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Thread: Water bottles and canteens of WWI

  1. #1
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    Default Water bottles and canteens of WWI

    I will start this off with a few photos of some of my water bottles and canteens, as well as issue cups.
    First off is the American M1910 canteen, cup and carrier. This one is interesting to me as it is marked to Company A of the 101st Infantry, part of the 26th Division. This is the Company that my grandfather served with in France as a replacement when he was wounded. It is difficult to get 101 A marked items, and some of the people who collect 101st Airborne tend to run them up in price.


    Next are Austrian water bottles, the one on the left is the standard late war enameled bottle, next to it is the nesting cup, these were carried in the pocket in the haversack, the aluminum bottle is the prewar M1909 water bottle, and to the right is an enameled version in a cavalry model carrying harness that was carried by a soldier in the Mounted Tiroliean Kaisersschützen. The Austrian water bottles are the smallest issued canteens that I know of, a ¼liter is hardly enough to was the dust out of one's mouth.


    Next is an aluminum German M1893 Feldflasche with M1893 Trinkbecher attached to an early war bread bag


    Followed by an enameled steel M1915 Feldflasche and M1915 Becher attached to a late war Brotbeutel.


    On the right is a M1907 Feldflasch with out a cover, and on the left is an unidentifyed bottle with a cup attached, it looks to be German construction, and I have found similar ones in the German Alfa catalogue, but this is still unknown.


    on the left is a Portuguese water bottle with the Mills carrier, on the right is a Belgian water bottle


    My two French Biddon, the early 1 liter modle and the 1877 2 liter modle with the Quart (drinking cup that holds a quarter liter), French soldiers would often carry two of the two liter canteens, I think the French were the only ones who realized that soldiers needed water to do their job.


    Here are my Italian water bottles, the one on the left is the M1917 bottle made of tinned steel covered with wool, it has a strap to attach to the M1907 haversack. the center is the M1907 Guglielminetti wooden bottle of standard construction, note the stopper is threaded. And on the right is an unidentified wooden bottle, that I believe is Italian, the only markings on it are "AH" burned into the bottom, it is fixed with wire bails to carry it on a strap.


    Next are my Russian water bottles, the upper left is a green glass bottle that holds about ½ liter, it is similar to the M1894 aluminum bottle and was made before and during the war. Below it is a clear glass bottle in wool cover, these are smaller than the post war brown or clear glass bottles. top right is a M1882 wooden water bottle made of alder wood, note the stopper in not threaded on this one, it is very nearly the same size and shape as the Italian one. lower right is a standard M1894 aluminum water bottle, made in St Petersburg in 1910, during the rebuilding of the Russian Army after the defeat by the Japanese in 1905


    And last is a couple of poor examples of canteens, the one on the left is from a P1903 carrier, it is early production judging from the blue enamel construction, the one on the right is a post war made bottle in a P1908 Mills carrier


    And last of all is a cartoon form that book Wally, by Private Albain Wallgren, USMC

    Best
    Gus
    Last edited by Gustaf B; 11-08-2011 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The main reason the French poilu carried two Bidons was one bottle typically contained plain water and the other either wine (pinard) mixed with water, coffee or a tafia spirit mix.

    Bidon Modèle 1877 (Canteen Model 1877): These were came in both 1 and 2 litres versions which featured two spouts, a large and small, which allowed the soldier to have two drinking options available to them, these were stopped with a cork on the large spout and a wooden plug on the smaller spout, both of these were secured to the canteen itself with string. These canteens were usually covered horizon blue wool by 1917. The double-sized 2-liter canteen was originally reserved for issue to troops in Africa prior to the war, but the difficulty of supplying clean water to men in close combat was considerable and it prompted the introduction of the double-sized water bottle to all troops in the summer of 1915.



    Quart Réglementaire Modèle 1852 (Statutory Quarter Cup Model 1852): The quart was used for drinking the issued pinard or tafia spirit mix, they were made of tin which was usually hung from one or both of strings or the sling on the canteen.

    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

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    A great thread, Gus.

    I wish I could add an equally impressive collection... Still here is my French Bidon which was found on Vimy Ridge. I'll add a large British RAMC water bottle later.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails relicvimybottle1.jpg   relicvimybottle3.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Here is a large British Royal Army Medical corps Canteel (Or water bottle?). Larger than the ordinary British water bottles, and supplied with a cup.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P2040003.jpg   P2040005.jpg   P2040008.jpg  
    Last edited by Bayonetcollector; 11-11-2011 at 01:21 PM. Reason: cleanup

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    Hello,

    Thank you very much for info, especially on Russian ones. Here is a picture of a glass bottle that I found while picking mushrooms. I found it in the area where WW1 and WW2 trenches are mixed together, so I did not know to which period it belongs. Know I know that it is a Soviet bottle.

