiment and Reconnaissance Corps in , as well as to the crews of waterborne craft of the Royal Army Service Corps in This was to avoid creating sparks near flammable or explosive stores like gunpowder or gasoline.
Commandos were issued them to make it easier for them to move silently. As an economy measure the number of hobnails were reduced in April, to 15 hobnails, later reduced to 13 hobnails in September, The boots were the focus of much drill and attention. Achieving a high polish was often the aim and required hours of "bulling" vigorous polishing until it achieved a deep sheen.
Experienced soldiers would "burn-down" the dimpled surface of the boots with beeswax and a heated spoon to make them smooth and easier to shine. Ammo boots were replaced by directly moulded sole boots DMS boots in These were identical to ammo boots save for having a rubber sole and heel. Guards Regiments however still wear the highly polished Ammunition Boots on parade.