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), personnelís arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. One of the new headgear items introduced was the tropical pith helmet which was based on the design of the earlier Kriegsmarine pith helmet. On its introduction the pith helmet was constructed of a formed cork base with a cotton twill covering until a second pattern pith helmet was introduced with a formed cork base with a felt covering. The second pattern pith helmet followed the same basic design as the first pattern but was modified to ease production time and material costs. Wear of the pith helmets was extended to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe but the helmets proved ineffective and unpopular and manufacture was discontinued sometime in 1942. On introduction the tropical pith helmets were outfitted with a national eagle and national tri-color identification shields.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: First pattern tropical pith helmet, with a formed, cork core covered in a ribbed, tan cotton twill. The helmet features a six panel, vertically seamed, tan cotton twill crown with a horizontal band stitched at the rear center at the juncture of the crown and the all around visor. The helmet has two stamped alloy shields with a national eagle to the right side and a national tri-color shield to the left side (shields are mounted on the incorrect sides). The national eagle shield features a high relief, embossed, Wehrmacht style eagle with down-swept wings, on a slightly textured, black painted, background field. The national tri-color shield features three diagonally angled bars in the colors of red, white, and black on a slightly textured background field. Sweatband is complete. Chinstrap is missing. There is some damage/break to the interior cork under the cloth. Edge trim is very worn. Size marked 57. The letters "MP" (Military Police in English) have been hand painted to the front of the helmet.

GRADE **3/4                             PRICE $269.00

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