    Rusnak

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  6. #6
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    Hello Rusnak,
    Yes, that looks like a Soviet bottle. I think all the variations of the glass canteens are very interesting, they were cheap and easy to manufacture, and really quite durable.
    Best
    Gus
    Last edited by Bayonetcollector; 11-11-2011 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Cleanup

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    Hello Gents,

    I was prompted to scour the library for one of my reference works that I was missing based on a miss-identification of the tinned iron Italian M1917 water bottle. Not that the book was lost, but rather because I couldn't find it? We have seven book cases full to overflowing and on occasion, if something gets misplaced it can be hard to find!

    I was wrong regarding the ID of the rectangular water bottle and I stand corrected. I had always thought that the circular metal water bottle was the Mod. 1917, but a careful check of one of my Italian reference books (once I found it!) combined with an hour plus of entries in an online translator, resolved several issues relative to the proper ID of Italian water bottles in general.

    The sources in English don't help! Rather they confuse the issue.

    I found my copy of "La Guerra Italo Austriaca 1915-1918" by Paolo Marzetti. At some point in time, it was accidentally shelved in with my bayonet reference books???

    After painstakingly entering the appropriate passages on water bottles into an online translator, here are the proper identification of the various water bottles in my collection based on Marzetti's book.


    Model 1917 Water Bottles


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    The circular woolen-covered iron water bottle is ALSO referred to as a Model 1917, which added to the confusion! Now I just have to find one??? ;>)


    Model 1907 Wooden "Keg" style Water Bottle


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    The Model 1907 wooden water bottle features a strap that can be used to attach the water bottle to the haversack or the belt.


    Model 1876 "Guglielminetti" Wooden "Keg" style Water Bottle


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    The Model 1876 was still in use during WWI and is differentiated by it's leather cover and shoulder strap! Marzetti suggests that it was primarily issued to mounted troops. The design is of "Piedmontese" origins having been introduced in 1851, it reached it's final form as the Model 1876.

    Now that this is sorted out, my new quest is to find the "other" M1917! It's round in shape and has the same type of woolen cover and strap as the rectangular M1917. Also please note that the M1917 in the photo on the right is the silvered tin covered iron water bottle on the right in photo four.

    I'll post photos of some of the rest of the various patterns I have this weekend.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

  8. #8
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    Hey John.
    I thought the iron water bottle was a M1917, but I figured that you should know best. I figured that it was probably a typo, but now we can blame you. The round water bottles show up now and then, but I have yet to see an example that was in decent nick.
    Best
    gsu

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    Default Another British type Waterbottles

    Gus,

    Your Green Waterbottle was made after 1939.

    Here is another type of waterbottle Britian bought from a Canadian Manufacturer in 1914 and 15 to make up for supply shortages. These were almost invariably issued with the P14 Infantry equipment. These are quite a few Somme photos showing these in use.

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    Although made in Canada I'm not sure if the Canadians used this.

    The first photo shows a waterbottle in its originally issued cover (the carrier is?) and without. The second shows the manufacturers mark and these I've seen with 1914 and 15 dates.

    Joe Sweeney
    Last edited by Joe Sweeney; 03-16-2013 at 12:34 PM.

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    Here is what I believe to be a Turkish ersatz glass bottle with cover.


  11. #11

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    Great thread Gus, and I like the Turkish waterbottle in particular, it's the first one I have seen.

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    This is the 4th one I have seen, but the first with an original cover, the bottle is rather unique in that it has ripples molded into the outer surface, I am unsure if it was done with the intent of aiding cooling when the cover was soaked with water or if there was some other reason.
    Best
    Gus

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    Excellent thread!

    Gus- Have you ever come across a distinct German cavalry issue canteen? I've seen something that appears to be a standard feldflasche with some sort of shoulder strap in a few pictures of cavalry soldiers but the pictures are small and it's hard to make out the details. I'd love to be able to confirm one way or the other and get a close look at one.

