The Y - belt in this form (with support straps) was introduced in April 1939 and initially only intended for Infantrymen in rifle companies.
Later in the war the Y-belt also was authorized for motorcycle units (1941) and bicycle units (1943).
Initially its official name was
«Koppeltragegestell aus Leder mit Hilfstrageriemen»
which can be translated as Belt suspenders from leather with auxiliary carrying straps, but later with the order HM 40, No. 431 of 2 April 1940 the name was changed to
«Koppeltragegestell für Infanterie»
which means as much as belt suspenders for Infantry
The function of the belt is to evenly distribute the weight of the equipment (which was considerable).
Before the Y-belts came into service the weight of the belt was supported by the
uniform belt hooks with the internal suspenders for the M36 Uniform which will be covered in another section.
Physical description :
The belt is made of smooth leather, painted black on the outside and natural colour from the inside.
The metal parts are initially made from a aluminum but as the war progressed from steel which was painted light grey.
Later the metal parts were left unpainted.