Ten Years On – “Battle Rattle”

About 10 years ago I was preparing to retire from the US Air Force and my friend, photographer Hans Halberstadt told me about a book project he was working on.

Hans told me it was going to be called “Battle Rattle” and be all about “the stuff a soldier carries.” I was pretty excited about the concept. Then, he asked me to write the foreword. I accepted the offer and set about writing.

Another friend of mine, Army Veteran Stephen Hilliard, was working as the director of R&D at the time for ATS Tactical. You may recognize his name from his current work with Blue Force Gear. He had written a primer entitled, “Packing For War In Southwest Asia” which has been published on the Lightfighter Internet forum. Hans read it and asked Stephen if he could include it in the book. Neither Stephen or I were paid for our work. Rather, we did it because of our passion for the topic. The publisher was notoriously cheap. In fact, I think Hans paid for my copy of the book.

The book was published later that year as part of the Battle Gear series by Zenith Press. “Battle Rattle” is out of print now but worth finding a copy if you are a conessieur of individual equipment.

Ten years on, I still think that it not only offers a good historical perspective, but that it continues to point to wear we are going.


14 Responses to “Ten Years On – “Battle Rattle””

  1. Matthew Kime says:

    Just snatched one up off Amazon.

    Even though Amazon is the devil.

  2. kit crazy says:

    I love that book. Somehow mine is in perfect condition even though I have looked through it countless times. I wish a new updated version would happen. I would drop $20 in a heartbeat. Great photos and information. I am not sure how much could be updated really, but I want more. I would pay an outlandish amount for a European version (Germany, Britain, Holland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Italy,……………..). So many European countries have such cool packs and vests and you just can’t get great photos of that stuff and what is inside.

    • Rio says:

      I’ve had this book in my collection for a good few years also. I have to say the idea of doing various versions for different nations would make a really nice collection.. building up into almost an encyclopedia…

      I know i’d certainly dip into my wallet for them!

  3. Mojo says:

    Awesome! Now i gotta go find my copy and reread it.

  4. Lasse says:

    Had mine since 2008

  5. Luke says:

    I was shocked to stumble across this at my local library.
    less shocked to notice Eric wrote the forward…

  6. Erick says:

    Still have my copy. Met Hans back in the late 80s when he was working on another projector. Good man.

  7. Johnthejedi says:

    I’ve got this book as well. It’s a great read and I scroll through it every now and then as well. I also picked up a book from the local book sale section of the library written by Halberstadt that’s from the mid 90s, and about Navy Seals and their equipment.

  8. bulldog76 says:

    i got to find me this book …

  9. EODFish says:

    The book is great for what it is and I do would love to see an updated version. I will also gladly pay for anything with Hans’ name on it after his choice regarding donating “the Dude” back to the EODWF.

  10. jack says:

    Got one of the first print hand signed by a certain “Gear Guru”.
    I like how the foreword is spot on when it comes to the then future of vest designs. Looks like that Gear Guru knew a thing or two about soldier systems.

  11. Stephen Hilliard says:

    Throwback Thursday for sure! For the record, I did not serve in Afghanistan and I asked the publisher to correct that in any future printings (which of course hasn’t happened). Thanks for sharing, Gear Guru!

  12. R711 says:

    Now, if I could find my original copies of combat and survival. They produced a series like this in the late 80’s-early 90’s. Teaches you on how to make a belt kit like a champ. It was akin to a light fighter’s bible at the time