Zeltstock 01

     The Wehrmacht “Zeltbahn” shelter quarter was issued as part of a set of gear called Zeltausrüstung- tent equipment. According to the German military regulation HDv 205/1, the Zeltausrüstung consisted of one Zeltbahn 31, one Zeltleine 92 (tent rope), one Zeltstock 01 (tent pole) and 2 Zeltpflöcken 29 (tent stakes).
     The Zeltausrüstung does not include a bag for the pole and stake. The 1895-pattern Tornister as used in WWI and then through the 1930s by civil, political and paramilitary organizations did have a bag for tent accessories. This bag had integral straps with buckles, that were intended to be fastened to two leather loops inside the pack. Tornister packs intended for issue in WWII (the 1934 and 1939 models) did not have these loops inside and did not include a tent accessory bag- these were not general issue items in the Wehrmacht. Presumably it was not considered necessary to issue a bag for the purposes of holding the rope, 1 pole and 2 stakes.
     Here are some original examples of the Wehrmacht-issue Zeltstock 01 tent pole.

          The poles are marked with various maker markings and dates. This maker used a script logo inside a triangle, these are from 1940 and 1941.

     This early pole is faintly stamped “WEGA 35.”

     These are stamped “W.T.E. 42” and “ggl 41.”

Another typical marking. “H.W.H. 1938.”

     Each pole is 37 centimeters long. It takes four poles to make a tent. Four poles together measure approximately 134 centimeters long. There is some variation in how the poles fit together, with these original examples. The poles in the pictures below are fit snugly together. You can see that much more of the blued steel ferrule fits into the socket in the top picture.

These photos show the issue type pole sections in use.

These poles were copied by other armies after the war and these post-war copies may be available as surplus today. Both Norwegian and French poles can be found that look almost identical to the Wehrmacht type. The length of these poles is not exactly the same as the German originals. The Norwegian poles (which are often marked “Haeren”) are slightly longer; the French poles (unmarked) slightly shorter. Here is a comparison.

     For reenactment use I avoid using original wartime items which are in most cases now fragile and no longer suitable for field use. At the current time (2023) quality reproduction poles that are very close copies of the Wehrmacht-issue originals are available from vendors of reenactment kit items. In the past, when reproduction tent pole sections were not available, we used poles consisting of 3 Norwegian poles and one French pole. When the poles were assembled, the fact that one is slightly shorter is virtually unnoticeable. Here are some pictures of how an original tent looks erected with original poles.

     In the reality of WWII, the Zeltstock 01 was not always used. Sometimes the soldiers would simply cut a sturdy branch to the correct length. The last photo shows something of an anomaly- what appears to be a bamboo pole.