HC Deb 11 May 1893 vol 12 cc623-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the War Office has any information as to the intended use of aluminium in the equipment of the German Infantry soldier, with the object of reducing the weight carried by him by nearly 12 lbs.; and whether any steps in this direction are being taken by his Department?


I am informed that the German Infantry soldier, when fully equipped, carries a weight of nearly 69 lbs. Proposals are said to be under consideration for reducing this weight by about 11 lbs.; but only 2 lbs. 4 oz. of that reduction is to be effected by using aluminium. The only articles of British Infantry equipment in which aluminium could be substituted for the present materials are the water bottle and the mess tin; and these together only weigh 2 lbs. 2 oz., so that no great saving in weight could be looked for. Experiments wore made with aluminium in 1891; but the cost was held to be prohibitory.