Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hungarian M49/82 Camoflage Zeltbahn - Poncho, 1989, sátorlap-esögallér

I just received a fantastic and very unique bit of cold war military equipment from our neighbors over in the Eastern Block........... A Hungarian Model 49/82, camouflaged zeltbahn - poncho, better known as a sátorlap-esögallér, in Hungarian. This zelt is brand new and in unissued condition and dates to 1989.  

This style of camo is is based on the 1949 reworking of the WW2 camo pattern of 1944.  The camo pattern on this particular zelt, was the longest lived and most common of all of the Hungarian camo patterns.  The original Model 1949 camo pattern was reworked and reissued in 1982.  It was used from 1982 until 2000.  It was used by the Hungarian Army, Air Force Ground Crews,  Border Guards, and the Police Counter-Terrorist Unit. 

This garment is meant to be primarily worn as a camo poncho, or more accurately as a cape.  It has a very unique system to turn the top corner into a hood...........  There is a drawstring on each side of the point that is used to bunch the edge up into a hood pocket and a pair of back straps that are used to take tucks across the back, inside the zelt,  to more completely form the hood. 

The two arm slits have a single flap opening with a button to secure it.  It does not appear that this arm hole system was designed to be waterproof when used as a shelter, which leads me to believe that it was designed as a garment first and a shelter second.  On the zelts (shelters) that I have seen from other countries, that were designed to be primarily used as a shelter, the arm holes have a double flap system on the inside and outside, making them water tight.  Here is a link to my posting on my Swedish Zeltbahn that shows this double flap system.

This particular zelt - poncho is well marked inside with the date of 1989 and, what I would assume is the manufacturer information and garment details.  

Here are some more photos of this unique zelt:

This particular style of Hungarian camo and style of poncho, is nearly identical to the WW2 Hungarian issued zelts that were worn by the Hungarian and German troops.  These zelts would pass, on first inspection, as original WW2 issue, with the exception of the inside color and large point-end grommet shape.  The WW2 version had an off-white backside color and the grommet was oval, not round like this M49/82 version.  Here is a photo of a WW2 soldier wearing the late war version of this zelt:

To end things, here is historic photo from the Communist Hungarian era of what appears to be a border guard in the one piece camo overalls in this camo pattern.

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