I posted this over on the International Forum page, but then I thought about it a bit, and figured that this forum page may find some more knowledgeable members who can help me out!
I picked up a "German Pattern" ammo pouch the other day, on the hunch that it was from Latvia, and not from Turkey as the seller believed.
After receiving the pouch, my suspicions were confirmed. The pouch is indeed from the Latvian Military and is dated 1923. I wrote to the Latvia War Museum in Latvia and they confirmed that the pouch is Latvian made and issued.
I have seen these "German Pattern" ammo pouches in the old Latvian photos from the 1920's and 1930's (pre-Soviet era), but I have never seen one in person or a modern photo of one. Now I have one!
I would imagine that these have to be some of the rarest of the German style Mauser pouches that are out there.
The pouch is extremely well made with very heavy leather. The Y-Strap hanger is very unique. all of the metal hardware is galvanized, heavy steel. I has both a "D" ring and a British style web buckle. I have seen what appears to be British web gear Y-Straps on Latvian soldiers from this era. Britain supplied many Pattern 14 rifles to the Latvian Army, so they may have also supplied them with some British web gear as well.
I am hoping that there are some fellow collectors out there who know about these pouches and can send some more information my way!
Here is the letter I received back from the Latvian War Museum:
Yes, this is Latvian made ammo pouch for Latvian army. It is made according to the German army WW1 ammo pouch pattern. Ammo pouch capacity of 45 rounds. Latvia also produced ammo pouch with a 30 cartridge capacity. We have some Latvian army ammo pouch samples.
‘’Apgerbu darbnica’’ is Latvian Army War Clothing workshop (1921-1924). In fact, it is Latvian Army Supply Office, that historically several times changed their names. Last its name was Army depot № 11.
Department of Collection
Latvian War museum
An now for your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of the pouch: