Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bundeswehr Klappspaten, West German Army Folding Entrenching Tool - Shovel Klapspaten

Today I'll be continuing on with my "shovel thread".  While I was busy receiving a pile of shovels and spades in the mail, I found yet another military shovel that I had been watching for.  I picked it up for a fantastic price and added it to the pile of other spades and shovels that had recently arrived!


This folding shovel is wonderful example of the West German folding entrenching tool that was first produced and issued in 1959 and issued into the 1970's.  It was replaced by the German version of the US Military-NATO, Tri-Fold shovel some time in the 1970's.
This shovel is dated 1965, and the leather cover is dated 1969.


These folding entrenching tools are HEAVY DUTY !  Not only are they heavy duty, but they are actually heavy, weight-wise, as well.  I get the impression that Germany figured that their soldiers would be fighting on their own home turf and would not be needing to pack their gear very far.  The shovel can be adjusted for use as a normal shovel, or set at 90 degrees for use as a hoe, or the pick can be folded out for use alone, or in "hoe mode" with the shovel blade.
Of all of the folding shovels, this German version is by far the toughest!

Here is the photo album of this entrenching tool.  Enjoy.


13 comments:

Exploriment said...

I have one and was under the impression it was East, not West German. Learn something new every day.

But it is definitely a heavy bastard. It's a trunk tool. Wouldn't want to carry that thing for long.

Sharky said...

The East Germans had a folding shovel as well, but it was based on the "old style", WW2 version that has a screw-down collar to lock the blade open, closed, or at 90 degrees. You can read about the East German version on one of my earlier posts:

http://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2011/03/gdr-klappspaten-east-german-entrenching.html

Corne Henn said...

Good Day I just pick one up at a pawn shop for 300zar "South African rands " that would be +- $21 us . It is also dated 1965 . Bargain or not ?

Sharky said...

Hello!
Thanks for looking at my blog! You found a very good shovel and the price is very good!
$21 US Dollars is a very good price. In the US they cost about $35 - $45 US Dollars. Sometimes the price can be higher.
1965 is one of the early years.
You have a very good shovel for your collection now. Congratulations!

chris johnson said...

Wow, I just picked one up in nice condition for $3 at a goodwill. And the same dates, shovel 1965 and sheath is 1969.

Sharky said...

WOW! I wish I had beat you to that Thrift Store! You got an amazing deal on that shovel! If you can find one of these old German Bundewswehr shovels for less that $35.00 it's a screaming deal! These shovels are built like tanks!
Enjoy

MegaGreenman28 said...

I use one for my truck shovel. I paid $35 for mine at a army navy store where I found it under a huge pile of those horrible tri fold shovels that seem to always break the german one if you can handle the weight is far superior.

Mookster53 said...

I got one while stationed in Germany. It is a used 1965 in good condition. It has "Setzer" hand written on one of the straps. It's amazing how well designed and built these are.

Unknown said...

I just got my hands on this shovel that is from 1959 and it was free!

Unknown said...

I too have four bees trenching tool also stamped 1965 no numbers on the case but an excellent condition

Unknown said...

Just picked one up today for $30 with a 1964 date.no date on sheath. Awesome tool!

Steve said...

I too have one of the 'fox hole' spades, dated 1959. I have a question related to the mechanism. I disassembled the spring-loaded locking mechanism to clean and lubricate it. I had to remove a small brass threaded bolt from the end (or head) of the shovel to remove the spring.
Now the question I have is this - how can the small brass threaded bolt be reinserted down through the compressed spring? The brass bolt has a fine notch in it near the top of the bolt, just under the threaded part. I'm assuming this has to do with the spring, but for the life of me, I can't get it down through the spring.

Any ideas out there? Thanks!

Sharky said...

Interesting problem with the brass screw........I actually have never disassembled these locking mechanisms, but I have seen photos of them all apart, and I know the German agencies would disassemble them and mix-n-match parts during rebuilds. Something new to research. Just when i thought I had all the answers! Stand by............