The Borbeni ranac M75 (Combat backpack Model 1975) was YPA (Yugoslavian People's Army) standard combat backpack from 1970s until 1990s and was also extensively used by every side during the Yugoslavian wars as well as later by Serbian army which used it well into the 21th century. It was all out new design of YPA backpack since it was almost completely different in size and design to previous backpacks, which it replaced during the 1970s. Although officially known as Borbeni ranac M75 as mentioned, it is colloquially known simply as JNA ranac (YPA backpack).
Overwiev & designEdit
As other pieces of YPA equipement, the M75 backpack was always being made in usual SMB - Sivo Maslinasta Boja (greenish-grey color), the standard color of all YPA ground forces (uniforms & vehicles), although there was also a dark blue colored variant, intended for YAF (Yugoslavian Air Force) and Yugoslavian Militsiya's repression forces, which is, however, extremely rare today due to the fact that it was being made in much smaller quantities than usual SMB ones. The backpack was externally completely made out of thick and sturdy canvas along with additional, internal cotton layer sewn directly under it, which both ensured its high durability and firmness. It is relatively small in dimensions (just 25 litre) so that infantryman could still mantain good mobility (the most important factor of all for a soldier accoring to YPA philosophy, since the one did not feature any kind of armor or protection) and so that it does not disturb its user during combat. However, in the same time it could still carry enough needed items and supplies for its owner. The back side was reinforced with soft material (plush) inside, so that it does not hinders the back of its user if carring something hard inside while moving. It buckled using two thick genuine leather (calfskin) straps (the same type used on YPA combat belt and boots) along with black metallic buckles. The shoulder straps were also made out of similar solid canvas as the backpack itself and were always inserted with a hard canvas softener each to alleviate the pressure on shoulders of its owner when carring heavy weight. Those softeners could be also removed if needed, but they are, however, not actually intended to be removed. The shoulder straps are easily adjustable by height using metallic clips and are linked to backpack by simple metallic hooks which can be easily detached if needed, so that the backpack could be carried in few different configurations; apart from usual carring on the back, the straps could be also completely removed from backpack to be carried like the classic handbag, or it could be even carried at the side; with a single strap linked to two side hooks of the backpack (indended exactly for that matter) and set to diagonally pass over the shoulder, and the other one removed (stashes into the backpack, as an example).
Under the backpack, two additional canvas straps were installed, which were originally intended to carry the M68 (Model 1968) camouflage tent wing, however, they were practically used for everything possible and mostly for uniform parts (shirts, trousers and etc.), which were usually wrapped and put under.
Inside, it was divided in two compartments, the main or larger (back) one and the additional smaller (front) one, whith larger/back compartment also having additional small pocket inside itself and another one sewn to the side which could be tightened with laces and also pulled out if needed (for carring a bottle, as an example). Access to the main compartment is achieved immediately by opening the backpack itself while the the smaller, front compartment has its own additional opening with two metallic buttons, which can be opened only from inside; when the backpack itself is opened. On the other (interior) side of the that front compartment opening, the markings about place and year of manufacturing are printed (Ljubiša Miodragović, Prijepolje, 1980, as an example).
The M75 backpack was used only by YPA conscripts, that is, only by regular soldiers and reservists as well as non commissioned officers, as part of their combat uniform in attack/assault configuration. It was never intended to be used for YPA officers and they never formally used it. Later however, after the breakup of SFRY and during the Yugoslavian wars of 1990s, it was used far and wide by every side in every branch and rank as standard combat equipment and was also continued to be formally used by Army of Serbia and Montenegro in 21th century, due to which the backpack is still relatively often and easy to find even today (at least on ex-SFRY territory).
According to official YPA regulation starting from 1975, the backpack was designed and intended for every single regular soldier to carry supplies for his own - starting from bread, cutlery, SDO - Suhi Dnevni Obrok (raw meal) and one M52 or M75 hand grenade (in larger/main compartment of the backpack) then AGOR-4 or AGOR-6 (fuel can for heating the meal while in outdoor), PPA-HL 0,3 (decontamination equipment can), a towel, socks, signal lamp and soap (in smaller/front compartment), together with mentioned M68 wing wrapped and tightened underneath. However, those regulations were rarely actually practiced and soldiers often put whatever they needed or wanted to.
The backpack existed in two variants, the early and the later one. The early variant was being made during SFRY for the YPA (from 1975 until 1990) while the later one was made for Army of Serbia and Montenegro from 1990 until somewhere around 2006. The sole difference between the two are only in the interior bucking, that is, in the buckling of the smaller, front compartment; as previously mentioned, the eariler one had two metallic buttons, while the later had two hook and loop fasteners (velcro) instead.