M-1956 LCE Official Copy (1): Greek Army M-1971 Load-Carrying Equipment

Author: Beta-TNT (Webmaster)

Overview

In the 1970s’, there were many countries’ armed forces using American style individual equipment copy as their own standard issue. Let’s start with Greek M-1971 Load-Carrying Equipment.

After the World War II, Greece received military assistance from the US, among them there were small arms and individual equipment. The Greek Army made copies of the individual equipment for their own.

The Greek M-1971 LCE is much like the US M-1956 LCE at the first glance, but if you examine it carefully, you may find that it more likes a canvas version M-1967 LLCE.

The quality is much lower grade than the original M-1956 LCE, the canvas and webbing are thinner, the steel parts have sharp edges. Some of the metal parts are bent and not functioning well.

 

Suspenders and Belt

There are two small D-rings and eyelets on the joint of the shoulder pads for rigging the field pack.

I thought these eyelets are for M-1910 Double Hooks (wire hook), but they are not. These two eyelets are too far apart to make a standard M-1910 attachment eyelet pair. These eyelets are just normal hanging eyelet for single hooks.

Or maybe it just another random failure, the eyelets are M-1910 attachment point in design, I don’t know.

The Greek replaced the original “bottle opener”  hooks on the front straps with combination of square rings and snap hooks.

As for the belt, it just like a snap-free M-1936 belt: the buckle is a brass ball-and-loop one, and only the male end is adjustable. The eyelets in the middle row is as the same size as the rest two rows, not smaller.

 

Field Pack

The field pack is just like the original M-1961 Canvas Field Pack, but with more connector parts.

There are three kinds of connector: snap hooks for eyelets or rings, eyelet tabs for hooks and square rings for strap or webbing.

There is another interesting thing on the lower back: two horizontal snap tabs sewn on there. They can keep the field pack from flapping when the pack is hung at high position on the suspenders. This design obviously comes from the US M-1967 USMC Field Pack.

 

Rifle Magazine Pouches

The magazine pouches are just like the original M-1956 LCE: supporting straps, grenade wings, etc. The difference is the the quick release fastener were replaced by ordinary snap, with two positions.

In the 1970s, Greek Armed Forces were equipped with variant automatic rifles: Western German G3A3/G3A4, US M-14 and Belgium FN FAL. The pouches I’ve got are not the same, there are little differences between them: one of them is slightly larger than the other one. Maybe the larger one is for FN FAL, and the small one is for G3 or M-14?

 

E-Tool Carrier and Canteen Pouch

Despite the rough work, the canteen pouch seems no difference to the original. The e-tool carrier is enlarged to fit their own e-tools. Additionally, there is a thigh strap on the lower back of the e-tool carrier.

 

Sleeping Bag Carrier

A pair of snap hooks are added, nothing more special.

 

Other Compatible Equipment

After the WWII, Greece received a lot of military assistance from the US, among them there were M-1918 Brown Automatic Rifles, M-1928 Thompson Sub-machine Guns, M-1 Garland Rifles. These WWII weapons were still in service during the cold war. So the Greece made individual equipment based on M-1956 LCE for these old guns as well.

M-1 Garland Rifle Ammunition Pouch
Double Sub-machine Magazine Pouch. Source

They also modified some assisted equipment, mostly are M-1945.

The original US M-1945 Suspenders (left) and Greek modification (right)
The D-rings added to the suspenders are for the field pack use.

Not only suspenders, but also cargo pack. They modified the M-1945 Cargo Pack as buttpack or backpack.

Greece modified M-1945 Cargo Pack. Source