WW2 Japanese Enlisted Cured Rubber Belt RARE Supple & Flexible


Excellent Condition: This belt remains supple and flexible!

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Late war, rare, cured rubber enlisted belt with buckle worn by the Army and Naval Ground Forces.

This a unicorn example which is un-cracked, supple, completely flexible and just unbelievable!

As WW2 progressed and the Japanese homeland was increasingly cut off from natural resources, the materials available to make common equipment worn by servicemen changed rapidly.

With respect to a common commodity, the enlisted waist belt, the rapid change began about 1943.

Until some time in 1943, the standard enlisted waist belt worn by the Army and naval land forces was made of thick leather with a heavy gauge brass buckle.

Due to increasing shortages of leather, the Japanese switch production to a canvas belt impregnated with rubber. This material was strong, durable and better suited to jungle warfare than leather. The buckle changed from brass to simple painted steel.

The next switch was to a belt made of rubber. Some of these were made with cured rubber. If curing agents were not available, none were used. The buckles were steel. From a collecting standpoint, the uncured gear turns hard and brittle; Cured equipment remains flexible and not brittle. 

As Japanese shipping was increasingly lost at sea and access to rubber from Indochina and other rubber producing lands was choked off, the final variant arose.  Beginning in late 1944, so-called last ditch” equipment began to be made from cotton. This cotton could take the form of heavy woven canvas, thin cloth or even strips of canvas braided together. The buckles were steel but were even thinner gauge and unpainted. Some of these last ditch items had grommets while some did not.

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CONSIGNMENT ITEM This is a consignment item shipped from Enemy Militaria with the same great return policy as usual. This item is excluded from all sales.

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