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"German Infantry wearing Zeltbhan - Normandy 1944" Topic

14 Posts

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1,042 hits since 30 Oct 2017
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This Ones For The Sarge30 Oct 2017 2:54 p.m. PST


Is there any contemporary evidence (photographic or otherwise) to show whole sections in Normandy wore the zeltbhan at the same time, or was this simply a matter of personal choice/ availability?

The ever present threat from Allied aircraft at this time would logically seem to suggest that the average German soldier would take every opportunity to use camouflage but is this simply conjecture? NB. My interest here is solely Wehrmacht, not Waffen SS.

christot Inactive Member30 Oct 2017 3:04 p.m. PST

God knows….there is a series of pics somewhere showing an NCO adjusting a sections equipment etc with all of them in zeltbahns, iirc a couple of them are in Zetterling's Normandy book….but maybe it was raining that day?

andysyk30 Oct 2017 3:49 p.m. PST

I would imagine that an order was given to don them. Ive seen a series of photos with every man in a unit wearing them in France 44.

Pat Ripley Fezian31 Oct 2017 2:18 a.m. PST

You'd imagine they'd only get worn when it was raining. Its a pretty cumbersome bit of kit.

Fred Cartwright31 Oct 2017 4:03 a.m. PST

You'd imagine they'd only get worn when it was raining. Its a pretty cumbersome bit of kit.

I have worn one. It is not that bad.

Martin Rapier31 Oct 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

I've also seen photos of whole units wearing them with their webbing on the outside (so clearly intended as camo and not rain protection).

tbh the camo effect is marginal at best, but they aren't very bulky to wear, only being a shelter quarter.

uglyfatbloke31 Oct 2017 5:30 a.m. PST

I'd have thought they'd be pretty hot on a sunny day.

Martin Rapier31 Oct 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

If you are wearing a woollen uniform with woollen underwear, I reckon any sunny day is going to be a bit warm:)

Zelts are only a bit of cotton, no more bulky than a camo smock. Not like the rubberised rain capes the British wore, and half the size of the Russian shelter halves/rain capes.

Fred Cartwright31 Oct 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

I would guess shirt and Zelt, would be cooler than shirt and tunic on a hot day.

deephorse31 Oct 2017 10:05 a.m. PST


All you ever wanted to know about the zeltbahn, including the requested photos!

deephorse31 Oct 2017 10:09 a.m. PST
andysyk31 Oct 2017 1:22 p.m. PST

Armies don't care whether youre hot, bulky, or cold you wear what your told.
Any camouflage is better than none, and the zelt would break up the shape etc

14Bore31 Oct 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

Deephorse thanks, for the life of me I had no idea what it was and wondered if I had been painting my Prussians wrong all these years.

This Ones For The Sarge01 Nov 2017 3:51 a.m. PST

Many thanks one and all for reaching out – had no idea this post would generate such feedback and just goes to show what a valuable resource TMP is!

What prompted my post originally was that I have some fab German Heer Infantry circa 1944 wearing the zeltbhan (and some in camo smocks too) and was torn whether it was more historically accurate to group all together or split between more conventionally attired troops!


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