WWII German Zeltbahn 31
Standard German Army shelter quarter or Zeltbahn was issued to each soldier in the German military who served on the ground. Many different armed forces of the German military used this piece of gear including the army, air force, and navy. The triangular shaped field gear could be used with other Zeltbahn's to form a larger tent for more soldiers and gear.
This rare Luftwaffe unit marked Zeltbahn was obtained from a collector in Italy. It was discovered in an old house in southern Italy near "Frosinone", about 40 km from Rome. It has the standard "splinter" pattern camouflage that was common for most armed forces of Germany until 1945. Clear ink markings are a Luftwaffe acceptance stamp of "LBA (S) 1941" (S=Sonneberg) and below that the unit marking, "2./FJ Rgt. 6". All buttons are present and includes a section of rope. The Zeltbahn has some wear from use with soiling from what appears to be oil and minor tears. (20080603)
The German Luftwaffe or Air Force had their own light infantry ground forces during WWII. Zeltbahn's would have been issued to these ground units for shelter along with other field gear. In February 1943, the I./FJ Rgt.6 Battalillon (Fallschirmjäger or Paratroopers) was formed from Luftwaffen-Feld-Battalillon 100 in the Vannes/Bretagne area of France. Four kompanies made up the I./FJ Rgt.6, the 1./FJ Rgt.6, 2./FJ Rgt.6, 3./FJ Rgt.6, and 4./FJ Rgt.6. At some point, the remainder of the regiment was dissolved and the I./FJ Rgt.6 became I./FJ Rgt.7.
More information was sent to me by the seller of this Zeltbahn: "Fallschirmjäger Rgt 6 was part of the 2nd Fallschirmjäger Division. During the Allied invasion of Italy, in 1943 the following Fallschirmjäger units were involved: 1st Fallschirmjäger Division 2nd Fallshirmjaeger Division. Monte Cassino was fought during 1944 by which time the 2nd Fallschirmjäger Division had been transferred to the Western Front and replaced with 4th Fallschirmjäger Division. Monte Cassino was defended by 1st Fallschirmjäger Division and rest of 6 Reg. The first units to arrive at the site were 1st & 3rd Bns, 1sy Rgt, along with 3rd Bn, 3rd Rgt. The MG Bn was pulled from the Anzio beach head to assist these units, and together they were grouped to form Kampfgruppen Shculz. 4th Fallschirmjäger Division was responsible for the Anzio beach head."