BACKGROUND: In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms, headgear and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel’s arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. One of the new headgear items introduced was the tropical overseas cap that followed the basic design of the earlier, modified, M34 overseas caps. On their introduction these caps were originally designated, "Mütze, oliv, für Panzerschützen", (Cap, Olive, for Armored Soldiers), and apparently were intended for wear by armored personnel although they were issued to all branches of service. Officer ranks tropical overseas caps were distinguished from EM/NCO’s with silver piping for the ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt piping for the ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall while EM/NCO’s ranks caps were not piped. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with copper brown being chosen for Motorcycle/Reconnaissance personnel. Originally the tropical overseas caps had a branch of service soutache applied to the front consisting of an inverted "V" flanking the national tri-color cockade but 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: Ribbed olive/khaki, cotton twill construction cap with fold down side and back panels with gently sloping, downward scallops to the front and the forward sides. As is typical the fold down panels are stitched in the upright position at the front center of the cap. The cap has a tan painted, metal alloy ventilation grommet to both sides situated just below the crown edge. The ventilation grommets retain all of their original tan paint. The top center seam is correctly stitched right through the interior liner, for added strength. The front center of the cap has a machine woven national eagle in light blue/grey threads on a cut-out, woven tan rayon base. The front center of the fold down panel has a machine woven national tri-color cockade, on a woven, tan rayon, diamond shaped base. Both the eagle and cockade are machine stitched to the cap. The tri-color cockade is flanked by an inverted "V", coppery/brown rayon branch of service soutache indicating service with a Motorcycle/Reconnaissance unit. The soutache has been applied in the correct manner, being machine stitched in place and inserted through two small puncture holes near the bottom edge of the cap. The interior of the cap is fully lined in light weight red cotton. The lining is well marked with a black size inkstamp, "57", the manufactures name and location, "Hans Brandt Mützenfabrik Magdeburg-N. Ritterstraße 12-15", and the date, "8 42". The cap is in overall excellent, unissued condition with minimal age toning.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $715.00 

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