BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all personnel during the Third Reich period and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individuals rank. Officer and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the army’s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their caps from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase visor caps of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their caps from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored caps although the price may have been restrictive. Originally the insignia worn on the visor caps consisted of the Weimar Reichswehr pattern oak-leaf wreath and cockade and a blackened leather chinstrap for all ranks. In February 1927 new chin cords for Officer ranks were introduced with silver cords for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt cords for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall. On March 14TH 1933 the Reichswehr’s oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and on February 17TH 1934 the Third Reich pattern national eagle for the army was officially introduced for wear on the visor cap. In March 1935 a new, more detailed, pattern wreath and cockade and a second, larger pattern national eagle were also introduced for wear and in late 1935 regulations altered the Reichswehr era field-grey colored centerband to a dark blue/green coloration which was utilized until the end of the war. Further regulations of February 26TH 1936 also permitted senior NCO’s who were Officer Candidates to wear the Officers twisted silver/aluminum chin cord on their visor caps as opposed to the standard EM/NCO’s leather chinstrap. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with golden yellow being chosen for Cavalry personnel which was displayed as piping on the visor cap. Of Note. The Totenkopf was a traditions badge bestowed upon the 1ST Squadron of the 5TH Cavalry regiment in 1921 as a commemorative badge of the 1ST and 2ND Prussian Leib-Husaren Regimenter. In 1933 the right to wear this badge was extended to include the Regimental staff, the 1ST Battalion and the 2ND , 4TH, 5TH and 11TH Squadrons. Technically all the Cavalry units were disbanded during mobilization in 1939, but in fact these units were reorganized as reconnaissance battalions attached to infantry units. Beginning in January 1943 separate Cavalry units were again reformed, and in 1944 Cavalry regiment "North" was renamed 5TH Cavalry regiment and again bestowed the right to wear the traditions badge.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, field-grey doeskin wool construction visor cap features a blue/green badge cloth centerband and golden yellow wool waffenfarbe piping to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The front center of the cap features a nice officers quality, hand embroidered national eagle in bright silver/aluminum and bullion wire threads on a cut-out blue/green badge cloth base. The front center of the centerband has a nice quality, hand embroidered, oak-leaf wreath in silver/aluminum threads encompassing a hand embroidered national tri-color cockade in silver/aluminum and black rayon threads with a red felt centerpiece on a cut-out blue/green badge cloth base. Both the eagle and wreathed cockade are neatly handstitched to the cap. Between these two is the 5th Cavalry Totenkopf traditions badge. The cap has a twisted silver/aluminum chin cord which is secured in place by two, small, silver washed, pebbled, magnetic sheet metal buttons. The cap has an extended, forward, black lacquered, vulcanfibre visor with a subtly raised lip near the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in golden/tan rayon. The interior crown lining has its complete clear celluloid sweat rhomboid with red printed script and makers logo for the August Schellenberg firm of Berlin. The interior of the cap also has a wide, natural tan leather sweatband, with ventilation perforations to the front forehead section. The cap is roughly size 58. A few tiny moth nips and light tracking, but overall superb condition. Nice cap!

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $2,395.00

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