Gen Sir Samuel Browne

(1824—1901) army officer

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(1824–1901), inventor of the cross-belt that bears his name (Sam Browne). Born in India, he entered the army at 16 and spent most of his life campaigning there, commanding Bengal Cavalry. In the Indian Mutiny he was present at the capture of Lucknow, and later won a VC in August 1858 for capturing a rebel cannon at Seerporah. In the mêlée, his left arm was severed at the shoulder, after which he devised a belt, worn diagonally over the right shoulder to anchor his sword and scabbard to his left side. He later commanded troops in Afghanistan 1878–9 and was promoted general in 1888. His belt remains popular with many armies today, but its use in early WW I easily enabled snipers to target British officers.

From The Oxford Companion to Military History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Military History.

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