BORRACCIA e GAVETTA
Above is an image showing the different types of water carriers used by the Italians.. On the left is the two litre borraccia, in front of that is the 1 litre version. The two litre one was most commonly used by the Alpini. This particular corps was entitled to larger Borraccia and Gavetta as it was deemed needed for their specialist line of work. However, they were also issued in small amounts to regular infantry in North Africa. The 1 litre version was a general issue item. Its reported that this was supposed to have two days ration for north african conditions during WW2, but it would be impossible for a human being to survive under such rationing. Note the 'nipple' on the cap of the borracia. This allowed the Soldati to drink from the canteen, and if it was inadvertently tipped over, then only a small amount of water was lost. Also note the wool cover on both of the borraccia. This was an insulating layer, which if soaked with water, would keep the contents cooler.Beside the two Borraccia is the 6.5 litre water carrier.A sturdy aluminium water carrier. This has lost its wool cover. It has a double size screw cap at the top, for much the same reason as the borracia. The larger bore was for filling.. Also used was aLarger 20 litre water carrier. I've not included a picture of it, as there is speculation it was used more for wine than water, and was aspecial issue arrangement rather than general issue.
In this picture we can see the gavetta, along with the borraccia, cup, hexamine warmer ,matches ,fork and spoon. All these items are the bare essentials a soldati would need on a combat march/conditions. The Gavetta is the larger two litre one, again for issue to the Alpini. The smaller one litre gavetta was issued to all other troop types. The Gavetta is a kidney shaped deep aluminium pan with a shallower pan for the lid. A thick wire (and sometimes aluminium) handle folds down against the body of the gavetta. A wire carrying handle is attached on either side. Most italian 'Kitchen' wear for troops was made from aluminum, and some items, like the fork and spoon, are stamped with the royal army seal. The hexamine warmer is a small steel fold out heater, with blocks of hexamine triangles that were used to heat up certain rations or a brew of surregatto caffe.