At the beginning of WWII, German troops supported their field equipment via a system of aluminum belt hooks attached to canvas suspenders that were worn inside their tunics. In 1939, far more practical, external suspenders were introduced, Koppeltragegestell für Infanterie" . There were two main styles, referred to as "lightweight" and "combat" Y-straps today. Issue of these did not become widespread until 1941. By the following year, they were universally used by Heer and WSS troops in all theaters. Both leather and canvas webbing versions were manufactured.