Winter, 1993. Fort Carson, CO. In the field. In a GP Small tent set up as company CP. The most high-tech, advanced army in the world. My mission?
Get a load of coal.
The M1941 “potbelly” stove was a handy piece of equipment. It could be configured to burn either diesel, wood, or coal. Setting up a diesel burner was a hassle. Burning coal was easy. So on main post, there was a big old pile of coal. Units going to the field would send a Humvee by the dump, and shovel a couple hundred pounds of coal on board.
It’s a crappy pic, but that’s an M1941 potbelly stove.
Coal was a pain to get ignited (soaking a few pieces in diesel helped), but once the stove was going, it warmed a tent very nicely. But every other day or so, you had to let the stove go cold, and knock the heck out of the stovepipes to get the soot out.
One stove per GP Small, two per GP Medium.
Somehow we acquired a GP Small tent for each of our Bradleys. Finding a spot to store the tent on board was a challenge. Finding a spot to store the stove was almost impossible. But with temperatures routinely reaching sub-zero, we found a way.
We also later had some M1950 Yukon stoves. Ours were oil-burners. We never did use them in Colorado. I’d used them earlier in Germany. I kind of liked them better.
M1950 Yukon stove
I imagine there are still some of these stoves in use somewhere. But I’ve also seen that the Army is adopting more high tech stoves, at much higher prices.