  14. #14
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    Adam,
    Are trying to get the right canteen for your unit requirements
    BTW Guys ... Adam and I both reenact WWI together in CA and have become very good friends, even though he TURNED to the DARK SIDE of the trenches but i can tell you one thing about him ... He is one hell of a horseman, he is one of the best riders I have seen.
    Here is the unit he is resurecting ... 2nd Chevauleger Regiment ... http://2chevauleger.org/

    Patrick
    Vive La République Française, le Lebel et le poilu
    Verdun 1916: "Ils ne Passeront pas" "On les aura!"
    Fusil d'Infanterie Modèle 1886 Modifié 1893 dit "Lebel"

    Vive le Pinard !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfM1sFqIK0

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    It's kind of a strange situation in that I've looked up and down in the Jurgen Kraus references with no success but yet I can make something out in a couple of original pictures I've come across. It's easy to mistake for the medical canteen which is considerably larger. It's one of those mysteries I've been trying to resolve one way or the other. In the end, it appears that as the war went on, the German cavalry made frequent use of infantry canteens. Still, it's another detail I'd like to nail down.

    Thanks for the complement on the horsemanship...you just haven't seen all the times I've taken a header...

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    Great posting.
    I wish I could add an equally impressive collection...
    Still here is my French Bidon which was found on Vimy Ridge.
    I'll add a large British RAMC pure water bottle later.
    Big Berkey
    Last edited by Alfonso; 05-15-2012 at 07:08 AM.

  17. #17
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    Hey Adam,
    I suspect that the harness is similar to the Medical water bottle harness, I know that the shoulder strap was the preferred carrying method for all mounted troops, as a belt mounted bottle would encounter the mount or saddle, but I have not seen a German version of the mounted water bottle.
    Best
    Gus

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    Interesting...the mystery continues. The answer is probably hidden in some dusty attic in Germany...

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    excellent info...
    GOD<><SAVE THE CONSTITUTION / STATES RIGHTS><>NRA

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    Great info all. Interesting to note that while you all have been talking about the glass canteens here on this thread I have been on other thread that you might find interesting and maybe able to provide some input. Working on an article for the Banzai newsletter on Japanese ceramic canteens and a couple of gents have the Japanese glass canteens as well. If any of you have a Japanese ceramic or glass canteen I would like to hear from you. If desired check out http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...ramic-canteens

  21. #21
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    Hey Type-14,
    Thanks for the heads up, we do not do much with the new stuff, but it is always good to be aware of what is out there so we can ID it when we see it. I was unaware that the Japanese used ceramic water bottles, but then they also used ceramic grenades, now if we can only find an example of a WWII German concrete water bottle.
    Best
    Gus

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    Hello Gents,

    Here are photos of my recently acquired WWI Bulgarian water bottle. Following some additional research both here on the Forum as well as online, I'll produce a repro cover as soon as I can ID the proper material, i.e. most likely wool, but possibly courderoy? Then there is the question of color???



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    Slowly but surely the Bulgarian display continues to progress!

    More to follow.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS
    Last edited by JPS; 09-19-2012 at 08:17 PM.

  23. #23
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    Austria-Hungary Water Bottles & Cups


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    Green enamel with and without covers and with a variety of leather, linen or hemp shoulder straps



    French Water Bottles & Cups


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    1 liter Mle 1877 & 2 liter Mle 1877 with dark blue covers


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    2 liter Mle 1877 with Horizon Blue covers.


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    2 liter Mle 1877 painted khaki for Colonial issue or issued with a khaki cover.

  24. #24
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    French Water Bottle & Cup


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    1 liter Mle 1884 Experimental Water Bottle & Cup retaining remnants of the original black paint.


    German Water Bottles & Cups


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    British Water Bottles


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    P-08 with web carrier


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    Private Purchase water bottle with woolen cover and leather shoulder strap


    Russian Water Bottles & Cups


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    Pre-WWI wooden keg style water bottle


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    M1910 aluminum water bottles and cups


    U.S. Canteen & Cup


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    M1910 Canteen, Cup & Carrier


    Unidentified Balkan or Turkish Water Bottle


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    Aluminum water bottle with khaki woolen cover with Prym snaps, cork stopper and leather strap with metal trench-art stars and crescent moons adorning the leather. Possibly of German manufacture?
    Last edited by JPS; 01-31-2013 at 01:08 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default British Water bottle patterns (non specialized i.e. medical)

    All,

    Here are examples of the British Army used common Water bottle patterns.

