Australian puttees, surplus
A real blast from the past! Wrapping puttees around your ankles really is a chore to put hair on your chest. The Australians were way ahead of their time during WW2, and used ankle puttees instead of the canvas anklets favoured by most Commonwealth countries.
Back in the very early 1900's, long, shin length puttees were a fashionable piece of men's clothing, and remained in military use for a long time after they went out of civilian fashion - the long puttees became an iconic part of kit in the Great War on all sides. During the World War 2, short puttees were developed. These were just wrapped around the ankles and the top of the boot to keep crap out and provide support.
Apparently the Australians widely used these, while the Brits mostly wore crappy canvas anklets, until after the war they realized that puttees are superior and ditched the anklets - the short puttees were still used in the Falklands War during the early 80's and consequently, the soldiers suffered horribly from trench foot. Of course, the main problem was the Boot DMS with it's brilliant tongue design. Shortly after the bitter experiences, puttees and DMS boots were discarded and the army finally developed a general issue high combat boot - the kind almost everyone else had been using since the 70's.
These puttees are about one metre long, a bit over 10 cm wide pieces of wool, with cloth strips at the ends. See the pictures for instructions in how to wrap them correctly. During the war the short puttees were slightly better than canvas anklets, being more form-fitting and comfortable, keeping crap out better, and from a productive point of view were probably much cheaper and easier to manufacture.
There are also about three metre long variants for true gentlemen, but these are, sadly, hopelessly out of everyday men's fashion today. See the extra picture for reference - just three short pairs sewn together to form long puttees. These really are a chore to wrap on every morning, making the short puttees feel like cheating!
Used, but in serviceable condition. The edges may have some slight fraying and some repairs can sometimes be found, but that's it. To the best of our knowledge, these are all made during WW2.
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Ville L. 24.06.2016 (Edited 27.06.2016)
Albert H. 27.02.2018
darryl b. 21.05.2018 (Edited 22.07.2019)
Peter D. 04.04.2019