H025787 PANZER EM/NCO'S M34 OVERSEAS CAP. (Feldmütze M34)

BACKGROUND: The M34 overseas cap for wear by EM/NCO personnel was initially introduced on March 24TH 1934, with non-functional front buttons, a branch of service soutache and the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era national tri-color cockade. Regulations of October 1935, did away with the buttons and altered the insignia utilized on the cap. On March 14TH 1933 the Weimar Reichswehr era oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and was utilized through-out the Third Reich, (Circa 1933-1945), period. The German army originally adopted a slightly modified version of the NSDAP’s, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), national eagle by order on February 17TH 1934, with instructions to have it applied to all steel helmets, visor caps, and tunics by May 1ST 1934. Regulations followed on October 30TH 1935 that stipulated the national eagle was also to be applied to all field caps. The M34 cap was worn by EM/NCO’s until the introduction of the newly designed M42 overseas cap on July 21ST 1942. Although based on the modified, M34, field-grey, overseas cap as introduced in October 1935, the black version of the overseas cap wasn’t introduced until March 27TH 1940, as Panzer, crews were being issued with the black Panzer beret previous to that. Due to the fact that the Panzer Beret was unpopular with the troops and didn’t facilitate the use of the headsets it was discontinued in January 1941, to be replaced with the newly introduced black overseas cap. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with pink being chosen for Panzer, (Armored), personnel. Of Note: The general waffenfarbe for all armored units was pink although other colors were utilized including red for armored artillery units, golden yellow for armored reconnaissance units and the 24TH Panzer Division, lemon yellow for armored signals units and, for a short time, alternating black and white for armored engineer units. Originally the early M34 and modified M34, (circa October 1935), overseas caps, were outfitted with an identifying branch of service soutache until regulations of July 10TH 1942 abolished the use of the soutache and instructed it to be removed from the caps, although the directive was not strictly adhered to. The M34 overseas cap was only intended for EM/NCO’s ranks while Officer’s ranks wore the old "Crusher" style visor cap until the introduction of the Officer’s M38 overseas cap on December 6TH 1938. Officially wear of the old "Crusher" style visor caps was extended until April 1ST 1942. Further regulations of July 21ST 1942 discontinued the M34 overseas cap in favour of the newly designed, more functional, M42 pattern overseas cap but the changeover was never fully completed. A black version of the new M42 overseas cap was manufactured and issued in very limited quantities and was superceded with the introduction of the new M43 field cap as introduced for wear by all ranks on June 11TH 1943 as a replacement cap for the other field caps then in use.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, October 1935 pattern, black wool/rayon blend construction cap with fold down side and back panels with gently sloping, downward scallops to the front and forward sides. As is typical, the fold down panels are handstitched in the upright position at the front center of the cap. The cap has zinc/alloy ventilation grommet positioned to either side, positioned just below the crown edge. The front center of the cap has a machine woven national eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in it’s talons, in light grey rayon threads, mounted on a cut-out, woven, black rayon base. The front center of the fold down panels has a machine woven national tri-color cockade, in black, white and red rayon threads, mounted on a woven, blue/green rayon, diamond shaped base. Both the eagle and the cockade are original stitching to the cap. The cap also has inverted "V", pink rayon soutache flanking the cockade indicating service with the Armored troops. The soutache has been applied in the correct manner, being machine stitched in place and inserted through two small puncture holes near the bottom edge of the cap. The interior of the cap is fully lined in ribbed, cotton/rayon blend material. Faint maker mark with 1940 date. Roughly a size 56. Very nice, worn and used original cap.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $2,499.00

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