ZELTE – Gebirgsjäger Gruppenzelt

ZELTE

FJ_Zelte

The photo shows Fallschirmjägers in southern Greece preparing for the use on Crete

By  Heinrich Mauer

The following explanations and illustrations are intended to illuminate the use of different types of tents and tent equipment in the armed forces, both “in technical terms” as a device description and “tactically” with examples of their intended use. It is to be noted, that occasional tents also used for the purpose. As in many other areas of the Wehrmacht, the war determined the use of man and material. In the absence of fixed accommodation, the Feldpostamt could be accommodated in a staff tent, or a simple tent could be used instead of the wagon for the utility vehicle (Kfz 79).
In principle it must also be mentioned that with the establishment of the Wehrmacht in October 1935 or even with the start of war in September 1939 no fundamental innovations were introduced in the general tent equipment. The old tried and tested.
 

 

Gebirgsjäger Gruppenzelt

 

 A. The group tent

The group tent was made of two tent pieces of the same size, with sides and sewed entrances respectively, with windows. Two ground floors of 2.50 m x 4.00 m each, closed down the tent as a protection against moisture. Thirty small stakes, 16 large stakes and four masts (of three pieces each and 2.10 m long), were used for the assembly of the entire Group tent. It weighed about 104 kilos and offered accommodations approximately 12 to 16 soldiers.
The width of the mountain group tent offered space for two teams, which arrived with her head on the side wall and feet extended on the ground, halfway of the tent. In the middle there was still a gap of about 60 cm that it was enough for a stove or as a way to cross along.
In the tent, it was possible to get up and walk upright in a width of one meter in the middle of the tent. The outer sidewall height amounted up to 70 cm high and allowed therefore a private to get up freely.
The sides served as an entrance to each half of the tent. They could easily close with rope. In addition, on the sides of the tent there were windows with celluloid discs, to observe the ground. Where necessary they could shut out the light. Inside the tent were sewed small bags, which served to place the personal equipment of soldiers. On the roof was a clothesline to hang wet clothes.
The group tent is packed on two bales of canvas and moved by beasts of burden in a model 23 saddlebags.

Measurements:
Length: 5 m
Width: 4 m
Side height: 0.70 m
Ceiling Height: 2.10 m

MountainGroup1

MountainGroupe5

MountainGroup2

 

B. The troop tent

Instead of a group tent, its components could also be set up as two separate troop tents. To do that, they tied a rear side tent with windows (to match the front piece) and a front side tent with an entrance. The area of the tent then reached 2.50 m by 4.00 m and provided accommodation for six to eight soldiers. The interior of one of the before mentioned bales had the capacity to store a whole troop tent.

Measurements:
Length: 2.50 m
Width: 4 m
Side height: 0.70 m

MountainGroup3

MountainGroup4

 

C. Details of the Tents

As we mentioned before, the group tent was formed by two separate troop tents. To do that, they tied a rear side tent with windows (Teil II) (to match the front piece) and a front side tent (Teil I) with an entrance. Meaning that the only detachable side pieces were the rear side of the Teil I and the front side of the Teil II.

 

Teil1Teil2

 

C.1.  The Teil I

Above in the picture we see the front side of Teil 1 with a stove hole on the left side, modifity or expressly designed. Others have only two small windows at each side as you can see in the Black and White picture of the Teil 2. These windows with celluloid discs, were to observe the ground, and when necessary they could shut out the light.

Teil1

Here you can see a detail picture of the small window on the front side of Teil 1.

Teil1_2

 

Stove hole in detail, with its additional fabric cover, to close the hole when it is not used:

ouvert10

 

In the below picture you can see the rear side of the Teil I. In it you will notice that is detachable. You will also notice the hook pieces on the roof, that will show you the distance (24 cm) were the other tent (Teil II) will attach.

tente_14

 

 In this picture you have another view this the Teil I

tente_12

 

C.2.  The Teil II

The Teil II, has also two small window on the front side. This front side is detachable to assemble it to the rear side of the Teil I. The flap on the front that will assemble both tents is about 20cm long. The rear side has two big windows as you can see in the pictures.

 

arrier17

 

C.3. Bags

Inside both tents were sewed small bags, which served to place the personal equipment of soldiers. On the ceiling of the tent was a clothesline to hang wet clothes.

 

 

C.4.  Bales of canvas where tents are packed.

 

Detail pictures of the two bales of canvas where tents are packed.
The open bag with the 6 elements for the 2 mats and the 2 pockets for the metal pegs (30 metal pegs in total, 15 in each little pocked, for the floor, and 16 pegs for the tent).

 The back side bag with suspension straps.
Reinforced by a kind of silver-colored cardboard as on some straps of flamethrowers.

Detail pictures of the two tents packed.

2_sacs10

Detail pictures of the back, with yours transport straps, and the rings to hang in a vehicle.
Note that the each full bag weighs 30 kg

2_sacs11

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Horst HINRICHSEN. Zelte und Zeltersatzausrüstungen der Wehrmacht 1935-1945. VDM.2002

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My special thanks to Ludo (aka Petigny) from forum http://www.passionmilitaria.com/ , for making possible the writting of this article.

FJ_Zelte2

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