16 Man Zelts

The Zeltbahn was a very flexible use device. Each soldier was issued one Zelt pannel, 1 zelt rope, two zelt stakes, and one section of the pole. The Zelt could be worn as a poncho, made into a stretcher, used as a flotation device, and many other things. One soldier's Zelt could be combined with one or more other soldiers to create tents and other shelters.  

The 16-man pyramidal zelt was an impressive sight to see. It provided both a larger footprint and more headroom for its inhabitants. In order to set this up, it was possible to combine the standard zelt poles into the upright and four corner poles required but a solid pole cut from a sapling or tree limb would be equally effective and much more sturdy. 16 pannels could also be arranged in a double size elongated version of the 8-man Zelt. Both configurations appear in photographs from the period, though the pyramid configuration is more common.

These photographs were taken from a number of books,  online sources, and auction sites.  They are presented here for educational purposes.  

© 2020 by 353rd Inf. Div.