BACKGROUND: The German EM/NCO’s "Donald Duck" style sailor’s cap was based on a traditional design that dates back to the creation of the Prussian Navy in 1848. During the Imperial German Navy, the Reichsmarine and the early Third Reich eras these Donald Duck style sailor’s caps were issued with a named cap talley to identify the ship, flotilla or land unit the individual was serving with. On November 1ST 1938 the Navy mobilization order introduced the "Kriegsmarine" cap talley to replace the named cap tallies as a security measure in the case of active mobilization. Personnel who had no possible contact with the outside world retained the privilege to wear the named tallies until mid-1940 when additional orders restricted wear of all named cap tallies excluding personnel of the NCO’s Preparatory Schools. Originally the script on the cap tallies was worked in gilt wire but due to the potential tarnish discoloration of the wire, regulations of October 29TH 1936 dictated that the manufacture of the gilt script on the cap tallies was to be discontinued and replaced with golden yellow celleon threads although the directive was not strictly adhered to. As was common practice during the Third Reich, capital ships were quite often named after earlier German heroes and the Battleship Scharnhorst was named in honor of the Imperial Prussian General Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst, (1755-1813), who had assisted in reorganizing the Imperial Prussian army, along with Gneisenau, in the early 1800's restoring morale and resulting in the defeat of Napoleon I at Leipzig in 1813. The Schlachtschiff Scharnhorst, (Battleship Scharnhorst), was launched on October 3RD 1936 and was one of the most fortunate of Hitler’s high seas surface fleet, having survived the Norwegian campaign in 1940, two extended forays in the Atlantic, a year of bombing by the RCAF at Brest, the daring channel dash from Brest to Wilhelmshaven in February 1942, and the British attack at Alten Fjord in September 1943. On December 26TH 1943 the Scharnhorst was sunk by a British battle group off of the North Cape of Norway with a loss of one thousand thirty-two men of the total one thousand sixty-eight crew members.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 32mm tall, 97cm long, post-November 1936 pattern, woven black rayon construction cap talley with machine woven Gothic script, "Schlachtschiff Scharnhorst", in bright, golden yellow, celleon threads. The ends of the cap talley are cut at opposing, diagonal, angles which would create the "swallow-tail", affect when applied to the cap. Glue spots/tape indicating it was most probably in a scrap book at some point. Shortened and cut slightly off center. Scarce.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $495.00

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