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H032460 PANZER OFFICER'S M38 OVERSEAS CAP. (Feldmütze n/P M38)

BACKGROUND: The Officer’s M38 overseas field cap was originally introduced on December 6TH 1938 as a replacement for the old pattern, visored, field cap that had been introduced in March 1934. The design of the Officer’s M38 overseas cap was based on the M34 overseas cap as worn by EM/NCO’s. Originally the M38 was only produced in field-grey until March 27TH 1940 when a black panzer version for Panzer officers was introduced. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own caps and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the army’s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), 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. Company and Field grade Officer’s M38 overseas caps were piped with bright, silver/aluminum braid while Officers with Generals ranks utilized bright gilt braid piping. The German army originally adopted a slightly modified version of the NSDAP’s, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), national eagle by order on February 17TH 1934, with instructions to have it applied to all steel helmets, visor caps, and tunics by May 1ST 1934. Regulations followed on October 30TH 1935 that stipulated the national eagle was also to be applied to all field caps. On March 14TH 1933 the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and was utilized through-out the Third Reich period. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe color with pink being chosen for Panzer, (Armored) personnel. Of Note: The general waffenfarbe for all armored units was pink although other colors were utilized including red for armored artillery units, golden yellow for armored reconnaissance units and the 24TH Panzer Division, lemon yellow for armored signals units and, for a short time, alternating black and white for armored engineer units. Originally the Officer’s M38 overseas caps, were outfitted with an identifying branch of service soutache until 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.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, M38 pattern, black wool construction cap with a whipcord weave, features fold down side and back panels with scalloped slopes to the forward side panels. The forward, scalloped, side panels are both piped in bright, interwoven, silver/aluminum braiding which is handstitched in place. The cap has a natural brass alloy, ventilation grommet to each side, positioned just below the crown edge. The original owner has personalized the cap by addition of a couple of stitches to the top center of the crown for a more relaxed appearance in spite of regulations prohibiting the practice. The front center of the cap has a machine woven national eagle in bright, silver/aluminum, flat-wire threads on a cut-out, woven, black rayon base. The eagle is neatly handstitched to the cap. The front center of the fold down panels has a hand embroidered, national tri-color cockade consisting of a black wire base, a silver wire roundel and an inserted red felt centerpiece. The cockade is handstitched to the cap. The cockade is flanked by a pink rayon waffenfarbe soutache in an inverted "V" pattern. The soutache is applied in the proper manner being handstitched in place and inserted through small puncture holes at the seam near the bottom edge of the cap.  The interior of the cap is fully lined in a brushed black rayon. The cap has no visible size or manufacturer’s markings. The cap is in overall very good condition with light age and usage toning and a couple of small picks. The cap is roughly size 56. Nice quality private purchase Panzer officer cap. Rare to find these days.

GRADE ***1/2                             PRICE $2,500.00

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