Folding E-tool cover – bad 1942
The folding shovel or Klappspaten was the another infantry shovel introduced into the German army first in 1938. The German folding shovel was the first ever army spade with a folding mechanism. After it’s design the Americans copied the design and made their own (M1943 entrenching tool) as a new standard infantry E-tool. The Germans issued these folding shovels just the same as the straight shovels.
The folding shovel features a blued, stamped steel blade. The blade can be locked in 3 positions through means of a Bakelite locking knob. The blade can be unfolded fully or in a 90 degree angle to hack in the ground. The blade can be locked shut when carried in the cover.
The covers came in two models and in two materials. The first model differs from the second through the size and type of the closing flap. The first model had a flap that completely covered the top edge of the shovel, closing off the top of the cover completely. The second model was simplified and as such it just consisted of a single strap over the centre of the top of the cover. The covers where first seen made out of artificial leather or Ersatzmaterial in 1938.
Markings: bad 1942 and WaA 36
Maker: Leo Schmidt, o.H.G. Lederriemenfabrik, München
Model: Second model with simplified closing flap
Notes: This cover is interestingly named Prager on the inside and on the steel keep that keeps the shovel from falling out. Also it features a interesting field reinforcement of the carrying loop. The stud closure is removed and the loop is sewn shut to prevent loss in the field.