SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
H039175 GENERAL'S MOUNTAIN CAP.(Bergmütze)
BACKGROUND: The Mountain cap was originally introduced for wear by Mountain, Ski and Jäger personnel in the German army in the early 1930's, with the design based on the M1909 caps worn by the German/Austrian Alpine troops in WWI. On May 2ND 1939 the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), authorized wear of a distinctive edelweiss tradition badge by Mountain Troop personnel and the design of the badge was also based on a pattern worn by German/Austrian Alpine troops in WWI. The badge came in three forms with a cloth version for wear on the upper right sleeve of the service uniform, a stemless metal version for wear on the visor cap and a stemmed metal version for wear on the mountain cap. Of Note: From its inception the Bergmütze had no readily identifiable rank indicator although the buttons were to be field-grey for EM/NCO’s ranks, silver for Officer’s ranks of Leutnant to Oberst and gilt for General Officer’s ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall. Regulations of October 1942 introduced silver/aluminum or gold piping to the top crown edge as a rank indicator for Officer’s and General’s respectively. Although very similar to the M43 field cap, the Bergmütze was issued in considerably smaller quantities and is more scarce. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own headgear 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 headgear from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase headgear 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.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Field-grey, wool construction cap features fold down back and side panels with scalloped front edge and forward sides, held in the upward position at the front by two gold washed Generals buttons. Back and side panels were designed to be folded down to protect the wearers ears and neck and the scalloped front section could be secured with the buttons closed under the wearers chin. Buttons have original stitching. Cap has a short cloth covered visor with internal stiffener and subtly raised lip to bottom of forward edge. Hand embroidered gold bullion wire national eagle is original hand stitching to the cap. Small tear to the front of the cap. (pre-1942 regulation gold bullion insignia and gilt buttons for General Officers). Left side panel of cap has a 1939 pattern, silver washed, stamped alloy edelweiss with nine petals, two leaves, single stem and separate, gilt washed, stamen attached by two bent over prongs. Edelweiss has four small holes in the flower and one in the stem for stitching it to the cap. Interior of cap is fully lined in light weight grey cotton/rayon. Interior has a full tan leather sweatband intact. Sweatband is named to "E Schlemmer". Roughly a size 57. Superb, untouched original example. Shows the expected age, period use and wear. Note: Its thought that this cap belonged to Ernst Schlemmer, a Mountain Troop General, not Hans Schlemmer, another Mountain Troop General who was his brother. Ernst Schlemmer's first command (after being promoted to General) was as commander of 2. Gebirgs Division as of March 1941 in Lappland and Finland on the Northern Front against the Soviet Union.
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