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One of the most versatile items issued in the NVA, although patterned more like the Soviet model. Or the Great War model, depending on your historical preferences.
A shelter half has been a part of most armies' equipment for a long time, dating back at least to the First World War and maybe even earlier. But some took it further; for example the Germans and the Russians made it much more versatile. The idea was to combine the need for a tent, rain protection, stretcher, and camouflage cape, to name a few possible uses. And this is just what even the East German Zeltbahn does pretty well.
This rectangular piece of canvas has paired buttons and keyholes on each of the four sides. It can be buttoned to other Zeltbahns to form tents both small or large. Near one corner there's a drawcord. If worn as a cape, this forms the base of the hood, while you just button up the front and stick your arms thorough the opening slits. Simple. Grommets on the corners for pitching purposes.
Made from tightly woven cotton, with a water repellent treatment that actually works, verified by us! Measurements 175 x 175 cm (5 3/4' x 5 3/4'), weight 1,2 kg.
Most looked unissued, but may be a bit dusty with corrosion on metal parts after decades of storage.
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