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’s 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 insignia utilized on the tropical overseas cap consisted of the standard black, white and red national tri-color cockade on a tan colored base and a national eagle in light blue/grey threads on tan base. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with light green being chosen for Jäger, (Light Infantry), personnel. 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. Of Note: Due to the overlapping use of various shades of green waffenfarbe by Jägers, (Light Infantry), Schützen, (Rifles), Gebirgsjäger, (Mountain troops), and Panzer Grenadiers, (Armored Infantry), it is difficult to attribute the branch of service with absolute certainty.

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 handstitched in the upright position at the front center of the cap. The cap has a tan painted, metal alloy ventilation grommet to both sides situated just below the crown edge. The cap grommets retain all of their original tan paint. 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 with outstretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in its talons, in light blue/grey cotton threads, on a cut-out, woven, tan rayon base. The front center of the fold down panels has a machine woven, national tri-color cockade in black, white and red cotton threads, on a woven, tan, diamond shaped, rayon base. Both the eagle and the cockade are original stitching to the cap. The tri-color cockade is flanked by an inverted "V", vibrant, light green rayon branch of service soutache. 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, "56", and is nicely maker marked. Excellent untouched cap.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $875.00

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