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"Use of Rubber in Japanese Equipment" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on Japanese use of rubber in military equipment was published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 38, November 18, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


a. General

Long after the U.S. Army had substituted webbing for leather in the soldier's individual equipment -- cartridge containers, belts, etc. -- the Japanese continued to use only heavy leather for all of these items. Within the last 12 months, however, laminated canvas impregnated with rubber has replaced leather for practical every item. Belts, cartridges boxes, rifle slings and numerous other items have been captured, all made of laminated square woven fabric and impregnated with rubber to a varying degree.

b. Cartridge Boxes

The new cartridge boxes are especially noteworthy, in that they represent an ideal solution of a difficult problem. The material used in the box is laminated canvas heavily impregnated with rubber and moulded into shape. The box top is of the same material but the center is a thick piece of pure rubber and the top is therefore somewhat flexible, permitting an unusually tight fit. This material is superior to leather, especially in tropical climates where leather is apt to rot. Other equipment was made up of fabric, of sufficient plies in thickness for the purpose intended, coated with rubber, and cured. Strapping and belting was cured flat; canteen covers and such items were cut to shape and cured over a mould.

c. Other Uses

The Japanese army is evidently plentifully supplied with rubber for any conceivable purpose. Heavy bags of pure rubber were used as food containers on Attu, and rubber boots and waders were of excellent quality.


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