S013589 EM/NCO'S M43 FIELD CAP. (Einheitsfeldmütze M43)

BACKGROUND: The field-grey M43 field cap was originally introduced in the German army on June 11TH 1943 as a replacement cap for other field caps then in use, and adopted for wear in the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), on October 1ST 1943. 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. On its introduction a black version was also introduced for wear by Panzer personnel. EM/NCO ranks M43 caps were un-piped while the Officer’s version were issued with white piping for the ranks of SS-Untersturmführer to SS-Standartenführer and silver/aluminum piping for the ranks of SS-Oberführer to Reichsführer-SS, inclusively. Generally the early versions of the M43 cap came with a two button front retainer while the later versions reduced it to a single button. SS Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and as a result the SS established the SS-Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system in Munich in 1935. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s were allotted a one time clothing allowance from the government with the amount varying depending on the individuals rank. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase privately tailored garments and headgear of higher quality although the price may have been restrictive. With the rapid expansion of the Waffen-SS after the outbreak of the war the SS-Kleiderkasse also expanded to include no fewer then nine main offices with offices located in some of the occupied countries including, Poland, Norway, France, Czechoslovakia and Russia.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Ersatz recycled, field-grey wool/rayon blend construction cap. The cap features fold down back and side panels with scalloped front edge and forward sides and two, small, field-grey painted sheet metal button retainers. 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 buttons have their original stitching. The front center of the cap features a late war production, one piece SS cap insignia as developed in 1944. The insignia features a BeVo woven, second pattern, (circa 1936), SS style national eagle and a 1934 pattern, Totenkopf in matte silver/grey threads on a woven field-grey rayon trapezoid base. The insignia is original machine stitching to the cap. Of Note: This example is the second and final pattern trapezoidal insignia in which the skull has a single row of teeth as opposed to the first pattern in which the skull has two rows of teeth. The cap has an extended, cloth covered, forward visor with an internal stiffener with a subtly raised lip to the top of the forward edge and a single row of reinforcement stitching to the bottom of the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in grey rayon. The lining is well marked with the blue inkstamped size, "57" and "371/44". Very nice ersatz recycled cap!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $3,595.00

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