M39 'A-Frame' and 'Y Straps'
This model of the 'Y' or support straps were introduced in 1939 to help support the soldier's equipment and belt. Prior to this the weight was taken by the belt which rested on the aluminium belt hooks inserted inside the tunic.
In conjunction with the Y straps the M39 A-frame (or assault frame) was introduced. This fitted to the Y straps by means of the auxiliary straps that were attached to the front of the Y straps and fitted to the bottom of the frame. It was secured at the top by attaching it to the 'D' rings at the top (back) of the Y straps.
The A frame was used to carry the mess tin and zeltbahn (plus accessories). It also had a small bag that could be attached in which was stored small items such as the K98 cleaning kit and rations etc. A blanket or greatcoat called also be attached to the A frame using the same method as the tornister.
It was very rare to see Y straps or A Frames in use prior to 1941.
'A Frame' with canvas bag