L013873 TROPICAL PITH HELMET. (Tropenhelm)

BACKGROUND: In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, the army quickly developed and issued tropical uniforms and equipment in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnelís arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. At the same time the Luftwaffe also developed and introduced their own version of the tropical uniform, headgear and equipment independently from the other branches of service. Originally Luftwaffe personnel stationed in North Africa were issued the first pattern army style pith helmet until they introduced their own version in mid-1941 which was almost identical to the army version except for the coloration and insignia. Wear of the pith helmets was extended to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe during the summer months, (May 1ST to September 30TH), but the helmets proved ineffective and unpopular and manufacture was discontinued sometime in 1942 or 1943.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Luftwaffe issue, tropical pith helmet, with a formed cork core covered in a ribbed, light tan cotton twill. The helmet features a six panel, vertically seamed, tan cotton twill crown with a horizontal band machine stitched at the rear center at the juncture of the crown and the all around visor. The top center of the crown has a raised, removable, cotton twill covered, circular, alloy knob with three semi-circular, cut-out ventilation holes. The all around visor is shorter at the front and consists of a formed cork core with a two piece, tan cotton twill covering with vertical machine stitched seams at each side. The forward edge of the visor is trimmed with machine stitched on tan leather. Insignia has been removed. The bottom edge of the all around visor brim is lined in light weight, olive drab linen and the interior crown is lined in light weight red cotton. Chinstrap is still there, but is missing a small section from one end. The interior of the helmet has a tan leather sweatband, stitched to a pressed cardboard liner band. Nicely maker marked and dated for 1943. Size marked 57. Shows the expected age and use.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $399.00 

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