BACKGROUND: Visor caps were a standard item for all personnel during the Third Reich period and regulations dictated the form of dress they were to be worn with based on the individuals rank. 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. 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. Originally the insignia worn on the visor caps consisted of the Weimar Reichswehr pattern oak-leaf wreath and cockade and a blackened leather chinstrap for all ranks. In February 1927 new chin cords for Officer ranks were introduced with silver cords for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt cords for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall. On March 14TH 1933 the Reichswehr’s oval black, red and gold cockade was replaced with a circular cockade in black, white, and red and on February 17TH 1934 the Third Reich pattern national eagle for the army was officially introduced for wear on the visor cap. In March 1935 a new, more detailed, pattern wreath and cockade and a second, larger pattern national eagle were also introduced for wear and in late 1935 regulations altered the Reichswehr era field-grey colored centerband to a dark blue/green coloration which was utilized until the end of the war. Further regulations of February 26TH 1936 also permitted senior NCO’s who were Officer Candidates to wear the Officers twisted silver/aluminum chin cord on their visor caps as opposed to the standard EM/NCO’s leather chinstrap. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with orange being chosen for Feldgendarmie, (Military Police), personnel which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps. Of Note: Originally personnel serving with the army recruiting service were also allocated orange waffenfarbe until it was altered to white in 1942.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, field-grey wool and rayon blend construction visor cap with a blue/green badge cloth centerband and orange wool waffenfarbe piping to the crown edge and both the top and bottom edges of the centerband. The front center of the cap features a second pattern national eagle. The front center of the centerband has a second oak-leaf wreath encompassing a high relief, three piece national tri-color cockade. The national tri-color cockade consists of a fluted, black alloy base, a silver washed alloy roundel and an inserted, red screened vent centerpiece. The cap has a twisted silver/aluminum chin cord which is secured in place by two, small, silver washed, pebbled, alloy buttons. The cap has a black lacquered vulcanfibre visor with a subtly raised lip near the forward edge. The interior of the cap is fully lined in two grades of golden/tan rayon with a smooth finish to the crown lining and a ribbed finish to the body lining. The interior crown lining has a clear celluloid sweat diamond fully intact. The lining beneath the sweat diamond has remnants of silver printed script with portions of the standard, Erel logo being recognizable. The interior of the cap also has a wide, natural tan leather sweatband, with ventilation perforations to the front forehead section, machine stitched in place. The sweatband has impressed, silver script that includes, "Erel Patent Stirnschutz". The cap is roughly size 58. Excellent cap with scarce orange waffenfarbe.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $1,895.00 (Or Best Offer)

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