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Fallschirmjä Zeltbahn

Measure your zelt! No vendor I've found can consistently make an zelt of the correct size. If it doesn't measure up correctly - send it back! It will be useless to you in the field except as a decoration. To be of use the zelt must be able to mate up exactly with other zelts - to make your tents, to make a litter... to be of use to you and your kameraden it must be made to the original specifications. Let's all join together and insist that our gear be of quality.

The definitive source on the zeltbahn is

One very essential piece of equipment for the Fallschirmjäger is the zeltbahn. A combination poncho, shelter and groundcloth it is used for everthing from basic camoflage to making a liter to carry the wounded.

However it is often one of the shoddiest pieces of repro gear. Originals are expensive and increasingly rare and so repros are attractive. However... fully 100% of the repros I've purchased have huge sizing flaws. The key being that the space between the buttons is not consistent. I've even had some zelts where the hole spacing even varies between the sides of the same zelt!

Why does this matter? If you are only a day soldier and all you ever do is button the zelt around you it is only a minor inconvenience. However if you are making a shelter if they don't match it renders the zelt that is nonstandard useless.

It's hard enough if you supply all the zelts and have sorted through them beforehand. However in the field when you and kameraden are trying to build a shelter in the face of the coming cold night mismatched zelts are a huge handicap.

Now why the repro companies cannot (or will not) produce a zelt to the original specifications is a matter of conjecture. I suspect that some MBA has figured out that by making the holes 190mm apart instead of 210mm as the originals will save 1 square meter of cloth per zelt and hence a 50 cent savings per item for his bonus maybe?

Here's a list of vendors that supply a zelt that matches the standard.
  • *** None ***

If anyone knows of one please let me know I'll happily add a link here and send every Jager your way. -

Chilly morning at Camp Swift...

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Important Disclaimer! - This is a non-political web page dealing with the history, equipment, life and campaigns of the World War II German airborne soldier (Fallschirmjäger) and World War II reenacting. This website is contains historical information as well as reenacting and living history information. This information includes reenactment photos, historical information covering operations, equipment and photos of World War II Fallschirmjäger in action. The information is catalogued and presented to preserve a clear eyed view of military history and present to the public an accurate representation of a World War II German airborne unit. We do not tolerate or condone any form of racism, radical or extremist activities, or persons with supremacist, fascist or racist political motives or beliefs and we do not support nor glorify the reprehensible policies of the Nazi Party. We do not tolerate, support, or condone any activities of any neo-nazi party organizations, any extremist, anti-immigrant or anti-semetic organizations.

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