    The first photo shows from left to right

    1. Bottle, water, enamelled. (Mark VI.)

    Introduced in 1903, this was by far the most commonly found bottle through WWI until 1939 when the green pattern MKVII was introduced. This bottle can be found in a variety of manufacturing styles e.g. Molded top, Can type top, Flat bottom and Can type bottom. The molded top with tin can body was the official type but during the war the flat bottoms and tin can tops types showed up.

    2. Bottle, water, Pattern 1915, Dismounted Services

    Introduced in 1915 and made with a corrugated front. Like the MKVI can be found with variety of top and bottom construction style. This one has a molded top and flat bottom.


    3. Bottle, water, aluminium,

    Actually introduced in 1913 these were only made in small quantities. This particular one is dated 1915 on the neck along with manufacturing details. The design was again WWII time frame but those bottles tend to be undated.


    4. Bottle, water, aluminium. ( Canadian Pattern)

    This pattern waterbottle bottle was purchased in large quantities in Canada in 1914/15.

    5. Bottle, water, Indian pattern--not pictured but very similar to private purchase water bottle JPS posted in the previuos thread except was made of Brown enameled iron.

    All were covered in drab felt and the cork was attached via string to the cover.

    Photo 2. this shows the two common bottom constructions--Can type on the left and Flat on the right.

    Photo 3. The only way to tell if you have a post war bottle is if it has a ring attachment on the body of the bottle or neck. This was introduced in 1939 with the green MKVII.. However, those found on blue bottles are all post WWII as the RAF did not start manufacturing blue with ring until after WWII.

    Hope this is of interest.

    Joe Sweeney
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    Last edited by Joe Sweeney; 03-16-2013 at 12:39 PM.

  26. #26

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    Hello gentlemen - my first post although I've often used this site as a reference. I'm in Istanbul and found these canteens, the guy had more and didn't seem to think they were anything special. I'd not seen them before so took a chance and picked up 4. Poking around I can't find any that look like this on the web the closest I got was this post where is seems they could be Erzats Turkish Glass Canteens in very good condition. I guy's gotta have dreams. A fools hope but one never knows from Gustav's description above it seems the ribbed nature of the glass lends credence to this theory. I note they don't appear artificially aged the leather is brittle and rust is genuine. I haven't taken one apart yet but see not markings. I'm worried I'll break the leather getting them apart. appreciate the collective wisdom of this group - any ideas?Click image for larger version. 

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  27. #27
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    Welcome to the forum Salvator,
    Your post seems to back up my suspicion that these originated in Turkey, there is no positive reference that IDs them as Turkish. From the examples I have seen, there are no markings on the glass bottle. I have not yet seen a complete example as your four are. The one I have was acquired by a friend in the mid 1970s in Europe, and as such, pre-dates the current trend for fakes and reproductions. I would not try to take one apart, as I doubt there is enough chance to learn anything and the chance of damage is too great. I have seen several of these with out cover offered on the Turkish auction site GittiGidiyor,
    Best
    Gsu

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oskar_2ndchev View Post
    Excellent thread!

    Gus- Have you ever come across a distinct German cavalry issue canteen? I've seen something that appears to be a standard feldflasche with some sort of shoulder strap in a few pictures of cavalry soldiers but the pictures are small and it's hard to make out the details. I'd love to be able to confirm one way or the other and get a close look at one.


    Adam,

    Not sure if this old news for you or not but here is info on the Mounted canteen.

    I borrowed the following from:
    http://lagrandeguerre.cultureforum.n...don-individuel

    I translated the info as follows:

    Mounted troops including those of Field Artillery and train were not provided with the Brotbeutel. They received a derivative of the Model 1907 canteen. The only difference to the normal canteen was the addition of two loops of leather sewn to each side of the cover, in which slide a leather strap adjustable length 1.90m. I believe it says it buttoned under canteen via the stud and was held laterally by the loops. (Note that the original harness is still employed)

    The canteen, by regulation, was worn on the right side, the strap over the left shoulder strap.

    In 1915, with the adoption of the ersatz 1893 type, a special designed strap left room for mounted troops to use conventional canteens equipped with an additional cradle of canvas and leather (or canvas only). in 1915 mounted troops of cavalry, the train and the artillery were equipped with the Brotbeutel and this strap became useless. It will nevertheless be made ​​until the end of the war.


    http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/6939/bidon12fc4.png

    http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/9449/bidon11xm8.png


    Hope this helps

    Joe Sweeney

  29. #29

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    Very nice Joe, thanks for sharing these with us.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    tallahassee, florida
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    Default

    The people from Belgium bought these from Canada, which has vast aluminum deposits canteenmanusa

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