M201 - shovel / pelle

The French army shovel is similar, but not identical, to the American WW2 shovel. The slight but distinctive difference in profile means that an American shovel does not fit well in an M201 bracket designed for the French version. (The converse also tends to be true) The shovels were stamped 'armée Française' and the example in the picture also had the number 2037 painted on it when I got it. I do not know the significance of this but I suppose it is just possible that it belonged to M201 no. 2037.

Although the example above was painted black it was common to see shovels on M201s that had been painted green (including the shaft) probably done at the same time as the vehicle was last painted.

The stamping on the shovel gives the part number as 41 S 3170. The handle is also stamped with the part number which appears to be 21 H 1445. Although French made, the letters 'S' and 'H' in the part numbers seem to have been inherited from the US originals (shovel & handle).

Although the metal parts of shovels are traditionally painted black it became clear from cleaning up this second example that it had been painted green including the handle from new and the handle had never been varnished.