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L014779 OFFICER'S M43 FIELD CAP. (Einheitsfliegermütze M43)

BACKGROUND: Following the army’s lead the Luftwaffe introduced the M43 field cap on September 27TH 1943 to replace the Flyer's and Mountain caps then in use. The design of the M43 field cap was based on the earlier M42 Feldmütze, (Overseas cap), and the Mountain Troopers Bergmütze, (Mountain Cap), with minor variations. The insignia on the caps included the Luftwaffe style national eagle and the circular, black, white, and red national tri-color cockade as introduced on March 14TH 1933. The Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was originally introduced for wear by Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), personnel of the DLV, on August 18TH 1934 and was officially adopted for wear by all Luftwaffe personnel on March 1ST 1935. The original, short winged, first pattern national eagle was utilized until a, slightly modified, second pattern national eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations dictated that the national eagle was to be worn on almost all headgear and on the right breast of almost all uniforms with a few minor exceptions. Officer’s ranks were distinguished by piping on the crown of the cap with silver piping for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt piping for General Officer’s ranks of Generalmajor to Reichsmarschall while EM/NCO’s caps were not piped. Further regulations also dictated that the buttons on the cap were also to be an indicator of rank with blue/grey buttons for EM/NCO’s, silver for Field and Company grade officers and gilt for General’s ranks but this was not strictly adhered to. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), 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.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Blue/grey, wool/rayon, blend construction cap, features fold down side and back panels with a scalloped front with two pebbled, alloy button closure at the front center. The back and side panels were designed to be folded down to protect the wearers ears and neck and the scalloped front section could be secured with the buttons closed under the wearers chin. The top crown edge is piped in bright, interwoven, silver/aluminum cord indicating the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst inclusively. Note this piping has been added to an EM’s cap to upgrade it to an officers example at a later date (not uncommon). The front center of the cap has a machine embroidered, second pattern, (Circa 1936/1937-1945), Luftwaffe eagle, clutching a canted swastika in it’s talons, in silvery/grey cotton threads on a cut-out blue/grey wool base positioned above a separate, machine woven, national tri-color cockade in black, red and white rayon threads, on a Luftwaffe blue/grey wool base. Both pieces of insignia are handstitched to the cap. The cap has a short, fabric covered, extended, forward visor with an internal stiffener with a subtly raised lip to the bottom of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in grey rayon. Rbnr# marked, size marked "59" and dated for 1944.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $800.00

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