BACKGROUND: The black Panzer wrap uniform was originally introduced by the army on November 12TH 1934, for wear by armored vehicle personnel and was worn through-out the war with minor modifications in 1936 and 1942. Allegedly the chief of the motorized troops, Oberst Heinz Guderian came up with the coloration and design of the form fitting uniform which he based on a popular ski outfit of the time and black was chosen as the color as it help conceal the grease and grime commonly encountered by motorized personnel. The uniform consisted of a specially designed wrap tunic, pants and the distinctive black Panzer beret/crash helmet which was originally the only officially sanctioned piece of headgear to be worn with that uniform. The black Panzer beret/crash helmet consisted of a separate, removable beret fitted to an underlying, formed, protective crash helmet. On its introduction the insignia for the beret was a white oak-leaf wreath and a national tri-color cockade excluding the national eagle. Regulations of October 1935 altered the wear of the insignia on the beret to include the national eagle. In 1939 the coloration of the wreath and the national eagle were altered from white to a less visible grey. The black Panzer beret proved impractical as wear of headphones was restricted and it was also considered unattractive, and uncomfortable which made it unpopular with the troops resulting in further production being halted as per regulations of January 15TH 1941.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The two piece headgear consists of a machine spun, black wool construction, detachable beret and a separate, black wool covered, protective crash helmet with a heavy internal padding. The beret is woven in the correct pattern with the circular weave being clearly visible and the top crown retains its original small lappet (pompom). The bottom edge of the beret has a dual-ply hem designed to help secure it to the crash helmet. The front center of the beret has an early, (Circa 1935-1939), machine woven national eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in it’s talons, in white rayon threads mounted on a cut-out, woven, black rayon base. The eagle is positioned above a machine woven, oak-leave wreath in white rayon threads, encompassing a national tri-color cockade in black, white and red rayon threads all mounted on a cut-out, woven, black rayon base. Both the eagle and wreath/cockade are original machine stitching to the beret. The exterior of the crash helmet has a black wool covering with heavy, internal padding and a deep, horizontal, indentation near the bottom edge designed to insert the beret for a secure fit. The beret still fits snugly on the crash helmet. The crash helmet has six, large, evenly spaced, inserted, rubber ventilation grommets positioned around the middle of the body. The interior of the crash helmet is fully lined in black oilcloth, cut and stitched into six equal triangular sections. The interior of the crash helmet also has a wide, tan leather sweatband fully intact. Nicely size marked "56" Shows the expected age and use.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $8,649.00

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