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N030663 SA GRUPPE BAYERNWALD EM/NCO’S SERVICE KEPI. (SA-Dienstmütze)
BACKGROUND: The SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), was originally formed in August 1921 as a protective guard unit for the political leaders of the fledgling NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), and as with the NSDAP the SA was structure along para-military lines. The SA recruited most of its personnel from the ranks of the various Freikorps, (Free Corps), groups composed mainly of disgruntled, ex-WWI soldiers and was first utilized in it’s capacity as body guards of NSDAP politicians at a NSDAP meeting in Munich in November 1921. Originally SA personnel had no official uniform and a variety of uniform items were worn including a white shirt, a grey, double breasted jacket and a grey, Austrian-style ski cap, with the only identifying insignia being a box belt buckle, (Circa 1921-1923), and the swastika armband, (Circa 1922). Since SA personnel were responsible for purchasing their own uniform items only the most affluent would have been equipped with the "unofficial" uniform with most personnel only wearing the swastika armband. In 1924 a new, light brown, soft, style Kepi cap was introduced for SA personnel until modifications in 1929 alter the soft Kepi to the reinforced, "coffee-can" style of Kepi. The reinforced, "coffee-can" style Kepi was utilized through-out the Third Reich period with numerous small, modifications. Regulations of April 1931 announced that the NSDAP style national eagle was permitted for wear on the SA Kepi. The SA underwent a few internal structural reorganizations that included modifications to ranks and additions of new SA groups that also impacted the Kepi. Originally only personnel holding unit leadership positions utilized assorted colored tops on their Kepis until regulations of July 1933 introduced colored tops for all ranks and as a result special Tress was introduced for SA personnel in unit leadership positions. Of Note: The Kepi tress did not indicate specific ranks but leadership positions. Another modification was the use of assorted colored piping on the Kepis for mid to higher ranked personnel that was abolished in 1938 and replaced with silver or gold piping to match the uniform buttons. Regulations of late 1940 or early 1941 altered the piping on the Kepi to silver for all mid to higher ranks excluding the Stabschef, (Chief of Staff), who still utilized gold piping. The new, (Circa 1933), colored tops on the Kepis were utilized to distinguish the different SA units, with each Group being allocated a specific color and a silver or gold button. The colored tops on the Kepis remained relatively consistent with a few additions and changes between 1934 and 1942. Of Note: There were some overlaps in the colors used by the different SA groups with the difference in the button color, (silver or gold), determining the actual group. Also Of Note: The RZM, Reich Zeug Meisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Uniforms, insignia, equipment items and headgear manufactured for the SA were under the quality control of the RZM and were marked by the appropriate RZM marking or label. Of Interest: By 1934 with roughly four million members the SA rivaled the army, under the leadership Ernst Röhm who wanted the SA to become the political "army" of Germany. Hitler needed the army’s support and as a result of Röhm’s actions, which disturbed the army, Hitler was forced to deal with the unruly SA and it’s leader. As a result on June 30TH 1934, the SA was purged of it’s unreliable elements on the "Night of the Long Knives", resulting in the death of most of the senior leaders of the SA, including Röhm. Although the SA remained an NSDAP organization until the end of the war it never wielded any power after the purge.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, (Circa 1937-1945), mottled light brown wool construction "coffee-can" shaped kepi with an internal stiffener features light brown wool side and back panels with a gently scalloped downward slopes to the forward sides and the front center. The upper portion of the cap, above the light brown wool panels is ornamented, in permanently attached, light blue wool. The kepi has two, light blue painted, magnetic sheet metal, ventilation grommets positioned to either side, just below the crown edge. The front center of the kepi has a silver washed, stamped alloy construction, left facing, 1937 pattern, national eagle with out-stretched wings clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in it’s talons, positioned above a silver washed, stamped magnetic sheet metal pebbled finished ornamental button. The light blue wool panel and the silver button indicate service with SA-Gruppe Bayernwald. The eagle and button both retain over 95% of their silver finishes and are secured to the kepi with bent over prongs which are visible to the interior. The kepi has a short, forward, extended, black wool covered visor with an internal stiffener with a subtly raised lip to the forward of the top edge and dual rows of reinforcement stitching to both the top and bottom near the forward edge. The kepi has a black, chocolate brown leather chinstrap with a central, vertically rectangular, chocolate brown painted, magnetic sheet metal, retaining clip and two, vertically rectangular, sliding, magnetic sheet metal, length adjustment buckles. The chinstrap is secured to the kepi by two, small, chocolate brown painted, smooth, magnetic sheet metal buttons. The reverse of the chinstrap is well marked with the purple inkstamped RZM logo within dual, circular borders and the manufacturer’s RZM contract code, "L10/1/41", indicating an unknown manufacturer in 1941. The interior crown of the kepi is lined in orangish/tan oilcloth while the body is unlined. The crown lining has numerous small tears and is well marked with a faint black size inkstamp, "57". The interior of the kepi also has a tan, leather sweatband fully intact. The sweatband is still very supple and pliable. The kepi has a tan oilcloth RZM tag machine stitched beneath the sweatband near the reverse. The RZM tag has white script that includes, "Tuchmütze", (Cloth Cap), "Reichzeugmeisterei der NSDAP", (National Equipment Quartermaster of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party), the RZM logo and the unknown, black inkstamped manufacturer’s numerical code. The kepi is in overall very good condition with minor age and usage toning and small spots of light nap wear.
GRADE ***3/4 PRICE $ SOLD
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