We have been asked to produce A.F.0210.® straps in different colours, and for practical reasons have chosen to produce what might be called a “raw” webbing colour as our basic strap in 17.5mm, 20mm and 22mm widths.
The British military has always taken great pride in its appearance. British military khaki came in a variety of shades from different production batches, and for uniformity and parade purposes, troops spent many happy hours applying Blanco to their webbing.
The shade of Blanco used depended on the era, and the unit.
One colour was black boot polish.
The A.F.0210.® strap colour is khaki, close to that used later in Borneo and Aden, but the final khaki colour adopted by a supporter can be changed through the use of Blanco, to complement any watch, or theatre of war.
An example of the early strap colour is on a strap preserved in the Imperial War Museum.
The watch and A.F.0210. strap below were worn by Major Desmond Pretyman Apthorp (56653) of The Royal Norfolk Regiment.
On 12 September 1946 he was made a Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – a MBE. This reflected his service as a POW commander in Asia during WW2.
The strap came into his possession as he was rehabilitated from Saigon at the end of WW2, as a replacement for his white web strap.
Below are four A.F.0210. straps, indicating a possible range of khaki colours.
Top, the production colour of the faithful reproduction strap.
Next, a faithful reproduction strap, with Blanco Shade 103.
Next an original A.F.0210. strap, but the colours of these also vary.
Bottom, a faithful reproduction strap, with Blanco Shade KG3.
We can provide straps in Blanco 103 or KG3 at no extra cost.
The colour of British military webbing often depended on the theatre of war, but primarily on the preference of those in command of a given unit.
A general rule of thumb was as follows:
England 1940-41 – Webbing was Blanco’ed ‘Pea-Green’ – Blanco Shade 103.
North West Europe 1944-45 – Webbing was Blanco’ed KG3. This is backed up by contemporary infantry training manuals which specifically state this shade.
Mediterranean theatre – Raw or scrubbed.
Far East – No Blanco as it rotted the webbing in the jungle climate. Except for the A.F.0210. strap, the Pattern 44 webbing Jungle Warfare Equipment was dyed jungle green or SCC19.
Blanco generally made the cotton webbing waterproof, and lengthened the service life of the equipment. It also stiffens the strap slightly.
Blanco is easily obtained from military supplies companies, and the Blanco ‘n Bull website is extremely comprehensive, and provides details on how to make Blanco in the shade which you desire using any desired colour shoe cream as the base.
This website delves into the world of Blanco and spit ‘n polish and is a repository of information for collectors, re-enactors and historians.
We acknowledge the use of their images.
In response to requests, we sell two standard colours in addition to khaki, olive green and black. This olive green colour can also be altered with Blanco.
The black colour can also be ordered on the web site.