U.S. WWII Shelter Half Pup Tent

Item Description

Original Item: Offered in used good condition, most have legible U.S. markings and some still bear WW2 dates, all are complete some with minor field repairs, but are be useable and very solid.

The Shelter Half was the fundamental unit of shelter for the U.S. Army in the field -- since the Civil War -- is the two-man pup tent. Each pup tent is made up of two shelter half pieces that fasten together with a row of buttons (up to late World War II) or snaps along the ridge line and, with poles, ropes and stakes, make up one pup tent. The buttons are matched to a row of button holes. The snaps are two sided. With either system, any pair of shelter half pieces can be fastened together with a watertight closure along the top line. The shelter half is approximately 7' long by 5' wide.

The tent half with its stakes and poles weighs about 5 lbs. for each soldier, 10-11 pounds total. To erect the tent, two soldiers work together as shown in this section from FM 21-15 "Care and Use of Individual Clothing and Equipment" (15 Feb 1977). The rectangular part of the shelter half forms the pitched roof of the tent while the triangular end forms a back wall at one end and a flap door at the other. The early World War II tents had no front flap so the tent was open to the elements. Grommets along the base of the tent have loops of cord that attach to the tent stakes.

In World War II and Korea the shelter half was made of cotton duck, originally open in front but gaining a flap later in the war. The shelter half went through the same color changes as other equipment, from khaki or OD #3 early to mid-war then to darker green OD #7 late in the war. When the tent material was khaki, the poles and stakes were unpainted, plain wood. When the olive drab #7 color was adopted, the poles and stakes were painted to match. Tents of this era are stamped with a large "US" on the outside panel and have the contractor and date inside. Early tents used brass buttons to attach the halves and to close the flaps; later tents use snaps. Brass or steel hardware was blackened.

Poles, stakes and guy line are not included.

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