BACKGROUND: In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms, headgear and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel’s arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. One of the new headgear items introduced was the tropical overseas cap that followed the basic design of the earlier, modified, M34 overseas caps. On their introduction these caps were originally designated, "Mütze, oliv, für Panzerschützen", (Cap, Olive, for Armored Soldiers), and apparently were intended for wear by armored personnel although they were issued to all branches of service. Officer ranks tropical overseas caps were distinguished from EM/NCO’s with silver piping for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt piping for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall while EM/NCO’s ranks caps were not piped. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a particular 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 tropical overseas caps had a branch of service soutache applied to the front consisting of an inverted "V" flanking the national tri-color cockade but 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.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Ribbed olive/khaki, cotton twill construction cap with fold down side and back panels with gently sloping, downward scallops to the front and the forward sides. As is typical the fold down panels are stitched in the upright position at the front center of the cap. Scarce 1941 early Weissbach production cap with no ventilation grommets. The top center seam is correctly stitched right through the interior liner, for added strength. The front center of the cap has a machine woven national eagle in light blue/grey threads on a cut-out, woven tan rayon base. The eagle is machine stitched to the cap in the typical zig-zag fashion. The front center of the fold down panel has a machine woven national tri-color cockade, on a woven, tan rayon, diamond shaped base which is machine stitched in place. The tri-color cockade is flanked by an inverted "V", pink rayon branch of service soutache indicating service with a Panzer unit. 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 light weight red cotton. The lining is well marked with a black size inkstamp, "58", the manufactures name and location, "F. Weissbach Glauchau", and, "E. 41", indicating the cap passed through the army’s clothing depot in Erfurt in 1941. The cap is in overall excellent condition with minimal age toning. Nice!

GRADE ****3/4                             PRICE $1,595.00

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